As anyone who’s ever tried to make the perfect espresso knows, it’s not as easy as it looks. There are a ton of different elements at play, from the temperature to the right amount of beans ground just so. If any of those elements are anything less than perfect, you’re in danger of winding up with bitter, undrinkable sludge instead of the ultimate espresso that evokes memories of your summer in Italy.
But fear not. As the old adage goes, practice makes perfect. To help you reach perfection sooner, we’ve compiled this handy list of tips that will help you whip up the best espresso you’ve ever had without leaving your own cozy kitchen. Goodbye, morning runs to the coffee house!
If you’re lucky enough to have your own espresso machine, you’re more likely to wind up with a coffee house quality espresso than your stovetop-using counterparts. See what the best espresso machines under $200 are.
1. Grind your beans just before brewing. For espresso, you’ll want to select a fine grind setting. Don’t use the same setting as you would for brewed coffee – that would be much coarser than you’d want for a proper espresso.
2. Pour cold water into the water chamber. Making Espresso recommends using one tablespoon of ground beans for each ounce of water, and warns that anything less precise will throw off your espresso shot.
3. Pack the beans evenly into the coffee basket, and level off the top to avoid any overflow.
4. Press the coffee with a tamper to ensure the beans are evenly distributed in the basket.
5. Let your machine work its magic. Once the foam, or “crema” at the top of your espresso starts looking more white than brown, remove your cup and savor your perfect creation!
If you don’t have an espresso machine, an espresso can also be made by using a moka pot. Click here to find out how.