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My Espresso Shots Are Running Too Fast (Or Too Slow)

Espresso Technician

In a bustling commercial environment, achieving the perfect shot of espresso is an art that requires precision and expertise. Whether you're a seasoned barista or a new café owner, dialing in your espresso machine is crucial for delivering a consistently excellent cup of coffee. We’ve put together a comprehensive guide to help you master this process in a commercial setting.

Grind Quality & Consistency

Investing in a reliable, commercial-grade grinder that ensures uniform particle size will give you a tremendous leg up in creating great espresso. Consistency in grind size is key to achieving an even extraction, resulting in a balanced and flavorful espresso. Fine-tune your grind size based on extraction time. If the shot is too fast, making it coarse will slow down the process, while a too-slow extraction may require a finer grind. Regularly check and adjust to maintain optimal extraction times.

Understanding Extraction Time & Dose Size

Espresso extraction time, which is the amount of time that your coffee and water are in contact with one another, plays a pivotal role in determining the flavor profile. Aim for a shot that takes approximately 25-30 seconds to extract. This balance ensures you capture the desired flavors without over-extracting bitter compounds from your coffee. Understanding the appropriate dose of dry coffee grounds for your portafilter and your desired liquid yield is important to achieving a balanced extraction. In most café settings, the standard ratio for a shot of espresso is 1:2. This means that you’re looking to get a yield that is double the amount of dry coffee in the portafilter, IE: 18 grams in/36 grams out. Using scales to weigh your input and output will lead to precision and consistency when pulling espresso shots.

Temperature Control

Keep a close eye on your espresso machine's temperature. Consistent brewing temperature is crucial for flavor extraction. Ensure your machine is calibrated to maintain a stable temperature throughout the brewing process. If you’re using water that is too cold, the desired soluble will not be extracted, leaving you with a sour, hollow shot. Inversely, using water that is too hot will over, extract your espresso, and may leave you with bitter compounds in the end result.

Regular Maintenance & Using Quality Water

Schedule regular maintenance for your espresso machine and grinder. Cleanliness is vital to prevent residue buildup that can affect the taste of your espresso. Following the manufacturer's guidelines for cleaning procedures will keep your espresso tasting clean and good, while using the right water will help to prevent limescale buildup and keep potentially corrosive attributes away from your equipment. Often overlooked, water quality significantly influences espresso flavor. Invest in a good water filtration system to ensure your espresso machine receives clean and balanced water, enhancing your coffee's taste.

Establish a culture of continuous improvement. Regularly monitor espresso quality, seek feedback from customers, and provide ongoing training for your barista team. This commitment to excellence ensures a consistently exceptional espresso experience.

By implementing these tips and fostering a commitment to quality, you'll elevate the taste and quality of your espresso in a commercial setting. Consistency, precision, and a passion for the craft will set your establishment apart, making it a go-to destination for coffee enthusiasts.

If you have any questions about which equipment would help you to achieve your desired espresso, please contact us. We are always happy to talk all things coffee, and we would be thrilled to help you find the perfect setup for you.

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