As a coffee trainer I am exposed to different makes and models of espresso machines almost daily.  New models allow expert baristas additional options: adjust pump pressure during extraction, pre-infusion, etc.  Yet the vast majority of these machines brew at, or very near, 200F.

Older espresso machines, along with some new La San Marco’s, use very simple heat exchange technology to heat brew water before it arrives at the grouphead.  In this case the brew water at the group is actually boiling, 212F.  Pulling a shot of great espresso on this type of machine requires the barista to take an extra, sometimes long, step.  Press the brew button and flush all the boiling water through the group until boiling water is no longer heard.

Very commonly when I travel for trainings and use machines out in the field, this step is missed.  The extraction of organic compounds with a bitter taste profile is accelerated at higher temperatures.

Boiling water = Scorched Espresso.

If your espresso machine hisses and gurgles when you press the brew button, do not fret.  Simply flush out this water as you are dosing and tamping your freshly ground coffee.  When the hissing concludes, voila!  Sweet, Delicious, Espresso.

If your business is located in the Northwest Region and you would like to discuss training at your location or at our Roasting and Training facility, please contact:


Dan Graham

(800) 955-5282 x107

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