Articles From Whole Latte Love

Golden Rule

Posted: 12/29/11

CliffsNotes Version

Espresso shotDOUBLE SHOT: Equals 2 to 2.5 fluid ounces of water pulled through approximately 14 grams of ground coffee in about 20 to 25 seconds.

SINGLE SHOT: Equals 1 to 1.5 fluid ounces of water pulled through approximately 7 grams of ground coffee in about 20 to 25 seconds.

Start timing your “extraction” (the shot you are making) when you hit the brew button, and always tamp (pack the coffee into the portafilter basket) with about 30lbs. of pressure.


1. Think of it as a scientific experiment! Don’t vary more than one variable at a time. If you are going to change your grind setting keep the tamp pressure and coffee amounts consistent. Then you will know that it is the grind that is effecting the change in extraction time.


2. Coffee Amounts: Generally fill the portafilter basket, so that it is loosely full, slightly under the basket rim.

3. Tamp Pressure: If you are not sure what 30lbs. of pressure feels like, get out the bathroom scale. Place a paper towel over the scale, unless your feet are really clean, (yuck!), and place the portafilter handle with basket in it on the scale and press down with your tamper until the scale reads 30lbs.

4. It’s all about what you want! Everyone’s taste is a bit different. These are just guidelines. Every coffee is a bit different, so the required grind and pull will vary slightly.

With your own grinder:

1. If you get 2 to 2.5 ounces in 10 or 15 sec’s, your shot is fast. Try making your grind setting finer. Remember this is an experiment! Only change your grind setting, keep the coffee amount and tamp consistent.

2. If you get 2 to 2.5 ounces in 35 sec’s, your shot is slow. Try a coarser grind. Remember consistent coffee amount and tamp.

Without your own grinder:

If you do not have your own grinder, then obviously you can’t vary your grind setting. So, the next best thing is to vary tamp pressure. If the shot is too quick, tamp harder. If the shot is too slow, tamp lighter.

For an in depth look into the art and ritual of making espresso, see our article The Ritual of Making Espresso.


JoaRkim I have a question about this "Golden Rule". I don't understand how the pull time for a single and a double can be the same if the grind and tamp are the same but the volume of coffee is more for the double. Shouldn't it take longer for the double? So far I am getting 1 ounce of espresso after 25 seconds and 14 grams of coffee. Hmmmm

12-30-2012 12:49pm |