- Espresso Product Card
How to make an ideal espresso
Espresso is the heart of many customer favorites, like cappuccino, caffe latte, caffe mocha and macchiato. And perfecting it is equal parts science and art.
Watch Major Cohen of Starbucks demonstrate the proper technique for pulling an espresso shot.
Elements of espresso
The ideal espresso is a 1- to 1-1/4-ounce shot with three identifiable parts. The crema is the caramel-colored foamy layer on top. The heart is the dark rich bottom, and the body is the ligher-colored section in the middle.
A few pointers for your staff:
Coffee for espresso must be evenly and finely ground, although not so fine that it's sandy or powdery. If the pull time on the shot—ideally about 20 seconds—is too fast, the grind is too coarse. If the pull is too slow, the grind is too fine.
The grounds must be tamped down firmly and evenly. If they are tamped too tightly, the water can't get through and the espresso may taste burnt. If they are too loose, the espresso will be too watery. With practice and observation, you will develop a feel for this.
Manual machines take 18 to 23 seconds to pull the proper-sized shot; automatic machines run 3 to 4 seconds faster. Use a timer until you get the hang of it.
Always steam or foam milk before you pull the shot. Use fresh cold milk for every drink; don't re-steam milk. Steam milk to a temperature between 150°F and 170°F. Heating milk beyond that point can produce a burnt taste.