Coffee Extraction 101

Making a quality coffee at home can be a little tricky. Firstly, not all of us owns a professional machine that whips up the perfect coffee every time. Secondly, baristas spend all day working on their craft so it’s a tad unfair to put the same expectations on ourselves! But, don’t lose heart, it is possible to make amazing, cafe-style coffee at home and we’re here to help you do exactly that. We’ve already covered how to texture milk like a pro so now here’s some professional tips on how to get the perfect extraction on your very own coffee machine!

Extraction Components

There are three main components to achieve a barista-quality extraction. Our tips herpes medication below will help you achieve a delicious tasting coffee every time.

1. Grind

If you have a grinder handy, always try to grind your own beans, ensuring that the coffee is as fresh as a daisy. Also keep in mind that every coffee machine will extract differently which means the optimal grind for your machine may need to be slightly coarser or finer than the standard espresso grind. External factors like air temperature and humidity changes can also affect what grind setting is perfect for your machine. Basically, it all comes down to knowing your grinder and coffee machine and tweaking settings when needed. Check out our graphic below for more details…


2. Dose

So how much coffee should you grind, how many grams should you pop into the group head? This is a fairly subjective thing because it depends on how large your group basket is and the grind size of your coffee. So to help you out, we’ve created a rough guide so you can tell if you’re dosing correctly. Too easy! It includes funky diagrams so you could even print it out and pop it on the wall beside your coffee machine #freewallart ! 


3. Taste

As they say, the proof is in the pudding – or in this instance, the ‘sipping’! Yep taste is everything and all coffee drinkers have their own preferences when it comes to this. Generally, the taste should be smooth and without that awful burnt taste.


Note: All graphics feature a double-spouted group head but the same principle applies for single spout group heads as well.

Extraction Appearance

So what should it actually look like? Well if you’ve ever observed a barista doing their ‘thing’ you’ll notice that the surface of the coffee looks lovely and creamy – that’s the simple /layman’s description. Here’s a run down from one of our Sacred Grounds coffee expert’s.

“To start off with I look for a pause, where the ground coffee puck or biscuit is evenly absorbing pressurised water. This is known as a pre-infusion. 5-7 Seconds into the process I want to see a slow, even ‘tail’ begin to extract. Here I’m looking for a dark chocolate/cocoa colouring, moving toward burnt caramel.

“As the shot speeds up approx half-way (15 sec mark) the extraction rate is starts to quicken slightly, as the espresso reaches a lighter caramel colour.

“The last half of the extraction, up until 28-32 sec will finish the process. the end colour is a honey colour, not watery and has good body. The espresso in the cup will have at least 5mm of ‘crema’ on top and will be a consistent colour without mottle or spotting.”

So now you know how to texture milk and create a professional-style extraction. Keep practising and most importantly, enjoy your own amazing coffee bevvies at home!

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