Precision Press is a family-owned and operated business that has served the needs of coffee lovers and professionals for over 30 years. Precision Press offers an extensive selection of equipment and accessories, including coffee grinders, espresso machines, furniture, bar ware, dishware, and cookware. Precision Press also offers free shipping on all orders over $125!
Here are some things you can try at home:
- Try a new technique! The Espresso Prima Tamp is an easy way to learn how to properly “tamp” the espresso puck in the portafilter. You can practice and master your technique with at least six different tamper choices available in the Precision Press workshop, including sizes designed for single-serve and dual-dosing spoons.
- Preheat your machine’s group head! Starting off with a warm portafilter will help ensure that the espresso flows evenly into your shot glass. If you let steam clean the machine’s group head, the process will remove much of the residual coffee oils that are present after brewing.
These oils bond to metal and can be reactivated by heat; this is helpful if you notice your shots taper off quickly towards the end of extraction (which indicates a drop in temperature).
3. Use a larger grind size! Let’s say that your espresso shots start off tasting great, but the body seems to fade away towards the end. The reason for this could be a drop in water temperature as well as a lower volume of coffee being extracted from the ground coffee.
Increasing your grind size can often compensate for these issues and help maintain good extraction. If you are using a grind size that is too fine, water doesn’t have enough room to flow through the puck efficiently and will “short-circuit” the shot.
4. Test your tamp pressure! A consistent tamp pressure is key to achieving an even extraction within your espresso shot glass. To test your tamp, measure out 1.5 oz of hot water. Insert your portafilter into the machine’s group head, making sure that it’s level with the countertop.
Press down on the handle of the portafilter until you’ve reached 30 lbs of pressure (for a single-dosing spout, press down only until you hear 3 clicks).
Mark the water level with a pencil and measure the volume of water in ounces. If your tamp resulted in more than 0.5 oz of water, then you’ve successfully pushed some coffee through!
You can further refine this process by adjusting the amount of pressure and number of clicks for each dose before adding ground coffee to the puck.
5. Find your grind-and-dose settings! Precision Press recommends dosing 18 grams of coffee for a single shot and 27 grams for a double. The following variables can affect grind size and dose weight:
- Dose Spout: If you’re using a dosing spout other than the ones that Precision Press offers, make sure you are consistent with your dosing and grind settings. We recommend using a digital scale to measure your doses.
- Bean Temperature: Like any organic material, coffee will expand when exposed to heat and contract when exposed to cold. This means that the same amount of ground coffee can vary in weight before and after it’s been dosed into the portafilter. In general, we recommend using the same amount of coffee that came out of your grinder for every shot, but this is just a guideline.
- Temperature: As mentioned earlier in this article, maintaining an even temperature throughout the extraction process is key to producing consistent flavor and body in each espresso shot. Make sure you’re using preheated demitasse cups and water temperature right around 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
6. Experiment with extraction time! The total amount of time that the espresso is in contact with the puck will affect flavor and body – longer times can result in flavors becoming more concentrated, but too much time results in bitter-tasting over extraction. We recommend starting off by extracting for around 40 seconds. If the body of your shot isn’t where you want it to be, try pressing for 20 more seconds, and vice versa if your espresso seems weak.
7. Make sure the portafilter is level! This tip should go without saying, but depending on the geometry of your espresso machine’s group head (i.e. single-spout or double), it is possible for your portafilter to become slightly cocked within the machine.
If this happens, water will not flow evenly through your coffee puck and you’ll likely see unbalanced extraction between the top and bottom halves of your shot glass.
Another way to tell if your shots are running unevenly is to watch the flow of brewed espresso dripping into your shot glass.
If the stream is coming out at an angle, then there’s a problem with your portafilter positioning.
8. Drink up! When all is said and done, you should be left with 1 to 2 oz of concentrated espresso within your shot glass. Be careful not to drink this concentrated shot straight – we recommend adding 2 oz of hot water for a delicious and comforting shot of espresso.
Disclaimer: The contents of this site, such as text, graphics, images, and other materials contained on the page are for general information purposes only. This article is not a substitute for professional advice on the topics mentioned. This article does not create any form of offers to any legal or professional service. The site assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions in the contents. In no event shall the site be liable for any special, direct, indirect, consequential, or incidental damages or any damages whatsoever, whether in an action to follow the content, negligence or other tort, arising out of the use of the contents of the article. The blog reserves the right to make additions, deletions, or modifications to the contents at any time without prior notice. The site does not warrant that the site is free of viruses or other harmful components. It may contain views and opinions which are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other author, agency, organization, employer or company, including the site itself. It also does not provide professional advice, diagnosis, treatment or any legal service. The site does not endorse official procedures, legal actions or qualified services and the use of its contents are solely at your own risk.