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Black coffee espresso in a small shot glass.

There is something special about starting your day with an espresso shot. Not only is it delicious, but it also gives you a special boost of energy to start your day in the best possible way. At Henry’s Coffee and Events, we are passionate about sharing our love for coffee with you. Join us in this blog as we unravel the secrets behind the perfect shot of espresso.

Espresso: Beyond Brewing

Espresso is a concentrated beverage extracted from finely ground coffee under intense pressure. Because of this, the making of this drink demands specific equipment such as a specialised machine and grinder to achieve its signature foamy crema.

Deciphering Espresso Menus

Ordering espresso-based drinks requires understanding the fundamentals. From the bold and intense ristretto to the slightly longer and balanced normale, each variation offers a unique sensorial experience. 

A double espresso serves as the base for most espresso beverages, while variations like cappuccinos, lattes, cortados, and more emerge from this foundational brew with different milk ratios and foam levels. Understanding these differences adds depth to your espresso journey.

  • Espresso: around 60 ml of espresso
  • Cortado: around 60 ml of espresso + 90 ml of steamed milk
  • Cappuccino: around 60 ml of espresso + 175 ml of steamed milk
  • Flat White: around 60 ml of espresso + 175 ml of steamed milk (less foam than in cappuccino)
  • Latte: around 60 ml of espresso + 300 ml of steamed milk
  • Americano: around 60 ml of espresso + 230 ml of hot water

Crafting the Perfect Shot

Achieving the perfect espresso starts with the beans. Quality beans are the heart and soul of a remarkable shot. At Henry’s, we cherish the journey from sourcing the finest beans to expertly roasting them to perfection, ensuring each shot embodies excellence.

Capturing the essence of its velvety crema and the intensity in its flavour profile requires patience, precision, and passion.

Now that we have explored the key elements that pave the way for espresso excellence, let’s dive into the step-by-step procedure to master the art of pulling the perfect shot. From grinding the beans to the final extraction, each step contributes to the richness in flavours inherent in a well-crafted espresso.


Step 1: Select Your Beans

Begin by choosing quality beans. While traditionally dark roasts were favoured, modern espresso aficionados experiment with a variety of roast levels. Choose beans that resonate with your preferred flavour profile– be it the rich, chocolatey notes or the vibrant, fruit-froward aromas.


Step 2: Grind with Precision

Using a reliable espresso grinder capable of producing a fine, consistent grind is essential. This crucial step ensures uniform extraction, allowing the flavours to harmonise. Aim for a grind size similar to powdered sugar–fine enough to resist but not impede water flow.


Step 3: Tamp Firmly and Evenly

Add the precise amount of coffee grounds to your portafilter–usually it is around 18 grams for a double shot. Tamp the grounds evenly and firmly, creating a level surface within the portafilter. This compression is vital for a balanced extraction.


Step 4: Extraction Magic

Start the brewing process with precision. Allow hot water, pressurised through the finely packed coffee, to flow through approximately 28 seconds, yielding around 36 grams of liquid. The ideal extraction time balances the concentration of flavours without compromising on quality.


Step 5: Embrace the Crema

As the espresso flows into your cup, observe the golden-brown layer–the crema–that completes the shot. This creamy layer is the indicator of a well-executed extraction, capturing the essence of the coffee’s oils and flavours.


Step 6: Savour and Assess

Sip your freshly brewed espresso slowly, allowing the flavours to unfold on your palate. Note the differences in aromas, acidity, body, and aftertaste. Each element contributes to the symphony of flavours that define a perfect shot.

Enriching Your Espresso Experience

A shot of espresso is more than simply drinking coffee, it involves savouring the moment. Take this experience to the next level with thoughtfully selected treats – maybe a bite of dark chocolate to complement the bitterness or a citrus twist to enhance the flavours.

Experience the Magic of Espresso

This year, let Henry’s Coffee & Events be your guide on the fascinating world of espresso. Whether you are a seasoned espresso aficionado or just starting your adventure, embrace the allure of the perfect shot with us. We would love to be a part of your next event or event come to your office and introduce your employees to delicious coffee!


At Henry’s Coffee & Events, we celebrate the pursuit of espresso perfection. We thrive on sharing this journey, from sourcing the finest beans to the meticulous extraction process that ends with the velvety crema and complex flavours of each cup. Hopefully, this article has shed some light on the differences, techniques, and tools that transform a simple shot of espresso into an exquisite experience.

Let us expand your coffee journey with our expertise. Contact us to book our coffee catering services and treat your guests to the exceptional flavours of our coffee. We are eager to be part of your 2024 events, conferences and more!