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How to Make the Perfect Espresso at Home.

Espresso making is both a science and art that requires experimentation and creativity to achieve the perfect cup at home. Although every espress-ionado will have their own secret methods for the perfect coffee, we've made it easy for you with some simple homemade tips. From choosing a nice coffee bean to grinding it just right, every step requires both precision and space for your own artistic flair.
Photo credit: Starbucks.
1. The Coffee
A good cup of coffee, whether it is an espresso, drip, press or sweeter concoction, always starts with a fresh coffee roast. Everybody has their own preferences and it will take some experimentation. Just look for a coffee bean with a dark roast as these tend to be more complex, deep chocolatey flavors. Darker roasts are the signature of espressos. However, if you prefer fruity and floral espresso aromas, by all means choose a lighter roast.

2. The Extraction and Grind
Once you've found your ideal coffee bean, it's time to grind them to perfection. Fine grinding is one of the most important and signature aspects of an espresso. In sum, it allows for a fuller flavor and aroma. The standard extraction time is 30 seconds of water flowing per cup. Too much will weaken a coffee and too little will give your espresso little room to sing.

However, this extraction timing has everything to do with the grind. A finer grind of coffee will need a shorter water extraction time. We recommend using a burr grinder when making your fine espresso powder, as this tends to allow for a much more even grind that won't heat and overcook your coffee before it has even met the machine.
Gong Yoo for Maxim Kanu.
 3. The Dose
The dose and recipe depends entirely on your machine setup, grind consistency and water temperature. Nevertheless, getting the proper dose of coffee should align more or less with the traditional Italian method of a 30ml double espresso which is made from a 14g dose of ground coffee. You can up the dosage to 18g or even as far as your machine basket will allow. Experiment and record your results for the perfect cup every time.

4. The Machine and Equipment
For the uninitiated, The Coffee Maven's guide to espresso machines outlines the pros and cons of each variety of machine. Stove-top machines like mochas can be a quick solution for strong cups of coffee, but they can't get the depths of an espresso machine. If you're using stove-top pots, be sure to use filtered water and freshly ground coffee, and be doubly sure to clean your pot well. Likewise, if you are using a press style setup, use 60g of coffee per liter of boiled water with an extraction time of 2 minutes.
Gong Yoo for Maxim Kanu.
5. Basket Care
Looking after the basket which holds your ground coffee is important. Be sure to clean them rigorously to prevent any residue from tainting your coffee or pouring unevenly. Likewise, you need to keep your ground coffee evenly contained and uniform within the basket. Always give your coffee a firm packing down to ensure an even extraction.

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