Caffeine Wisdom: Making the Perfect Espresso

There are so many different varieties of coffee, so below is a guide to the 15 key elements you will need to produce the perfect espresso:

  1. Freshness: Always start with a freshly roasted coffee, 5-14 days resting is best. Freshly ground and dosed within 1 minute of grinding
  2. Grind Size: A fine grind size makes the best espresso. Just coarser than your typical baking flour is ideal
  3. Dosing: You need to use the correct amount of coffee in basket. Normally 2-4 g more than your basket size, so if you use an 18 gram basket try 20-22 gram of coffee
  4. Tamping: Your tamping need to be flat with even pressure using a small amount of body weight, then polish lightly. Make sure you use a tamp that fits the filter basket tightly 
  5. Volume of Coffee: We used to say 25-35 ml now we talk in grams due to fresh coffee producing more cream and less liquid. The best espresso is in between 18-35 g
  6. Extraction Time: 24-35 seconds
  7. Amount of Ground Coffee: The best espresso is made using a double shot. That's two espressos made from the same basket pouring at the same time and using between 18-28 g of ground coffee in the basket
  8. Filter Basket: Filter basket that are laser cut, like VST, have close to no variations and will produce a consistency you will not get using standard basket
  9. TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) & Extraction Yield %: We are now look at espresso as science, not just an art. TDS will vary, but the extraction yield needs to be from between 18-22 %
  10. Puck: Your puck, the wet ground coffee in the filter basket after the coffee has been made, should be firm and consistent in colour. Although there is not as much emphasis put on how firm it is anymore, it does need to be one colour and one texture
  11. Look: The pour should start as a dark almond brown colour and gradually change to a lighter caramel colour. You shouldn't see black or yellow
  12. Oils: Your Espresso will start pouring with lots of oil and will become more watery throughout the extraction
  13. Crema: The crema, which is the oils on top of the espresso should be thick and light reddish-brown colour
  14. Flavour: The perfect espresso should be a rounded mix of sour, sweet and bitter. The first 3rd of your espresso will be sour, the second 3rd should be sweet and the final 3rd will be bitter in taste
  15. Body: Your espresso should have a good body

Learn more about Coffeenatics' Barista Training Program or discover Coffeenatics best seller "Espresso Roast" whole bean coffee via Tokopedia