Dose, Yield, Time: Three Essential Parameters for Brewing the Perfect Espresso at Home
on Aug 15, 2023
While buying specialty coffee beans is a great start, it’s not always easy to brew the tastiest, most balanced cuppa at home. Get these three things right and you’ll be on your way to mastering it.
Brewing the perfect espresso at home is a rewarding process, but it’s not always an easy one. If you find yourself struggling to create a well balanced and smooth tasting cup of coffee we’re here to guide you through the intricate dance of espresso extraction, otherwise known as brewing parameters.
In addition to buying the right beans (not to worry - our range of specialty beans has you covered), dose, yield and time are key to unlocking and enjoying the full potential of your coffee beans.
Before we get into the finer details, it’s important to note that the grind sets the stage for everything to come (more on that below).
Further, each specialty coffee blend or single origin has a specific recipe – aka extraction parameters.
We recommend following the recipe to make a deliciously brewed coffee that hits the sweet spot with the right tasting notes.
Also, note all recipes on our website are for double baskets. If you have a single-basket espresso machine, you might have to play around a little.
Trust us, it’s worth it!
Dose - aka, what goes in
Dose refers to the amount of coffee grounds you use for your shots of espresso, and is measured in grams. Getting your dose right is paramount as it dictates yield and time; too much or too little can lead to unbalanced flavours.
Use a scale to weigh the amount of grounds you put into the basket of the group handle. Some at-home espresso machines might not have a large enough basket to hold all the grounds our recipes call for, but in that case just get as close as you can without over extracting (more on this later).
For our mighty fine blends, follow these guidelines:
- Eight-O-Eight: 23g
- Three-Oh-Three: 23.5g
- Natural: 21g
- Goofy: 22g
Yield - aka: what comes out
Yield refers to the amount of extracted espresso, again referred to in grams. This determines the strength and concentration of your brew; too little and your espresso might taste overly concentrated and strong, too much and it could turn out watery.
Consider using a scale under your cup to measure the espresso as it pours out (zero the scale with your cup before brewing to make life easier). This will help you fine-tune your grind in the future.
For optimal results when brewing with our blends, aim for the following yields:
- Eight-O-Eight: 44g
- Three-Oh-Three: 50g
- Natural: 42g
- Goofy: 48g
Time - aka: how long the extraction takes
Time refers to the duration it takes for the espresso to be extracted from your machine. This element of the brewing process affects the taste and smoothness of your brew – an incorrect time can lead to bitter or acidic flavours. It’s also a valuable indicator of your grind’s accuracy.
High-end machines may measure extraction time automatically, while others will require you to use a stopwatch.
Depending on which blend you’re brewing, aim for these following time frames:
- Eight-O-Eight: 28-32 seconds
- Three-Oh-Three: 30-33 seconds
- Natural: 28-30 seconds
- Goofy: 27-29 seconds
Grind - aka: the key to success
If you can’t get the dose, yield or time quite right, chances are your grind isn’t correct. If your espresso falls short or runs too long, it’s time to revisit the grind setting.
Here’s how to troubleshoot your grind:
|Short Shot (Under Extraction)
|Espresso dispenses too quickly.
|A finer grind is needed for improved extraction.
|Long Shot (Over Extraction)
|Espresso dispenses too slowly.
|A coarser grind is needed to prevent bitterness.
|Finding the Sweet Spot
|Start with the finest setting on your home grinder with the correct dose.
|Make incremental adjustments, ensuring the same dose each time.
Creating the perfect espresso at home takes practice and experimentation – and a whole lot of coffee consumption! Remember each machine is different, some being slightly more technical than others, so it might take a bit of trial and error to achieve perfection.
While these coffee brewing parameters are essential guidelines, don’t forget to savour the process of learning and refining your technique.
And don’t be discouraged by minor variations – the true measure of success is your enjoyment of the final cup.
For specific brewing parameters tailored to each of our blends, refer to these product pages: