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Making Your First Espresso? Here Are 4 Mistakes You Should Avoid

To be honest, there is probably nothing quite like the experience of sipping on a decadent espresso at a coffee shop while flipping through the pages of your favourite novel. Do you wish you could enjoy the same barista-level deliciousness at home?
Luckily, preparing high-quality espresso at home isn’t as difficult as you might think. With the right ingredients and equipment, you can master the process quite easily. There are, however, some common mistakes that you need to avoid as they are main reasons an espresso could go wrong.
Here are some of the espresso mistakes that home baristas make and should be avoided at all costs:

  1. Using coffee that is not freshly roasted or ground

    There is nothing more futile than trying to make a good cup of espresso with stale coffee beans. It is important for you to remember that coffee beans are at their freshest up to 10 - 15 days after roasting. This is why you should buy freshly roasted beans, and grind them right before you brew. Any sooner and you will lose the beautiful aroma and flavour of the beans.


  2. Not using a scale

    Do you have a habit of eyeballing your ingredients while cooking? It is something you should avoid while brewing espresso. As a beginner, using coffee and water in the exact measurements is the best way to ensure that you end up with some delightful espresso shots. And it is not that difficult. The best part is that using a scale reduces waste and results in much better tasting coffee.


  3. Using hard water

    The quality of the water plays an important role in how your espresso turns out because it is the foundation of the beverage. Hard water should be strictly avoided as it will only brew disappointing coffee. No matter if you use instant coffee powder or freshly roasted artisan coffee beans, using bad water will result in a bland flavour, lack of sweetness and an unpalatable acidity. It will also cause your espresso machine to scale. While there is a descaling technique that you can use to deal with that issue, the better alternative is to avoid using hard water so that there is no scaling to begin with.


  4. Improper tamping

    Tamping is the process of compressing the coffee grinds in a bid to make the extraction even. First-time espresso makers often commit the mistake of not tamping the coffee enough. Uneven tamping leads to espresso that doesn’t taste good. You should tamp with consistent pressure, making sure that the grinds are all at even level.

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