The espresso sweet spot: it's a matter of time

23 March 2018

Every great coffee starts with an exceptional espresso. So you have to be able to get it right, every time. As part of our Coffee Works training, we make it simple to get your espresso consistent and high-quality. We call it hitting the sweet spot – and it's a matter of time.

In the video below, our head of coffee excellence Gareth Davies shows you the steps to making the perfect espresso. But, at its core is timing. When brewing coffee, the process is an extraction, not an infusion (like with tea) – brewing it for longer doesn't make it 'stronger', it changes its flavour completely.

At the start of the extraction, you'll find bitter and sour notes. After that comes sweeter notes, the literal sweet spot where the coffee’s flavours balance. Pass the sweet spot and there's another wave of bitterness, which can lead to a dry palate, similar to an overly infused green tea.

Hitting the sweet spot is a matter of time. Your espresso needs to be extracted and in the cup in around 25 seconds, any less or any more and you're not getting the best flavour or balance. Getting the timing right comes down to following eight simple steps (and getting your grinder dialled in correctly).

Watch our Coffee Works training video here to find out more:

Coffee Works is our unique, practical approach to training that will give you the skills you need to serve exceptional coffee, every time. Find out more about Coffee Works here.