Making Espresso is quite complicated, so you might want to watch a video instead of reading the guidelines below. If so, just click here
- Fill your espresso machine's reservoir or hook it up to your water line. However your water is fetched, make sure it's cold, filtered, and not-too-hard-or-soft. Water treatment is an important first step: distilled water will do serious damage to your boiler, hard water will accumulate serious scale, and unfiltered water will taste seriously lame. Once you know that you're working with happy H2O, saunter down to step 2.
- Turn on your machine and give it plenty of time to heat up. Depending on the size of your machine, this could take anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes. Don't assume that you're ready to go as soon as you're up to brewing temperature, though; instead, wait a little longer until the entire machine feels nice and warm.
- Lock an empty portafilter in the grouphead and run the machine for a few seconds. This brings fresh water to the front and heats up the parts that get closest to your coffee. Then, wipe off the inside of the portafilter and the underside of the grouphead so that they're clean and dry.
- Grind a few beans to check for appropriate fineness and purge your grinder of stale grounds. The coffee should clump loosely and appear powdery, but should still feel gritty when rubbed between your fingers.
- Dose 18 to 21 grams of freshly ground coffee into the portafilter. As coffee exits the chute, rotate the portafilter so that the grounds settle evenly in the basket. Afterwards, use your forefinger to level the grounds and fill in any air pockets.
- Tamp with your wrist, arm, and elbow positioned directly over the center of the portafilter basket. Focus on pressing evenly, using your fingertips to feel the edge of the basket, then inspect the dry puck to see if the bed appears level.
- Return the portafilter to the grouphead and begin brewing. If your machine offers a separate pre-brew or "pre-infusion" stage, complete this first. By doing so, you'll allow stored gases to release before full infusion begins. With fresh coffee, pre-infuse until your see the first drops exit the portafilter.
- Begin infusion and end brew at predetermined yield: we like to start at 2 fluid ounces (if measuring by volume) or about 30 grams (if using a gram scale). Before serving, mix crema by stirring or pouring espresso into another cup.
Enjoy your Nero Aurum Coffee.