The best coffee roaster by FullSackJack

How to Pull your Best Coffee Shot:

The dose is the amount of coffee grounds that you put into the portafilter for your shot. The proper dose for a double shot should be between 14 - 18 grams, depending on your espresso machine. Experiment using different doses, grinder settings and water temperature will reward you with the best a coffee has to give.

One of the great things about making your espresso at home is how fresh it tastes, so capitalize on your coffee's flavor by freshly grinding your beans right before you pull your shot. The grind texture is a very important aspect of shot quality: If it's too fine, it will result in a slow, over-extracted shot that can taste bitter and burnt; if it's too course, it will be a fast, under-extracted shot with a weak and watery consistency.

The texture you're looking for is similar to granulated sugar, but this is just a rough approximation and you should experiment with your specific grinder and espresso machine to determine the ideal grind texture unique to your setup. Taking the time to calibrate your equipment is essential because no two grinders function exactly the same -- so even if you've just bought the exact same model of grinder as a replacement, you'll still need to experiment with it to find the right setting. Also, keep in mind that the more humid the weather is, the slower your extraction will be, so if the humidity in your region is prone to significant changes, you may need to adjust your grind on a regular basis. If you need some help with this, feel free to give us a call.

The tamp ensures uniformity of extraction by leveling and packing the grounds to ensure equal, consistent water contact as it is forced through the coffee. The proper tamp method is to hold your elbow at 90 degrees, rest your portafilter on a level surface and then apply 30 - 40 lbs of pressure until the coffee has an even and polished look.

Place the portafilter into your machine's brew group and put your preheated cup under it. Check your watch so you can time this shot -- a critical component of learning how to pull a perfect shot. Initiate the pull and watch carefully.

If the dose, grind and tamp are ideal, the first part of the brew will be dark, then turn into a golden brown/foamy mixture (the crema) that flows into the cup in a thin, curly stream that is just strong enough to hold together. The volume of water for each shot should be 1 oz., so after your double shot has reached 2 oz., stop the shot and check your watch again. The brewing time you're looking for is between 18 - 24 seconds, so if you're running too long or too short, check your grind and adjust it accordingly. If your shots are coming out unevenly from both spouts, your tamp needs to be more even.

You want to create a fine golden crema atop a rich dark brew that tastes sweet and smooth. It's well worth the time to experiment and learn how to pull the perfect shot from your espresso machine -- the result will be excellent espresso drinks every time.

How to make a Good Cappuccino:

You should always have fresh milk in your pitcher. Holding the pitcher firm, sink the steam wand about 1 centimeter below the surface. The position of the steam wand with respect to the milk surface is crucial. If you move the steam wand, you will create a lot of bubbles and spoil your cappuccino. Milk starts heating up and moving in circular waves by itself. Keep your hand under the pitcher and feel it to make sure it does not overheat. The temperature of your cappuccino and coffee together should be between 56/57 degrees.Above 65 degrees milk will not produce any foam. If you like your cappuccino with lots of foam, pull up the steam wand once and steam slightly over surface. Once the milk is ready, bang the pitcher on the counter or shake it from right to left two or three times, using the circular motion of your wrists. And voila it is ready. It takes a bit of experience to get the proper technique for not overheating your cappuccino and make a foam that has no bubbles at all.