Katie's Blog

New Year, New Brew: How to Brew a Proper Espresso

January 26, 2018

Note: This is four of four in our series on new brew methods for the New Year. If you got an espresso machine for Christmas and you want to know if you’re brewing correctly, this is your guide.

Espresso can be intimidating to master, but if you’ve already taken the plunge and purchased one, then you are committed to upping your coffee program to the professional level. Here are a few quick pro tips to start brewing espresso at home.

Getting Ready

Always warm up your espresso machine for at least an hour before brewing. Keep the portafilter in the grouphead as the machine warms up. We have our espresso machine on a timer at home, so that it kicks on early in the morning before we get up. It’s always ready to go.

Prepare the Portafilter

The portafilter is the component that holds the coffee grounds. Remove it from the machine and clean out any spent coffee dregs. Be quick. The portafilter needs to stay warm for optimal extraction , so minimize the time it is out of the grouphead. Keep the portafilter in the grouphead when not in use.

Grind & Dose Coffee

Dose directly into the portafilter, between 19-21 grams depending on your brew basket size.  Use a fine grind for espresso. The grind should be a fine powder but still have a little grit to it.

Level & Tamp

Distribute coffee equally within the portafilter, using your finger to level. Keep it straight and glide it across the surface in one sweep, keeping the portafilter level as you tamp to ensure quality extraction.

Brew Espresso

Brew into a warm cup

Place cup under portafilter and watch the espresso for a steady stream, increasing gradually in speed. The entire extraction should take 23-28 seconds to brew 1.5 ounces of espresso. If it takes too much longer, try a coarser grind. If it brews too quickly, try a finer grind.

*You can heat an espresso cup first by filling it with hot water pulled from the espresso machine.  Or keep cups warm by storing them on top of the machine.

Serve & Enjoy!

New Year, New Brew: The Moka Pot

January 19, 2018

Note: This is three of four in a series of brew guides for the New Year. Try something new and up your coffee game!

 

What’s a moka pot? It’s a stovetop coffee maker that brews coffee by passing boiling water pressurized by steam through ground coffee. Simple with an iconic, 8-sided design, it’s perfect to pack on a camping trip or to try an espresso-style coffee without an espresso machine.

Step 1

Grind coffee, 20-22 grams. Use a fine grind, such as you would for espresso.

Step 2

Fill the bottom half of your Moka pot with water *

*Some brew guides advise filling the Moka with boiling water, for optimum taste to avoid overheating the coffee. We don’t think this is necessary—with the right flame control, you should be able to heat your water just fine in the Moka. If you do pre-boil your coffee however, be careful assembling your pot. The bottom chamber will be hot!

Step 3

Fill the filter basket with the ground coffee, making sure they are evenly spread and place it into the bottom compartment. Screw on the Moka’s top.

Step 4

Place the pot on the stove and turn the heat to medium and allow the water to come to a boil.

Step 5

As the water from the bottom chamber approaches a boil, the pressure will push a stream of coffee slowly through the upper chamber, creating the brew. You’ll hear a bubbling and hissing sound from the pot. You’re done!