There are many espresso recommendations for an exact brew time of, lets say 28 seconds according to here.

When pulling a shot of espresso, some machines use a low pressure "pre-infusion" feature to quickly bloom the puck before starting the brew cycle. Most coffee brewing techniques do not count this as brewing time since its a preliminary step before adding more water, however espresso is an art of careful attention to every small detail without any room for error.

Should the timer start as soon as water hits the puck, no matter the circumstances, or should pre-infusion be excluded from total brewing time?

1 Answer 1


Based in my experience, the "23-28secs" starts counting since you press the button of the water. Those 3-4secs of "pre-infusion" that you mention, are part of the whole timing process.

But remember, it will always depends on your set-up (type-of coffee, roast, grind, etc...)

You can measure this empirically watching brewing guides, like:

  • I believe OP is talking about something like a La Pavoni where you can let it the water before engaging pressure (ie. elbow grease).
    – luser droog
    Aug 16, 2015 at 6:48
  • 1
    In that case, maybe this articule would be helpful to @rwyland :) Aug 17, 2015 at 17:18

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