Making Espresso Like a Pro

Espresso is a temperamental diva.  It takes know-how, practice and a lot of patience to consistently pull a good shot.  You can learn a lot about making espresso at home by watching a pro. Here, Kyle Glanville, the Vice President of Strategy at Intelligentsia Coffee in Venice California, explains the process for making a perfect cup of espresso.

The Keys to Great Espresso

  • Feel the coffee grind with your hands before making a shot.  If it’s too course or fine, adjust the grinder settings.
  • Preheat your espresso shot before hand by filling it half-way with hot water.
  • Make sure the portafilter basket is clean and dry before adding the coffee.
  • Distribute the coffee evenly throughout the basket with you forefinger before tamping
  • Tamp the coffee with approximately 30 lbs/14 kg of pressure.
  • Use only clean, filtered water and flush the brewing group head before attaching the portafilter.
  • Proper extraction time should be 20-30 seconds.  To adjust extraction times, adjust the grind of the coffee. A courser grind means a faster extraction, and finer grind means a slower extraction.
    • Pale, thin espresso means the extraction was to fast.
    • Thick, black, bitter-tasting espresso means the extraction was too slow.

 

Video produced and directed by Matt Checkowski for The Department of the 4th Dimension, www.TheD4D.com. Used with permission.
Matt Checkowski
Matt Checkowski is a filmmaker, designer and the founder of The Department of the 4th Dimension, a multidimensional storytelling company based in Los Angeles.

  • I really enjoyed the video. There’s also a nice video on how to make good espresso from ChefSteps on YouTube. I think they both mutually add to each other.

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