1. HOT Water - We mean very hot, the best way to ensure this is to leave your water at a rolling boil for at least 30 seconds. If you're looking for absolutely perfect extraction, it's best to first run a quick cycle of hot water through the machine without any coffee. This preps the Minipresso to optimum temperature and ensures no heat loss during the Espresso pull.
2. Grind - If your Minipresso of choice is the GR version, choosing the right grind is important. If you're purchasing pre-ground coffee, a fine espresso grind is perfect. If you're grinding your own beans the exact level of grind will depend upon the quality of your grinder. You’ll be able to tell once you hit the right grind because pumping the Minipresso will be relatively easy and produce a thick golden brown crema. If it’s hard to pump, your grind is too fine and is clogging the Minipresso. A watery low extraction espresso resembling drip coffee results from too coarse of a grind.
3. Rounded Scoop - though a little tamping is ok, my preferred method is to leave a large rounded scoop that get’s tamped down by the nozzle when you screw it back onto the Minipresso.
4. Timing - if the piston is initially hard to press after your first 6 pressurization pumps, waiting is the key. This will allow the water to further permeate the espresso in the filter basket. We use the 1 second rule. When you pump, hold down the piston for 1 second, then after releasing wait 1 second before pumping again. If you were pumping very fast before you’ll notice a huge difference as the espresso will shoot out for longer and come out with more pressure.
5. Crema - The answers are in the crema. If you have a thick golden brown crema first try, you are doing everything right. If you have a white crema, your water is not hot enough. If you have little to no crema, your problem lies in your grind.
6. Puck - At the end of a Minipresso extraction the espresso grind puck in your filter basket should be very condensed and dry. If it is wet and watery, you’re not using enough grind.
7. Clean - Clean your Minipresso between uses! A quick simple wash will do wonders for your maintenance, keep an eye on the indentations in your filter basket chamber. It's important to keep this chamber free of grounds, if a light rinse isn't working a toothbrush or toothpick can easily do the trick. This way everything will seal nice and tight, and you won’t be losing any water, coffee, or pressure.
8. Experiment! - Variety is the spice of life. Mix up your coffees, do long pulls with the large water tank, double filter baskets between pulls, experiment with different grinds, mix it up with frothed milk for a latte or cappuccino. The best espresso is the one you have.