How to make great Espresso

This is the one method of making coffee that borders on being an art form.  The better the machine you have (yes, often the more expensive) the better the result you will achieve.


Step One:

Your Espresso machine needs to be CLEAN. Use filtered water if you can and fresh water if you can’t. Use a conical burr grinder and grind your coffee really fresh ie; just seconds prior to use. Use a professional quality tamper, we recommend a brass head tamper. 

Step Two:

Fill the handle of the machine with your freshly ground coffee to within 3mm of the top of the basket.  
Use a FIRM tamp.  
The tamp pressure must be the same, cup after cup.
Along with the grind setting, this controls the rate at which the water flows through the ground coffee.
Step 1 - Great Espresso

Step Three:

Fill the coffee filled handle to the machine and start the extraction process.
The time of the extraction (the pour) should be no more than 25 to 30 seconds before you turn the machine off.  
You’re looking for a good heavy, viscous pour, we call it a mouse tail.
Step 2 - Great Espresso

Step Four:

Now you should have 50 to 60 ml of find dark, oily espresso.  PERFECT.  
Remember that 50 to 60 ml is the maximum amount of your extraction, from this point on there is no flavour left in the ground coffee.
For milk based coffee, simply add the hot milk to the desired amount or for a long black add hot water.
Step 3 - Great Espresso


Thin and dirty tasting coffee.

Your grind setting is too fine or it’s too tightly packed.  The water is struggling to flow through the coffee. The resulting coffee tastes dirty and is overly dark.  This is known as over extracted coffee.  To fix it, make your grind setting more coarse, so you extract 50/60ml of coffee over the 25 to 30 second time frame.

Sharp and metallic tasting coffee.

Your grind setting is too coarse or it’s too loosely packed.  The water is flowing through too fast.  The resulting coffee looks thin with little or no crema.  This is under extracted coffee with a sharp, metallic taste.  To fix it, make your grind setting finer – remember 50/60ml over 25 to 30 seconds.  A dirty machine will always lead to poor results.

We cater for all wholesale and retail situations.

Call us now to discuss your coffee-making needs

Contact Us

09 250 1418


Roma Coffee Roasters, 
135 Cascades Road
Auckland, NZ
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