Advanced Techniques



Espresso Preparation

The espresso is ready to be extracted after correctly roasting, blending, grinding, dosing, and tamping the coffee. For more information, read the section on making perfect espresso.

Before placing the porta-filter in the group head, allow 2 ounces of water to flow through the head.  This is called temperature stabilizing.  Tightly place the porta-filter in place and place a pre-warmed  glass below the spouts of the porta-filter.  Use the manual switch to begin the pre-infusion cycle.  This distributes water over the top of the espresso pellet to allow it to expand and seal properly before blasting it with pressurized water.

For 1.5 ounces of espresso, the extraction should take between 23-30 seconds where the time starts when the espresso begins to flow from the spouts.  To prepare excellent espresso, the pour should look like warm honey dripping from the spouts.  Manually stop the extraction if the espresso turns a slight shade lighter in color.  If it took longer than 30 seconds, adjust the grind to be larger in size.  If it took less than 25 seconds, adjust the grind to be smaller.  Do not vary the pressure you apply in tamping since you only want to adjust one variable at a time.  By adjusting the tamping pressure you are simultaneously adjusting several parameters that will often result in an undesirable product even if you do attain the right timing.

Click here for a printable review of the methods of espresso preparation.

Extraction videos

Perfect Extraction: large (9.73 Mb), medium (1.02 Mb), or small (359 Kb).

Under Extraction.  Pour time too long for one ounce shot: medium (1.2 Mb) or small (361 Kb).

Related Articles

Espresso Roasting

Espresso Blending

Grinding and Dosing


Latte Art


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