Kylie's Guide To Espresso

Hand drawn illustration of espresso machine with tamper, group head and portafilter labeled
 illustrations by Miah Brown 
Espresso is an excellent way to consume caffeine that dates all the way back to 1901.
It’s small, quick, and in expert hands...delicious. 
Did you know those hands could be yours?! 

All you need is a little brew ratio worked out,
maybe a couple of adjustments on your grinder, and time. 

We like to use a ratio of 1:2 to 1:3 for espresso. 
It is a large range but if you stay in this window you could get some excellent shots.

Up close view of espresso being brewed into a shot glass

Tools You’ll Need

-Vessel of choice
-Espresso grinder 

Kuma Coffee of Choice

Balanced Blend is a popular choice for an espresso offering; but we believe our coffee is
best enjoyed the way you like to brew it. 
All of our current coffee offerings
lend well to the espresso format. 

Kylie’s Recipe 

Woman smiling and making espresso in a light blue Kuma Coffee bear shirt1. When using a 21g basket, grind your coffee into the basket weighing 20g. This will be your
“In” weight

2. Tamp your coffee making sure to leave a flat surface. This ensures even extraction.

3. Purge your group head and lock the portafilter into place.

4. Before “pulling” espresso make sure to place the desired vessel onto a scale tared to zero below the portafilter.

5. Start pulling the espresso and start the timer.
Keep your eye on the time and the weight. 

6. Once scale reads 40g stop pulling. Even a little bit before maybe at 37g.

Hopefully, it will have reached your desired weight between 26-32 seconds.

There you have it! 

  • Adjust the grinder for a quicker or slower shot time. 
  • If it tastes too watery or too dense, increase or decrease ratio.
  • If the shot tastes sour increase brew time by adjusting the grind finer... 
    if it tastes dry and bitter decrease brew time by adjusting the grind coarser.

    I’ll usually start in the middle and go from there! 


Brew Ratios Worked Out - 
for 17g and 21g basket sizes

Brewing with a 1:1.8 brew ratio Woman making espresso from behind, wearing a summer adventures shirt from Kuma Coffee
18g of coffee: 32g of water
20g of coffee: 36g of water

Brewing with a 1:2 brew ratio
18g of coffee: 36g of water
20g of coffee: 40g of water

Brewing with a 1:2.5 brew ratio
18g of coffee: 45g of water
20g of coffee: 50g of water

Brewing with a 1:3 brew ratio
18g of coffee: 54 of water
20g of coffee: 60g of water

Brew Tips and Tweaks

  • The two usual basket sizes are 17g and 21g. If yours is’s for a single shot!
  • After adjustments on a grinder, always purge at least 1-3 shots depending on your grinder. Sometimes it takes a couple of shots to actually see the result of your adjustment.  
  • Sometimes it takes a couple of shots to actually see the result of your adjustment. 
    Don’t get discouraged. Be confident and know these things take time.
    You’ll learn so much on the journey to a delicious shot.