Making a great espresso December 23, 2014 10:21

Key basic steps in making a great coffee:

  • Clean machine
  • Correct grind
  • The dose/extraction
  • The tamping
  • The milk


Clean machine tips

  • Group head and steam wand should be purged with water after every coffee extraction.
  • The machine should be cleaned at the end of every day with a professional cleaner (ie, EVO machine cleaner). This ensures that pipes don’t get a build up of old coffee grinds.

Correct grind:

  • Grind testing should be done with each new bag of coffee beans added. Make sure all previous coffee beans and ground coffee have been emptied from the grinder before testing a new bag.
  • For maxiumum freshness do not leave coffee beans in hopper overnight, or the ground coffee in the dosage area of grinder.
  • The grind should be fine for an espresso, cappuccino or latte. Test by extracting coffee to see if flow is correct. Adjust grinder blades one notch at a time and keep testing until you are happy with the extraction.
  • (Note: Only turn the collar one notch at a time.)

The dose/extraction

  • A single dose is around 7-10g of coffee. Extraction should start after 5 seconds and pour a 30ml dose in 25 seconds. If the coffee is too fine, the extraction doesn’t begin after 5 seconds and, when it does extract, it drips coffee. Adjust grind anti-clockwise to make grind a little more coarse and test again.
  • If the coffee extracts too quickly, ie, 30ml in 15 seconds, then the grind is too coarse. Adjust grinder clockwise to make grind finer and test again.
  • "The italians call the coffee as it is extracting the tail of the mouse". Coffee extraction should have a nice golden crema on top.

Extraction times:

  • Your machine can be pre-set. Correct traditionally used timing is:
  • Single shot is 30ml in 25 seconds with double group handle and 2 cups;
  • Double shot is 60ml in 25 seconds with double group handle and one cup.

Cups should be warm.

The tamping

  • When group handle is full, remove excess with your little finger. Knock group handle with tamp if looking uneven in basket.
  • Lightly tamp to settle coffee grinds evenly, then tamp with a small amount of pressure until smooth.
  • You can test if pressure is correct by turning your group hand upside down. Coffee should remain in basket.

The milk

  • Always use cold milk.
  • Do not reheat old milk.
  • Foam and froth are out ... liquid silk is what you are aiming to achieve.
  • Use a temperature guage until you are experienced. Place tip of steam wand just under the top of the milk. Noise should be a hissing sound, not screaming. When the temperature reaches around 40°C, raise the jug so wand is deeper into the milk until temperature reaches 65°C. Turn steam off, wipe wand and purge wand.
  • Tap milk jug on table and slightly swirl until the top looks like soft silky foam. Then pour milk into your espresso shot.

Happy coffee making from the family of Oomph!