Making coffee is quite an art. Even with the very best coffee beans available, you can manage to screw up your cup of coffee (sorry). So a shame!
With the tips in this blog, and some practice, you'll be a PRO barista in no time!
Do you have fresh specialty coffee beans at home? Then we can start!
There are quite a few variables that influence the final quality of your cup of coffee. The most important are the recipe, the grind size, extraction time and the temperature of the water. But the cup, water quality, freshness of beans , etc. also play a role.
Read also: All coffee types in an overview
1. The recipe
Well, we're going to keep it simple. So we always start with a recipe. In our case, a recipe (the ratio) is always based on an espresso .
Because with an espresso you make just about all drinks that can be made. Yes, also for a "regular coffee", which is simply espresso with hot water.
Our general recipe is 19:40. This means 19 grams of ground coffee in, 40 grams of brewed coffee out. This is good for a double espresso.
2. Grind coffee (grinding degree)
The next step is to get that 19 grams in and 40 grams out, within 22-28 seconds. Only then you have achieved a correct extraction. The diagram below shows what happens if it takes longer or shorter.
You may have already fully understood the above scheme, but the bottom line is that you can achieve that 19 in and 40 out (within 22 to 28 seconds) by playing with the grind size.
Compare it to water through a container of marbles, or water through a container of fine sand...
Does your coffee run through in less than 22 seconds? Set the grinding degree finer for more counter pressure - and vice versa.
Please note: if you adjust your grinder, you should always throw away 2 portions of ground coffee in between. This is called "flushing".
This is because ground coffee always remains on the inside of the grinder, so what comes out first is not yet based on the new grinding degree.
If you want advice about a suitable coffee grinder, you can always send us an e-mail! We also have a small selection of hand mills in the accessories page and some electric mills that we can order on request. Also can always advise on other windmills.
The ideal grind size differs per type of coffee. This is therefore always a matter of trying out on the basis of the schedule, testing and adjusting.
In addition to the grind, other elements are important for making the perfect espresso. So is the temperature of the water.
Most semi-automatic espresso machines for the home will not have an adjustable water temperature, but it is actually TOO hot quickly. The effect of temperature on extraction is shown below:
To prevent this, baristas often let the water of the semi-automatic espresso machine run for a while before inserting the piston with ground coffee.
Then the hottest water can run out for a while and the coffee will not burn. Coffee that is too hot will taste more bitter than coffee that is brewed with water at about 92-96 degrees.
- Preheat your cup.
- If you put the filled piston in your espresso machine after letting the water flow through, you should actually be ready to start making coffee right away . If you leave the piston with coffee in the espresso machine for too long, the coffee will still burn.
- Make sure that the ground coffee is evenly distributed in the piston, and press firmly (but don't overdo it) with about 20 kg of body weight, using a tamper.
- Use filtered water. Also for the preservation of your machine! Read more about water quality here .
- If you want to read a little more about latte art, check out this blog .
- If you want to read more about the crema layer on your espresso, check out this blog .
If you have any questions regarding the above, it is quite a chunk of theory, feel free to send an email to barista Eline ([email protected]).
Do you think you've got it all figured out? Take a look at the video below and see if you can imitate this barista! ;-)