Preparation guide

Ai întrebări legate de preparare?

Getting a real espresso is not easy. You need freshly roasted coffee, ground with a good grinder, a quality espresso machine, a suitable tamper, patience, skill and interest. When all the requirements are met you will get good and very good results constantly, but from time to time, that magnificent espresso will come in your way - a rare, delicate and timid creature. Time stops when you taste it and you are ecstatic to the last drop... satisfaction is supreme, all your efforts and frustrations being rewarded. You know at that moment that you will follow him constantly... In the world of coffee you are in a select and privileged group. You're an espresso hunter.

  • Ground coffee in the filter basket (dose): 20g (double espresso)

  • Final coffee quantity in the cup: 44-50g, means a preparation ratio of 1:2.2 - 1:2.5

  • Grind size: fine (2)

  • Temperatura apei:  93 ° C  (plajă de explorat 92° C  - 94° C)

  • Timp total preparare: 23 - 28 secunde

  • Pump pressure setting: 8 to 9 bar


  1. Preheat the cups.

  2. Precisely weigh the coffee beans and put them in the grinder. This step is only necessary if you feed the grinder every time you prepare espresso (called single dose grinding). For continuous flow preparation, dosing is done electronically or mechanically (in case of grinders with a dispenser).

  3. If you have used the appliance for the last 5 minutes: purge the group for 3 seconds.
    If you have not used the appliance in the last 10-15 minutes: purge the group for 5 seconds.

    The role of this purge is to:
    A) heat the group unit, in case of appliances with one or two boilers (SB, SBDU, DB);
    B) remove overheated water (approximately 97 ° C) from the pipe of a heat exchanger (HX). In the latter case, the preparation must take place approximately 30-40 seconds after purging, during which time the water will reach the extraction temperature (93-94 ° C). As a guideline, each second of purging will reduce the temperature of the water used for extraction by one degree Celsius.

  4. Remove the portafilter and wipe the inner basket with a dry towel.

  5. While grinding the coffee, try to distribute it as well as possible in the filter basket, rotating it to the left and to the right.

  6. Gently hit the portafilter on the work surface, once or twice, and then with your palm to the side. The coffee should fill the basket evenly, up to the upper lip.

    The first procedure aims to eliminate the air gaps while the second one aims for a horizontal uniform distribution of the coffee grounds. There are countless techniques for distributing coffee in a basket, more or less complicated, which use fingers / palms or other tools specially developed for this purpose, but which are not covered by this preparation guide. A distribution method in which you do not touch the coffee by hand is better suited for a public service (like coffee shops).

  7. Press the coffee with the tamper using 10 to 15 kilograms of force (kgf), so that the coffee grounds bed is compacted at the same horizontal level in the basket.

    It is important to use a constant pressing force from one preparation to another. 15 kgf is a reference in the field, used only as a starting point, in practice being the upper limit. You can check the amount of pressure by pressing with your fist against bathroom weight scale set on a tabletop. After tamping, treat the portafilter carefully to avoid cracking the coffee bed.

  8. Tighten the portafilter to the group and start the extraction. The coffee thread should have the shape of a long mouse tail, and the volume of the thread should increase progressively.

  9. Stop the extraction so as to reach the desired final quantity in the cups, or cup in case of a double espresso.

  10. Wait for its temperature to drop below 60 ° C and enjoy. The taste buds, along with the smell, should detect a harmonious balance of tastes and flavors. If you are not fully satisfied with the result, change one parameter at a time and start over ...

Espresso parameter adjustment guide

  • Start the grinder adjustments using 20g of coffee in the double sized basket so that you get 50g in 45 seconds total extraction time (preinfusion included). This is the finest setting you will use on the grinder, being suitable for coffees with a lower degree of roasting and/or with a high degree of acidity.

  • Repeat the procedure described above so that you get 50g in 27 seconds of total extraction time. Thus you will have a reference of the coarsest setting of the grinder, suitable for more intensely roasted coffees, less acidic but also having fewer flavors.

  • For most coffees you should be able to find a level of grinding / brewing in the range between the two extremes.

  • If the balance between sweetness and acidity is good but the flavors are not to your taste, you will have to change the coffee used for extraction.

  • If you do like the flavors but the tastes are unbalanced, you can fix the defects by adjusting the grind setting and the preparation ration (while keeping the flow rate and the coffee dose used):

  • You can change the ratio of acidity / sweetness / intensity, at the same dose and grind setting, by changing the preparation ratio and/or the water temperature. A lower extraction ratio and/or a higher temperature improves the body, reduces acidity and increases intensity. Vice versa, if you want to get a less intense, more aromatic and acidic coffee, increase the brewing ratio and/or lower the water temperature.

  • Adjust the grinder setting using micro steps (just one small adjustment at a time).

  • Taste, adjust and don't give up ...


The method of preparation, quantities, times and temperatures given are indicative - not absolute - and reflect our taste. We encourage you to experiment by changing one parameter at a time, allowing for easy understanding on how to achieve the results you desire.

The grind setting is expressed numerically on a scale from 1 to 10, where 1 is very fine (ibrik setting) and 10 is very coarse (French Press). This number scale corresponds to the Mahlkönig VTA 6ST professional grinder.

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