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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Helpful Espresso Troubleshooting Tips

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Helpful Espresso Troubleshooting Tips

By: Mark Ramos

If you have a home espresso machine, it is still important to consider the best troubleshooting tips so that you don't make any detrimental mistakes in your brewing. Even the best of the best can brew an inconsistent shot of espresso from time to time, but these helpful tips will put you on the right track toward brewing delicious espresso with every shot that you pull.

First of all, it is important to understand that a double shot should brew within 20 to 25 seconds, and it consists of 2 to 2.5 ounces of water. A single shot will also brew in roughly 20 to 25 seconds, and it consists of 1 to 1.5 ounces of water. The amount of ground espresso used for a double shot is 14 g, and the ground espresso used for a single shot is 7 g. Some of the common issues with brewing espresso happen if the shot is brewed too slow or too fast. If this is the case, you can adjust either your tamp pressure or your grind consistency so that the shot will brew correctly. If you add more pressure when tamping, the espresso will brew more slowly, and it will brew faster if you reduce the tamp pressure. As a rule of thumb, the best tamp pressure is 30 pounds to create the ideal single or double shot. You may also want to adjust your grind consistency to finer or coarser so that the shot can brew at the proper speed.

If you are brewing your espresso and have not created a crema, which is the hazelnut foam on top of the espresso, it may have to do with your brewing technique. One of the best signs of the perfect shot of espresso is the crema, so you are probably brewing improperly if it does not occur atop your espresso after brewing. The first step to check within brewing is the consistency of your grounds, since they should be fine and thoroughly ground for the best brewing. It is often a better idea to use a burr versus a blade grinder since it will grind more thoroughly without heating the espresso beans. It is also highly important to freshly grind your espresso beans before brewing because pre-ground coffee or espresso is not normally ground to the proper consistency to create the crema atop the shot.

From there, it is important that you are using the right pressure when tamping to create the best crema on your espresso shot. You must tamp evenly, especially since tamping lopsided will reduce the perfect crema after brewing. It is also important to make sure that you give your espresso machine time to heat up thoroughly before you start brewing, which will provide better results in extraction. If you start brewing with a cold machine, you won't have the rich crema that you are looking for.

Overall, it is important to stick with the motto that practice makes perfect! With the use of these helpful techniques, you will be brewing like a pro barista in no time.

Author Resource:-> Mark Ramos is a coffee geek. For a great selection in all things coffee, espresso machines and BUNN coffee makers, check out The Coffee Bump.

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