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The Coffee Connoisseurs' Guide to the Perfect Espresso

4:25 pm

Perfect espresso

Achieve a flawless espresso in just a few simple steps.

Before starting, your espresso machine should be up to temperature, have plenty of pressure and be cleaned with an espresso machine cleaner like Cafiza 2 from Urnex, following the manufacturer’s instructions.

Storing

Heat, light and moisture are coffee’s worst enemy when it comes to storage. Preventing your coffee beans spoiling prematurely is as simple as storing it in a cool, dark place in an airtight container. Kilner jars are a favourite for this, as the locking mechanism ensures a good seal is created and oxygen cannot enter. Storing in a fridge or freezer should be avoided as they can easily introduce condensation and moisture to the beans.

Coffee storage


Water

Removing sediment, scale and unwanted minerals is key to a delicious coffee. This can be achieved in two different ways: if your machine has an integrated filter then simply ensure you are replacing the filter as often as needed - six months tends to be a good rule of thumb. Machines that don’t have an in-built filter just need a filter kit installing. This is easily done, as our kits fit directly onto your existing plumbing without the need for any tools or a plumber.

Grinding

The size you grind your beans will make a big difference in how your coffee tastes. Grinding beans accurately requires a quality grinder; Fracino’s Tranquilo machine is highly adjustable and, unlike some other grinders, this machine will only grind the exact amount of coffee you need for each shot of espresso, removing any risk of grinds oxidising and becoming stale.

Tamping

Just as important as the size of your grind, when filling your porta filter, you should allow the grind to create a small mound that raises above the top of the filter and then smooth flat with your finger, so your grinds form a level fill in the filter. This ensures an even fill and prevents any channels forming that allow water to quickly run through where they would not pick up any flavour on the way. When evenly filled, just compress the grinds down with a tamper and attach your handle to the machine.

Coffee tamper


Extraction

This stage is your “cooking” stage. Give the hot water just the right amount of contact with the espresso grinds; around 25-30 seconds to produce a double espresso is a good start. If the shot comes out faster than this, your grinds are too coarse and your espresso may taste sour and intense. Anything over 30 seconds means your coffee is ground too fine or tamped too tight and your coffee will overcook or burn. Adjust your grind and tamping pressure until your espresso flows evenly and you get a good, light crema.

Follow these simple rules and you will extract perfect espresso every time. Take a look at our range of freshly roasted coffee beans, selected from some of the finest coffee growers in the world. If you are serving filter coffee or cafetière, we also provide pre-ground coffee to offer true consistency.

By Matt England

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