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How to prepare an excellent Espresso at home?

Posted by manuel terzi on


if you arrived here it is because you would like to get great espresso from your home machine .

I want to help you achieve this goal , so let's not waste any more time!

Let's see together some tips to get the best espresso at home with the "small" automatic machines on the market:

1- Use quality raw material that is free from defects.

An essential condition is to choose a coffee of absolute quality and free from defects.

If it is very easy to ruin a good raw material due to problems related to extraction or lack of cleaning / maintenance of the equipment, on the contrary it is absolutely impossible to think of being able to extract a good espresso from an old, poor or defective raw material.

2- Prefer fresh roasted coffee.

The life of a roasted coffee is not infinite, far from it.
It will therefore be appropriate, indeed necessary, to use a freshly roasted product, as prolonged exposure to oxygen would cause oxidation reactions that would make the product rancid and irreparably deteriorate it from the gustatory point of view.

3- Grind the grains at the time of preparation.

The grinding must be done just before extracting our espresso.

In ground coffee, the surface of the product that comes into contact with oxygen is far greater than that of the whole bean and therefore this leads to an increase in the speed of oxidation and consequently to the depletion of our expensive and delicate treasure.

If we are perfectionists and always strive for the best possible result (and you won't tell me that's not the case, right?) We could grind and leave the ground coffee to rest before extraction 3 or 4 minutes, no more.

4- Choose a coffee grinder that does not "damage" the raw material.

Turn the coffee bean into powder it is an important and delicate operation that should preserve the best organoleptic characteristics of a fine and aromatic coffee, but which, as is not rarely the case, it could also make them drastically worse and ruin them.

Today it is possible to find cheap electric grinders that apparently work well, but it is sufficient, for example, to touch the freshly ground powder to perhaps realize that it has been excessively overheated by the grinding process.
The cup will therefore be burnt and full of empyheumatic sensations: burnt rubber, woody, with marked bitterness and excessive tannic or lapping sensation.
That's why we can't just grind.

The advice is: rather than buying an inexpensive electric grinder for which there may be no feedback regarding its good functioning, let's move towards a good manual grinder, which works better than many cheap electric ones and in addition contributes to increasing the sacredness of the coffee ritual!

5- Identify the correct grain size of the grind.

Finding the right grind is not a very simple operation, and above all it is not a unique operation to be carried out only once in a lifetime.

We have some indications to understand what it can be the correct grinding: it can be recognized because it generates a so-called "mouse tail" extraction , that is, not as thin as a pin, not swollen like whipped cream and not in drops. But fluid, creamy and heavy, with a wider flow at the top near the dispensing spout that gradually tightens as it descends towards the cup and moves away from the spout of the machine. Thus it generates a flow whose shape resembles the tail of the mouse.

Another parameter that we have to evaluate is the color of the extraction.
The oils, colloids and in general all the important and valuable aromatic substances of coffee are colored.
If we proceed to a mouse tail extraction whose color is deep yellow, ocher, reddish and toasted hazelnut, we can be sure that the extraction is correct and the espresso (if the raw material is of good quality) will be good .
It will also be advisable to pay attention during the extraction to the moment in which it begins to whiten.
When the flow begins to lose creaminess and fatness, when the color begins to lighten, when bubbles start to form during extraction, it means that we are starting to extract cellulose, woody, tannic and certainly not pleasant substances. We are going into over-extraction.

Compared to Perfect Extraction if I move towards one slight under-extraction (slightly wider grind or slightly lower pressure or slightly lower machine water temperature) I will tend to a result in the cup more (positively) acidic, less rich in body, slightly more liquid but more aromatic.
Conversely, if I move to one slight over-extraction (settings opposite to the previous ones), I will get a cup profile slightly more intense, creamy, full-bodied, less acidic, but less aromatic and slightly more bitter.

6- Pay attention to the extraction duration.

Indicatively we could indicate the correct extraction time (for an Italian espresso prepared with about 6.5 / 7.5 g) around 20/30 seconds.

Generally shorter time will bring greater aromaticity and acidulous sensation; a longer time will bring greater tannic sensation, fragrance, less aromaticity and a clearer bitter sensation.

7- Clean the machine properly.

The last trick for a good coffee at home, but no less important than the others, is there daily, thorough and scrupulous cleaning of the machine before switching it off at the end of each work session.
Otherwise, the coffee residues that remain in the components, over time, would oxidize and go rancid to the point of seriously contaminating subsequent extractions.
Furthermore, by drying and drying, they could cause the formation of residues and could bring dust into the cup with the effect of irremediably compromising the pleasure of a good tasting.

The guide is over.

I hope you found these tips interesting but remember:


If you want to play it safe take a look at our fine coffee list .

I have divided them into 4 categories by help you find the perfect one for you :

Surprising aromas

Traditional taste

Maximum Health

Hints of chocolate

For a few more days you can receive them at your home without paying shipping costs !

Good coffee,



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