Espresso based coffee is still our favorite and we reckon the best espresso is made with our Espresso blend or Hawthorne blend. Keep your beans fresh by buying them in small quantities, and storing them in an airtight container somewhere cool, dry and dark. Don’t refrigerate or freeze them. Ever. As soon as coffee beans are ground, they begin to lose their aroma and flavour, so for best results we recommend investing in a decent burr-type grinder and grinding just before use. If this isn’t an option, just tell us what type of machine you’re using when you order and we’ll make sure your beans are ground appropriately.
The Perfect Shot
- Turn your machine on and allow it to heat up. This can take up to half an hour for some machines, so be patient - brew temperature is everything. It’s a good idea to replace the water in the tank before use to avoid running old, stale water through your lovely machine. Leave the handle locked into place in the grouphead while the machine is heating, and place your cup(s) ontop of the machine to warm.
- When the machine has heated, remove the handle from it’s place, and check that it’s clean and dry. If it’s dirty, rinse it under the grouphead and dry.
- Dose your coffee into the handle - usually about 19 grams depending on the handle's basket size. Barista scales are a great way to get consistency here. Evenly distribute the coffee by tapping the side of the handle with the palm of your hand.
- Resting the handle on a hard surface (but still holding), tamp down the coffee with an even, firm pressure. Your coffee should be packed into the basket flatly and evenly, as an uneven tamp can create problems during extraction.
- Flush the grouphead for 3 or 4 seconds. This removes old coffee residue from the screen, and ensures your coffee is brewed with fresh water.
- Insert the handle into the grouphead, locking into position with the handle pointing directly outwards. Begin your extraction, paying careful attention to the shot as it pours. Depending on the coffee you are using, a perfect shot will pour about 30ml of coffee over about 28 seconds, beginning slow, dark and syrupy and finishing steady and lighter in colour.
- When the extraction has finished, remove the handle and remove the coffee by knocking it into a dumpbox. Flush the grouphead again, rinsing the handle underneath to clean. Lock back into position, and get ready to make some silky milk!
- Pour cold milk into your stainless steel jug, stopping where the pouring spout of the jug begins. For best results, use full-fat milk straight from the fridge.
- With the steam wand pointing in toward the machine’s drip tray, turn it on for 3 seconds to purge.
- Position the wand in the jug, submerging the tip roughly 1cm below the surface of the milk. Aim to have the top of the jug flat - ie. do not ‘tip’ the jug.
- With one hand holding the jug handle and the other on the steam knob, crank it on fully. Lower the jug, revealing more of the wand to allow air to enter. The ‘tsch tsch’ sound you will hear is the sound of froth being made, and is infinitely preferable to the scream you may otherwise hear.
- You will notice the volume of milk grows as froth is produced. Try to let the air in early, so that the later steaming stage can be used to ‘smooth out’ the mixture, giving you a much silkier texture.
- With your free hand, feel the jug temperature by placing your palm at the side of the jug. When it is too hot to touch, remove your hand, count to 4, and turn the steam crank off.
- Purge the steam wand and wipe with a wet cloth immediately.
- Groom your milk by giving it a light tap or two on a hard surface, and swirling to smooth. If necessary, use a spoon to remove excess froth. Swirl again, and pour slowly into your espresso shot.