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      • 3 Methods To Make The Perfect Espresso Shot

      • Making excellent espresso can be challenging. It needs, at the very least, excellent coffee beans, a great brewing method, a decent, spotless espresso machine, and a grinder. But what if you have to leave early and don't have time to use all the fancy equipment to make your morning brew? Here are 3 different ways to make a perfect espresso.

        What is an Espresso Shot?

        Espresso is a full flavoured concentrated form of coffee that is made by using pressure to push hot water through finely ground coffee beans. This results in a wonderful rich espresso with a layer of crema on top.

        espresso shot in espresso glass

        Choosing Beans and Grind Type

        The best beans to use are arabica beans with a medium/medium fine grind. The greatest espresso is made with freshly roasted beans, but you can use any beans that you choose! Keep in mind that espresso is a beverage and not a particular kind of bean or grind. Arabica and Robusta are the two primary bean varieties. Those are also the primary cultivars used to produce coffee and espresso.

        Method One: How to make a Homemade Espresso Shot Without Equipment

        When you’re in a hurry it can be hard to find the time to setup an espresso machine or coffee press. However, there are a surprisingly large number of techniques you may use to create an espresso shot without ever touching an espresso machine's lever.


        • 3 TBSP medium fine ground coffee beans
        • 100-150ml of hot water


        • Grind and measure your coffee into a small cup
        • Boil and measure your water
        • Pour a splash of water of the coffee grounds and let the coffee absorb it for 20-30 seconds
        • Slowly pour over the hot water over the coffee grounds and steep for one minute
        • Pour contents in a fine strainer into another cup
        • Enjoy!

        How Long Should I Steep the Grounds?

        The steep time should total 3-5 minutes. I find over 4 minutes it starts to get bitter.

        • 3 min creates strong shot of coffee that isn’t bitter
        • 4 min for a stronger and more fragrant blend with a light bitter taste
        • 5 min makes a bitter espresso but works in lattes and iced drinks


        Method Two: How to make an Espresso Shot Without an Espresso Machine


        Moka Pot

        moka pot

        The Moka Pot is a stove-top or electric coffee maker that brews coffee by passing boiling water pressurized by steam through ground coffee. This hand small ‘kettle’ produces an espresso-like pour that will put a pep in your step.

        What You’ll Need

        • Moka Pot
        • High Quality Coffee Beans
        • Scales or 2 TBSP of Coffee


        • Measure out 2 tablespoons of coffee beans and grind the beans as finely as possible
        • Pour 3 ½ fluid ounces of water into the bottom of the pot. Pour the coffee grounds into the built-in filter, shaking to settle the grounds. Screw on the spouted top of the moka pot tightly and place the pot on a burner on medium heat
        • Wait until the coffee begins to expand and foam in the upper level of the pot – the hot water will create the pressure need to produce a concentrated coffee as well as a bit of foam.
        • When the top is filled with coffee, pour and enjoy.


        French Press

        french press

        The French press, one of the most popular coffee tools, will offer you a concentrated brew (if made correctly). The French press will get you where you're going, but it lacks the Moka Pot’s concentrated power. Additionally, using this method will result in a somewhat oilier coffee shot and add a few extra steps between you and the caffeine.

        What You’ll Need

        • French Press
        • Kettle
        • High Quality Coffee Beans
        • Scales or 2 TBSP of Coffee


        • Grind at least two tablespoons of coffee beans on a fine setting.
        • In the kettle, heat up water just below 200 degrees
        • Bloom your coffee by adding a splash of hot water and allowing the grounds to soak for 20-30 seconds
        • Pour the rest of the water over the grounds and close the lid to allow the coffee to steep for about 4 minutes
        • Press the plunger down halfway using a slow, steady pressure. Do this again and pour into your mug and enjoy.


        Method Three: How to make an Espresso Shot with an Espresso Machine

        A perfect espresso shot using an espresso machine requires lot of steps and maintenance to create the perfect balance of strength and flavour.

        Clean Your Portafilter

        Before dosing the coffee to your portafilter, make sure that the portafilter is clean and tidy. Both moisture and leftover grounds might (and most likely will) make your future espresso taste over-extracted = astringent and bitter. 

        Dose Correctly

        With on-demand grinders, all you have to do is press a button with your hand or a portafilter, and the grinder will dosage the prescribed amount. Check your dose on a scale before distributing and tamping if you want to be a very geeky and professional barista. Because your dose won't be excessively high or low, you may be confident that your extraction will be successful.

        Distribute your Grounds in the Portafilter

        Your grinder will probably dispense the grounds into the portafilter's basket in the form of a mountain or a pyramid. If you don't spread the grounds before tamping, the coffee will be distributed unevenly throughout the basket, with some areas having more coffee and others having less. Poor ground distribution could result in channelling.

        If you want to go the extra step, you can also employ distribution tools. A particularly effective technique to improve the uniformity of your espressos and their extractions is to use distribution equipment.

        Tamp Evenly and Consistently

        The purpose of tamping is to eliminate any air pockets from the coffee puck and achieve full levelling. Tamp for so long and "hard" that you can feel the puck being compressed (i.e., it stops going down). Make sure the puck is horizontally levelled to prevent channelling and unequal, over, or under extraction.

        Rinse your Grouphead

        Before inserting the portafilter to the group head, you might want to rinse the group head to remove any old coffee from it. Easy way to keep your espresso machine clean. Rinsing will also make sure that your group head is properly heated and this way you might be able to extract more your coffee.

        Insert Portafilter and Brew Immediately

        After rinsing, insert the portafilter to the group head and start brewing immediately! If you don’t start brewing immediately, the heat from the group head might “burn” the surface of your coffee which leads to bitter notes in the cup. 

        Yield and Brew Time

        Remember to keep track of your brew time if you're using a volumetric machine. You may wish to create a new espresso and/or check your grind size and dose if the extraction time was either too short (under-extraction) or too long (over-extraction). When using a manual espresso machine, pay attention to your yield. For example, if your espresso is flowing a little too quickly, you are just diluting (mildening) your espresso and maybe over-extracting at the same time.

        Serve and Enjoy

        For no-obligation advice on the best espresso machine for your business, please feel free to get in touch on 0800 840 9023 or email us at info@nationwidecoffee.co.uk today.