How to Make Espresso Like a Pro

We realize that a lot of what goes into the drinks you enjoy is out of sight as we make everything inside this wee coffee truck of ours. The following is a semi-detailed run down of the steps we take to make sure that each and every coffee we serve from Merci Coffee + Connections is delicious and consistent!

Step 1 Dosing/Grinding:

We start every coffee by weighing out a precise “dose” of ground coffee into an empty portafilter (we start with 17.5g in and adjust as necessary). This is a very important step because if you don’t know how much coffee you are grinding into the portafilter it’s impossible to get a clean and reliable result in the cup. Without the use of a scale you will never know why your coffee tasted good or bad. (Over or under extracted?)

Grinding/Dosing into the portafilter

Weighing the ground coffee is essential in excellent espresso

Step 2 Tamping/Locking In:

Tamping is a quick step in any specialty coffee shop and although repeatability is important it is less complicated than many assume. The tamping force is not as important as many old school espresso nerds will tell you, what is key however is a smooth and level surface in the coffee bed! When you lock in to your machine take care not to bang the portafilter on anything on the way into the machine; you don’t want to damage equipment and you need to take care of that beautiful coffee you just tamped so well to avoid any channeling (channeling means the coffee bed is uneven or broken and the water will take the easiest path out leading to coffee that is either sour or bitter)

We use a tamp called PUSH from Clockwork Espresso

Tamp + spin baby

A beautiful and even tamped coffee bed ready to be juiced yo!

Locking in and ready to rock!

Step 3 Pulling the Shot:

This is the step that you have been waiting for! While some machines are more automated we use a much more manual machine that requires us to start and stop each shot. This works great for us as we weigh and time each and every shot of espresso to make sure Chilliwack is getting some delicious specialty coffee! When we make a recipe we start with 40g of liquid espresso that has come out in 30 seconds, we will adjust as necessary from here.

Always watching the time + weight of that espresso.

Boom, pretty much exactly what we want! 40g in 30 seconds, give or take ;)

Oof, give that bad boy a sip!

Step 4 Milk/Steaming:

Once you have nailed that perfect espresso shot we recommend simply sipping away at that. We also love the combination of coffee + milk when prepared with quality ingredients! When steamed the high fat content of the milk allows us to soften the natural acidity of the espresso while the milk sugars will highlight the coffees sweetness. We have decided to serve our espresso + milk from an 8oz cup as we believe this makes for a great coffee to milk ratio in your cuppa. Before steaming we always purge the steam wand to make sure we only texture the milk and not add any unwanted water. Steaming is a very difficult thing to explain with words so hop on YouTube for some great example videos!

Purging the steam wand

Steaming/Texturing the milk

Step 5 Pouring/Serving:

The final step in a Merci Coffee Truck beverage is the pouring of the milk and excellent service. We have decided to always do latte art on our milk drinks to highlight the care we put into every

I seem to have forgotten a photo of some beautiful latte art so you will have to come by the truck to see us (mainly Jess) in action!

***At the end of the day it's just coffee, and although we put a lot of effort into making it excellent we would much rather listen, encourage, and live life with the people that stop by this little specialty coffee truck in Chilliwack, B.C. called Merci Coffee + Connection :)

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