How To Make Espresso With Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine | Beginners Guide
STEP 1: Select an Espresso blend of coffee. My personal favorite is Super Crema Espresso Whole Bean coffee by Lavazza. This is a premium blend of 80% sweet arabica beans with 20% robusta beans. This blend makes a very rich and flavorful espresso.
STEP 2: Grind the espresso beans. While you can purchase ground espresso blend coffee, it is highly recommended to grind your own espresso blend to achieve the most freshness and of course the best taste. You could use a stand-alone coffee grinder such as the Breville BCG820BSSXL The Smart Grinder Pro Coffee Bean Grinder (my favorite). Or you could choose an Espresso Machine with a built-in grinder such as the Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine with grinder.
STEP 3: Select the appropriate dose (one shot, two shots, etc.) and distribute this amount evenly into the filter. Use your curled pinky finger to even out the grounds inside of the filter for the best result.
STEP 4: Tamp the grounds by holding the filter with one hand and using your tamping tool with the other hand to press firmly down on the grounds with about 5 lbs. of pressure. Some grounds will cling to the side of the filter, so you must lightly tap the filter on a solid surface to knock these down. Then use your tamper again and press firmly upon the grounds with about 30 lbs. of pressure. Be sure to tamp evenly, otherwise you will have an unevenly compressed pellet of grounds and the water will seek the path of least resistence and not fully absorb the full flavor of the beans.
STEP 5: Be sure to select the approriate water temperature (198 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit)
STEP 6: Choose your pressure settings, this will normally be between 9-10 atm. Pressure is critical to the formation of the “crema”.
STEP 7: Extract, or in espresso terminology, “pull” your shot. This should take between 20 and 30 seconds. You should not be able to notice any lightening in the color of the espresso liquid while it is being extracted.