In the hope of helping you enjoy brewing coffee at home here is a selection of brew guides written by one home coffee brewer to another.
I am in no way an expert when it comes to making espresso, the art of espresso takes years to perfect. But what I will do is share a few tips that helped me when I started making espresso at home, which by the way is far from perfect but I’m really enjoying the process of making it and the drinking it. Making espresso should come with a warning as it is seriously addictive.
You will need
Coffee : Water : Espresso Machine : Scales : Grinder : Timer : Tamper
Tip 1 - Grind
Grind your coffee fresh this will give you the best flavour espresso. The grind should be fine, a similar consistency to that of caster sugar.
Tip 2 - Weigh
Place the group head onto the scale and tare to zero, spoon around 19g of coffee into the group head.
Tip 3 - Time
One of the risks with espresso is that you can over extract flavour from the coffee which generates a bitter taste. As a general rule it should take between 25 and 30 sec to pull a 50ml double espresso.
Tip 4 - Experiment
Experiment with the grind to lengthen or shorten the extraction time. A finer grind will lengthen the extraction time and a coarse grind will shorten the extraction time. The experts say that around 28 seconds is a good extraction time for most coffees.
You can experiment with the dose of coffee too. More coffee can create an espresso with more body but it may also taste sour. A smaller dose of coffee will draw more flavor into the espresso but it might leave your mouth feeling dry.
Be careful to only change one thing at a time, if you change multiple things it can be difficult to keep track and when you find the perfect method you want to make sure you can replicate it.
Tip 5 - Read up
There's so much great advice out there about espresso both online and on paper – The World Atlas of Coffee by James Hoffman is a great place to start.
At the end of the day it’s your espresso so enjoy the process of experimenting and find a method and recipe that works for you.