Time to say sayonara to your cheap Mr. Coffee and invest in a prosumer espresso machine. Not having a good espresso machine in your home these days is basically like throwing money in the toilet. After all, think about how much money you spend on an annual basis on burnt Starbucks coffee. Please stop - Starbucks espresso is a disgrace. Don't believe me? Next time you're in Starbucks order a double shot of espresso, drink it without any milk, sugar or hot water and tell me you didn't want to vomit.
Grab your portafilter and place it in the group head of your machine while it's heating up. You always want your portafilter to be warm and ready to go!
Remove your portafilter and purge your group head with warm water for 5-8 seconds.
This is vital to prepare your machine by getting hot water running through the group head. You'll be doing this again after making your espresso.
Grind your beans.
For a double shot of espresso you'll need anywhere between 18 and 21 grams of coffee. A kitchen scale is a useful here. The proper grind and dosage is essential to creating good espresso. Too little or too much and your espresso will be bitter or sour.
Evenly distribute your grounds using your finger or distribution tool. For espresso to extract evenly, this is a very important step. Discard any excess grounds.
Insert your portafilter and begin extraction. Make sure you have your desired cup below and ready to go! Preferably heated.
Examine your shot. The ideal extraction should take between 25 and 31 seconds. If its coming out too quickly, you'll need to play around with your grind, dosage and tamping. If too slow, your grind is most likely too fine and needs to be loosened.
Don't get frustrated! Making espresso is a learning process. Once you get it, I promise its well worth it!