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How to Make an Espresso with an Espresso Machine

Espresso is a single shot of coffee that can be enjoyed on its own or mixed into your favorite café-style coffee drink. All you need is a bag of espresso beans, a grinder, and an espresso machine to get started on this coffee-making adventure!


  • Step 1: Grind the beans Fill the grinder with your espresso beans to the fill level. Some machines are equipped with a grinder; you can also use a separate one. Grind the beans finely, until they're the consistency of granulated sugar.
  • Step 2: Put water in the espresso machine Pour the purified water up to the fill level of the espresso machine's water chamber. Figure on one ounce of water for every shot of espresso.
  • TIP: Avoid using tap water – it can take away from the full flavor of your espresso shot.
  • Step 3: Fill your portafilter with grounds Fill the portafilter all the way to the top with the espresso grounds. Brush off any excess coffee so you have an even surface.
  • Step 4: Use the tamping tool Place the portafilter under the tamping tool and press up firmly to flatten the grounds. Brush off any excess, and press against the tamping tool again so that the coffee is tightly packed in the portafilter.
  • Step 5: Prepare for the espresso pour Place the empty espresso cup or shot glass directly underneath the spout of the espresso machine.
  • Step 6: Secure the portafilter in place Place the portafilter into its holder on the espresso machine and turn it to the right until it is secure and locked into position.
  • TIP: The amount of grounds and how tightly they're packed determine the quality of your pour. Making the perfect espresso can be a trial and error process!
  • Step 7: Begin the espresso pour Push the start button on the espresso machine. The brew process can take between 20 and 30 seconds.
  • Step 8: Check for quality Remove the cup immediately from the machine and look for the crema on top, which is a thick layer of nut-brown foam.
  • FACT: Desiderio Pavoni bought the rights to the espresso machine patent in 1905 and changed the way Italians drank coffee forever.

You Will Need

  • Espresso beans
  • Coffee grinder
  • Espresso machine
  • Purified water
  • Portafilter
  • Coffee-tamping tool
  • Espresso cup or shot glass
  • Craving for bitter coffee

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