Originating in Italy, espresso is an iconic symbol of the country’s coffee culture. There’s nothing like the rich aroma of a freshly brewed cup to transport you to a bustling Italian café.
The intense flavour of an espresso captivates coffee enthusiasts around the world.
There’s a true art to making the perfect espresso. The product, the barista, and the equipment must all work together seamlessly to create a delicious blend. So, what’s the secret to its distinctive, robust taste?
Whether you’re an aspiring barista, or simply intrigued by the beauty of Italian coffee culture, we’ll show you how to make Italian espresso.
Follow these steps to make the perfect Italian espresso.
Beans cultivated in different areas will taste unique. Why not explore different options? You can also get ground coffee beans from your favourite cafe or store, so you don’t have to worry about the grinding size.
To make around 14 grams of espresso, start with 7-9 grams of ground coffee and the extraction takes 20 to 30 seconds. If you are grounding your own beans, make sure you set the grinder to fine ground (200-250µm).
Before you make a cup of espresso, release the filter holder from the group head and put the waste aside. Clean the filter holder with a microfiber cloth to ensure no leftover grounds remain inside.
Put your 7-9 grams of ground coffee into the filter holder. You can use a kitchen scale to help you measure the weight precisely. There are also some grinders that let you set how much coffee it can grind each time you turn it on, so you’ll get precise measurements every time.
Distribute the ground coffee evenly, then press it down using a tamper. Tamping applies 20kg of force and a makes a perfect horizontal puck. Tamping gives you that delicious crema on top of your espresso, and ensures you extract the beans’ full flavour.
When tamping, apply even pressure. Remember, tamping too lightly won’t give you an effective extraction. Another helpful tip is to move your tamper in a circular motion. Don’t move it back and forth, as it might make an uneven dent in the puck.
Flushing the machine involves letting hot water flow from the group head for a few seconds, before locking the portafilter. It’ll help clean the remaining grounds left on the group head so that you can remove traces from the previous extraction.
After flushing, attach the filter holder to the group head and start brewing your coffee.
Immediately put the coffee cup underneath the filter holder and wait for the extraction to finish.
That’s the authentic Italian way to make espresso!
You might also be wondering how to make espresso at home. On the market you can find small machines for home use, very similar to ones used in coffee shops. However, they require a lot of care and attention to brew the perfect cup.
So, can you make espresso without a machine? If you want to achieve a bolder coffee but don't want to invest on all this technology, you can try using a Moka Pot or a French Press. The results won’t be quite the same as the ones you’ll get with a machine, but it’ll still taste delicious.