How To Make An Espresso

What is an espresso?

An espresso (ess-PRESS-oh) is a method of preparing coffee.  Fresh roasted coffee beans are ground and tightly packed or tamped into a “portafilter”; high-pressure water is then forced through the grounds and extracted in small, concentrated amounts.

A unique characteristic of an espresso is a top layer of foam known as the crema, which is a by-product of the high-pressure extraction process.

Espresso can be combined with milk (or additional water) to make other espresso-based drinks, such as a macchiato, cortado, cappuccino, latte, flat white, marocchino, americano, and more.

How to Make an Espresso

The processes of making an espresso starts with buying coffee as whole bean coffee and grinding it yourself. There are many coffee clubs available online where you can buy fresh roasted coffee beans. Many coffee clubs source coffee from different regions around the world and that impacts the flavor you get.  

Steps to Follow When Making an Espresso:

1.   Warm the cup before using it. Rinse it with hot water so that the porcelain or glass won’t cool down your beverage on impact

2.   check your portafilter handle to ensure it’s clean and dry. Remember, old coffee residue will affect the taste of the new espresso you’re making

3.   Dose your ground coffee into your portafilter. Pay attention to the grind size.

4.   Tap the portafilter handle gently on the tamp mat to distribute the ground coffee evenly

5.   Take your tamper and press it down onto the ground coffee, making sure you both tamp straight and use enough pressure. The pressure is important as this will ensure the coffee is adequately compressed and that the puck will retain its shape.

6.   Using the tamper, polish the surface of the ground coffee. To do this, place the tamper on top of the puck and spin. This will smooth out any small ridges, ensuring the surface of the coffee really is smooth and flat.

7.   Make sure to clean any excess dry coffee off the top, ears, and spouts of your portafilter

8.   Rinse the group head before inserting the portafilter to remove any old coffee particles from the shower head

9.   Finally, you’re ready to insert the portafilter handle into the group head and start brewing your espresso!

10. Once the machine stops – either automatically or because you’ve manually stopped it at 25 seconds – remove the cup from the machine tray. You can now either serve the espresso or start steaming milk for a latte or cappuccino.

11. Remove the portafilter and knock the coffee puck out into the knock box

12. Clean and rinse your handle ready for the next shot

13. Rinse and brush the group head

14. Put the portafilter back into the group head, ready for the next round

We recommend an espresso made from Yirgacheffe coffee beans. These Arabica beans are grown in high altitude areas in Ethiopia and the processing involves hand washing which helps retain all the natural aromas and flavors. You definitely want this in your espresso.

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Amount: 12oz. (About 25 cups)

Country: Ethiopia
Region: Yirgacheffe
Sub-Region: Kambata
Varietal: Heirloom
Process: Natural, Hand-Processed
Altitude: 1,500 - 2,800m
Drying Method: Sun-dried on raised beds
Certification: Direct Trade
Cupping: Grapes, Dark Chocolate, Sweet, Creamy Body

Description: We have nicknamed this Yirgacheffe “Mokamba.” It is a blend of coffees from three regions. Primarily, it's coffee from the Kambata region—which is known for the production of ginger—blended with special preparations from Sidamo and also Wolyata. The cherries, Arabica heirlooms, are farmed at altitudes ranging from 1,500 to 1,800 masl. After harvesting, which takes place between October and December, the cherries are patio dried. The three green coffees are carefully balanced to create a harmonious natural–process profile, with hints of sweet berry, grape and chocolate, as well as a creamy body.

If you are looking for the best whole bean coffee, we highly recommend this Ethiopian Yirgacheffe or “Mokamba".’

African Coffee Club is a coffee subscription club for the best, quality whole bean coffee. You can subscribe to get the best available African beans on a regular basis, or you can buy a single bag and experience the aroma and distinct flavors of our coffee.

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