Grinding, measuring and tamping the coffee
As mentioned earlier grinding the coffee the right way is an important key to making good espresso. There are no strict rules as to what is the perfect grinding degree, since it depends mostly on which machine you are using, it should, however, be rather fine.
Measuring the coffee is easy, for a single espresso you use 7 grams of coffee and for a double 14 grams, and so on. If you find it difficult to measure freely you can use a small set of kitchen scales. Rotating the portafilter while supplying it with coffee helps to spread it evenly.
Next is the tamping of the coffee into the portafilter. This step is also very important. If you tamp it too hard, you will get a bitter coffee and if you tamp it too loosely it will become watery. You should get a good tamper made of aluminum or other light metals, and it has to fit perfectly into your portafilter without leaving any empty room around the edge. You start off by tamping it softly once following with giving the tamper a small spin to divide the ground coffee as evenly as possible. After that you give it a strong press, the pressure should be about 15 kilos, so don’t be afraid to let some weight of your upper body help to push. Give the tamper another light spin and make sure there is no ground coffee laying on the edge of the portafilter as it can destroy the pressure during brewing by letting the air out.
When all is prepared it’s finally time to brew the espresso. Attach the portafilter to the espresso machine and press start/pull the lever. The pressure needs to be at 9 bars and the best temperature is 93 centigrade. The coffee should start pouring into the cup after a few seconds and the best espresso has an extraction time of 25-30 seconds. The jet should be the size of a thin shoe string. The result should be a rich espresso with a thick, golden crema on top.
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