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How to Pull a Perfect Shot of Espresso on Your Breville

How to Pull a Perfect Shot of Espresso on Your Breville

Have you recently purchased a Breville espresso machine, and are struggling to pull a good shot of espresso? We are here for you... We know how frustrating it can be to try and try to get a good espresso shot and not be able to. In this blog we are going to go through dialling in some Breville Espresso machines! 

The rules apply to all espresso machines, so odds are if you can dial in a Breville, you can dial in any espresso machine! 

The Basics

When it comes to making the perfect espresso shot there are a few key basics to think about, no matter what espresso machine you are using.

1. Grind Size.

The size you choose to grind your espresso beans is an important aspect in espresso brewing. In general, a coarser grind allows more water to flow through. When it comes to espresso, too coarse of a grind could produce a watery or poorly developed shot. Too fine of a grind and water will not pass through easily, causing too much built up pressure in the machine. It might take a little bit of trial and error to find the perfect grind setting for your ideal espresso.

2. Dosing Amount.

The dose of coffee is key; too many ground beans can cause the machine to be over pressure, and limit water flow. Too little and you will produce a weak espresso. The industry standard is 10-12 grams of espresso powder for a single shot of espresso, or 18-22 grams for a double shot. 

3. Tamp Pressure.

Finally, you must tamp your shot! This gives a proper surface for water to flow through consistently. You need about 20-30lbs of pressure for a good tamp, best done of a flat surface to make sure everything is even. Over tamping will not allow enough water flow and therefore cause the machine to have too much pressure.

For all grinders, you MUST always change the grind size while the grinder is in use! Changing the dose down to the lowest setting, will allow for the least amount of coffee to be used while you figure out the best amount for your shot.

How to Pull a Perfect Shot of Espresso on Your Breville

Breville Barista Express

Common Issue: Under Extracted Espresso

When we started our espresso shot was under extracted. We could tell because our pressure gauge was not in the optimal zone, and the espresso was watery.

To fix this issue we adjusted our grind size to be finer twice! The shot after our first adjustment was a little better but not great, the shot after our second adjustment was perfect! For a visual of how it looks to dial in on the Breville Barista Express you can see Wendy dial in this machine at 2:38

Sometimes it takes 2 or 3 espresso shots to get it right, remember to always change your grinder while it's running, and enjoy the process.

Changing the grind size on the Barista Express is that same way you change the grind size on the Barista Express Impress, or the Barista Touch.

How to Pull a Perfect Shot of Espresso on Your Breville

Breville Barista Pro

Common Issue: Grind Size Too Coarse

We initially pulled a really great shot on the Barista Pro, but for the sake of dialling in we adjusted our grind size to be too coarse! See 13:38 where we mess around with the grind size to get an imperfect pour!

Unlike the Barista Express, the Barista Pro uses seconds to guide you towards better extraction. If a double shot or 2oz of espresso should pour in approximately 30 seconds, and your shot is pouring at 24 seconds, you will know it poured too fast and will be under extracted, and you grind size is most likely too coarse or you do not have enough coffee in your portafilter. If your shot pours in 35 seconds you know it will be over extracted and your grind size is most likely too coarse, or you have too much coffee in your portafilter. 

See 15:07 where we fix our grind issue and get a good shot again! 

How to Pull a Perfect Shot of Espresso on Your Breville

Breville Barista Touch

Common Issue: Incorrect Dose Amount

We started by pouring an Americano on the Barista Touch, unlike the first two machines you select the drink you want to make before you brew! Our Americano poured nicely right away, so we messed with the grind amount to show you how that can affect your espresso! See 21:00 where we under dose our espresso and get and under extracted shot. You can see that the espresso is watery and spraying all over with almost no crema. Our puck was a soupy mess after removing the portafilter. To fix this we increase the amount of coffee we are grinding into the portafilter. 

On different espresso machines you change the dose amount in different ways... On the Barista Touch we change it on the touch screen, but on a more analog machine you would change it using the dial. The results are the same though. 

How to Pull a Perfect Shot of Espresso on Your Breville

Breville Oracle

Common Issue: Grind Size Too Fine

This machine is a little different... you don't have to worry about your tamping pressure. But! The same rules apply for grind size. 

Our grind size was so fine on the first shot that our espresso didn't even come out... See 25:55 for our no espresso espresso shot, and how hard it was to knock out the puck from our portafilter! 

We need to make our grind size coarser to be able to pull anything at all, so while our grinder is running we change our grind size 5 sizes coarser, and the shot poured better but we could have made our grind size a little bit coarser again. See 26:45 for how we change our grind size coarser and get some espresso.

How to Pull a Perfect Shot of Espresso on Your Breville

Breville Oracle Touch

Common Issue: Incorrect Grind Size

The Oracle Touch doses and tamps for you, so you only need to worry about the grind size! 

Our first shot off of the Oracle Touch was good, so we wanted to make the grind size coarser. See 33:10 where we make our grind size coarser to pull an under extracted shot, you can see that the machine lets you know that if you are moving coarser your extraction will be faster. 

How to Pull a Perfect Shot of Espresso on Your Breville

Conclusion

Now that you are an extraction expert, have fun brewing all kinds of espresso beverages! And remember... As long as your espresso is tasting good to you, you are doing it right.

Want to watch the full video? See below! 

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