Key Factors That Will Influence the Pressure in Your Espresso Machine

The espresso machine is a high-pressure system that is used to enhance the environment of your coffee while it brews. Since pressure is central to the way that these machines work, it is important to understand how the other factors in your brewing process can influence the pressure—and what it means for you.

Factors that Influence the Pressure of an Espresso Machine

The simple truth is that every time you make a decision during the espresso-making cycle, you are going to influence the pressure. The pressure in your system will respond to any changes that you bring to it, potentially compromising those ideal espresso conditions. Find out what factors really influence your espresso’s pressure, and consequently, its final flavor.

The Type of Beans

When many people purchase an espresso machine, they assume that they are essentially repurposing the coffee beans that they have at home. However, this might not be the best decision. In order to make delicious espresso, you will want to use espresso beans, not just traditional coffee beans.

These medium to dark roasted beans are versatile enough to stand up in the high-pressure environment that your espresso machine offers. This means that the beans will be more likely to brew in a way that will provide that perfect cup of coffee. They also have a more robust flavor that people really enjoy.

While you certainly can put traditional coffee beans in your espresso machine, you might not enjoy it. Certain beans are unlikely to produce the espresso shots that you are used to at your local coffee house.

The Grind Size of Your Coffee Beans

The grind size of your coffee will determine how much space it takes up and what kind of pressure will be present based on your system. For making espresso, the pressure levels that are used, which are measured in bars, are designed to work best with finely ground coffee. This is because finely ground coffee is ideal for being tamped into an espresso puck. The ground coffee should be comparable to the texture of standard sugar crystals after it has been ground.

The Force Used to Tamp the Coffee Grind

The way that you tamp your coffee grind will determine how sturdy your puck is. If you do not tamp your coffee with the correct amount of force, you will not have that perfect surface that is designed to offer a clear level of resistance. This means that the water will go through more quickly, dropping the overall pressure at an unexpected rate. Most prefer to apply 20 to 30 pounds of pressure to create the best flavor and stability.

The Takeaway

Making the perfect shot of espresso is both an art and a science. It is important to remember that any changes in the process can influence how the espresso turns out in the end. Supporting the pressure within your espresso machine can help you to get that perfect espresso shot at home that not even your local coffee houses can compete with. With the right beans, size, and force, you can ensure that you have an espresso that will keep you moving all day long!