Home Espresso Brew Guide

* Please note, all home machines and grinders work a bit differently. 


  • Espresso machine
  • Scales
  • Tamper
  • Fresh coffee beans
  • Adjustable burr grinder
  • Filtered water

Ratio: Approximately 

  • Dose (coffee in): 18g
  • Yield (coffee out): 36g
  • Extraction: 28-30 seconds

Grind: Medium Fine


1.) Preheat your espresso machine, including the portafilter (the basket attached to the handle). Some home machines can take up to half hour to warm up, so ensure you turn it on well before you’re ready to make coffee. 

2.) Once the machine is heated up, run water through your empty portafilter to wash out any old coffee. Dry the portafilter basket with a dry cloth; ensure all the basket holes are clear. Any leftover espresso grounds or moisture may create a bad taste. Always flush your group head before putting the portafilter in to rinse away any old coffee residue.

3.) Get your scales out and tare your portafilter to zero, then fill the basket with approximately 18 grams of ground coffee (this will depend on your basket size – they come in different sizes). You want to ensure that your extraction is correct and you don’t under or over dose. Consistency is key here. 

4.) Try to distribute the ground coffee evenly in the portafilter basket – often the grinds will be heaped in a mound in the basket. You want to level the grounds as flat as you can for equal distribution or else you will have uneven extraction or channelling. Watch out for cracks or air pockets.

5.) Try to tamp evenly – the point is to remove any clumps of grinds or air pockets. Try to make sure that the coffee puck is level horizontally and not on an angle – otherwise you will get uneven extraction or channelling.

Place cup on scales and zero. Once zeroed, place both the cup and scales on the drip tray and ensure the reading still reads zero. 

6.) Put the portafilter in and begin brewing right away. If you wait to begin brewing after you put the coffee in, the coffee could taste bitter as the group head heat could burn the coffee.

7.) Keep an eye on the brew time and yield. There will likely be a short delay before your coffee begins to pour. The extracted coffee will drop initially and then begin to pour in an even stream. Stop pouring the shot when the scales reach 36g which should take around 30 seconds as a ballpark figure (each bean and machine is a bit different). Throw out the coffee puck, rinse the group head and clean out the basket before putting it back in to ensure any remaining coffee residue is off.

Note: If adding milk to the espresso to make a flat white or latte, the ratio of espresso to milk will dramatically influence the strength and taste balance of the final drink. If you prefer using a smaller cup (~180ml) then you may only want to pour around 25 to 28ml of espresso as otherwise the drink may be out of balance and taste far too strong. If the cup size is around 220 to 250ml, then an espresso between 35 and 37ml will result in a balanced flavour profile. If you prefer a larger drink (mug or around 350ml) then a balanced flavour can be achieved with a longer extraction of around 45 to 47ml of espresso prior to adding the milk portion of the drink. The alternative is to add a double shot to larger milk-based drinks if you want it extra strong.