Why Is My Espresso Watery? Our Answers and Solutions

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

Let’s face it—we all want that perfect, rich, and velvety espresso shot. But sometimes, things don’t go as planned, and you end up with a watery, weak brew. No worries, though! We’re here to help you troubleshoot and transform that sad shot into the full-bodied espresso you’ve been dreaming of.


So, grab a cup of coffee, and let’s dive into the world of espresso brewing!

What Is Watery Espresso, and Why Does It Happen?

First things first, what do we mean by “watery” espresso? A well-made espresso shot should have:

  • Intense flavor
  • Sweet finish
  • Rich and creamy texture

But when you’re dealing with a watery espresso, you’ll notice it lacks that intense flavor and instead tastes thin and weak. This often happens when your coffee is under-extracted, meaning that the water didn’t pull out enough flavors during the brewing process. But don’t worry—several factors could be causing this, and we’ve got solutions for each one!

Common Culprits and How to Fix Them

To help you identify the issue and find a solution, we’ve summarized the common causes of watery espresso and how to fix them:

IssueSolution
Stale or poor-quality beansUse freshly roasted beans, grind right before brewing
Incorrect grind sizeAdjust grind size to a fine setting, aim for a 25-28 second shot
Inconsistent tampingApply around 30 pounds of pressure, use a level tamper
Insufficient coffee dosageUse 13-21 grams of coffee for a double shot, adjust as needed
Incorrect brewing temperatureAim for 195-205°F, adjust machine settings if possible
Channeling in the coffee puckUse even distribution, invest in a distribution tool
Machine needs maintenanceClean and maintain your espresso machine regularly

Step-By-Step Troubleshooting Guide:

  1. Check the freshness of your coffee beans and grind them just before brewing.
  2. Adjust the grind size to achieve a shot that takes 25-28 seconds to pull.
  3. Measure your coffee dosage to ensure you’re using the right amount (13-21 grams for a double shot).
  4. Practice consistent tamping pressure (around 30 pounds) for even water flow.
  5. Verify your machine’s brewing temperature (ideal range: 195-205°F).
  6. Address any channeling issues by improving distribution and tamping.
  7. Perform regular maintenance on your espresso machine.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can I run an espresso shot twice? No, doing so will likely result in a bitter taste.
  • What kind of coffee beans should I use? Any coffee beans work, but most people prefer dark roast beans for espresso.
  • How can I make my espresso thicker? Try adjusting coffee dosage, tamping pressure, grind size, and brewing temperature.

And there you have it! Now you’re all set to conquer any espresso challenges that come your way. Remember, coffee brewing is both a science and an art, so don’t hesitate to experiment and have fun with it. Happy brewing!

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using these links. Remember to support us by purchasing through the Amazon/Walmart/Impact Radius links provided. Last update on 2024-06-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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

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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.