How to Make Real Espresso at Home [Using a Pump Espresso Maker]

Pulling Espresso Shot in Bodum Pavina Cup 3

Espresso Shot in cupOkay so I’m going to be very honest with you. When I first learned how to make coffee, I was pretty confident that I’d nail it. But then I got behind the machine and actually started making an espresso. Did I nail it? Well, let’s just say, I didn’t pull the famous “god shot” that baristas obsess about. That shot was less than average.

Preparing an espresso is a simple process, once you get the hang of the variables and use the right equipment. Once you understand how to play with tamping, grinding, dose and extraction time, you will be able to customize the taste of your shots to your liking.

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How to Make Espresso with an Espresso Machine – Infographic

SemiAutomatic Machine Espresso Machine Brewing Guide Infographic

Brewing espresso with a semiautomatic machine is a skill that starts to disappear. The convenience of super automatic machines shifts the buying preferences of the modern coffee lover. There is also the beverage preference that plays a role, but is not the subject of our brief guide. This infographic is the shortest guide possible, to get you started. We have the written version after the graphic, and is a bit more detailed. However, if you want to perfect your technique, and pull cafe quality shots, check our detailed espresso brewing guide.

SemiAutomatic Machine Espresso Machine Brewing Guide Infographic

  1. Use Good Water
    Fill up your water reservoir. The best is spring water, but distilled water works too. Distilled water is good because is odourless and tasteless, and it prevents scaling. But spring water gives your shot the extra taste dimension that it needs.
  2. Turn On the Machine
    Ensure the boiler is hot. The light on your machine will indicate when the machine is ready.
  3. Dose your coffee.
    If your grinder doesn’t have a doser, weighing on a scale is the best option. Use 14-18 grams of coffee beans for a double espresso. Use 7-9 grams for a solo. You can still use volumetric dosing, by measuring the scoops. What I do, is measure by scoops, and then weigh the beans. When I change the beans I repeat this operation.
  4. Grind Coffee
    Grind your coffee finely. The grind size is smaller than for drip coffee, but not quite powder. Table salt is good comparison size.
  5. Fill the Portafilter
    Dump your coffee grounds in the portafilter, aiming to distribute them evenly in the filter basket. Lightly tap the portafilter to achieve perfect distribution. You can tap with your knuckles on the sides of the portafilter, or knock it on the tamping mat. This is an adapted technique. If you have a grinder with a doser, step 5 and 6 are a single step.
  6. Tamp it.
    Give it a good tamp, aim for about 30 pounds of pressure. That pressure can vary, depending on your coffee variety and roast, and the grind size. But as a beginner, you need to change just one variable at a time. So be consistent with your tamping force at 30 pounds.
  7. Start Brewing
    Lock in your portafilter into the brew head of your machine and press the brew button.
  8. Pull the shot
    Aim for a 25 seconds extraction time. Depending on how fine is coffee ground, this can vary up and down by 5 seconds. The extraction time is the same, whether it is a solo, or a doppio.

Happy brewing!

 

 

How to Make Coffee with a Moka Pot – Infographic

Infographic - How to Make Coffee with a Moka Pot

We created this infographic for the time pressed coffee lover that needs a strong coffee and needs to stay on a low budget. Many people call it stove top espresso maker, because it brews a strong and bold coffee, and it uses pressure during extraction. And we agree with that, moka pot is in many ways very similar to an espresso. Moreover, we can use it to prepare a beautiful latte or a delicious cappuccino, or a flat white. Here is the infographic, and at the end of the graphic you also have a written version of it. Infographic - How to Make Coffee with a Moka Pot

  1. Grind the coffee beans using a good burr grinder. The grind size is slightly coarser than espresso, but finer than drip.
  2. Fill the base of your moka pot with hot water up to the line, or slightly below. Never pass the sign.
  3. Place the funnel in the boiler chamber, (the base).
  4. Loosely fill the filter-funnel with coffee grounds. Do NOT pack the grounds as we do with espresso. If you pack them, there coffee will not raise in the collector chamber. Or it will raise too slow, and over-extract.
  5. Make sure rim is clean and screw on the top chamber onto the boiler. If the rim is not perfectly clean, the pot will lose pressure.
  6. Put the Moka pot on the burner on low, or medium heat. A gas stove is the best. The electric stove works too, but you need to use a heat diffuser.
  7. If you used hot water, after two minutes coffee will start to flow. If you used cold water, you’ll wait about 6-8 minutes until the top reservoir is full.
  8. Once coffee starts to flow in the top carafe, immediately take it off the heat. The residual heat will be enough to finish the brewing. Some people leave it on the stove until coffee is almost completely brewed, and then cool the base off with cold water to stop the brewing.
  9. Stir in the upper chamber with a spoon to mix the different coffee layers for uniform flavor.
  10. Pour it in cups right away.

