Barista Skills – The Perfect Espresso

How to make espresso using a traditional espresso machine

Espresso Extraction

Espresso is an intensely flavoured invigorating shot of coffee. Espresso also forms the base to all speciality coffees with the likes of Cappuccino, Caffe Latte, Latte Macchiato, Mochaccino, all requiring the perfect Espresso to provide exceptional flavour. In other words, any drinks produced will only ever be as good as the espresso.

There are several processes involved to ensure you create the best espresso, begin by selecting your favourite rijo42 coffee beans:

Tunki 100% Arabica, Single Origin, Organic Coffee
Tunki is a beautifully balanced 100% Arabica, single origin, premium coffee originating from the Peruvian Andes. This exclusive organic coffee encompasses intensity of flavour, full body and citrus acidity. Tunki boasts a superb floral aroma with sweet chocolate and treacle notes, enhanced with undertones of citrus and red berries. Tunki has won a host of awards including, ‘Specialty Coffee of the Year’.

Tunki Award Winning Coffeerijo42 ‘Red Blend’ 100% Arabica Coffee Beans
Our Red Blend contains the finest selection of Arabica coffee beans from Brazil, Nicaragua, Mexico, Guatemala and Ethiopia obtaining an intense cup with rich body and fruity notes. A well-balanced espresso perfect for enjoyment alone or as the base for all continental coffees.

rijo42 Red Blendrijo42 ‘Black Blend’ 70% Arabica, 30% Robusta Coffee Beans
We make our Black Blend with the finest selection of Arabica coffee beans from Brazil, Nicaragua, Mexico, Guatemala and Robusta coffee beans from India. rijo42 Black Blend provides a more intense flavour with a rich spicy body. Creates superb espresso with excellent crema, providing a more intense ‘Italian style’ base for all continental coffees.

rijo42 Black BlendWhichever blend you prefer, always ensure your coffee beans are fresh, use within 4 days of opening to produce the best espresso.

Let’s get started and make the perfect espresso…

Remove the group handle from your traditional espresso machine and wipe the porta filter using a clean dry cloth or towel.

Place the group handle beneath the doser of your commercial coffee grinder and dose required amount of coffee – a single or a double shot.

Level the coffee grinds in the porta filter using a slight shake to ensure coffee is distributed evenly to enable optimum extraction.

Using your tamper, tamp the ground coffee using between 25-35lbs of pressure and polish by twisting the tamper in the porta filter – it is imperative the coffee grounds are level to ensure optimum extraction. Tap the side of the port filter lightly to release the grounds from the edges of the porta filter and polish by twisting the tamper again.

Purge the group head by allowing water to flow through it for 5 seconds. This removes any grinds or cold water which may have accumulated within the group head. Refit the group handle containing your ground tamped coffee and lock into place.

Extract your espresso immediately by switching the water flow on. The flow should be steady. An espresso being extracted is often referred to as a ‘baby Guinness’ as it settles much the same. As the espresso pours the crema rises and begins to settle on the surface. If the flow is too fast the coffee has been under extracted and the result will be a high volume thin espresso, if the flow is very slow and dripping then the coffee has been over extracted resulting in a thick harsh burnt espresso.

The perfect espresso should be 1oz of liquid extracted in 20-25 seconds; it should be a deep reddish brown colour with a rich caramel coloured crema layer on top.