How to make the Perfect Espresso Coffee

Making the perfect espresso coffee at home, or anywhere for that matter, requires:

  • fresh coffee beans
  • good quality coffee grinder
  • espresso machine
  • a "barista" - that is, someone who knows how to use a grinder and machine

The Barista

Let's start with the most important "ingredient", the Barista. Making espresso requires some know-how. A little training goes a long way and a barista course is highly recommended. The machine and grinder are capable of making great coffee, but it is the barista who sets the fineness of the grinder, puts the coffee into the group handle and tamps the coffee.

Fresh Coffee

Great espresso requires the use of whole bean coffee, that is freshly roasted. "Fresh" means no more than 5 weeks after roasting. The coffee must be ground immediately before use. Which leads us onto the next requirement - a coffee grinder.

A Burr Coffee Grinder

A quality burr coffee grinder uses either flat burrs or conical burrs to grind the coffee. A flat blade coffee grinder will not produce the consistent grind required for espresso. After the coffee is ground, the espresso can be extracted with an espresso machine.

There are a number of coffee grinders available which will grind coffee for espresso. We have written a coffee grinder buying guide to help find the perfect one for you.

An Espresso Machine

An espresso machine provides water at around 95 degrees and 9 Bar pressure to extract the coffee oils out of the freshly gound coffee. It is this pressure which sets espresso apart from other types of coffee such as plunger or stove top.

There are a number of espresso machines which will produce delicious espresso. Use the espresso machine buyers guide to help choose the best one for your needs.