When To Start Timing Espresso Shot? Everything You Need to Know about Extraction Time

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Espresso is quite alluring to coffee lovers! However, a few of them are curious why Espresso is called an art. The surname “art” always comes with Espresso because of the traditional brewing method where hot water is pressurized particularly through fine coffee grounds. The process is not as effortless as it sounds.

The art of making Espresso is a hundred years old which was first introduced in Italy. Espresso is an Italian word that means “fast” in English. So, the name already makes sense that Espresso takes little time to be prepared and served.

Espresso is widely popular because of its condensed and aromatic shot. However, this particular feature of Espresso doesn’t come automatically. It’s a combination of perfection and the skill of a barista. Do you know that perfect brewing time is the ultimate secret of making a standard shot of Espresso?

This post will be beneficial if you want to know when to start timing espresso shots. Let’s go through it.

Why is Espresso Different?

Espresso is far more different than drip coffee. It is thicker, less acidic, and bold flavored than regular coffee. Due to having these unique features, Espresso is famous worldwide.

You need an espresso machine to brew an espresso shot. The machine forces hot water through the fine coffee ground for brewing. On the other hand, a regular coffee maker uses a gravity mechanism.

You cannot make Espresso with any ground coffee. Instead, you must use gently crushed and finely ground coffee beans to prepare a perfect espresso shot.

The contact between water and bean is typically longer for making coffee. However, the contact between these two things lasts only for a few seconds while making Espresso. Besides, a perfect Espresso pull time is the key to having the best Espresso shot.

The golden layer of foam of Espresso is called Crema. It is a prime feature of Espresso, which occurs due to the reaction between beans and steaming forced water. In addition, Espresso is well-known to have more caffeine which is another point compared with drip coffee.

When to Start Timing Espresso Shot?

perfect espresso shot timing

Since a perfect Espresso depends on precise timing, Espresso lovers and fresher baristas have an extensive curiosity to know the exact point of time. But, most of them make mistakes because the interest creates delusions.

Some misleading beliefs regarding the espresso brew time are commonly popular among the espresso lover community. For example, many espresso lovers think they should count the time right after pressing the button or pulling a shot. Beginners even include the pre-infusion in the brewing time.

Let’s discover what professionals follow. Baristas say the ideal espresso shot time should start when the first drop touches the surface of your cup. The perfect brewing time for an espresso shot is considered between 20 to 30 seconds. If the timing is too much or too less, you will have a cup of coffee with an aweful taste.

Why Is The Timing Important for Espresso?

It may sound nothing special, but timing is extremely crucial while making an Espresso shot. Baristas are experts who maintain the accurate brewing time for Espresso because it is exceptional.

The shot time must be between 20 to 30 seconds to achieve the perfect taste and smell. If you brew it in less than the recommended time, be ready to get the acidic and bad mouthfeel of the coffee.

In opposition, over-extracted Espresso tastes dull and blank flavor. It is even liable to make your tongue rough and dry.

Never forget to maintain the perfect timing if you are a coffee shop owner and don’t want customers to reject your espresso mug.

Frequently Asked Questions on Espresso Timing

Espresso is not only tasty but also mysterious! Curiosity among people to know more about Espresso is notable. Let’s check out some commonly asked questions about Espresso.

Q. Does Espresso shot time include pre-infusion?

Many espresso lovers remain confused about the brewing time. Some of them think the pre-infusion time is included in the shot time. However, it is wrong. Brewing and pre-infusion are entirely different things. Pre-infusion is the preparatory step before brewing. A small amount of water is infused through the ground coffee to make the coffee puck wet in pre-infusion. On the other hand, espresso shot is the espresso extraction time.

Q. How long is the pre-infusion?

Pre-infusion is the preliminary step before brewing that requires 2 to 8 seconds only.

Q. How do you count espresso time?

Timing is the most crucial thing while making Espresso. You should start counting the time right at the moment of beginning extraction. The Espresso will have a watery or bitter taste if the timing is wrong. Though modern espresso machines have a built-in programmable timer, you can use a digital stopwatch espresso timer too.

Q. How do you make the perfect espresso shot?

Making a perfect espresso shot involves many things, including the ground, ideal timing, and the barista’s skill.

The brewing method is unique, and you also need fine ground coffee beans. The ground texture is crucial since the quality of Espresso depends on it.

You need to put the recommended amount of coffee on the portafilter to make Espresso. For example, take 7g for a single shot and 14g for a double shot espresso.

If you want to avoid immobility of extraction, proper tamping is essential. Make sure a well leveling of the ground so that the water can be pressurized equally.

Finally, you have to brew the ground carefully for between 20 to 30 seconds. Then, if all the process is sequentially maintained, you can have a perfect espresso shot.

Q. How long should an espresso shot take?

There are many misconceptions about the perfect timing of espresso shots. But, most baristas agree that the ideal single shot espresso extraction time is between 20 to 30 seconds to have a perfect espresso shot. According to experienced baristas, a single espresso shot should take only 20 to 30 seconds.

Q. What is the difference between single and double shots?

Though the brewing time and aroma of both single and double shots are the same, there are still many differences to consider. The primary difference is the dose of ingredients needed to brew a shot.

In general, 7 grams is counted as the standard amount of ground coffee to brew a single Espresso shot. However, you will need 14 grams in case of a double shot. So, a double espresso will naturally provide you with a more pungent taste and aroma.

The understanding will be easier if you compare them based on liquid measurement. For example, 30 ml is considered a standard single espresso shot. Similarly, 60 ml is a double shot espresso.

You get 63 mg of caffeine while drinking a single espresso shot. In the case of a double shot, the caffeine is 126 mg.

Final Quote

Making Espresso is an art since the brewing process needs a skilled hand and a great sense of timing. The taste of Espresso is even dissimilar to all other coffee. A perfectly brewed espresso is strong, aromatic, and light bitter tasteful. On the other hand, the wrong ground and timing can ruin the unique taste and make you disappointed. Keep practicing and focus on developing your brewing skill for a perfect espresso shot finally.

I currently reside at Millburn, NJ, United States. I'm a skilled barista and roaster known for my passion for coffee and dedication to creating the perfect cup. I have a strong following of loyal customers who appreciate my expertise and friendly demeanor. In my free time, I enjoy trying new coffee recipes and experimenting with different brewing techniques.

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