The Art & Science of Making a Great Shot of Espresso

Eidolonai March 10, 2018

My opinion about espresso may be different than your thinking about espresso. In some cases people may think of espresso as just a strong cup of coffee. Others could see it as being something else, something more complex, something almost reverent, a divine gift. I’m definitely somewhere in the center.

Wherever your feeling about espresso are, one thing is definite: creating a great shot of espresso is attained only by way of a careful balance of both science and art. Making espresso requires a finely-tuned sense of taste and careful attention to detail.

Creating a great shot of espresso requires a number of things:

1. Roasted coffee beans

2. A bean grinder

3. An espresso machine

Sounds really quite simple so far, right? In fact it’s far from simple, but there are several good quality machines currently available that do, in fact, make it really quite simple to create a nice tasting shot of espresso.

Let’s briefly talk about beans. The highest quality of bean is the Arabica bean. The lesser quality of bean would be the Robusta bean. The Arabica bean delivers more taste, the Robusta bean delivers more caffein. Whatever is your preference your beans ought to be freshly roasted.

Next is the grinder, since the perfect grind of coffee bean is going to create a tasty cup of espresso. Too fine and your espresso will probably taste bitter, too coarse and you will end up with a weak cup of espresso. It is going to probably require a few trials to determine the grind that is best for both you and your machine.

There are numerous types of espresso machines. There are manual machines, semi-automatic machines, automatic machines, and super automatic machines. Click this link for a complete description of the different types of coffee machines.

Now is when focus on detail comes into play. You’ve ground your beans to the proper find grind. You now must place exactly 7 grams of ground coffee into the filter basket of the portafilter on your espresso machine. Tamp the grounds into the filter basket with medium pressure. Attach the pertafilter to the machine and lock in place. Turn on the machine and start heating the water to exactly 93 degree C. When the water has reached the correct temperature begin the pull, or switch on the pump. The pump should begin forcing water through the grounds under no less than 9 bars of pressure. The espresso should start flowing into the cup in a few seconds, and the proper extraction time should be somewhere within 25-30 seconds.

If all of this is beginning to sound complicated and difficult then there is certainly good news. A super automatic espresso machine such as the Gaggia Platinum Vision makes creating a perfect cup of espresso almost child’s play. Press a couple of buttons, wait a couple of minutes, and the machine does the rest.

Now the real easy part–sitting back and enjoying a great shot of espresso.

Love espresso? Check out the Gaggia Platinum Vision Espresso Machine. The best price I’ve found on this amazing espresso machine is at


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