I have got a Breville Barista Express just before a couple of days and I am trying to make the best single espresso shot I can make with this machine at home.

For the last two days I was playing and changing with the settings of the machine to reach to the signs of the good single espresso shot as described on the internet... they are saying that the pressure gauge needle has to point to 12 o'clock.... I don't know if that is correct ... anyways I have reached to that.

But on the internet, they also say that the extraction time for a single shot should be 20 seconds ... in my case it is 15 sec. .... what is wrong?!

Please know that I am using the single shot single wall basket, and a Starbucks medium roast coffee beans that was produced before 5 months.

The problem seems like either in the dosage or in the tamping force or in the grind size.

First, I advise you to use freshly roasted beans.

I don't know what is the pressure value at 12 o'clock position, but I assume it is correct. Now, let's check what could have been happened.

Either

  • you have less coffee grounds so the water travels a short distance in the coffee

or

  • you tamp lightly so water channels through the coffee instead of extracting flavors from the grounds by pressure

or

  • your grind is too coarse, so that water could travel faster through large boulders instead of finer sandy grounds with less extraction surface

Therefore, I could suggest that you can first check your ground size, then check your tamping force (15 kg-f is more or less correct) and then the amount of ground you fill in the basket.

Then, please see these relevant discussions:


I have edited an enhanced answer based on @avacado1's comments. Thanks.

  • Assuming he weighs the grounds though, the dose shouldn't be an issue and tamping isn't so crucial that it would change 5s. You can make good espresso with almost no tamping. If he follows a recipe with a specific dose, it is the grind size. And if he's not following a recipe he has to start over from the beginning and follow the advice from the other threads. – avocado1 Sep 11 at 12:35
  • @avocado1 Sure, the grind size... These machines have pretty nice default settings but it may be modified. So true. Thanks. – MT San Sep 11 at 14:47

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