Mastering Espresso

Fogshore Roasters

Mastering Espresso

Our comprehensive 6-step guide and recipe will help you craft the perfect espresso every time. Whether you’re a seasoned barista or new to the world of espresso brewing, our guide includes detailed instructions and helpful tips to ensure you get the most out of your espresso machine.

What you’ll need

  1. An Espresso Grinder
  2. An Espresso Machine
  3. Espresso Puck Preparation Tools
  4. A Scale
  5. A Timer

Important Factors

Grind Size

Fine. You’ll want to grind your coffee to almost look like confectionary sugar. The real test to determine if your grind size is correct will be running it through your espresso machine. A shot that runs too fast may be an issue with the grind size or your espresso puck preparation.

Espresso Brew Ratio

  • Ristretto: 1:1 – 1:1.5 grams of coffee to water
  • Normale: 1:2 – 1:3 grams of coffee to water
  • Lungo: 1:3 – 1:4 grams of coffee to water

Water Temperature

  • Light Roasts: 199 – 205°F
  • Medium Roasts: 194 – 200°F
  • Dark Roasts: 188 – 194°F or cooler


Water represents 99% of the liquid in your cup so brewing with a good spring water makes all the difference.


Always brew freshly roasted whole-bean coffee and grind on demand. The optimal timeframe to brew and enjoy your coffee is 7 – 30 days past the roast date.


Always time and measure your brews to understand better the outcome and one you can repeat our iterate on.

Step 1: Measure and Grind Coffee

Coffee amount: 18 grams Grind Size: Fine Brew ratio: Normale 1:2 grams of espresso to brew liquid End weight: 36 – 40 grams Every espresso machine is different, as well as every portafilter. Our suggestion for a double shot of espresso at 1 grams in your portafilter basket may not work. Check your basket’s capacity and ensure it can hold 18 grams of coffee. Baskets are rated in grams and can hold + or -2 grams from what they are listed at. Overfilling your portafilter will create an exceptionally thick puck making it difficult for any water to penetrate it. You will then need to grind coarser, leading to a more sour-tasting espresso. Know your portafilter size and stick to the amount it is graded for.

Step 2: Prepare your Espresso Puck

Simply jumping right into tamping your espresso will most likely create channeling in your shot and leave you with an under-extracted brew. Espresso puck preparation is a vital step that should be repeatable, consistent, and devoid of flaws in your puck. Espresso puck preparation is the steps taken to create consistency in your puck, from removing clumps and leveling your grounds before tamping. Water is quite lazy and will always move toward the path of least resistance. Your brew will extract unevenly if your puck contains clumps or is uneven before tamping. Steps to take to ensure a better espresso extraction:

  1. Use portafilter paper at the bottom of your puck.
  2. Use a WDT to distribute grounds and remove clumps.
  3. Evenly tamp your coffee with 30 lbs of pressure.
  4. Add a puck screen at the top of your coffee grounds.

Step 3: Tamp

If you nailed your espresso puck preparation and have an evenly distributed puck of coffee, then tamping should be a breeze! Always apply even 30 lbs of pressure when you tamp the espresso grounds. After tamping, if you have an espresso puck screen, now would be the time to place it on top of the grounds.

Step 4: Lock in your Portafilter

Next, place and lock your portafilter into the espresso machine. Make sure the portafilter is in the locked position but don’t crank too hard, as you will quickly wear out the rubber gasket.

Step 5: Choose Shot Volume and Brew

Total Shot Weight: 36 – 40 grams Total Shot Time: 30 – 35 seconds Most espresso machines will come with several buttons, usually one for a single shot and another for a double shot. Our recipe calls for an 18-gram double shot of espresso yielding 36 grams of liquid within 30 – 35 seconds. The moment of truth, once you hit the brew button, you can quickly tell if your grind size and espresso puck preparation were ideal. Most espresso machines will run through a preinfusion phase lasting 8 – 10 seconds before your espresso begins to brew. Once your espresso starts brewing, you are looking for a consistent flow of around 1 – 1.5 grams a second until your stop time of approximately 35 seconds. If your espresso reaches 36 – 40 grams in under 30 seconds, you may have slightly under-extracted your espresso. Taste is always paramount to timing, so give the espresso a swirl and taste before you make any conclusions. If you want to slow down your espresso shot, slightly adjust your grinder toward the finer setting.

Step 6: Serve and Enjoy!

Give your espresso a stir and drink as is, or steam some milk and create a delicious milk-based espresso drink. If you want to take your espresso drink one step further and add milk to create one of the classic milk-based drinks, check out our espresso drink calculator, where you can calculate the perfect proportion of espresso to milk to make the perfect espresso beverage.

Browse our selection of Espresso Machines