So you’ve dosed, distributed and tamped your coffee – now for the extraction, where you’ll put it all to the test.
The following are some suggested parameters to measure your extraction based on what we recommend for our flagship blend Veloce:
- The shot should start to run 7 seconds from hitting go. Beginning with beads of espresso that becomes a stream and drops straight from the spouts into the cup, until the end of the extraction. The shot should pour evenly from both portafilter spouts.
- The stream of espresso should start as a dark brown. As it continues to run the stream should thicken and become caramel in colour. When the stream runs wider, becomes thin and transparent it is a sign the extraction is ready to be shut off, as there are no more desirable solubles to extract.
- 25 – 30 seconds in the length.
- 30g of liquid should be produced, you can weigh this out on a zeroed scale.
- Crema should be intact and show symmetry from the spouts, viscous and even in colour.
Every coffee and machine has different characteristics, these are suggestions to work toward understanding what works best for your particular blend, equipment and personal tastes. The extraction should be balanced in sweetness, acidity, body and have a pleasant aftertaste. If the shot extracted tastes intense, tart and overly syrupy it may be that not enough water has passed through the grinds. Conversely, if too much water passes through the grinds the extraction may result in a diluted coffee with a bitter aftertaste. This is because the extraction has been increased, dissolving undesirable components.
To enhance your understanding of how to change your method and achieve the best tasting extraction, keep a table of your blend, grind, length and yield of shot and assess the results. Alter one at a time and try to fine tune on this basis or follow the recipe as outlined by the roaster of the coffee.
See PDF table here
Trial your extraction recipe, start by changing the dose by 1 gram as a start and review the changes from here.
It is important to remember, making espresso is not something you will master overnight – measurement, practice and enhancing your knowledge of cause and effect all culminate to build your skill and confidence in this complex mixture of art and science.