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How to Brew Espresso at Home

Updated on November 24, 2007

Do you enjoy a cup of hot, rich espresso from time to time? Many people save espresso coffee for special occasions, mistakenly believing that it's too time consuming and difficult to make this delicious beverage at home.

You don't have to reserve your enjoyment of espresso for visits to finer restaurants. You can make terrific espresso at home with the right tools and coffee beans. If you love espresso, it's well worth adding the right type of coffee grinder and an espresso machine to your supply of small kitchen appliances.

Grinding Coffee Beans for Espresso

The first and most important part of brewing a delicious cup of espresso is grinding the beans properly. Coffee beans prepared for standard drip coffee will not work for brewing espresso. To make espresso properly, you must grind coffee beans to a very fine consistency. When espresso beans are prepared properly, their consistency resembles that of powdered sugar.

To get the results needed to make espresso, it's important to start with a burr coffee grinder. Alternately, you can use a multi-purpose grinder that has adjustable settings allowing you to prepare beans for different types of brewing purposes. If you have a standard blade grinder, although it works perfectly for preparing coffee beans for drip coffee, it won't be able to grind the beans to a fine enough consistency to brew espresso.

Of course, the freshness and quality of the beans you choose to make your espresso will have an impact on the taste of the finished product. If you want to enjoy the best possible espresso, be sure that you choose only the freshest and best quality coffee beans.

Brewing Process

Espresso is brewed by a process of quickly passing water that is boiling through very tightly packed ground coffee that has been very finely ground. Espresso is brewed for a much shorter time than is standard drip coffee. It's very important to use an espresso maker rather than a standard coffee pot.

Espresso machines force the boiling water through the coffee beans using pressure, which results in the foamy topping (crema) that forms on the top of the beverage. The result is the strong, rich flavor and aroma topped enjoyed by espresso lovers around the world.

When you use the right equipment, it's really easy to make espresso in your own kitchen. When you have your own espresso machine, instead of waiting for special occasions, you can enjoy the flavor and aroma of fresh espresso as often as you want!


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  • profile image

    lawmarm 7 years ago

    how long do I let the espresso "brew"? I have an Italian espresso maker. Starbucks recommended six ounces of filtered cold water and two tablespoons of finely ground espresso beans, tamped down. Then I put the pot of the stove, but when do I remove it once the water is clearly boiling?

  • MrMarmalade profile image

    MrMarmalade 10 years ago from Sydney

    thank you very good advice.

    Keep on doing it. I like your attention to the detail.