How to Make Espresso Like A Barista [13 Easy Steps]

Do you want to make espresso? Every espresso lover wants to make their shot by themselves. I think you also can make your espresso. 

Can’t you?

I’ll show you how to make espresso. It’s a pretty simple process. You can make it easily. Let’s make it.

Making espresso is one kind of art. Everyone cannot get this art. One who loves espresso and has affection for it; only they can make it perfect.

Perfect espresso means; it will be perfect in all areas like aroma, test, color, consistent layer of the specific brown foam, the dark extracted liquid through the end, etc.

Making the perfect espresso at home is a complex process. Do you think is it complicated?

It’s a combination of your coffee bean quality, your espresso machine quality, and your barista skills. Bean’s quality will surprisingly affect your espresso. The coffee powder and the essential thing is an espresso machine which can make or break your shot.

Here are some of the best budget espresso machine which I recommend for making the perfect espresso.

How to Make Espresso Shots

The whole process of making espresso can be divided into individual steps:

Step-1: Choosing Beans

Beans are the most important element to make the best espresso. You have to choose it carefully. Here We’ll help you.

Espresso Beans

Step-2: Roast Selection

You can choose any roast level for your espresso. The roast level is not essential. It depends on your test habits.

What types of espresso do you like most?

If you like to drink strong espresso, you can choose a single-origin bean that’s not roasted very dark, or if you want to make the espresso into a latte or cappuccino, you have to choose dark roasted coffee beans.

Step-3: Buying Beans

You can buy your beans from online or a store. You have to know when the beans were roasted. If the beans are roasted within the last day or two, it might be still releasing carbon-di-oxide. Fresh beans roasted 5 to 12 days earlier. So when purchasing your beans, check the label on the bag to find the roast date.

Do you check yours?

If you want to buy the best beans for espresso we can help you. We have reviewed some top quality coffee beans in the market. It will help you to choose the best pack.

Step-4: Grinding Beans

Grinding Beans

This is one of the essential parts to making espresso. You should have total control to grind your coffee beans, which has direct effects on your flavor. If you ground your beans too fine, your espresso will test a burnt or ‘ashy’ flavor, and it could make the espresso bitter. If they’re too coarse, the water will run through them too quickly without extracting all the flavor and oils in the coffee.

You need a high-quality grinder to grind your coffee beans. Burr grinder will be perfect for grinding, but a cheap metal blade is not right. Grind 7 grams of espresso for 30mls single-shot. For making a double shot grind 14 grams of beans.

Do you have a high-quality grinder? Here are some best grinder for french press coffee we have reviewed, you can check that.

Step-5: Preparing the Machine

Turn on your espresso machine about 20 to 30 minutes before to heat up the machine. Pour the water tank with water and connect it to the machine. Ensure that the portafilter is in the machine. Pull a blank shot to ensure that all are things going alright.

Every machine is different; you have to know how to use the machine from the user manual.

Don’t you know how to use an espresso machine? No problem, you can learn better from our expert guide.

Step-6: Fill the Water Reservoir Tank

Connect your machine to a water source. You need to fill your water reservoir with fresh, clean, filtered water. Try to avoid using tap water, because it contains minerals. Water is directly affected by your espresso. So try to use pure water.

Then heat the water between 197 to 204 degrees Fahrenheit. It is essential because adequately heated water can extract all of the flavor compounds of the espresso.

Step-7: Preparing the Portafilter

Remove the portafilter from the machine. Then use a clean tea towel to wipe the inside clean. You have to make sure that there are no moisture or old coffee grounds in your portafilter.

For beginners to dosing, you should set the portafilter on a digital scale. If you have already known how much espresso to use, then you can skip weighing out the espresso.

Step-8: Dosing the Espresso

For making a single shot, place about 7 grams of ground espresso into your dry portafilter. Place about 18 grams of ground espresso into your portafilter for making a double shot.

Put the portafilter on your preset digital scale to ensure you’re doing an accurate amount. Now, level the ground, using your forefinger and fill in any air pockets.

If you need a digital coffee scale to measure the correct amount of coffee ground, you can check our review. 

Step-9: Tamping the Espresso

Tamping the Espresso

Tamping will ensure that the water passes through the espresso evenly. You should use a tamper to compact your coffee into your portafilter. Set your portafilter on a smooth surface and grip the handle of tamping then turn your arm at a 90-degree angle and push down gently.

Many experts think “about 15 kg body weight is ideal”. And they also use a trick that if you feel the coffee “push back” your temp is OK.

What do you think?

Your portafilter should be about fourth-fifth full after tamping. Then if you overturn your portafilter after tamping, the coffee grounds should stay put.

After tamping the espresso, you should not knock on the outside of the portafilter. It will create small creaks in your espresso puck that can prevent good flavour.

Step-10: Purging the Espresso

Flush a blank shot by running some water through it before making your espresso. It will rinse any old coffee grounds or oils off. After tamping your espresso inserts the portafilter as soon as possible.

Step-11: Start Brewing the Espresso

Place your warmed espresso cup or shot glass underneath the portafilter and turn your machine on to start the shot. You should also start a timer. If you don’t have a timer on your machine then start the brewing process and watch for visual cues.

It will take several seconds before the espresso begins to drip into the cup, and then develop into a gentle, even stream. When it starts dripping, it looks creamy and thick. 

Step-12: Stop the Brewing process

When you are brewing a single shot, you have to stop the shot after it brewed for around 20 seconds. If you are brewing a double shot, you have to let it go for 25 to 30 seconds. The best ratio for brewing espresso is “30mls in 30 seconds”.

That’s not all.

Step-13: Cleaning the Machine

After brewing espresso, you should clean up your espresso machine. Remove your portafilter, and you have to clean up all the puck of moist espresso grounds. Use a dry cloth to wipe the inside clean. To purge the brew-head, you should run water through it for a few seconds. After some moments return the portafilter to the brew head.

You can read more details about How to Clean Espresso Machine.

In Final: Serving Your Espresso

Serving is a beautiful art that is increasing your espresso experience and your test.

Before taking your espresso, drink some water. It will wipe your previous test memories, and also help your stomach. 

You can add some sugar; take some biscotti or any type of cookies with your espresso. 

Many people drink it as it is plain, or they add some different types of flavors.

Want to make your espresso flavourful and unique? Check our expert review on Best Coffee Syrups

It’s time to serve and enjoy the espresso. “Happy Time”

What’s your secret to making espresso? 

We want to know yours. Share your tips in the comments below.


A. I. Moon

A.I. Moon, an experienced SEO Pythonista, spends his days coding and developing web applications to help business owners. A passionate coffee enthusiast, he believes that drinking coffee fuels his creativity and productivity. His day isn't complete without the rich aroma and invigorating warmth of a perfectly brewed cup. This love for coffee inspired him to found EspressoRivo, a platform dedicated to sharing his coffee knowledge and fostering a community of passionate aficionados.

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