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espresso Brew Guide

Some very simple guidelines:


  • Use approx 18-19g of fine ground coffee.  Aim to yield 35-45g (ml) of espresso extracted in approx 22-28seconds. Generally try a ratio of 1:2, ie 18g in, yielding 36g out. If it’s coming through too quickly then you will need to make the grind more fine, and vice-versa. This may take some experimenting. Be aware that if you extract too much liquid, then you will only be adding poor quality water to the espresso – it won’t make your coffee ‘stronger’.
  • Tamp with one hard tamp and twist. You can apply a second tamp if you wish to smooth off, however it isn’t necessary – and certainly do not apply more pressure to a second tamp. Do not tap the side of the portafilter with the tamp as this may cause the puck to crack and coffee to ‘channel’ through that crack.
  • It is important that the coffee is not ‘jammed’ into the portafilter and you do not want to see the imprint of the shower screen on the spent puck.
  • The emphasis is about allowing the water to flow through the coffee evenly, under pressure in the right time.


  • Use cold milk and a clean jug every time.
  • Insert nozzle 1cm under milk, at an angle, and 1cm in from side of the jug.
  • Hold jug by handle and use other hand to turn on steam full power. The milk will swirl, keep nozzle just below the surface so that it ‘hisses’ whilst the milk swirls in a whirlpool. Don’t let it splutter. Do not bob up and down.
  • Now move your hand from the steam wand to the side of the jug – so that your palm lies flat against the jug. This is to guide the jug and monitor the temperature.
  • When you feel the temperature starting to rise, or, you feel you have injected enough surface air into the milk, lift the jug so and so submerge the steam wand. Keep it submerged and spinning until you can no longer keep your hand on the side of the jug – that is warm enough. Do not overheat milk.
  • The end result should be 60 degrees and look like shinny wet paint


  • Americano: water first, espresso poured on top of that
  • Latte / Cappuccino: espresso first, 10oz milk poured on top of that
  • Flat white: espresso first, 6oz milk poured on top of that