Have you ever made espresso, taken a sip, and tasted a watered-down version of the delicious beverage? If your espresso machine is producing espresso shots that taste watery, it can be frustrating. After all, you want delicious espresso, not a watered-down version. What are you supposed to do if your espresso tastes this way?
We’re here to help. I’ll explore a few reasons why your espresso tastes watery and discuss the ways you can stop this issue from happening. Let’s get started!
How Do You Fix Watery Espresso?
Watery espresso from your coffee grounds can be frustrating. The first step to achieving that perfect shot is to understand what causes this form of coffee to be watery. Once you know the factors that impact your espresso taste, you can alter your espresso machine to make a shot with a much better flavor overall.
Let’s dive into the items that cause espresso to be watery and how you can take care of them! Making espresso is an art, so there are quite a few factors that could lead to your watery problem. Let’s talk about a few of the most prominent ones that you can take on all by yourself.
Use the Freshest Beans Possible
Just like any other food product, coffee beans age. Fresh beans will make your espresso taste different than old beans will. If you want espresso that doesn’t taste like it’s mostly water, you need to focus on utilizing fresher coffee beans in your caffeine creation.
To ensure you use new coffee grounds, keep in mind:
- Length of time you’ve had them: It’s best to utilize beans within the first two weeks or so of having them for the best flavor.
- Location of storage: Coffee stores best in a cool, dry location. If they’ve been kept somewhere warm, they oxidize faster.
These factors majorly contribute to the taste of your espresso.
The best way to keep track of the age of your coffee grounds is to keep track of when you purchased the coffee beans. As long as you use them within two weeks, your espresso shots should still taste strong. If you’ve been using old coffee, this could be your problem.
Double-Check Your Grind Size
If your espresso tastes watery, the grind settings of your grinder can also bring a different taste to life in your brew. A coarse, thick grind will let more water pass through than finer grinds will. You want to use a fine grind if possible to allow the liquid to soak up as much of the coffee as possible before making its way into your cup.
If you find that you can’t produce the proper grind, it may be time to get a new grinder. With an excellent grinding process, you will be able to produce a proper coffee taste with grinds that are a bit finer.
By analyzing the pressure of your espresso you can determine if your grind was too course or too fine.
Make Your Dose Precise
When making espresso, ensure that you use a proper dose to make the ideal flavor in your shot. The dose represents the overall weight of the coffee inside the portafilter.
It takes lots of practice to get the proper dose. Typically, most espresso shots are between 18-21 grams. However, you can stay between 5-30 grams as you experiment to find a dose that you enjoy.
If you add too much coffee, you’ll have what is known as a fast espresso shot. Too little results in a slow espresso shot. It’s up to you to determine your unique espresso style and perfect your dosage process.
Utilize a Proper Tamp Size
A proper tamper size is vital when making espresso that isn’t watery. If you utilize an incorrect tamp size, you won’t get a quality extraction from your roast. The tamp needs to be slightly smaller than the double basket inside the portafilter for the best results.
You can determine your tamp size by doing the following:
- Measuring the interior of the basket
- Taking note of the measure measurements
- Investing in the proper tamp size for your shot
These steps will ensure you find a tamp that will make the tamping process simple
With a proper tamp, you can get espresso that tastes strong and fills your system with caffeine. Many don’t even realize that they have the incorrect tamp size. Check your machine to ensure all is well.
Once you have the proper tamp size, you need to ensure you complete the tamping process properly. You can have the proper grind size, beans, and pressure, but it can all still result in watery espresso if you neglect to tamp your grounds properly.
To complete the tamping process, you need to:
- Level the grounds in the portafilter before adding pressure
- Using good form while tamping, keeping your elbow bent and wrist straight while applying more pressure to the compact puck
- Applying even-handed pressure to the ground beans
- Checking the puck for evenness
These ensure a proper tamp, whether you use different beans or the same ones every single time.
The finer you go with your grind in tamping, the more resistance you will expose your grounds to. Coarser grounds don’t work as well.
If your espresso tastes like water, it’s up to you to determine how many grounds and how much pressure to apply to the grind in the portafilter. You want to get an ideal pull from the tamping process.
Don’t Under-Extract Coffee Beans
Under-extracting is another reason that your grounds may not be producing quality espresso. If you under-extract, you miss out on vital oils that make the grounds work well.
If you make use of coffee that has dealt with under extraction, you will get the least resistance from your pull. Water will run right through your roast, especially if the grinding process has left you with large grind size.
To avoid watery espresso, ensure you extract all you can out of your grind. An uneven extraction will leave behind vital flavors that coffee drinkers desire out of a roasting process.
