Espresso is an extremely temperamental brew method, the tolerances for each aspect being so fine that the slightest change in one can result in an unusable shot.  To properly pull an espresso shot, you will need good equipment, fresh coffee, and patience!  The variables you’ll need to work with are:

  • Grind: espresso requires a very precise, fine, even grind

  • Dose: how much coffee goes into the portafilter

  • Distribution: how that coffee is evenly moved around in the portafilter

  • Temperature: ensuring the machine is running water through the coffee at the right temperature

  • Yield: the weight/volume of the resulting shot

  • Time: how long the shot pulls for

Our parameters for pulling a double shot of espresso are:

  • Dose: 18 - 21 grams

  • Temperature: 200 +/- 3 degrees

  • Time: 25-30 seconds

  • Yield: 1.5-2oz or 35 - 45 ml

If a shot pulls improperly (right amount of coffee yield in the wrong amount of time or vice versa), the barista can work with the grind (finer grind, slower pull), the dose (more coffee, slower pull), or the distribution (better distribution, less channelling).  

 

Step 1: grind 18 - 21 grams of coffee, finely

Step 2: dose and distribute evenly into portafilter

Step 3: tamp evenly and with at least 30lbs of pressure

Step 4: flush grouphead of water for <1 second

Step 5: lock portafilter into grouphead

Step 6: start pull, keeping an eye on time and weight or volume yield

Step 7: watch for signs of channeling during pull (very blonde-looking, spurts of liquid, non-even flow),improper distribution during dosing.

Step 8: when 25-30 seconds have elapsed, make sure the yield is still within range, 1.5-2oz

Step 9: taste and enjoy!