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Watch the Video on Extracting an Espresso Shot

Extracting an espresso shot is a very simple process, but there are many factors that go into pulling the perfect espresso shot. We will break down all the different factors in later sections. For now, we just want you to focus on the overall process.

To pull an Espresso shot, we will simply fill the portafilter with ground beans from the espresso grinder. We will then tamp the beans to create a flat surface which will allow the water from the espresso machine to flow evenly across the coffee. Finally, we will place the portafilter in the Espresso machine and allow the water to pass through the coffee.

Thats it! Really simple, right?


Now let’s discuss some of the factors we’re looking for to ensure we’re getting a perfect shot.

The way that we measure the perfect shot is based on Extraction Time. Extraction time is the amount of time it takes for the water in the espresso machine to pass through the coffee. The perfect extraction time is 24 seconds. As long as our espresso machine and grinder are calibrated correctly, a 24 second extraction time will result in the perfect shot.

Here are the things to know when extracting a shot:
  1. Fill your portafilter with 14 grams of ground espresso beans (14 to 16 grams is an acceptable range).
  2. Tamp the ground espresso beans so you have a flat surface. Use 30 to 50 lbs of pressure on your tamp.
  3. Place the Portafilter into the group head and start the shot. The espresso machine should stop pouring 24 seconds after you start it. (22 to 26 seconds is an acceptable range)

If your Extraction Time is not within the acceptable range, there are several adjustments we can make to our equipment to get us back to the perfect shot. We will take a look at those in the next section.