Coffee Making Basics: How to Make an Espresso in 12 Easy Steps

Coffee Making Basics: How to Make an Espresso in 12 Easy Steps

Whether mixed as a base for another coffee or drank on its own, espresso is one of the most used forms of coffee out there. This extremely pressurized shot of coffee can instantly get you out of any otherworldly pressures. 

A shot of espresso is a perfect way to start your day. So, you better know how to make it perfect to have a perfect day. 

The finest cup of espresso requires unmatched consistency, and trust me when I say that this silk-like consistency is not very easy to achieve. 

You need to invest your time and dedication into the process to have the perfect consistency of espresso. So if you think you are ready then let me take you through the process of making espresso. 

Let’s start with the basics

To have a perfect shot of coffee you need to first identify the perfect blend of coffee. This isn’t an easy process as it requires experience. The aroma, the taste, the feel and the overall dissolving power of the coffee determines the quality of the blend. 

Sometimes, how the coffee is roasted and the grind size of the coffee beans also matter while making the espresso.

Perfect measurements are essential to ensure perfect consistency of espresso. You should note down the time, the amount of water, the blend of coffee and the pressure points perfectly. 

Take note of the final volume of coffee and its consistency to adjust the factors later on. So, here’s what you’d need to work on. 


For most blends of coffee the average extraction time ranges between 25 to 28 seconds. You should strictly follow this time no less or no more. 


An average cup of espresso you need about 9 to 12 grams of coffee powder. This amount can vary depending on the blend of coffee you have. A single shot of coffee ranges from 25 to 35 ml. But if you are going for a double shot it shouldn’t exceed 55 ml. 

Steps for Making the Perfect Espresso 

Before we start with the steps, I want to remind you that it’s ok to experiment with taste. 

Your perfect shot of coffee might be different than others. So taste and change the factors as you please. But, you should be aware of the comparison between espresso vs coffee as many of us are not aware of the basic differences between an espresso and a normal cup of coffee. 

Step One: Have Clean Cups and Utensils 

Make sure that your cup is clean and germ-free before you use it. Wash it with warm water right before serving the espresso. This will keep the espresso warm for a longer period of time. 

Step Two: Clean Your Portafilter Properly 

You should make sure that the Portafilter is completely clean. If it has leftover coffee from previous use it will change the taste of your espresso. Clean them and dry them properly. Otherwise, it will make the coffee more moist than intended. 

Step Three: Use Scale To Measure Dose

If you have an electronic espresso maker then you don’t have to worry about the scale. But if you are doing it manually scale is very important, because you don’t want to make your espresso taste bitter or sour. Use a scale to put the right amount into the portafilter. 

Step Four: Spread the Ground Equally 

Gently dabble on the portafilter handle to spread the coffee ground evenly. Make sure that a big chunk of coffee is not accumulated in a small place. Use a coffee distribution tool if necessary to get the perfect spread. 

Step Five: Tamp the Coffee Gently 

Now you need to gently tamp the coffee without crashing the grind. The goal is to remove any air bubbles inside the coffee. Use a tamping tool or a small spoon to tamp the coffee. 

Step Six: Fine Tune the Surface 

Now, you can use the same tamper to polish the surface. Gently place the tamper at the very center and give the container a spin. This will automatically polish the coffee surface. 

Step Seven: Clean the Nozzles 

No one likes to find coffee ground in their coffee. A lot of times, a small quantity of coffee drops down into the freshly brewed ones from the nozzle. So keep the top and the nozzles clean to stop this from happening. 

Step Eight: Rinse the Group Head

You want your special to taste fresh and active, not stale and bitter. So you need to rinse the group head to get rid of old coffee leftovers. You can even use a brush to brush off the coffee dust from the group head. 

Step Nine: Extract The Espresso 

Now you are ready to finally extract the coffee. You can brew the coffee right away. Do not wait after putting in the Portafilter. It might cause the coffee beans to burn from underneath. 

Step Ten: Serve the Espresso in Warm Cup

If you have an automated espresso machine the brewing will automatically stop. But if you are using a manual one you need to stop it yourself after 25 seconds. It’s always ideal to serve your espresso in a previously warmed cup. 

Step Eleven: Get Rid of The Puck Right Away 

This is a very small step that will change your coffee-making experience. Always discard the puck right away. If you keep it sitting for long it will leave a bitter taste into the machine. 

Step Twelve: Clean Things Right Away 

You should clean the handle, the group head, and portafilter right away. This not only makes cleaning easier but also removes the coffee bits. So, you can just start fresh. 


This classic Italian beverage has been preserved for decades for all the right reasons. Nothing gets better than having a fresh shot of espresso. 

I hope after reading this article you will be able to make that perfect espresso you always dreamed about. Let me know how it goes. Until then, have a wonderful day.

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