Capsule-style coffee machines became popular because of their unmatched convenience and ease of use. At the touch of a button, these machines brew a great cup of coffee without you ever having to fuss with factors like temperature, grind, coffee-to-water ratio and other specifics. Start with a top-quality coffee and you can trust the machine to do the rest. But what if you could make your brew even better, with just one more simple step?
Nespresso machines are set to brew 40 ml shots of espresso. While we’re big fans of these machines, we have determined that a shorter shot of 30 ml is ideal for our capsules. This volume, the traditional size of a single espresso in Italy, produces the optimal extraction for a coffee with a perfectly balanced, sweeter, bolder flavour. The good news is you can very easily adjust a Nespresso machine’s settings to give you this ideal size of 30 ml every time you press the espresso button.
HOW TO ADJUST YOUR COFFEE-TO-WATER RATIO
Nespresso machines are set to produce 40 ml of espresso as standard, but you can adjust the setting to use any volume up to 70 ml. To do so, brew a capsule as usual, but press and hold down the espresso button. Release the button just before 30 ml of coffee is produced, letting the last few drops fill the cup up to the 30 ml mark. (Brew into a measuring cup to determine the 30 ml volume.) The machine will now give you a 30 ml shot every time you press the espresso button, or until you calibrate it again.
LONGER SHOTS AND OTHER DRINKS
If you want a longer shot of espresso or want to turn an espresso shot into Americano or other coffee drink, it can be tempting to stick with the machine’s standard 40 ml shot or even increase it. Some people press the button twice. However, doing either of those things will give you inferior results compared to brewing a 30 ml shot and topping it up with hot water. Running extra water through a capsule past 30 ml will over-extract the coffee, which results in a bitter, astringent flavour. Instead, we recommend that you make a delicious longer shot by adding one or two shots of plain hot water to a 30 ml extraction after removing the capsule. For a double shot, brew a second capsule.
Now that you know how to calibrate the volume of water for a Nespresso machine, go ahead and experiment with different coffee-to-water ratios. You might find that your own perfect water volume for an espresso is a few ml higher or lower than the 30 ml we recommend – so try it for yourself! Oh, and we also suggest you treat yourself to one of the amazing coffees we offer on our coffee shop page.
Now, while you enjoy your newly improved cup of coffee, why not try these six other coffee brewing tips?