Making espresso to a high standard can seem incredibly daunting and scary when you first start to delve into the wealth of information available. There are many variables to consider and many different ways of making the same coffee taste delicious, plus a never ending list of equipment and gadgets that you're told will improve your drink. 

Whilst it's great to read as much as you can and try as many different gadgets as possible, without applying some basic ground rules to your dialling in routine it can all be a little pointless. With that in mind, here are some great starting points when trying to build an espresso recipe. 

We'll be keeping it fairly simple here, and just using the grind setting to adjust what we're tasting. It's all about finding the sweet spot for your coffee.

 

Remember - 

A finer grind will slow your shot down and give you more extraction, which means you'll get more sweetness and increase the amount flavours unique to your coffees origin. However, go to far or "over-extract", and you'll have a bitter and dry tasting espresso. 

A coarser grind will speed your shot up and give you less extraction. If you're over extracting and the espresso is tasting bitter, you need to extract less to gain some pleasant acidity and bring your espresso shot back to the sweet spot

*recipes based on a machine set to 9bar pressure, no pre-infusion, spouted portafilter and 93' water*

 

1:2 Brew Ratio 

This is a brilliant place to start, as a lot of coffees taste ok somewhere close to this recipe. From this you'll be able to tell which way to adjust your grind or what brew ratio to use. 

18g dry coffee in > 36ml espresso out = 28 seconds - 32 seconds 

1:2.25 Brew Ratio 

This is a brew ratio you may consider if you're using a coffee higher in natural acidity, by increasing the yield we dilute the shot more and spread some of that acidity over a larger surface area. This lessens extraction, so adjust grind to taste. 

18g dry coffee in in > 40.5g espresso out = 28seconds - 32 seconds