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In this episode of Espresso at Home, we teach you how to pull an espresso shot the Madcap Coffee way. Our go-to coffee for espresso is our house espresso blend: Eureka. We roast this coffee with an espresso profile so it pairs great with milk. 

To start the process, you’ll disengage the portafilter from the machine and purge the group head. This will help preheat the machine and cleans residual coffee oils off the group head screen. After the purge, wipe down the grate with a clean kitchen towel to keep it dry and clean.

Weighing coffee in a portafilter

Next, put the portafilter on the scale and tare it/zero it out, ensuring an accurate measurement of the ground coffee. Then, you’ll put your portafilter under the grinder and grind the coffee beans. With Eureka, you’ll want a 1:1.8 or 1:2 ratio. Once the coffee is in the portafilter, place it on the scale. It should weigh 15 grams. Settle the coffee grounds by tapping the portafilter on the counter so that the bed is flat and even.

After, get your tamp and while keeping it level with the coffee grounds, hold your arm at a 90 degree angle and push down into the grounds, keeping the tamper straight the whole time. Wipe the top of the portafilter to keep it clean before inserting it back into the machine.

Tamping coffee grounds

Then you’ll put the portafilter into the machine and immediately start brewing. This will keep you from overheating the ground coffee before you start pulling your shot. You’ll want to put a vessel and scale under the portafilter. Before the espresso starts coming out, tare the scale to ensure that you get an accurate measurement and ratio. On average, the shot should take 25-32 seconds, which will result in a shot with a thick, full-bodied texture.

Once you’ve pulled your shot, remember to clean up your station. Move the scale and disengage your portafilter. Purge the group head into the grate and knock the portafilter on a knockbox to remove the spent espresso puck. Wipe out the remaining coffee grounds in the portafilter and wipe down the grate and any espresso or grounds that may have made a mess.

Breville espresso machine

If you want to slow down the shot so that it extracts more, grind the coffee finer.

If you want to speed up the shot, grind the coffee coarser.

Most of all, enjoy!

Stay tuned for our upcoming episode on steaming milk.

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