Last Updated on November 15, 2022 by Timothy Byron Smith
If you’re tired of waiting in a queue at the local coffee shop for your daily espresso, you might want to learn how to make homemade espresso. Making espresso is no less than an art. It requires the perfect quality and quantity of ingredients and the appropriate equipment.
If you have the right knowledge to pull the perfect espresso shot, then you are halfway there. An easy to use espresso machine will allow you to make instant espresso. To help you out, we have pulled out a guide for how to use an espresso machine effectively.
How to Use an Espresso Machine for a Perfect Espresso Shot
You will find that making espresso at home will be as easy as ABC with our step-by-step guide.
Step#1: Get All of the Necessary Ingredients
To make an espresso, you need to make sure you have the following ingredients at home.
- Dark roasted espresso beans
- Filtered water
Step#2: Preheat the Espresso Machine
For your machine to pull instant espresso shots, it is highly recommended that you switch on and preheat your espresso maker. An easy trick is to simply pull a water shot without the espresso. An espresso machine ideally heats up between 20-25 minutes.
Step#3: Measure & Grind the Beans
If you have a super-automatic espresso machine with a built-in grinder then you are lucky. But if you don’t, then you would need to manually grind your espresso beans before adding them to the portafilter.
For a single shot, you should measure 8 grams of coffee beans. But since you’d want to dial the shot after the first one, we recommend you use 20 grams. Add them to the espresso grinder and make sure the beans are finely ground.
Step#4: Tamp the Grounded Beans
Add around 8 grams of ground espresso to the portafilter. Once you add the coffee, you can remove the excess with your finger so the ground coffee levels the portafilter. Next, use a steel tamper and tamp down the coffee in a straight position. This will make sure that the coffee is even.
In the end, you might want to tap the filter to get rid of any excess coffee.
Step#5: Pull the Shot
Now take the portafilter and place it in the group-head firmly. Place a cup under the filter and pull the shot. Allow the espresso to run through the filter for about 15 to 20 seconds, that is the ideal time for a single shot.
If you are new to this, we recommend using a stopwatch for the first trials. You will get a hang of it with practice.
Step#6: Dial In the Shot
Taste your first pull and determine the changes you might need to make to it. Dialing in an espresso shot means making it taste the best or according to your preference. Now if your espresso machine can tell the pressure at which the shot was pulled, that would help you assess your shot.
However, an alternative is to taste your first shot. If it is acidic, you might want to grind your coffee even finer. But if it tastes bitter, you might want to use a coarse grind the next time.
If you plan to dial in the shot, remember to empty your filter and follow steps 4 and 5 again.
Step#7: Steam the Milk
If you want to make an espresso-based drink, like a latte or a cappuccino, you would want to steam milk. The steam wand of your machine will come in handy at this point. To froth your milk, add milk in a steel jug. Heat your steam wand for a few minutes.
Then add the steam wand to your pitcher and allow the wand to froth the milk until you reach the desired consistency. Make sure the wand is dipped in just above the bottom of the jug. The best way to froth your milk would be to hold the pitcher at an angle rather than perpendicular.
Remember once your milk froth is ready, take the pitcher out and purge the wand with a moist cloth to keep it clean. If your machine does not have a steam wand, you’ll have to use a separate manual or automatic milk steamer. Therefore, you must be aware of what to look for in an espresso machine before investing in it.
Step#8: Assemble the Drink
This is the moment of magic! Add the milk froth to your brewed caffeinated drink according to your liking. Make sure to enjoy the aroma before you take your first sip.
How to Use an Espresso Machine: FAQs
How do you make espresso shots with an espresso machine?
To make an espresso shot at home using an espresso machine, first, preheat your machine. Measure and add ground coffee to the portafilter. Then tamp the coffee down carefully until the level is even. Finally, attach the portafilter to the machine’s group head and pull the shot.
Can you use regular coffee in an espresso machine?
You can use regular coffee in an espresso machine but it will not give you the perfect espresso because coffee beans are lightly roasted. It’s best for you to use dark roasted espresso beans.
can you put ground espresso in an Espresso maker?
Yes, you can put ground espresso into the portafilter of an espresso maker that will give you an instant shot.
If you think you have got the hang of pulling the perfect espresso shot, then we are sure the Italians must be happy with you. This guide has been crafted to tell you how to use espresso machines, what to use for them, and what can give you the best results.
This way you don’t have to rush to any coffee shop every time you crave an espresso. All that is left for you to do is practice till you master the art of espresso making!
Tim is the author and webmaster of this blog. He is a coffee aficionado who has always strived to succeed by simplifying the many facets of the coffee business into engaging and informative writing. In addition to helping readers discover their next brew, he intends to educate them about espresso and coffee.