ESPrESSo brEwINg tEchNIquES
Water temperature and temperature consistency have a
direct impact on the flavor of espresso. Great espresso comes
from brewing at an optimum temperature, ideally between
To insure proper brewing temperature:
Always attach the filter holder (with filter basket) to the brew
head when the Espresso Machine is heating. This warms the
• Always wait until the boilers are fully heated before brewing
– approximately 6 minutes.
• Dose and tamp your coffee quickly, and brew immediately.
This prevents the filter holder from cooling significantly.
• Never rinse the filter holder with cool water if you are
brewing additional cups. After knocking the old grounds from
the filter, wipe leftover grounds from the basket with a clean
towel. Make sure the filter basket is dry before adding more
• Keep the empty filter holder attached to the brew head
when you're engaged in other tasks, like grinding or frothing.
• Warm a cup or demitasse by placing it on top of the Espresso
Machine before brewing. Cups can also be heated instantly
with steam from the frothing arm.
Great espresso demands the freshest coffee, and the freshest
coffee is always ground immediately before brewing. The most
delicate aromatic compounds in coffee go stale within a few
minutes of grinding, so grind only as much as you intend
to brew immediately.
Dosing is the process of measuring ground coffee into the filter
basket. A single cup (30 ml) of espresso requires 7 grams of
coffee – two cups, twice that. If filled level with finely ground
coffee, the scoop included with the Artisan Espresso Machine
is a near perfect measure for one cup of espresso.
If you're dosing coffee without the aid of a measuring scoop,
it is important not to overfill the filter basket. Coffee needs
room to expand when brewing. If the coffee is crushed against
the shower screen, it will prevent an even dispersion of water
across the filter, leading to uneven extraction and
poor espresso. Here's how to tell if you're overfilling
the filter basket:
1. Fill the basket, level the coffee, and apply a good tamp
(see the "Tamping" section).
2. Attach the filter holder to the brew head, then remove
3. If the coffee in the filter holder has an imprint of the
shower screen or the shower screen screw, there is
too much coffee in the filter basket!
Leveling the coffee after it has been dosed into the filter is a
critical technique for great espresso. If the coffee isn't evenly
distributed in the filter, tamping the coffee will create areas
of high and low density. The high pressure brew water will
inevitably follow the path of least resistance, flowing heavily
through the low density coffee – overextracting the bitter
coffee compounds – and flowing lightly through the higher
density coffee, underextracting the flavorful essences. This
uneven extraction results in thin, weak, bitter espresso.
To level coffee in the filter basket:
• Make sure the filter basket is dry before adding coffee;
moisture in the basket will create a path of least resistance
for the brew water.
• After dosing the filter with coffee, level the coffee by
sweeping a finger back and forth over the filter. Do not
sweep in one direction only – this will cause the coffee
to pile up on one side of the basket and produce uneven
extraction. Try to impart a slight bowl shape to the coffee,
with the center lower than the sides.
• Make certain there are no gaps between the coffee and
the sides of the filter.
Properly leveled coffee
Tamping compresses the coffee into a level disc that provides
uniform resistance to the high-pressure brew water. Properly
leveled and tamped coffee will produce an even extraction of
coffee compounds – and great espresso. Coffee that is tamped
too softly will be deformed by the brew water, resulting in
uneven extraction, a fast brewing time, and mediocre espresso.
Coffee tamped too firmly will slow the brewing time, making
for a bitter, overextracted beverage.
Proper tamping technique
1. The tamper handle should be grasped like a doorknob,
with the base of the handle firmly against the palm. When
tamping, try to keep the tamper, wrist, and elbow in a
2. With the bottom of the filter holder resting on a solid
surface, gently press the tamper into the coffee with the
goal of creating a level surface. Remove the tamper from
the filter basket with a slight twisting motion – this will help
prevent the tamper from pulling up chunks of coffee.
5/30/13 9:11 AM