Coffee is sensitive to changes in temperature. This is all the more true for espresso, as it is a particularly small amount. We therefore recommend preheating the cup. Many espresso machines have a hot water dispenser that is ideal for this purpose.
Tap out the coffee grounds and clean the portafilter, ideally with a cloth. This step is often forgotten, but it is essential because during the extraction coffee releases oils that negatively affect the taste of the next espresso. Dry the portafilter well.
Grind the coffee on the finest settings. The following rule of thumb applies: the shorter the contact time with the water, the finer the grind. Use enough coffee powder that the portafilter is slightly heaped - we recommend 16-18 g espresso. This corresponds to a full portafilter. If possible, use a grinder with a disc grinder. This grinds the coffee evenly and you always get a good result. A hand mill with a suitable grinder is also suitable.
It is best to take your index finger and stroke the edge of the portafilter without applying pressure. With this you create a straight surface and the preparation for the "tamping".
We are not really fans of Anglicisms, but unfortunately we don’t know a better word than “tampen” to describe this work step. Behind this is the pressing together of the espresso coffee powder in the portafilter with a metal tamper. Use the tamper to apply even 15-20 kg of pressure to the portafilter. This gives you a well-solidified, beautifully uniform result. You don't need to overdo it with the pressure. Because the water pressure on the brewing piston will later be many times over. It is important that the coffee surface is even and firm.
Now place the cup under the carrier opening and wait a few seconds. A good espresso should go through in 25 to 35 seconds. If it runs too fast or too slowly, you should adjust the grind setting.