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Espresso - Coffee Brewing Guide

Espresso is one of the most difficult brewing methods to master. For home brewing, we humbly offer up a few suggestions to help improve the flavour of your drinks.


Step 1 - Grind your coffee fresh

All the lovely fresh and floral aromas of coffee disappear within minutes of being ground, and disappear from your brew as well. The smell of freshly ground coffee is universally appealing - if you’re quick enough, you can catch it in your cup. 

Step 2 - Keep it simple

A simple tip. Espresso is delicate and the flavour can be tainted by dirty equipment. Clean your espresso machine regularly and it will reward you with delicious, vibrant espresso.

Step 3 - Watch your extraction

Like tea, it’s possible to extract too much from coffee. While there are many variations, from the short ristretto (15ml) all the way up to the lungo (60ml), espresso will generally taste best when it’s extracted in around 30 seconds, yielding a volume of 30-40ml.

Step 4 - Play with your dose

Adjusting the ratio of ground coffee to finished beverage weight will significantly change the flavour of espresso. A higher ratio will give you a heavier-bodied coffee but it might be more sour; a lower ratio will draw more flavour from the coffee but it may taste astringent. 

Step 5 - Make adjustments

The size of your ground coffee particles can help you either lengthen or shorten your extraction time. Finer particles will lengthen the brew time, and coarser particles will shorten the brew time. Generally a brew time of 30 seconds will taste good for most coffees.

Step 6 - Read up!

There are lots of helpful books and websites out there about espresso. Scott Rao’s Professional Barista Handbook is a great start. also has some useful information.

A Few Tips

+ If you need a hand, please don’t hesitate to email us or come in for a chat.

+ Most importantly, enjoy the routine of preparing espresso and you’ll enjoy the cup, too. Good luck & have fun! 


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