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How to Make a Good Espresso

How to Make a Good Espresso


The basis of most coffees are a good espresso, get that bit right and you will be able to having any delicious style of coffee you want.

So how do we go about making a good espresso? Well there are a few things that need to be considered but the two main ones being the bean and the machine.


Figuring out the type of coffee beans you like is very important when it comes to making a good espresso; it all comes down to personal preference.  

Despite what the labels say there is no espresso specific coffee bean, traditionally espressos are made with darker roasts but it is entirely up to you what bean you use to make your good espresso. There are two main coffee varieties of beans, Arabica and Robusta. The majority of beans you will find are Arabica as their taste is generally more liked than its fellow bean. It is quite a sweet bean and  smooth whereas the Robusta can be quite bitter in part due to it’s higher caffeine content.

Some like their coffee dark and rich, others smooth and light. So figure out which bean is the right one for you as it has the biggest impact on the overall flavour of the end result.


So the next consideration is the machine. The type of machine you get will also have a huge effect on the end result but it doesn’t necessarily mean the most expensive machine will give you the best result, you don’t need to be rich to make a good espresso.

Stove top coffee makers are extremely capable of making a good espresso when used properly. With stove top coffee makers as with all coffee makers it is very important to get the right type of ground for your machine. Too coarse and you won’t extract enough flavour, to fine and you will have grounds everywhere!

Also making sure your timing is accurate is a very important part of making a good espresso. If you leave the pot boiling too long you will burn the coffee leaving that nasty bitter flavour, not to mention risk breaking your moka pot. Not over filling is also crucial. Too much water will leave you with a weak tasting espresso.

Electric machines also do a wonderful job of creating a good espresso. The pressure achieved through some of them allows you to extract intense flavour using smaller amounts of water than you would with a manual. This creates a beautiful short and strong espresso; perfect for that quick pick me up. They can also help create that beautiful sight that is the illusive crema. However you don’t need the crema to have a good espresso, but sometimes it just makes it feel that extra bit special.

So let’s summarise how you go about making that perfect espresso.

The bean, choose whichever you like be it Arabica blue mountain, a cheap Robusta or a blend, it is entirely your choice. Mine is a darker roast especially if I’m using my espresso as a base for a latte. I love the milkyness but also want that strong kick of coffee, not just warmed up milk.

The machine, a big lovely expensive one is nice and does create a good espresso but definitely not necessary to get an espresso you will love. Most important this is to know your machine. A bit of a cliché but it’s true, figure out the timings and get that balance right to create the perfect espresso.

These are important to get right, No coffee you make will taste ok if you don’t get the foundation right.