It’s often said that it’s actually no harder to make the perfect espresso than it is to bake a cake…which for about 99% of the world is a pretty big contradiction outright. But at the same time, it’s a simple case of mastering the recipe and getting to grips with the basic rules, in order to put out a perfect result every time.

Of course, certain staples like fresh roasted coffee beans and decent equipment matter, but no single contributing factor is the be all and end all. It’s only when each of the puzzle pieces comes together than the dreamy espresso you’ve always wanted to make at home comes to life – the satisfaction of which is worth far more than the effort required.

Coffee Beans

So to kick things of, as mentioned above it’s important to take home fresh roast coffee beans only in the quantity you plan to use within the next week or two. Any longer than this and there will be a noticeable decline in their freshness – be sure to only ever buy the highest-quality fresh roast coffee beans you can get hold of, rather than bargain-basement alternatives.

Water Temperature

Here’s where good equipment…or at least a good thermometer…enters the equation as in order to make the perfect espresso, your water needs to hit the sweet spot between 92C and 96C. Yes it’s precise and yes it’s a pain in the backside to accomplish without the right gear, but to overlook the importance of temperature is a bit like baking in the oven with the heat up too high or low…it just will not come out as planned. Even if you can’t get it exact, get the temperature as close to this as you can for the best results.

Grinding

One of the most important rules of all for creating the perfect espresso at home is that of grinding your own beans. The difference doing so can make is truly enormous, but at the same time you’ll also need to be aware of the exact fineness to aim for when going about DIY grinding – details for which you’ll find with the beans and/or the machine itself.

Dosing the Ground Coffee

This is again a question of personal taste, but assuming you’re using the best fresh roasted coffee beans on par with those in any good coffee shop, you can follow the 18g of coffee to each 30ml double espresso. Feel free to play around with this one until you get the ideal flavour you’re looking for, but this is a good standard to go with.

Cup Warming

Last but not least, there’s nothing more painful to watch than a perfectly tailored espresso of the finest quality being poured into an ice-cold cup. Or worse still, a cup that hasn’t seen a good wash in a while. It’s not too much to ask to warm your cups prior to use and to make sure they’re spotless – your espresso will come out so much better every time.