Check the Temperature for Good Espresso Shots
The brew temperature is also a prominent factor to remember when making espresso from your coffee beans. If you don’t nail the correct temperature, you’ll get a shot that leans toward watery more than powerful.
When making your espresso:
- Colder water: Results in less coffee being dissolved.
- Hotter water: A sweet spot that dissolves coffee and prevents watery results.
The right temperature is critical for an even extraction from the ground coffee.
If you want to get rid of espresso that’s water-based, you need to avoid a lower temperature.
Prepare the Proper Roast in Your Espresso Machine
Preparing the proper roast inside your machine will make a difference in the taste of your espresso. Putting a light roast inside your grinder will result in a different pull with your grounds than a darker roast. You need to make a find pull out of the right roast for you.
Your options for roasts include the following:
- Light roast, which comes in a lighter shade of brown and contains the highest acidity levels for coffee lovers
- Medium roast, which comes a little darker than light roasts do and boasts a balance flavor palette and acidity levels for a coffee lover to enjoy
- Dark roast, which is the darkest of the coffee roasts and has the least caffeine levels but the most flavor
Each of these grounds has a different flavor to appeal to a different coffee lover.
A dark roast works best when tamping. Grind your roast down to a size that’s coarse but not too fine, and you’ll create a delicious roast every single time you complete the tamping process.
Why Is My Espresso Puck Soupy?
For those who don’t know, espresso puck is the used grounds that remain in the portafilter after the espresso extraction process happens. The ground coffee leftovers are supposed to be free of water, damp, and ready for disposal. If your espresso puck is soupy, it can pose a problem.
There are a few reasons why the espresso puck can be soupy:
- The dose of your coffee is too low compared to the water you’re putting in the machine
- You’re dealing with an uneven extraction process
These are the two reasons your puck can end up soupy. It can be discouraging to see your puck like this inside a filter, but there’s a simple solution for those who want to get rid of this problem before they make espresso again.
The biggest way you can prevent soupy puck is by ensuring that the grinds inside the machine are equivalent to the water placed inside the machine.
If you put too little water inside, the opposite can happen. You will find your puck overly dry and difficult to clean out from your espresso machine. It’s critical to hit that perfect spot with water and grounds.
Everything in coffee is about balance. The same goes for espresso. If you make sure everything is in line and perfect, your espresso will come out exactly as you want it to every single day.
Related: Milk Frother vs Steamer
How Can I Make My Espresso Thicker?
Some people prefer a thicker espresso shot. If you want to get this out of your extraction process, you might wonder how you can make your espresso thicker. Many prefer a thick form of espresso over a thinner one, as you want to get the most you can out of a shot in the day.
There are two things you can do to make your espresso thicker:
- Grind your coffee into finer grounds, keeping a solid balance between fine grounds and course grounds
- Ensure you pull shorter in the roasting process, extracting more quickly than with a thinner espresso option
Combining these techniques will ensure you get a thick espresso when all is said and done.
Another thing you can do is add pressure to your espresso as it pulls through the grounds. The more pressure added to the mix, the thicker your beverage will come out in the end. Combine all these factors to ensure you get the best espresso possible out of your machine.
Why Is My Espresso Not Creamy?
So, you’ve taken the action to make your shot less watery and improve the flavor of your caffeine. Now, why isn’t your espresso creamy? How can you get a creamy taste out of your espresso extraction process?
There are a few things you can do to make espresso crema. Some of them include:
- Using only the freshest beans available
- Investing in a perfect espresso machine
- Ensuring you complete the tamping process properly
- Grinding your coffee beans to a fine perfection
- Adding the ideal amount of pressure
- Utilizing fresh water
These should leave you with creamy espresso once the process is complete.
Espresso crema takes practice to achieve. You likely won’t get it the first time you make espresso in your machine, no matter how good you think you are. Everything needs to be precise to create the best creamy espresso. You can also check out what to do if you have no crema on your espresso to make the perfect cup next time.
When you make a creamy espresso, you will visibly be able to see the layers that went into the drink. The top should be the lightest, and the bottom should be dark. This is how you’ll know you have a solid creamy espresso.
Final Thoughts on Watery Espresso
Espresso is a delicious, single shot that can be ingested by itself or put inside a fresh brew. It can give you lots of energy and wake you up on the days where you need some caffeine to bring you back to life. However, many beginners find their espresso is coming out of the machine watery. This result can be frustrating to deal with if you’re trying to make an ideal shot.
Luckily, there are several reasons why your espresso may be coming out watery. From improper water temperature to incorrect tamping, there are several measures you can experiment with to find your ideal roast.