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How to make the perfect espresso with a semi-automatic machine?

How to make the perfect espresso with a semi-automatic machine

As the trend of buying espresso machines has become increasingly popular, users are in a tough competition to make the perfect espresso while revealing the secret of that barista-quality espresso taste. And that’s where the role of semi-automatic espresso machines come into play with easy user control and interface.

How to make the perfect espresso in a semi-automatic machine?

  1. Verify whether there is water in the reservoir. Turn the power and preheat your machine. This can take up to 25 minutes.
  2. Set your grinder to produce a grind size somewhere between table salt and granulated sugar. That’s the consistency you need. Grind size is the most crucial part of making a good espresso. You can find the right grind size through simple trial and error techniques.
  3. Then fill your portafilter with 20 grams of ground coffee. Place your portafilter on your scale and tare the scale-out. If you don’t have a scale, overload the basket with the coffee until it forms a mountain shape. Each machine’s portafilter has its capacity recommended by the manufacturer. Make sure to adhere to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
  4. If you have a heap of ground coffee in your portafilter basket, use your hand to shave off the excess coffee. Level it down by slightly tapping the side of the portafilter with your hand.
  5. Next is the tamping phase. The key to tamping is to press down straight. Use a bit of your pressure to tamp the coffee evenly. Professional baristas tamp until the grounds stop compressing. Or you can buy a leveller that does the job pretty quickly, without putting in your force.
  6. After tamping, wipe off the excess grounds clinging on the top or sides of the portafilter.
  7. Reinstall the portafilter and place your cup or brew pitcher. Pull your first shot. To hit a typical size of a double shot, you will end up between 20-30 seconds per pull. If it’s a PID (Proportional Integral Derivative) machine, you can attach the portafilter and start brewing. If you have a non-PID machine, do a short flush until the water flow comes out smoothly.
  8. Timing is the most basic way of dialling into a good shot. If you are in that time zone (within 20-30 seconds) and get your 2 ounces, you have got the secret of making the perfect espresso.


When it comes to choosing the right espresso machine for coffee brewing at your home or small cafes, semi-automatic espresso machines are the best ones. You can also make espresso without an espresso machine. The French press is one such alternative solution for perfect espresso making at home. Next time, you feel like drinking a creamy espresso, get it brewed in a semi-automatic coffee machine from the house of Kaapi Machines.