Consistent Quality Espresso

In this post, you'll find steps to consider as a barista for more consistent quality in your espresso. In our previous posts  you've read about how to calibrate your espresso and adjust the grind size. But what more can you do?

  1. Clean and Tidy: After knocking out the old coffee puck, wipe the filter basket clean with a dry towel or cloth before adding new coffee. If there's dirt and old coffee left, your espresso will taste like it. That would be a real shame.
  2. Distribution: After dosing from the coffee grinder, make sure to distribute the coffee grounds evenly in the filter basket. Uneven distribution can lead to uneven extraction, as water always finds the path of least resistance.
  3. Tamping: Tamp the coffee grounds straight and evenly, using a consistent and proper pressure. It doesn't need to be too hard. Inconsistent or tilted tamping can result in uneven brewing.
  4. Handle: Be careful when inserting the handle into the group head. If you're reckless or too forceful, you might cause the coffee puck to become loose inside the filter basket, leading to uneven brewing.
  5. The Start: Start the espresso immediately after inserting the handle. Otherwise, you risk burning the coffee in the hot group head.
  6. Observation: Watch how the espresso flows. Look for signs of:
    a. Channeling, when water finds the path of least resistance through the coffee puck, which can be seen in the way the coffee flows from the spout.
    b. Blonding, where the colour of the espresso becomes significantly lighter towards the end of the extraction, creating white spots in the crema.
  7. Taste: Taste the espresso to evaluate its flavour profile. Pay attention to aspects such as acidity, sweetness, bitterness, and the balance between them. Micro-adjustments to grind size and dosing can be made according to taste preferences. For example, if your espresso runs for 30 seconds, it may taste a bit more acidic than if it runs for 25 seconds.

By following these steps and continually refining your technique, you can achieve more consistent and higher quality in your espresso.

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