Espresso Tips


Good coffee and skillful baristas are essential to any Cafe business. You could have the most expensive coffee money can buy, but on the hands of a poorly trained barista, it still tastes overwhelmingly poor. Vice versa, a highly skilled barista should have the knowledge to extract the full potential of any coffee, turning a run-of-the-mill, properly roasted coffee into something much more satistying.

Below are some of our tips on how to prepare a good espresso. Of course, if you have further questions relating to coffee making, do not hesitate to contact us.


 Hope this helps. Happy brewing!

“I Believe Humans Get A Lot Done, Not Because We're Smart, But Because We Have Thumbs So We Can Make Coffee”

Flash Rosenberg


Aim for an extraction rate of 25 - 30 seconds for a 30 mL espresso

  • Always grind on demand the coffee onto a clean, dry and hot portafilter.

  • The amount of coffee and grind size will affect the extraction rate of the coffee.

  • The amount of coffee in the portafilter should be between 18 - 22 grams (depends on the size of the portafilter).

  • Develop a consistent coffee dosing & tamping technique and adjust the grind according to the extraction rate.

  • If the extraction rate is below 25 seconds (i.e. too fast), adjust to a finer grind setting.

  • If the extraction rate is above 30 seconds (i.e. too slow), adjust to a coarser setting.

  • Remember that the extraction time begins as soon as the group head function is activated.

  • Adjust the grind as frequently as necessary. There are other factors beyond our control (e.g. humidity) that affects the grind settings of the coffee. Setting the grind size once a day in the morning is not enough.

  • Cleanliness is key - purge the group head before locking in the portafilter prior to brewing  and keep your espresso machine clean at all times. Backflush the espresso machine at the end of the day using a Cafetto Espresso Machine cleaner.


Getting that velvety texture

  • Always use clean, cold milk pitchers.

  • Always use fresh, cold milk. Do not reheat milk.

  • Always purge the steam wand before texturing milk.

  • Angle the steam wand so that the barista is able to hold the milk pitcher comfortably and move it up and down unobstructed.

  • The steam wand should be pointed to the side of the pitcher. This allows the milk to whirlpool as it is being textured allowing even distribution of heat.

  • Make sure the steam wand nozzles are submerged approximately 1 cm  in the milk. As you open the steam valve to begin texturing the milk, bring the pitcher down in a controlled manner, so that the steam wand nozzles are just underneath the surface of the milk. When this happens, you should hear a hissing sound, which indicates that you are stretching the milk. i.e. making froth.

  • You should stretch the milk according to the type of coffee you are making. e.g. stretch longer for a cappuccino than a cafe latte. To stop the stretching process, bring the milk pitcher up slightly so the steam wand nozzles are again fully submerged in the milk.

  • Do not stretch the milk after it reaches 40°C.

  • Note that if the nozzles are are above the surface of the milk, unwanted large bubbles are formed.

  • Milk should be heated to 60 - 65°C. Shut the steam valve close when milk reaches this temperature.

  • Always wipe the steam wand with a clean, slightly damp cloth after use and purge to get rid off residual milk in the nozzles.

  • Best to pour the milk into the coffee immediately. However, if not possible, keep the milk swirling in the pitcher until you are ready to pour. This prevents the froth and milk from separating.

  • Clean the milk pitcher with cold water after use.


Just an FYI about Milk

  • Always keep the milk in a cold fridge.

  • Every 3°C increase in milk temperature reduces the shelf life by half.

  • At 16°C, milk deteriorates quickly and loses its frothing capacity.

  • Never reheat milk. Everytime milk is heated, it loses sweetness and body (mouthfeel).

  • At 60°C, milk is sweet and rich. Tends to dominate the flavour.

  • At 65°C, milk is still rich and accentuates the espresso.

  • At 72°C, milk is thinner and espresso flavours brought forward are weaker

  • At 79°C, milk is thin and there is loss of coffee aromatics.

  • At 82°C, milk is scalded, may burn customers and leave unpleasant aftertaste.