For a complete how to, and more brewing tips, read our full tutorial about Brewing with a Moka Pot.

 

How to Make Espresso without an Espresso Machine – Three Great Tasting Espresso Alternatives

Espresso Cup

Espresso CupEspresso is my favorite way of brewing coffee. Everything from the intoxicating aroma and pungently sharp flavor, to the astounding amounts of caffeine per ounce, make it the most desirable coffee cup. I brew a cup every morning, from the comfort of my home. It’s my ritual; I own two espresso machines, though one is catching dust in the basement. Sometimes I can’t prepare my daily lungo, double shot at home. In these crisis situations, I pass by the neighborhood cafe, and grab one.

What if I didn’t own an espresso machine?

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How to Make Coffee with an AeroPress – Infographic

Here is a simple step-by-step guide on how to use an AeroPress. Coffee prepared this way is a bold, full bodied cup. At the same time, the cup is very smooth, without the harsh notes and the bitterness associated with French Press. It is an inexpensive way to make an espresso alternative. Here is the recipe as an infographic, or lower in the page as a text :

Infographic - How to Make Coffee with an AeroPress

  1. Heat water
    Heat your water to 175 to 180 °F. If you don’t have a variable temperature kettle, or a thermometer, boil the water and let it sit for about two minutes.
  2. Rinse the Filter
    Place the paper filter inside the cap and rinse it with hot water. This way, you eliminate the filter’s papery taste, and you seal it inside the cap.
  3. Weigh and grind beans
    Use a scale to measure about 16-17g of beans. Grind the coffee slightly coarser than filter.
  4. Mix Coffee and Water
    Place your cap on the AeroPress and dump the grounds in. Add half of the water.
  5. Bloom
    Give it a few stirs and let the grounds bloom for 30 seconds. This allows the trapped gas to be released from the coffee and it helps the extraction.
  6. One more Stir
    Give it one or two more gentle stirs, and fill the AeroPress almost to the top. Allow some room for the plunger.
  7. Steeping time
    Insert the plunger in the brewing chamber, (just enough to seal it), and place the AeroPress on a cup, with the cap down.
  8. Filter It
    Press down with steady pressure to the end. Enjoy.

If you need a more thorough brewing guide, with geeky facts, tips and tricks, check our in depth AeroPress tutorial.

Rhetoric Coffee – A Coffee Subscription Service like no other

Coffee subscription services are more and more popular, because they are convenient, they provide consistency, and you’ll always have great beans to brew your daily joe. You subscribe to the service, and this helps you have fresh beans all the time, the roaster can predict easier how much green coffee to purchase, everybody wins. The idea is that you found that perfect single origin, or blend that touched your soul and you want to make sure you have a constant supply of it.

Who Is Rhetoric Coffee?

Rhetoric Coffee was founded in 2016 by James Parrish and Colin Curtin in Berkeley, California.… Read more

Best Coffee Beans for AeroPress

Best Coffee Beans for AeroPressI was chatting a few days ago with a friend of mine, a fellow coffee geek, about brewing with Aeropress. He claimed he found the best coffee beans for AeroPress. I replied that I doubted he found those beans, and I had my reasons. You’ll see in a bit what I meant, and what my friend had to say about my argument.

I love making coffee with the AeroPress. There are a few reasons I love to use it, but the most important for me is the versatility of this great brewing method.

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5 Great Cappuccino Cups – How to Buy a Cappuccino Cups Set

Arte Italica Tuscan Cappuccino Cup and Saucer with SpoonMy wife asked me a couple of days ago to find her the best cappuccino cups set on the market. Kind of a tall order, but hey, I didn’t want to disappoint her. The cappuccino set was going to be a gift for a close friend of her. I knew what I needed to find, so it looked like it was going to be a quick job. Material, size, form, I knew all of that, it just had to match my wife’s taste. You’ll see how a seemingly easy task turned up to be a very difficult one.I’ll tell you the story, and you’ll find  out how I picked my cappuccino set, and in the process you’ll learn what to look for when you are shopping for cappuccino cups.

