The Step By Step Guide To Make The Best Coffee – Part 3

What Gear You Will Need To Make Pure Espresso?

Now, let’s see what are the tools you will have to be equipped with to prepare the flawless cup of pure espresso, which will certainly ensure an unforgettable coffee experience.

  • Espresso Machine – It is pretty simple, there is no way to have your daily espresso energy boost, if you do not have a quality and versatile espresso machine. To find one, browse the online market and be guided by good reputation and experience. You can find great deals at plenty of successful sellers/retailers that offer revolutionary, cutting-edge espresso machines at the most out of affordable prices. You have many options to choose from, so the final word is all yours.
  • Grinder – The common ‘espresso rule’ says: ‘consistently ground coffee makes consistently tasty espresso’. A ‘burr’ grinder will make the perfect choice if you want to get the most out of your coffee beans.
  • Filter – You are already informed that latest editions of espresso machines come with many advanced features that allow simple, fast and quality coffee-makingexperiences. Since this is a step by step guide for newbies in the world of coffee and coffee preparation, go for a bottomless portafilter or a two- spouted portafilter, including a double basket as well.
  • Tamper – Coffee experts and skillful coffee makers say that to ensure even extraction and secure coffee puck, beginners should choose a tamper that will perfectly fit the portafilter basket. Normally, the vast majority of baskets feature a diameter of 58mm, so if a beginner, consider this an option.
  • Scale – When it comes to scale, coffee experts recommend the gram scale. The reason why? A gram scale will allow you better parameter monitoring andconsistent-result production. To start, go for a gram scale with low resolution (0.1- to 1- gram increments).
  • Vessel – Last but not least, the vessel is the piece of equipment that makes sure to ‘catch’ the gold liquid. If your espresso machine features a volumetric shot glass, you can easily keep track of the amount of espresso you are pulling, especially if there is no scale handy.

And now, the moment you have been waiting for – the steps to make DIY pure espresso that will bring the maximum pleasure to your entire being. So, here there are:

  • Step No. 1 – Fill the espresso machine’s reservoir with cold, filtered, not too soft/ not too hard water. Please remember that proper water treatment is the very first step of highest importance. Thus, unfiltered water will seriously damage the boiler and cause lame coffee taste, while hard water will accumulate serious scale. Make sure that you are provided with proper H2O and then you are ready to head to the following step.
  • Step No. 2 – Next step is to turn on the espresso machine and wait for it to heat up. Time is determined by the size of the espresso machine, ranging from fifteen to forty-fiveminutes. Be patient and wait for the machine to warm up nicely, as this is an essential feature to ensure the most out of original coffee taste.
  • Step No. 3Now it is time to lock the empty portafilter in the group head and ‘try out’ the espresso machine for few seconds. Why this is an important ‘to-do’? Because this will bring clean, fresh water to the front and heat the machine’s parts that actually get closest to your soon- to-be pure espresso coffee. Once done, you should take care of the portafilter by wiping off its inside and then proceed with wiping off the group head’s underside. Thus, both portafilter and underside will be ideally clean and dry.
  • Step No. 4 – Before making thelong-desired cup of delicate, strong,earthy-flavoured pure espresso, do a quick check up to test the coffee’s fineness. Make sure that your ‘coffee trial’ appears powdery and clumps loosely, but it also needs to feel a bit gritty when rubbed between fingers.
  • Step No. 5 – For an outstanding espresso experience, fill the portafilter with eighteen to twenty- one grams of freshly ground coffee. While dosing the coffee into the portafilter and coffee exits the chute, it is recommended to rotate the portafilter to make grounds settle evenly in the basket. You can also use your forefinger to help you fill in existing air pockets and level the grounds.
  • Step No. 6 – What is coming next is ‘tamper time’. For this purpose, use your wrist, arm and elbow, and make sure they are positioned directly over the portafilter basket’s center. Press evenly, by using your fingertips that need to feel the edge of the basket. Afterwards, inspect the dry puck, to get a clearer perspective whether the bed appears level or not.
  • Step No. 7 – Before you start brewing the coffee, return the portafilter to the grouphead. There are special models of espresso machines that come with separate‘pre-brew’ and ‘pre-infusion’options, so if owning an espresso machine of this kind, go for the first option. This will release the stored gases before the full infusion starts. When it comes to fresh coffee, pre- infusion is recommended until first drops start going out.
  • Step No. 8 – Now you are all set to start the infusion, thus end-brew at predetermined yield. Before serving the flawless, smoky cup of pure espresso, enhance the coffee’s beauty by making it a little bit creamy. To do it so, you can choose the stirring option or you can simply pour the espresso into another cup.

