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A Beginner’s Guide To Espresso Machines

Espresso machines can be intimidating. But learn their operating mechanisms and you can make your favorite caffeine drink anytime you want! So, it’s time to start learning!

If you’re looking for a reliable resource to expand your knowledge about espresso machines, Espresso Coffee Time will be your all in one go to guide you to become a self-made barista. Here, all your problems will find solutions.  

Guide To Espresso Machines: How to use them?

If you are struggling to use the espresso machine we’re here to save your day, today and everyday in future! It can be a bit tricky but our simple breakdown of the procedures will definitely help you a lot! 

Follow these five steps to smoothly use your espresso machine.

  1. Turn on and Preheat the machine

It is very important to ensure that your espresso is preheated. Preheating the espresso machine ascertains that all parts of the machine are at optimal temperature and that it is working efficiently. 

Heating up the espresso machine can take around 25 minutes. So, make sure you turn on and preheat the machine first thing before beginning the brewing process. 

  1. Measure and Grind the Coffee Beans

First, get yourself some quality espresso coffee beans. With over 50 countries in the world producing coffee (according to coffee statistics) we are sure you can find some amazing beans to suit your taste.

Grind your coffee beans to a fine size. If your espresso machine includes a built-in grinder then you are in luck! Otherwise you can use any other grinder at home or simply resort to pre-ground coffee!

Next, add the ground coffee to the filter basket in the portafilter. Make sure you dust off any excess grounds from the edges of the portafilter. 

  1. Tamp the Ground Coffee

To even out the coffee grounds in the portafilter and prevent any pockets from forming, it is crucial to tamp. And tamp right. But before you get to tamping, even out the grounds by lightly tapping the portafilter on a hard surface or smoothing the ground with your finger. 

Finally, use a tamp to even out the ground coffee. The key is to press down the tamp straight on the grounds and apply some pressure. Make sure the top is perfectly leveled.

  1. Pull the Espresso Shot

Once the portafilter is locked in place on the espresso machine, press the button to start the brewing. It can take almost thirty seconds to pull a single shot. 

Before brewing your shot, make sure you place a cup on the drip tray beneath the spout. This is because your espresso shot will directly pour out of the spout once the brewing stops. 

  1. Time to Steam and Froth the milk

If you are planning to make a specialty espresso beverage, you’ll be needing the additional ingredient: milk. So for your lattes, macchiatos, or cappuccinos, the next step is to steam and froth the milk. 

If luck is dominating your life, your espresso machine will hopefully have a built-in steam wand. If not, it’s no problem. You can steam the milk separately. 

Pour the milk into a stainless steel milk pitcher and hold it under the steam wand with the wand submerged. If you are steaming it separately, pour warmed milk in a pitcher and use a frother or whisk to froth. Make sure you tap the pitcher on the counter  a few times after frothing to remove air bubbles. 

  1. Assemble the Espresso Beverage

If you are simply drinking the espresso, all you have to do is slowly sip away the flavourful liquid. You can add sugar to it if you like. However, if you’re making a specialty drink, you are going to have to assemble it. 

It is very simple. You would have already brewed your espresso (pro tip: preheat the mug/cup before pouring the brewed espresso in it so it stays hot for longer). Simply add your milk to it, make sure you add the froth in the end. 

You can even be creative and try your hand at creative latte art while you’re at it. Finally, add any other syrups, cream, or other toppings depending on the drink you are going for. 


At the end of the day, espresso machines are just machines. And YOU are in command of them. So, all you need is to learn how to communicate your command to the machine so it can brew you the perfect beverage! 

If you have any other queries or creative ideas to explore, simply head over to Espresso times and find all answers. Till then, keep practicing your coffee brewing on the espresso machine and happy caffeinating!

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