Step by Step Guide
Coffee preparation with an Espresso Maker is an quite fascinating, but also a very demanding affair. First, you need a lot of equipment and it really gets tricky to get harmony into the interaction of the coffee grinder and machine up to a satisfactory outcome. But once you get to the point of really having your first perfect espresso, it will have been worth the effort. We want you to achieve this goal quickly and give some necessary clues. You should work accurately, pay attention to cleanliness and not be discouraged quickly.
Important Note: sieve holders are different in size, therefore we cannot give a general recommendation for the amount of coffee to be used.
- espresso maker with sieve holder
- coffee grinder with a fine grinding degree setting
- coffee (7–10 grams for One-Cup-Sieve, 16–20 grams for the Twin-Cup-Sieve)
- suitable water (6–8 degrees dH, pH value between 6.5 and 7.5)
Both the portafilter and the cup should be well pre-heated. Remove the filter holder and dry the sieve by briefly wiping it with a dry cloth. Without inserting the portafilta, start the machine to let off some hot water from the brewing unit. This will at the same time also clean the sieve of the brewing unit of any coffee remains.
Grind the desired amount of coffee right into the filter. The coffee should be evenly distributed within the sieve, which is achieved by gently tapping or brushing it with a finger.
Place the filter holder on a flat, non-slip surface. Press down the ground coffee with a tamper, but apply pressure evenly.
Tighten the filter holder firmly into the brewing unit, place a cup underneath and start the espresso machine. After about 5 seconds, the first drops should land in the cup followed by a thin, steady stream. Once the color of the brewed coffee merges from a brown into a light blonde, you should stop the machine. From this moment onward, bitter substances are dissolved. The timespan from activating the pump to switching it off may last from 20 to 30 seconds.
Try the espresso. If you are satisfied with the result, you have probably done everything right – if not, there are a number of problems and possible solutions:
Is the coffee too bitter, it was probably over-extracted. Select a coarser degree of grinding or reduce the amount of coffee. Also a too high temperature of the brewing unit can lead to bitterness.
Do you feel that the coffee is extremely acidic? This indicates a lower extraction. Set the grinder on a finer degree or increase the quantity of coffee. Likewise, the brewing temperature may have been too low in this case.
If the espresso runs out rather twitchy from the portafilter, you are probably dealing with the so-called "channeling". Here and there the coffee puck might not offer enough resistance to the hot water so that channels are formed through which the water runs very quickly. Be sure to press down the tamper evenly and firmly and do not knock the portafilter with the tamper once you are done. Also make sure that the sieve is not wet before you add the coffee.