Now, can you imagine how rich and complex the world of coffee actually is? Since this is a step-by-step-guidefor eager novices with little to no experience at all in espresso preparation, it is quite normal that you won’t be able to nail every single step from the entire procedure, until you pamper yourself with a bit of practice. Do not feel frustrated if your first cups of pure espresso do not taste right and as you have expected to. Remember, you are just a beginner and it is absolutely okay if first attempts are not okay. Be more than ensured that with time and continuous practice, you will become a real espresso master and your versatile espresso machine will be your favourite toy for exceptional espresso adventures.

Take a look at some of the common issues you may come across, but take it easy – we won’t just point out the possible troubles, but will also give you ideas on how to fix them.

Quick Pure –Espresso Tips & Troubleshooting

  1. The Espresso Shot Went Too Fast – If this is what happened to you, it means that the water had been flying through and the puck has not done its job as supposed to, which resulted in lame espresso taste. This condition is quite usual and it is commonly described as ‘under- extraction’. Suggested ways to fix it:
  2. Increase the dose of coffee;
  3. Grind finer;
  4. Tamp harder.
  • The Espresso Shot Took Too Long – Quite often, pure espresso tends to taste a little bit bitter, if the water had been prevented from flowing through the coffee in the recommended amount of time. Suggested ways to fix it:
  1. Decrease the dose of coffee;
  2. Grind coarser;
  3. Tamp lighter. 
  • The Espresso Shot Tastes Sour – If the chemical reaction between the coffee and the water stops too early, what you will get in your cup will be dark, brown water that tastes sour, just like the taste of undercooked food. That is why it is of the utmost importance to have everything in balance, so that you can extract all the right things from your coffee – not less, nor more. Suggested ways to fix it:
  1. Extend the brewing time;
  2. Increase the water
  • The Espresso Shot Tastes Bitter – Ew, the bitterness of an over- extracted espresso! Isn’t that just too much for your stomach? Well, yes it is. And getting too much out of your coffee is one of the common issues that you may come across at the beginning of yourespresso-making career. Suggested ways to fix it:
  1. Shorten the brewing time;
  2. Decrease the water temperature.
  • The Espresso Shot Tastes Awkward – There are also cases when the espresso-makingprocedure turns to be unsuccessful, due to the fact that water does not pass evenly through the coffee. Such an experience usually results in weird, inconvenient espresso taste. In this case, it is absolutely not your fault; it is not that you went too far, nor that you did not go far enough. Just, strange things happen and sometimes you cannot do anything to prevent them from happening. But, you can definitely put them in order. Suggested ways to fix it:
  1. Ensure even tamp;
  2. Ensure even distribution;
  3. Check for holes in the wet puck (so-called ‘channeling’).
  • The Espresso Shot Is Watery – The ideal espresso that will make your day should feature a syrupy, thick body. Achieving this requires meeting few conditions, including:
  1. Condition Number 1 – Fresh coffee.
  2. Condition Number 2 – Adequate brewing ratio (dose:yield);
  3. Condition Number 3 – Adequate brewing time.

Believe it or not, but missing any of the aforementioned conditions would be quite enough to ruin your ultimateespresso-drinking pleasure. Suggested ways to fix it:

  1. Use fresh coffee;
  2. Increase the dose of coffee;
  3. Decrease the yield;
  4. Grind finer;
  5. Tamp harder.
  • The Espresso Shot’s Stream Was Uneven – When water is passing through the portafilter, it usually follows the path of least resistance. This means that if the puck is not secure and level, the path will be eventually crooked, thus disabling the espresso to pour from the center in a single stream. Do not worry, you can easily deal with this convenient espresso-makingtrouble. It only requires a couple of quick check-ups. Hence, suggested ways to fix it:
  1. Ensure level tamp;
  2. Ensure even distribution.
  • The Espresso Shot Has Little To No Crema At All – An espresso without its natural, silky cream is definitely not an espresso. When you prepare your coffee and you see very little or no crema at all in your espresso shot, it means that something went wrong during the espresso ‘making-of’. There are two common reasons, or better said, causers that contributed to this unpleasant experience:
  1. Reason Number 1 Your coffee is too old.
  2. Reason Number 2 – The puck is not resisting the pressured water sufficiently.

