Gavina Coffee Solutions

The Essentials for Serving An Excellent Café Espresso


In honor of National Espresso Day, Gaviña is celebrating the rich flavors, thick textures, and elegant experiences of espresso. Our family’s tradition of roasting coffee and developing espresso blends dates back to our Cuban roots, where the word “coffee” was synonymous with “espresso.” Before we continue our celebration, it’s important to understand the nuances and bold, balanced flavors of this coffee-making method.

What Is Espresso?

To serve an excellent espresso, you should first understand its origin. The term espresso comes from 1900s Italy and loosely translates to “a cup of coffee brewed expressly for you.” It can refer to the coffee blend or roast profile, the brewing method, or even the beverage itself.

Espresso is usually prepared by forcing very hot water under pressure through tightly packed finely ground coffee and served in a preheated porcelain demitasse cup. It can also be used as the base for hot and cold coffee drinks including lattes and cappuccinos.

With espresso playing an essential role in crafting an assortment of coffee beverages, baristas and other coffee enthusiasts must understand how to bring out the full-bodied, complex flavor, and enticing aroma of a well-made espresso.

Essentials for Pulling an Excellent Espresso Shot 

To achieve the elegant top layer of golden foam, known as crema, a barista must master pulling an espresso shot. Depending on the espresso machine you will be using, you will likely have to make adjustments to your method. Here are some of the fundamentals of pulling the perfect espresso shot: 

  • Preheat a cup by placing it on your machine’s cup warmer or rinsing it with hot water.
  • Remove the portafilter from the group head, then flush the group head. Wipe the basket clean and dry. 
  • Grind and dose the coffee to order into the filter basket immediately to ensure maximum freshness. Fill the portafilter basket with your fresh ground coffee to overflow and level with a sanitized straight edge. The basket should be filled to 14-18 grams for a double shot (we always recommend 18 g). 
  • Tamp the grounds using 30-50 pounds of pressure. Wipe the top edge and sides of the portafilter to remove any stray grounds. The tamped grounds should have a smooth and level surface.
  • Insert and lock the portafilter securely into the group head and immediately start the brewing cycle. 
  • Quickly center the cup directly under the portafilter spout.  
  • Monitor the flow (extraction rate) of the liquid into the cup for just 20-30 seconds. There should be a steady stream with a deep brown color and a texture of warm honey and produce a dark golden and smooth crema (at least a quarter of an inch thick).
  • Serve your espresso within 10 seconds of brewing for maximum satisfaction. 
  • After brewing, remove the portafilter and empty the used grounds. 
  • Wipe the portafilter basket and rinse the group head to remove any used grounds or oils.
  • Return the portafilter and lock it securely into the group head of the espresso machine. This will preheat it for the next beverage. 

For a barista, preparing a magnificent espresso shot after shot will take time and practice. The resulting product should have a strong aroma with complex flavor. It also requires that you keep your espresso machine, group head and portafilter(s) consistently clean and in good working order. We’re happy to show you exactly how it is done by setting you up with the finest equipment

Deliver a Unique Experience with Gaviña

According to the National Coffee Data Trends (NCDT) report from the National Coffee Association, the daily consumption of espresso-based beverages has nearly tripled since 2008, with the latte being the number one espresso-based drink in the U.S. 

At Gaviña, we help businesses deliver nothing but a high-quality coffee experience to your customers. Through every sip of our espressos, your customers will be able to taste the smooth, bold, and rich quality and flavor. 

Are you interested in serving your customers the highest quality coffee? Find out more about our products and how to add them to your menu by clicking here

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