How to Pull an Espresso Shot

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I’ve been drinking coffee for 23 years now.  I love it.  Black & Strong.  I am also a coffee roaster (small time) roasting about 8 lbs of coffee each week.  In today’s blog post I want to briefly talk about the ART of Pulling an Espresso shot (please note, it’s espresso, not expresso – please pronounce it properly).  Pulling a shot is extremely important if you want to have a great espresso or latte/cappuccino.  It is a detailed process.

Several years ago (2009 maybe) Starbucks closed all their stores several hours early one evening just to teach their staff the Art of Pulling an Espresso Shot.  The espresso is the base of all other coffee drinks and Starbucks wants to get it right EVERY-TIME.  At home I have a simple Breville Cafe-Roma Espresso maker.  I believe this is a very capable machine for producing good espresso.  When looking for an espresso maker for the home please consider these items:  15-bar Thermoblock Pump, not steam; simple design; entry level – $220 (anything less will mean future frustration).

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With my setup at the house I use a Rancillo coffee grinder to get the best possible grind for home use.  Again, it cost a little more but I believe that with many things, you get what you pay for.

Okay, here’s the process:

  1. Start with good coffee beans
  2. Grind the beans fresh and fine
  3. Tamp & Tap
  4. Brew for 20-30 seconds
  5. Enjoy

Here is a short video on how to pull a shot:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hmjqf4vlhDQ

Have a great day and go enjoy an espresso.

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