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How to Measure & Tamp to Make Espresso

Learn about measuring and tamping when you make espresso from the experts at Third Rail Coffee in this Howcast video.


My name is Mike Jones, and I'm a barista at Third Rail Coffee right by Washington Square Park in New York City. I'm going to teach you some basic coffee-making skills.

So not what we've ground into the basket and dosed it out, you want to make sure it's the same weight that you have dialed into. One way you can do this is by having a scale and then you tear out, which is just to get a zero on the scale with the portafilter itself. Or you can remove the basket and have it on there.

So for this purpose, I'm doing 18 grams of coffee. I would have to have the basket on there. Done the dosing and grinding that I just showed you and then put it back on the scale to make sure it's at the weight that we want.

If you've measured the correct amount of coffee, the final step is tamping. Now this is a lot simpler than some people make it out to be, in that you want to be consistent every time that you're doing it.

I just like to do one tamp that way and then a slightly harder tamp that way, and then a small polish at the end. You really don't need to get too fancy with it. Again, you have to do the same thing every time to get the same result.

That's how you measure and tamp.

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