The Art Of Great Espresso Coffee In The Workplace

Coffee In The Workplace

There’s nothing like getting a caffeine boost to help fuel productivity; it is also is a significant part of most people’s daily routine at work. It gives them the energy needed to get through the day. This article focuses on how to produce an excellent cup of espresso coffee, consistent quality; time after time.

What is Espresso?

Espresso is coffee brewed by expressing or forcing out a small amount of nearly boiling water under pressure through finely ground coffee beans. Espresso is thicker than coffee brewed by most other methods, has a higher concentration of suspended and dissolved solids, and has crema on top (a foam with a creamy consistency).

As a result of the pressurised brewing process, the flavours and chemicals in a typical cup of espresso are very concentrated. Espresso is also the base for other drinks such as a caffè latte, cappuccino, caffè macchiato, caffè mocha, flat white, or caffè Americano.

The Making Espresso Process

A great cup of espresso is produced by forcing hot water through finely ground coffee under around 9 atmospheres of pressure; the resulting coffee beverage has a great aroma, taste & body.

Extraction using the espresso method should take place using deionised water heated to between 90 & 94 degrees Celsius. The contact time between the water and ground coffee will vary from between 20 & 30seconds. Around 8 grams of finely ground, medium roasted coffee should be used (per cup). Each espresso shot needs to be approximately 40ml.

When making espresso, the object is to create entirely even resistance to pressurised water. Water by nature will always take the path of least resistance, so – if there is too much resistance, the hot water will not be able to get through the compacted ground coffee, If is not enough resistance the water will get through the coffee cake too quickly, and the coffee will taste thin & somewhat flavourless.

Creating the required resistance is the result of the following three simple steps:

  1. The Perfect Dose
  2. The Perfect Grind
  3. The Perfect Tamp

a) Dose

The perfect dose of ground espresso coffee should nearly fill the top of your portafilter basket before you tamp it. The right dose for a standard, single shot of coffee from a commercial coffee machine is 8gm. However, the portafilter sizes can vary, so you will need to be careful that the dose should is be kept consistent.

b) Grind

The principal function of the coffee grinder is to mash the roasted coffee beans into smaller fine particles. This process will increase the surface contact of the coffee with the hot water, allowing the (now) soluble coffee grinds to dissolve in the water. Getting the perfect grind is crucial to producing the perfect cup of espresso since the grinder is the first part of the espresso’s production process.

It is important to note that regardless the quality of your coffee, and how well your espresso machine is working if the grind is not set accurately; your espresso will have lack flavour, taste & aroma.

As a rule, extremely fine coffee grinds are required to make a cup of espresso coffee. However due to different makes of coffee machines, variations in water pressure as well as climatic conditions. There is no precise grind setting; it comes down to the coffee machine operators experience, they need to set the grind to match all of the external factors.


When humidity rises, the coffee absorbs water and can be packed down tighter; this will increase its resistance to the pressurised hot water trying to pass through it. To compensate for any increase in humidity the operator will need to make the grind a coarser.

c) Tamping

Tamping is defined as the amount of pressure used to pack the fine ground coffee into the portafilters filter basket.

Applying too much pressure limits the hot water getting through the ground coffee. Alternately, by applying too little pressure allows the water through too quickly, which again will result in a flavourless cup of espresso.

The Tamping Technique

Some Tamps are attached to (& part of) coffee grinders, with his type of grinder you will need to bring the portafilter handle & press firmly to create a flat surface to meet the group shower on the commercial coffee machine.

Once you have tamped the ground coffee, wipe off the excess ground coffee off of the top of the filter. The perfect amount of pressure to apply is about 6kg.

So how can you tell when your tamp is right? The key is in the crema.

Coffee Machines For Your Workplace

At coffee4business, we specialise in coffee machines & beverages suited to workplace environments. Whether your business is small, medium, corporate, industrial or retail, we can offer sound professional advice based on many years experience.

We supply coffee machines and their accessories, quality coffee beans and other consumables and also water filtration units. Whatever your workplace beverage needs, we can offer professional advice!

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