Pulling the Best Espresso

Jammie McClure

Many coffee lovers visit their favorite coffee shop for the sheer pleasure of watching a talented barista pull a shot. Consistency is the name of the game for the talented barista. Every shot pulled should be as good as the last one. In order for this to occur there are some tips that every barista knows for pulling the best espresso shot. First, a single shot and a double shot should both pull in twenty to twenty-five seconds. The differentiation in the two shots is in the amount of water and coffee not the amount of time in the pull. Seven grams of coffee and one and one half ounces of water are used for a single shot while fourteen grams of coffee and two and a half ounces of water make a double shot. If inconsistency is a problem it is usually traceable back to the speed of the pull. This can be adjusted by altering the pressure on the tamp or changing the grind of the coffee. If more pressure is added to the tamp the pull will be slower. The perfect tamp pressure is approximately thirty pounds. The grind consistency will also play a large role in how slow or fast the espresso pulls.

The first sign of a good espresso pull is the crema. The crema is the heart of the espresso and what makes it an espresso and gives it its taste. If there is no crema then the espresso has not been pulled properly. The problem most likely lies in the coffee grind. The coffee grind must be fine enough to insure and excellent pull with a superior crema. A burr grinder is the best choice for grinding beans to use in making espresso. The burr grinder creates a perfectly consistent grind without overheating the beans in the process. This is a grind that is fine enough to create a crema on the perfect espresso. Finally, the amount of pressure used when pulling an espresso is important in the tamping process. The tamp of the coffee grind should be even in the basket otherwise there will not be a crema and the perfect espresso will be lost. Practice tamping the coffee with just the right amount of pressure to make a perfect disk. Practice is the only way to become a skilled barista. Eventually every espresso will be perfectly pulled with a full flavored crema any coffee lover will be happy with.

Pulling the best espresso possible is an art form that takes time to master. The most skillful barista has spent endless hours honing the skill of pulling of the perfect espresso. The barista knows the amount of pressure to use on the grinds, how long to pull the coffee and what the perfect grind of the coffee should be before pulling the shot.

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