How to make the Perfect Espresso

I mean... How hard can it be?......

6 Steps to the perfect Espresso for the naive...

  1. Convert Horsebox into a Business Premises
  2. Install Expensive Coffee Machine
  3. Add Coffee
  4. Add Tiny Little Cup
  5. Press Espresso Button
  6. Success!!


Unfortunately, the above 'Perfect Espresso Structure' only works until your first Pantomath Customer (<- See previous post) arrives and tells you, in the nicest way they can muster..

"Your Coffee is Trash".

Turns out, the staple order of Lattes & Cappuccinos are far more forgiving to the ego of the 'Beginner Barista' for two reasons;

  1. There is so much milk and/or syrup in them, that it almost completely masks the mess you have made when pulling the coffee shot.

  2. Most people frequent the 'big chain' coffee shops and so have no idea what a 'Good' coffee actually tastes like.

Now, when it comes to Espressos, there is nothing to mask the taste. Either you make a good Espresso or you don't.. It's really as simple as that.

Double Espresso.jpg

To start with, for a good coffee you need.. Good Coffee Beans.. The Beans that I use, by chance, come from a company just next door to where I park Vanbliss on a weekday.

Here is what they say about the Beans;

"Classico Oro Coffee beans offer a fruity, citrus acidity which compliments its medium body. Malty and nutty profiles come through from the Brazilian and Kenyan beans bringing high citrus notes and apricot sweetness.

10% Robusta draws good depth and body.

A well-balanced blend suited for milky coffee drinks and Espresso."


With that important aspect taken care of, it really is down to the Barista to bring out the best flavour they can from their ingredients.

Without further ado the following steps 'should' have you making a pretty good Double Espresso reasonably quickly.

  1. Grind 18g of beans into your Portafilter (Use DigiScales, like the ones you see on the Police Reality Shows)


  1. Tamp the Grind, ensuring everything is level, equal pressure is applied and there are no gaps remaining.

  2. Pour some water from the machine that you are going to use so that when you make the Espresso it wont be started with water that has cooled at the outlet.

  3. Add Tiny Cup


  1. Pull the shot.. Depending on what machine you are using, this will either be automatic or manual but the outcome you are looking for is the same.. 25 - 30 seconds to pull a shot that is roughly 2oz of liquid. Once again, you can use DigiScales to measure the amount of liquid (If you don't have any scales then you could always ask your Neighbour, or your Kids)


Just keep practicing this over and over and eventually, after some trial and error, you will be able to claim "The Perfect Espresso Shot".

Trouble Shooting

The shot pulls too fast and you have 2oz much quicker than 25 - 30 seconds; Your Grind is likely too coarse and its making it too easy for the water to pass through.

The shot pulls too slow;
The Grind may be too fine and preventing the water from getting through.

The waste grind is very wet
You likely do not have enough coffee in the portafilter.

If you are still having trouble, it can come down to things like water pressure, hardness, temperature etc.

If you think you are doing everything correctly but still do not like the taste of your Espresso then it could be as simple as going right back to the beginning and changing the Beans you are using.

If all else fails... Try finding a Pantomath/Coffee Guru/Maverick who is willing to consume dangerous quantities of caffeine to assist in your quest for perfection.
Great Success.jpg (Source;

Finally, Don't give up, you Wonderful Coffee Lovers. Practice Practice Practice, and let me know how it goes.
I am very interested to hear your experiences of 'The Perfect Espresso'.. Is your preparation different to mine?

When is the last time you had a great Espresso?

What have I missed in this post that budding Espresso makers should be aware of?

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