espresso shots

How to pull espresso shots like a pro?

Making a perfect espresso can be tricky. You need an excellent brewing recipe, delicious coffee beans, clean espresso machine and a grinder. They say ‘Practice makes perfect’ and while your barista mode is on, practice is the key to making your espresso shots perfect!

So let’s start with some great tips on how to pull the perfect espresso shot.

Step 1: Prep

You will need some tools to do the job properly

  • An espresso machine
  • Grinder
  • Scales
  • Portafilter
  • A tamper
  • Filtered water
  • Fresh coffee beans
  • Timer

Step 2: Pre-Heat

Make sure to pre-heat your machine, portafilter and cup by pulling a ‘blank shot’ i.e., running water through the portafilter and cup without using espresso. Ideal time for pre-heat varies on the machine- For a thermoblock machine it could be between 5 to 15 minutes and for a boiler based machine it could be anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes depending on the size of the boiler.

Step 3: Grind

Remember to grind fresh coffee beans before brewing. Grind size is an integral part of pulling an espresso shot. We are looking for a fine grind size, slightly finer than your moka pot/south Indian coffee filter.

Step 4: Dose

Dose is the amount of coffee you will need to fill the portafilter to make an espresso shot. If you’re going for a “double shot’’ espresso, the dose should be 14-18 grams depending on your espresso machine and personal preference. 

Step 5: Tamp

Tamping ensures a uniform extraction by levelling and packing the coffee grounds to ensure that equal and consistent water contact is forced through.

Step 6: Brew

The most critical and fun part of pulling an espresso shot is here- Place the portafilter into your machine’s brew head and place your preheated cup underneath. Grab a timer and time your shot. Watch carefully while you initiate the extraction.

For best results, baristas consider 25 seconds for pulling an espresso shot. But if you take longer than this, the coffee will taste bitter and burnt whereas under-extracted shots will be weak and watery with a sour taste.

Otherwise the end result should be a rich, dark brew topped with a thick layer of crema. So what are you waiting for? Try your hand at pulling the perfect espresso shots and thank us later.

Video link on “How to pull the perfect espresso shot?’’ (Optional)

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