James, our founder, has been making speciality coffee for almost a decade so he decided to produce this guide on how to use a sage coffee machine so that you can recreate a coffee shop experience in the comfort of your own home.
From espresso making basics to pouring the perfect milk, we've got you covered. Now grab a coffee, sit back and enjoy the read 📚
Make the perfect espresso shot on your sage coffee machine
"It can be tricky finding the perfect shot," James explains. There are so many variables that affect coffee such as dose, quantity of liquid espresso (yield), tamping, coffee freshness plus so much more.
But once you've mastered the basics, you'll be making coffee shop standard coffee from your favourite mug right at home - it can't get any better than that". Check out the video below to see how James makes the perfect espresso.
We also have an article that explains how to make an espresso on your sage espresso machine.
Top tips for brewing your espresso like a pro!
1. Start with freshly roasted coffee beans
This is super important and is often an overlooked aspect to the art of making great coffee.
Supermarket coffee for example, is ordered in huge volumes and has to go through a supply chain which means by the time you get to drink it, it has lost many of its aromas that contribute to the perfect espresso shot.
Fresh is best, so make sure when you buy coffee it's little and often.
2. Espresso preparation and coffee distribution
Espresso prep is a vital part of the coffee making process and essential to mastering the art of making the perfect espresso shot. Ensure when grinding your coffee into the basket that the coffee grounds sit as even and flat as possible.
This helps to maintain an even bed of ground coffee so that the water passes through the coffee 'puck' at an even rate.
If the coffee bed is uneven in a particular area then you will taste bitterness as the coffee over-extracts more than the rest.
Our friends at home ground coffee created an awesome visual to demonstrate what happens when you brew espresso with unevenly distributed grounds. If you want to really geek out then you can check out the coffee extraction graph which explains how under and over extraction directly affects flavour.
3. Espresso Recipe
Choosing the right espresso recipe before you start is a coffee making essential.
Otherwise, you'll end up wasting loads of coffee which nobody wants.Part of the fun surrounding coffee is experimentation; however, a great starting point for the perfect espresso recipe is a 1:2 or 50% brew ratio.
This means if you start with 18g of ground coffee in the basket, you'll want double the amount of liquid espresso in the cup (this is why coffee scales are so important).
Generally speaking, a 50% brew ratio allows the coffee to taste punchy whilst also retaining lots of balance and natural sweetness in the cup.
Coffee extraction is something important we need to highlight. It can be the difference between a sour, astringent or bitter shot vs the most delightful and balanced espresso to kick start your morning.
There's a magic window in espresso extraction somewhere between 20-32 seconds which gives you the perfect combo of acidity sweetness.
Generally, the upper range between 25-32 results in great tasting espresso although, we wouldn't recommend throwing away a shot at 23 seconds as that's just a waste and it won't taste awful. Just remember that coffee extraction is directly effected by coffee grind size.
Check out our video guide on coffee grind sizes.
4. Water for Coffee
Water in coffee is a huge topic and is very important, however, it's so vast that we won't go into too much detail in this blog post.
Although, there are a few key points to understand.
Just like coffee, fresh water is best, so make sure you replenish your Sage water tank daily to ensure your maximising on flavour.
Softer water makes tastier coffee whereas hard water will diminish flavour. This is why it's so important to replace the Sage water filter cartridge at the recommended intervals.
This will ensure that your water quality is great for brewing espresso along with protecting the lifespan of your sage machine.
We created a useful guide on how to correctly clean your sage coffee machine. Hey!
Are you a lover of Robusta or Arabica, two of the most popular forms of coffee? I'm certain you'd like reading our Arabica vs Robusta: The Ultimate Expert Guide.
How to froth your milk to make the perfect latte art on your sage coffee machine.
Now you've mastered the espresso it's time to move on to the milk. Watch our video on how to pour latte art with a sage coffee machine.
If you've got this far, congratulations! You deserve a coffee so we've decided to give you a 10% coffee gift with code 'SAGE10'.
Head over to our shop and stock up on some freshly roasted beans. We recommend trying the Level Up Blend as a starting point before trying some of the more experimental single origin coffees.