Many coffee lovers underestimate the importance of knowing when to start timing espresso shots. But although this is understandable, the timing involved is a big part of making a high-quality shot of espresso. In fact, timing is something that can ruin your espresso or turn it into a treat worth working for. Read on to find out the techniques and timing involved in the ideal espresso.
What is an Espresso?
An espresso is a rich-flavored and concentrated form of coffee. It is usually served in ‘shots’ in cafes. It is made by the process called “pulling a shot,” which basically means putting much pressure in hot water through the finely-ground coffee beans.
Espresso has its reddish-brown layer that forms at the very top. This flavorful layer is what we call “crema.” Crema adds richness and alluring aroma to the espresso. Usually, you can recognize a skilled coffee maker or “barista” by just the presence of the crema.
Qualities of a Perfect Espresso
Typically, high-quality espresso takes anywhere from 25-40 seconds to brew. The time of producing an espresso does really matter, because it might alter the quality of a perfect shot
Quickly-made espressos usually have a lighter appearance and higher acidity. On the other hand, slowly-brewed shots generally have more body and a sweeter aroma. An espresso is thin and acidic if the time is too fast. Comparatively, an espresso can either be bitter or bland when the timing is so long.
When to start timing espresso shot?
Ideally, 18 seconds is the perfect start time for the espresso shot, but, it depends on the coffee and when it starts to blond. Stop the shot when the espresso turns watery and lighter. Remember that timings are not rules but guides. If the espresso turns watery in under 20 seconds, make a finer grind.
Grind a bit coarser if the shot blondes at over 30 seconds. You have to be specific about coffee dose and shot volume.
A barista can make espresso with a beautiful crema on top, but it does basically telling us that there is no liquid through it.
What You Should Measure When Making Espresso
Espressos can be made at home. In fact, you can make a perfect espresso on your own as long as you have coffee beans and an espresso machine. Baristas from famous cafes check these measurements before brewing their best shots of espresso.
Refers to the weight or amount of dry coffee that you will use. It is usually measured in grams. For double espresso, an amount of between 14 to 24 grams of dry coffee should be applied. The perfect dose of dry coffee was figured out after ten years of attempting to produce a perfect shot of espresso.
When making espresso, measuring the dose should be the first step. In determining how many grams you should use, it’s critical to take note of the basket’s size.
For darker roasts, use a larger dose of 20-21 grams in a 20g basket. If you’re looking to brew a lighter shot, use 10-12 grams in a 20g basket.
Refers to the amount of coffee in your cup. Yield is measured by grams (g), but before, it was measured in milliliters (ml). Baristas found it more accurate in measuring yield by grams because the volume is not dependent on the roast’s freshness when it is measured in ml. Yield is equated to dose. For instance, 1:2, this means that for every 20 g of dose, you have a 40 g yield. You want to make your espresso weaker, use more water to dilute the dose. On the other hand, if you want a strong espresso, use less water. Ratio 1:2 is widely adopted. This ratio creates a strong yet pleasant taste. Avoid using more concentrated rations like 1:15 or 1:20. This ratio makes an unpleasant and robust espresso.
This refers to the time it takes to brew an espresso. Some brew time for a perfect espresso should be in between 20-35 seconds. Shorter brew times are ideal for darker roasts, while lighter ones need longer brewing time. Roasts are shallower or less dense, and it is easier to extract flavor from them. On the other hand, lighter roasts are denser. Hence, it requires more time to extract its flavor. Just like everything in this world, coffee has its “unique spot” in terms of brew time. The barista has to execute his expertise and techniques in making the best espresso. It is easier to find the brew time when the coffee starts to taste bland and bitter. Then, come back to the pleasant last brew time.
Well, obviously, this refers to the temperature of the brewing water. The coffee’s temperature is also something that you need to consider when making a perfect espresso shot. Extraction is quite more accessible and faster when the temperature is high. In extracting light roast, increasing the brew water’s temperature is wiser and efficient. An increase in temperature will extract more at the start of the brew and in the overall extraction time.
Refers to the pressure used to brew espresso is different during different stages of the brew. Pressure profiling, a specific espresso machine such as Modbar or Slayer, is needed. For lighter roasts, it is wise to use lower pressure, in the beginning, to avoid extracting acidic espresso. By decreasing the channeling utilizing lower pressure, a higher extraction is bound to happen.
For an even extraction. Even extraction refers that the brewing water runs through the coffee puck evenly. Making it flavorful compared to others.
In making an excellent espresso shot requires skill and technique. But it does not mean that we can’t make one. Of course, we can! Start learning when to start timing espresso shots as soon as possible. After that, you can enjoy a shot of espresso without spending more money on cafes. Pull an espresso now! Learn more about espresso shots.