Brewing great espresso may take a little practice to master, and will definitely take some experimentation, which is all part of the fun. Grind, weight and time are key factors when brewing espresso, and most likely you’ll have to adjust one or more of these elements several times to get your shot dialed in. We recommend using about 19 to 21 grams (about 3 Tablespoons) depending on your basket, coffee and how many days the coffee is off the roast. We use Hair Bender for our espresso in all of our cafes. We also have big love for La Marzocco espresso machines and have been using them since day one – they are super solid, well-built, temperature stable workhorses and they pull amazing shots of espresso. The La Marzocco Linea Mini is what we’re using here.
Grind and dose coffee
Remove the portafilter. Wipe it clean and dry out the basket. Zero out the scale and grind about 19.5g of coffee to the consistency of confectioner’s sugar directly into the portafilter. Tap it once or twice to settle it and distribute the coffee evenly with your finger. Tamp the portafilter until it feels like the coffee is pushing back. Make sure your coffee bed is level.
Prep the machine
Purge water through the grouphead to make sure everything is hot, then lock the portafilter into place.
Pull a shot
Engage the grouphead and start the timer. Place a cup under portafilter and watch the espresso for a steady stream that should look like little mouse tails. The entire extraction should take about 23-28 seconds to brew about 1.5 ounces of espresso. If it takes too much longer or is pulling too slowly, try a coarser grind. If it brews too quickly, try a finer grind.
Serve and enjoy