Is Your Espresso Pulling Too Fast? Let’s Fix It Together!

crazy by Editorial Staff | Posted on March 30th, 2023

Hey, fellow coffee lovers! Taylor here. If you’re anything like me, you know that brewing the perfect espresso shot can be a bit tricky, but oh-so-rewarding when you get it right.

One common challenge is getting that shot to pull at just the right speed. If your espresso is pulling too fast, don’t worry—I’ve got you covered with some quick and easy fixes to get that velvety smooth shot you crave.

making espresso

Let’s dive in!

The Basics: Understanding Espresso Extraction

Before we jump into the fixes, let’s talk a bit about espresso extraction. When we say an espresso shot is “pulling,” we’re talking about the process of hot water flowing through the coffee grounds to extract all those rich flavors. The key is finding the right balance between grind size, dose (amount of coffee), and tamping pressure.

Troubleshooting Table: Identify and Fix the Issue

SymptomPossible CauseSolution
Fast-pulling espressoCoarse grindAdjust to a finer grind
Insufficient coffee doseIncrease the amount of coffee used
Inadequate tampingApply firm, even pressure
Watery, weak espressoCoarse grind or low doseFine-tune grind size and dose
Over-extracted, bitterToo fine grindAdjust to a slightly coarser grind

Slow It Down: How to Fix a Fast-Pulling Espresso

If your espresso shot is racing to the finish line, it’s time to slow things down. Here’s what you can do:

1. Fine-Tune Your Grind Size

  • A coarse grind can make water flow too quickly through the coffee, resulting in a weak and under-extracted shot.
  • The solution? Switch to a finer grind.
  • A good rule of thumb is to aim for a texture similar to table salt.
  • And if you can, grinding your own beans fresh makes all the difference!

2. Get the Dose Just Right

  • Too little coffee can also cause a fast pull.
  • The sweet spot is typically between 17.5 and 18.1 grams for a double shot, but feel free to experiment to find what works for your taste buds.

3. Perfect Your Tamping Technique

  • Tamping is all about packing those coffee grounds evenly to create resistance against the water flow.
  • Use a tamper to apply firm pressure—imagine you’re pressing down on a spring.
  • The goal is a level and even coffee bed without air pockets.

Common Questions Answered

While we’re here, let’s tackle a couple of questions you might have:

Why is my espresso shot watery?

  • If your shot is watery, it’s likely due to a coarse grind or a low dose.
  • Try adjusting these factors for a more robust and flavorful shot.

How long should an espresso shot take?

  • The industry standard for a double shot is between 25 and 30 seconds from the moment you start the extraction.
  • Keep an eye on the clock, and adjust as needed!

What’s the best grind size for espresso?

  • The grind size for espresso should be fine, like table salt.
  • You can make small adjustments depending on your machine and taste preferences, but always keep it on the fine side.

Grind Size Reference

To give you an idea of how grind size affects your coffee, here’s a quick reference of common grind sizes for different brewing methods:

  • Extra Fine: Ideal for Turkish coffee
  • Fine: Perfect for espresso and Moka pot brewing
  • Medium-Fine: Suitable for pour-over methods like the Hario V60
  • Medium: Great for drip coffee makers and Aeropress
  • Medium-Coarse: Works well for Chemex and Clever Dripper
  • Coarse: The go-to grind size for French press and cold brew

Keep in mind that the “Fine” grind size is what we’re aiming for when brewing espresso. You can experiment within this range to find the grind size that gives you the best results.

You’ve Got This!

And there you have it! With a few tweaks, you’ll be sipping on a delicious and perfectly pulled espresso shot in no time. Remember, coffee brewing is part art, part science, so feel free to play around and find what works for you.

The troubleshooting table, bullet points, and grind size reference are all designed to make this information easy to digest and apply. So, whether you’re a seasoned barista or a coffee enthusiast looking to up your espresso game, these tips are sure to help you achieve that perfect pull.

Happy caffeinating, friends!

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Disclosure: No compensation or free products were received in exchange for writing this review.


Editorial Staff

The editorial staff at Crazy Coffee Crave is a team of coffee enthusiasts & Baristas who enjoy the one thing we all think about as soon as we get up in the morning. Trusted by thousands of readers worldwide.