With these 3 simple tips, you will know how to extract the perfect shot every time, giving you confidence with your machine, and knowing that you can look forward to your next coffee.
We are going to do a series, looking into these three variables a little deeper. For now, we will introduce them to you, so that you can start to take notice of it and familiarise yourself with concepts, if they are new to you. Before we begin I encourage you to take note of what changes you make each time, write down the time the shot took, how many grams of coffee you put in your basket and the grind you used, also note down the type of coffee you used (Single-origin, dark roasted, light roasted, blend?)
Variable 1: Time
Time is a good place to start. The next espresso shot you drop, take the time from the moment you press the button. A 20-30 Second Extraction time is recommended according to the 2017 World Barista Championship Rules and Regulations. If it's not falling between this range, this is when you will check variable 2 & 3.
Variable 2: Grind
Grind is the variable that you will be adjusting the most because it is affected by the humidity and the temperature. If the shot is too long -above 30 seconds - your grind is too fine and needs to be coarser. If your shot is too short - below 20 seconds - the grind is too coarse and needs to be finer. This may take a few goes to adjust. With each shot you pull, taste the espresso and take notes of the flavour, then you will get an understanding of over-extraction and under extraction.
Variable 3: Dose
The dose refers to the amount of coffee you will need to fill the basket. The dose for a double-shot should be between 18-25 grams. This will vary on your basket size, so make sure you check this.
Amongst these three variables, there are others to look out for, but for simplicity, these are the three most important.
Keep a lookout for the rest of the series, where we dive deeper into each variable.