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The Espresso Rule of Thumb

Posted By: Aabree Coffee
Posted At: Nov 25, 2011 at 5:19 PM
Related Categories: Espresso Essentials

To get the best shot possible, keep the following brewing parameters in mind:

A single shot is made with 7 grams of coffee, and should yield 1 – 1.5 oz of espresso in 20 –25 seconds.

A double shot is made with 14 grams of coffee, and should yield 2 – 2.5 oz of espresso in 20 –25 seconds.

When you’re grinding your own beans for this process, it is also helpful to keep your tamp at a consistent 30 lbs of pressure (or a bit lighter if you have a pressurized style portafilter). If you’re not sure what 30 lbs of pressure feels like, we recommend “practice” tamping on your bathroom scale to get the feel of it. The reason to keep this pressure consistent is so that if your shots aren’t falling into the 20 –25 second range, you will only have one variable to change: your grind setting.

If you’re grinding your own beans and find that your:

  • shot is too slow (more than 25 seconds), adjust your grinder to a coarser setting.
  • shot is too fast (less than 20 seconds), adjust your grinder to a finer setting.
However, not everyone has a grinder. If you’re using preground coffee, your grind setting will remain consistent, so if your shots aren’t brewing between 20 and 25 seconds you’re going to change your tamp pressure instead.

If you’re using preground coffee and find that your:

  • shot is too slow (more than 25 seconds), apply less tamp pressure.
  • shot is too fast (less than 20 seconds), apply more tamp pressure.
To learn more about what goes into making that perfect shot, read our article titled “Key Ingredients in Perfect Espresso”.
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