Make sure your machine is warmed up. Preheat your espresso cup.
Remove portafilter and wipe it out to clean and dry the basket.
Grind and dose your coffee. The coffee should be ground with a quality burr grinder, directly into the portafilter basket as evenly as possible. You should use 19 to 21 grams (about 3 Tablespoons) depending on your basket, coffee and how many days the coffee is off the roast.
BARISTA TIP: The grind should be a very fine powder while still having a little grit to it. If you pinch it together it should stick together and not easily fall apart.
Tap the portafilter once or twice on the counter or grinder to settle the coffee. There should be a small amount of coffee above the top edge of the basket.
Level the coffee or make sure that grounds are evenly distributed in the portafilter. To level, keep your finger straight and glide your finger back and forth across the surface of the portafilter to create an even surface.
Tamp the coffee. Be sure to keep it flat to allow for even extraction.
Purge (flush) your grouphead. Wait about 3 seconds for water to come out.
Insert portafilter into the grouphead. Start the brew cycle and the timer at the same time.
Place cup under portafilter and watch the espresso for a steady stream, increasing gradually in speed – ideally the streams should look like little mouse tails. The entire extraction should take 23-28 seconds to brew 1.5 ounces of espresso. If it takes much longer, try a coarser grind. If it brews too quickly, try a finer grind.
Taste and adjust.