How to brew an espresso

To brew an espresso, you need an espresso machine, grinder, something to press the coffee with, crockery and of course good beans. The espresso machine should always be on, so it’s ready to make coffee. The brew group E61 on most machines we sell, take over an hour to warm up, so it’s not practical to turn the machine on when you already fancy a cup of coffee.

The crockery must be placed on the espresso machine's cup heating surface. A cold cup consumes a lot of heat from the espresso, which is not desirable. If you don’t have a preheated cup, you can take water from the hot water outlet on the machine and swirl around in the cup and pour it out.


To brew an espresso you need freshly ground coffee. You can set the grinder to how finely it will grind the beans. It’s more difficult for the water to pass through the coffee powder if it’s finely grinded. You can also set how fast the water will pass through the coffee. If you increase the amount of coffee it creates more resistance and the coffee flows more slowly.

You brew an espresso in the single handle, the one with a spout and a sieve intended for 7 grams of coffee powder. If you want to brew two espressos (a double) you use the double handle with two spouts and sieve intended for 14 grams of coffee powder.


Press the coffee with a coffee press. A pressure of 14 kg is ideal. But the pressing is also an opportunity to adjust how fast the water passes through the coffee powder. If you press looser, the coffee flows faster.

Turn the coffee press in the final stage. If there’s coffee around the edges you can knock it down by hitting the coffee press against the side of the handle. Wipe off the coffee from the sides of the sieve or the handle.


Place the handle in the brew group and put a cup underneath. Turn on the brewing immediately by pushing the lever all the way up. You can also push the  portion button if you have a machine with electronic fluid dosage. For best result, have the milk already in the froth jug if you are making a coffee drink with milk.


Ideally an espresso is 25 ml including crema (the foam on the coffee) and it should be brewed in 25 seconds. You won’t reach the optimal brewing time every time, but 20-30 seconds are fine as well. If you use the double handle, the brewing time is the same, but the amount is double, that is 50 ml. With time you’ll learn what the coffee jet should look like for the time to be right. Simply put, a thin jet that can drip initially. If it’s dripping throughout the brewing time, it’s too slow. On the other hand, if the coffee is pouring out, it’s going too fast.

If you have a correctly programmed fluid dosage, the machine will stop the brewing when the correct amount of fluid has poured through the coffee powder. If you have a manual machine, push the lever all the way down. On the E61 brew group with a levetta, you open the back vent after half way down, so that excess water from the brew group is let out.

Serve immediately, within a few minutes the coffee is past its prime.


You shoud always leave the machine clean. You need to empty the coffee grounds and rinse the sieve with brewing water or wipe it clean with a towel. Otherwise, the coffee grounds will dry and burn, which will make it harder to get out next time you brew coffee.