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:
Espresso requires a very precise, fine, even grind
How much coffee goes into the portafilter
How that coffee is evenly moved around in the portafilter
Ensuring the machine is running water through the coffee at the right temperature
The weight/volume of the resulting shot
How long the shot pulls for
Our parameters for pulling a double shot of espresso in Portland (due to low water mineral content) are:
• Dose: 18 - 21 grams
• Temperature: 200 +/- 3 degrees
• Time: 30-45 seconds
• Yield: 175-200% of dose
If you reside in a location with higher water mineral content, reduce the contact time to 25-35 seconds. For example, our location in Los Angeles has different parameters than listed above.
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 channeling).
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 time goal has elapsed, make sure the yield is still within range.
Step 9: taste and enjoy!