Espresso Brew Guide

Espresso is a thick, highly concentrated form of coffee that is brewed on an espresso machine.

It is the result of extracting ground coffee at high pressure and high temperature in a short amount of time. This process results in complex flavors being drawn from the coffee beans.

Finding that perfect balance is the goal.

Tools needed:

  • High quality home espresso machine with 9 bars pressure
  • High quality precision grinder
  • Precision tamper that neatly fits the internal diameter of your espresso machines portafilter basket
  • Tamping Mat
  • Clean rags
  • Fresh ground Bluestone Lane coffee

We recommend:

  • Maverick
  • Nicaragua Jinotega
  • Honduras (Decaf) SW

Brew recipe starting point:

  • Dose 20g
  • Yield 42g
  • Time 30-32 seconds

Brew steps:

Grinding basics:

Adjusting the collar of the grinder will determine how fine or coarse the size of the ground coffee will be. The finer the grind, the slower the water will move through the ground coffee (too fine results in over extraction). The more coarse the grind, the quicker water will move through the coffee (resulting in under extraction). *

hands adjusting the settings on the grinder.

Step 1:

Remove the portafilter from the group head.

Step 2:

Clean and dry the portafilter basket with a dry cloth.

Step 3:

Switch on the grinder and dose 20 grams of coffee.

group handle on a scale with ground espresso in the group head basket.

Step 4:

While grinding, collapse and groom the grind to optimize coffee distribution and remove any pockets of air that may be present. Halfway through the dose, apply a light, downward tap to encourage no air pockets and promote even distribution.

grinder grinding espresso into the group head.

Step 5:

Keeping the sprouts free of the counter, place the portafilter on the counter corner.

Step 6:

Keeping the portafilter perfectly straight when tamping is critical. Take a firm grip on your tamper and evenly distribute weight in a perfectly straight, downward motion. Tamping pressure is light at first, then slightly firm. Once you feel full resistance, you have applied enough pressure. Gently lift the Tamper out from the packed bed of coffee and wipe any grinds that may be on the top edge of the basket.

hands tamping the ground espresso.

Step 7:

Purge the group head.

water purging gout of the dispersion screen of the coffee machine.

Step 8:

Lock in the portafilter and immediately start running the shot.

espresso coming out of machine and into two espresso cups.

Step 9:

Time is important. If the portafilter sits locked in but with no water flowing, it will begin to cook the coffee and result in burnt/bitter espresso.

Step 10:

Stop the shot when your brew recipe has been achieved, carefully monitoring its visual cues.

espresso in bluestone to stay cup.

Step 11:



If your yield weight took too long to achieve then your grind needs to be more coarse. If it was achieved too quickly then your grind needs to be more fine.

When starting out – grind more coarse than you think. Normally you will get the best results on the coarsest settings achievable while hitting your intended brew target.  Start in the 15% most coarse range and make your grind finer to find the best flavor.

We recommend using a La Marzocco Linea Mini or GS3 to pour the perfect cup at home. We use La Marzocco in all of our retail store locations as they are, by far, the premium coffee machine to pull that perfect espresso! Your grinder is as important as your espresso machine and a high quality, consistent grinder is crucial to great espresso extraction.

Never run out of Bluestone Lane Coffee – we’ll ship it to your home or office as often as you want!