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AeroPress Coffee Filters – [Metal vs Paper]

AeroPress Filters, paper, disk and metallic mesh

AeroPress Coffee FiltersThe AeroPress Coffee filters are one of the most important component of this brewing method. Choosing the right filter could make or break your coffee cup. I’m not saying that one is better than the other, just better for your taste. But we will get to that in a bit, bare with me.

We talked about the amazing versatility of AeroPress in our brewing tutorial, give it a read if you haven’t yet. Part of this remarkable versatility stems from the ability to choose from various different filters. There are on the market paper filters, and metal filters.

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DeLonghi Magnifica Espresso Machine – ESAM3300 vs ECAM22110SB

DeLonghi has a great line of automatic espresso machines, probably more than any other manufacturer. Their machines are great, reliable, and you can pick from a diverse range, on all budgets. The Magnifica line has a few great machines, with the low end range priced somewhere between 500$ and 700$. The ECAM22110sb and ESAM3300 are many times compared because they are very close price wise, and they belong in that low end range. The purpose of this post is to show you the differences between the two and help you choose yours.

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How To Brew French Press [Infographic]

French Press Brewing

  • Measure a heaping tablespoon (8 grams) of coffee beans for every 7 oz, (200 ml), of water.
  • Grind the coffee coarsely, (a little coarser than drip).
  • Dump the ground coffee in the French press, (cafetière).
  • Pour hot water, (not quite boiling), over the grounds, and stir vigorously, to make sure all coffee is wet.
  • Press the plunger to the water level, and let it steep for 3 to 5 minutes. Finer grind less steeping.
  • After the 5 minutes, push the plunger slowly, all the way down. Press steady, and don’t try to rush it up.
  • Pour the coffee in cups and wash the pot.

For a detailed step by step tutorial, with in depth details visit our page about French Press.

5 Best Espresso Cups – 5 Demitasse Cups

Choosing the best espresso cup is not as easy as one might think. Yes, we know, you can probably drink your shot from any small cup. Espresso though, is more than downing a strong coffee to get you started in the morning. It’s a ritual, and it is as much about the experience as it is about the taste and the jolt of energy you get. I personally think my shot tastes better when I drink it from a nice cup. Even if it’s a disposable cup, it has to be pretty and functional.

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Smokey Barn – Coffee Roaster Profile

Specialty coffees, while not a new trend, are starting to become more and more popular. Coffee lovers nowadays prefer to order their beans online, from trusted sources, or satisfy their coffee needs through high-end coffee retailers rather than buying supermarket generic or brand-name beans that oftentimes fail to deliver on their so-called quality guarantees.
Browsing the internet for non-generic specialty coffee beans is nothing but plain sailing. Many coffee roasters popped up recently, from various young entrepreneurs, or mom-and-pop shops, to just individuals who are passionate about great coffee. The common denominator for these coffee shops is quality roasted coffee and uncomplicated web based transactions.

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Espresso vs Nespresso vs illy iperEspresso – Capsule Espresso Machines vs Semiautomatics

Espresso vs Nespresso

You are on the quest to getting the best shot of espresso, and naturally, you need to compare Espresso vs Nespresso. Even the most fervent Nespresso enemies have tasted it, just to have an idea. Whether they like it or not, Nespresso is here to stay, and it will serve millions of happy customers. The question is “Is it good enough for you?” Let’s try to answer this question together.
I know you want to buy an espresso machine right now, whether it is a regular semiautomatic, or a capsule based one.

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Coffee Roasters Profile – Strangers Coffee in Norfolk – UK

Today we are exploring a European coffee roaster. I came across Strangers coffee roasters during my research for some Africans coffee beans. Someone suggested Strangers Coffee as a source of some great beans. I thought I’d give them a try; my friend offered to carry the beans across the ocean for me. Living in North America makes the logistics a little complicated, but it was well worth. I loved their beans, in fact I liked them so much, I wanted to showcase them on Coffee Brewing Methods.

A Little about Them

Strangers Coffee Roasters - Kilimbi RwandaFounded in 2009 by Alex Sergeant and Samuel Maddocks, Strangers Coffee Roasters has been dedicated to the craft of coffee brewing for over 7 years now.  

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