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How to make espresso?

There is no shortage of theories and techniques for brewing the perfect shot of espresso. So here comes ØNSK’s take on how to brew the best espresso. The guide is inspired by coffee expert Anette Moldvaer’s tips and tricks. She is also the author of the book ‘Coffee Obsession’, which is a must-have on the shelf for coffee lovers.

Brewing a good espresso over and over again can be challenging. We will therefore review how to do, why to do it, and how a well-brewed espresso shot looks.

Are you a little rusty? Refresh your knowledge of espresso with the blog post: What is espresso?

Et perfekt skud espresso
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You will need it to brew espresso

  • Espresso machine
  • Espresso grinder
  • Filter holder
  • Stamper
  • Stamper mat
  • Knockbox
  • Cup
  • Weight
  • Wipe cloth

Espresso brewing guide

1) Prepare the machine

Follow these three steps to prepare your espresso machine for brewing:

Insert your filter holder into the machine and switch it on. Let both get hot.

Then remove the filter holder and wipe it clean with a cloth.

Clean the brew head of remaining coffee by rinsing water through it.

Den perfekte espresso
vand løber i gennem bryggehovedet

2) Grind 20g of coffee into the filter holder.

We use dark roasted coffee from Corcasan . The goal is a brewing time of 25 seconds and a yield of 40g of coffee.

Tip: It is not uncommon to discard several espresso shots before hitting the correct degree of grinding.

If you get too much espresso in the cup, the coffee is ground too coarsely. If you get too little, the coffee is conversely too fine.

kværnet kaffe i filterholder

3) Stamp coffee

Distribute the coffee in the filter by tapping the side lightly.

Place the filter holder on the piston mat and press with approximately 15kg.

Be sure to keep the stamper flat when pressing so that the coffee has a smooth surface.

The goal is to press the coffee together and form a puck that can withstand the water pressure, but which at the same time allows the water to flow evenly through the coffee.

stamp kaffen til espresso
espressofilter med kaffe

4) Brew espresso

Insert the filter holder into the brew head and start the brewing process immediately.

Place a heated cup underneath.

Espresso coffee should start to flow into the cup after approx. 5 seconds.

After 25 seconds, the brewing is done and you should like to stand with 40g of espresso that has a delicious crema on top.

espressoshot bliver brygget

Is it approved?

A well-brewed espresso has a nice layer of crema on top. The cream should have a golden brown color and be free of prominent air bubbles.

Once the crema has settled, it should stick together nicely and be a few millimeters thick. The taste should contain both sweetness and acidity, and the texture should feel smooth and creamy.

If your espresso tastes wrong, it may be due to one or more of the following…

The espresso is too sour:

  • The water in the machine is too cold.
  • The beans are too lightly roasted.
  • The coffee is ground too coarsely.
  • The coffee dose is too small.

The espresso is too bitter:

  • The water in the machine is too hot.
  • The espresso machine needs cleaning.
  • The beans are too dark-roasted.
  • The coffee is ground too fine.
  • The coffee dose is too large.
perfekt skud espresso

5) Clean the machine

If you do not regularly remember to clean your espresso machine, residues of oils and particles from coffee will build up in the machinery. It can both ruin the machine and give your espressos a bad taste.

Therefore, once you have brewed your espresso, you should always remember that:

  1. Remove the filter holder from the brew head.
  2. Beat the used puck into the knockbox and wipe it with a cloth.
  3. Rinse the brew head with water to remove any residue.
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