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 is a filmmaker, designer and the founder of The Department of the 4th Dimension, a multidimensional storytelling company based in Los Angeles.