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Espresso with a Semi-Automatic Machine

With a few user-friendly features to
guide you, semi-automatic machines
let you hone your barista skills.

 

Step one

Grind your coffee beans to a fine
consistency into your machine’s filter
basket. This is called dosing, which
means evenly filling the basket with
your desired amount of grounds.

Note: The basket should be slightly
overfull. Give it a few taps on the counter to
settle the grounds and then gently level off
with your finger.

Step Two

Using about 30-40 pounds of
pressure, press the tamper firmly
down into the grounds until you’ve
formed a densely packed puck of
ground coffee.

Tip: For flavor’s sake, it’s important to
keep the tamper as level as possible so the
grounds are evenly compressed.

Step Three

Lock the portafilter into place on your
espresso machine and set your cup
under it, on its tray.

Step Four

Activate the shot clock on your
machine, if it has one. Pull the
espresso shot, which usually involves
pressing a button on semi-automatic
machines.

Tip: The shot should take about 20-30
seconds to pour out—you can either time
yourself, or program the settings on your
machine.

Step Five

Enjoy your espresso!

 
 

The Perfect Cup »

A taste of our favorite coffee and
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Step-by-step help from our Brewing
Guides, useful advice and more.

Video Library »

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methods in action.

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