Hence, our suggested ways to fix it:

  1. Increase the dose of coffee;
  2. Grind finer;
  3. Use ONLY fresh coffee.
  • The Espresso Shot Is Nothing But Crema – Here is one more helpful information to boost your beginner’s coffee knowledge: coffee beans that still hold a lot of gas from the roasting process, are not ready for brewing. Thus, if your espresso shot is all about foam, a little patience is all that can save you from this unwelcome espresso- making trouble. A suggested way to fix it:
  1. Give your coffee few more days to rest and get ready for brewing.

But wait, we are not done for today. Now when you have been boosted with the basics of making the best pure espresso in the world, you are probably ready to expand your ultimate coffee- making knowledge and learn what else you can use your espresso machine for. Let me just say one simple word – LATTE! I know you have already tried it and I am sure, you have loved it! And you are right. If the strong, full-bodied espresso works perfectly to ‘awake’ your body system, by empowering it with concentration, energy and vitality, the beautiful latte is here to revive all your senses at highest levels possible. In fact, a cup of latte is the perfect companion for single and group coffee- drinking occasions.

What Latte Is?

Simply put, latte represents a blend of pure espresso and hot, frothy milk. Once your cup of espresso is ready, you are only a couple of minutes away from experiencing another, quite different, yet magnificent flavour – the flavour of latte. Hence, to create your big-sizedcup of heavenly latte, you will need to add creamy, frothy milk to the espresso you have already made earlier. Here are the details of how to do it flawlessly:

First of all, you must prepare your newly purchased coffee machine for steaming, which normally requires much higher temperature for steaming, than for brewing. If you own a modern espresso machine, then it must feature the ‘steam switch’ button. By turning on the steam switch, your espresso machine will start heating to steaming temperature. When giving this command, make sure the water and brewing switches are off. Normally, it takes up to 5 minutes for the machine to heat. Once heated, you are ready to start with the steaming procedure.

For this purpose, you will need a frothing pitcher filled with 1/3 of icy cold milk (about 34 °F). If you aim for the most out of steaming results, it is recommended to use lower fat milk. Next, you should remove the excess water from the steam wand. Thus, place an empty cup under the steam wand, then open the knob counter-clockwiseto let water and steam start flowing. Once you see a good, dry blast of steam coming out the steam wand, turn the knob clockwise, then close it.

And now it is time to start steaming the milk. To do it so, place the frothing pitcher right below the steam wand and bury the tip under the milk’s surface. Afterwards, open the steam knob to start steaming. Note that how much you will open the knob will determine the intensity of the steam and latte’s foam quantity. For unforgettable ‘latte moments’, what you will need to create as a beginner is a coffee that features a fine-foam layer with a predominance of heated milk. To complete this mission successfully, you need to work the tip of the steam wand, so that you can incorporate a bit of air. Try to create large bubbles as this will give your latte a larger amount of foam. Once the initial foam is made by your crafty hands, your next task is to bury the steam wand deep in the frothing pitcher filled with milk. While doing this, start tipping the frothing pitcher slightly to get the milk nicely rolling. This will give the latte’s foam a final touch by refining it, thus creating smooth, velvety microfoam. After completing this task, remove the frothing pitcher of steamed milk and carefully wipe off the steam wand, by using a soft, damp rag. Wiping off the steam wand immediately after the milky foam has been made, is highly recommended to make sure that there is no dried milk residue left.

Your duties are not finished once you are done with cleaning the steam wand. You should also take care of the other parts of your espresso machine, by ensuring that they are in a clean condition as well, ready for the next coffee-makingadventure. Hence, move the already cleaned steam wand over the drip tray and quickly open the steam knob in order to spray out any milk residue left inside the tip of the steam wand. And that is all from the ‘cleaning aspect’.

Do you know that you are only a minute away from your first sip of the most beautiful, refined, subtle sophisticated, smooth and earthy-flavoured latte? Well, yes. So, you can start the final countdown. Meanwhile, the last thing that has been left to do is to join the frothed, foamy milk and your pure espresso shot together in a cup. To do it so, tap the pitcher several times on the counter, while gently swirling the milk at the same time. If the frothed milk features a shiny, glossy appearance on top that resembles to wet paint, be ensured that you have done an outstanding job. Thumbs up!

Finally, you can begin pouring the milk over your pure espresso shot. As coming near the cup’s surface, slow down a bit and let the microfoam get into the cup. And if you consider yourself an inspiring latter maker, you can get a master’s degree in the pretty latte art with a little bit of practice, of course.

So, it seems like your cup of latte is waiting on you! Congratulations and happy coffee-drinking moments until our next ‘rendezvous’, which will be pretty soon! Do not forget, more beautiful surprises are on the way, coffee enthusiasts!



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