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Brew Guide: Espresso

Brew Guide: Espresso

Espresso was invented as a way to make coffee expressly, as people were in a hurry and didn’t have time to wait 10 minutes to brew their morning pot of coffee. However, over the years, espresso has become more about the taste than the speed. The rich, strong flavor is something that coffee drinkers around the world look forward to every morning.

Espresso is a tricky brewing method and takes roughly 4 minutes to complete.

What You Need

  • Coffee
  • Espresso Machine
  • Portafilter
  • Cloth


Grind your coffee on a fine grind – #1 on an industrial grinder. For a double shot, you’ll want 15 grams of coffee, which is equal to a smidge less than 2 tablespoons.

Adding Grounds

Put the grounds into the portafilter so it forms a little mound on the top. Grab your tamper and press down firmly. Remove the tamper and use the handle to give the side of the filter a quick tap to remove excess grounds, then press again. Give it a quick twist before you remove it so the top is nice and smooth.

Pulling Shots

Insert the portafilter into the machine, making sure that it’s fully locked into its proper position. Place shot glasses or a mug below to catch the shot. Press the button and watch as the shot begins to pour. The best shots take anywhere between 25-33 seconds from pushing the button to finish.

Machine Care

Once you’ve pulled your shot, make sure you properly care for your machine and equipment. Carefully take the portafilter out, remove the used grounds, and give it a quick wipe down with a towel. You should also quickly run some water through the group head on your machine to rinse away any grounds that are stuck in the screen. Place the filter back into the machine for storage, and give your shot glasses a quick rinse.

Bonus tip: If your shots are running too slow, try easing up on the tamping pressure. If they are too long, try tamping harder. If this doesn’t solve your problem, try adding slightly less grounds to the portafilter for a faster pour and adding slightly more for a longer pour. These adjustments will greatly affect the taste of your shots!


Whether you made a latte, americano, or some other fabulous espresso drink, enjoy sipping Camano Island Coffee Roasters – you’ve earned it.

14 thoughts on “Brew Guide: Espresso

  1. “Espresso was invented as a way to make coffee”. That’s it? That’s all you have to tell me about espresso? Tell me something. You could start with the difference between espresso 1 and espresso 2. I ran out of time searching for the answer.

    1. Barbara,

      Thank you for bringing this to our attention. Looks like somehow that page was broken. We’ve just fixed it and now you should be able to see the rest of the content.

      To answer your question around Espresso 1 and 2 — espresso 2 is finer. We recommend that espresso drinkers buy a burr grinder to use at home. Because every espresso machine is different, it’s best to grind at home and experiment until you get just the right “fineness” of grind. Having said that we do offer to grind your coffee for you and offer two levels of fineness. Espresso 1 is what most people need(it’s a little coarser than espresso 2) but there are a few coffee lovers who request an even finer grind. For them we have espresso 2.

      Thanks for commenting!


  2. where one of your coffees would you use for making espresso?

    1. Hi Lizzy, our Varietal Supremo Espresso blend is what we recommend. Here’s a link to the coffee:

  3. 1. Which of your coffee has the nuttiest flavor in medium roast? Is it Sumatra?
    2. Is espresso #1 grind finer than #2?

    1. Hi!

      Our Brazil coffees tend to be the nuttiest.

      Regarding espresso grind our espresso #2 is finer than espresso #1.



  4. Besides the Varietal Supremo, what other coffees would you recommend for making Espresso?

    1. Hi Kamen,

      We find Varietal Supremo gives you the absolute best extraction with espresso.

      If you want to try something different, either our Holiday Blend which is only available for November and December, or our Papua New Guinea Medium Roast. Either of those are interesting alternatives.

      Give them a try and let us know what you think!

      Thanks for commenting.

  5. I have a Delonghi Dinamica and want to know if Sumatra is the only bean that can be used in my machine? I would love to try the Holiday roast, but have to watch out for oily beans.

    1. Hi Lisa,

      Generally the lighter the roast the less oily. We carry a wide variety of single-origin coffees in light and medium roasts. Most of them should be fine for your brewer.

      Our holiday blend is a medium roast and our Holiday Midnight Blend is a dark roast. The only way to know, if they work for you, is to simply give them a try. If you run into any issues, please let us know.

      Thanks for commenting.


  6. Hello excited to try the espresso I just received and came to site for recommendations on brewing it. I see you recommend 15 grams of grounds and brew it in 25-33 seconds but what do you recommend for espresso output? Double at 30 grams another espresso I purchased recommend 19 in 45 out so that’s why I ask? Thank you

    1. Hi Brett,

      You are certainly on the right track. You want double the output in finished espresso of grams of coffee you used. So 15 grams of coffee equals 30 grams of brewed espresso. If you find that that is not strong enough, just pump it up a bit. Coffee is not an exact science and our perception of “perfect” flavor is subjective. We give these guides as a starting point, but encourage you to experiment until you find what works for you. Thanks for commenting and happy brewing!


  7. Hi. I have super automatic espresso machine and I can’t use oily beans. Dry beans it’s what I have to use. Can you please suggest if your beans are suitable and which blends are dry beans ?

    1. Typically, the lighter the roast the less oil will be on the outside of the bean. Hope that helps.


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