I own a Breville Barista Express with a bottomless portafilter, and level set tamper. With 19g of coffee I try to get 2.5oz out in 35 seconds. I use darker roast beans that still have some natural oils. Look for a local roaster near you that is roasting small batches, has good quality control, and any coffee blends are produced by roasting first and blending after.

After getting the dose into my portafilter, use a needle distributor to break up any coffee clumps. Then the leveling side of your tamper to get a flat bed of coffee. Flip the tamper over and press hard to compact the coffee. Since this tamper has a level set by a screw mechanism, you can not over tamp the coffee and if your dose is tuned properly you will have very good consistency. The tamper sets the height of the bed of coffee and will need to be adjusted so that the coffee and puck screen are at the optimal height in contact with the brew head.

Time your espresso so that you are getting about 2.5oz in 35 seconds at 15 bar. The exact timing is determined by the size of the dose and the fineness of your grind. I’ve used two different BBE espresso machines, and one has very different inner burr and grind settings. So expect to take some time to master this skill. Every coffee roast will require grinding adjustments, so while you are getting started you should get a 5lb bag of coffee. Once you have that one dialed in, start experimenting with new coffees.

Lastly, I only use almond milk for my latte’s and cappuccinos. It steams almost as well as real milk and doesn’t make my stomach upset. Getting the perfect milk foam was the most difficult skill for me to learn. I’m still refining my technique but this milk steaming video helped me a lot. As for latte art, I’m hopeless but I can usually manage to make a spiral.


Making aeropress coffee is much simpler. I like to use 30 grams of medium ground coffee and get really creative with my coffee roasts. Everything is on the table, recently I’ve been enjoying a medium roast single-origin Guatemalan coffee from my local roaster.

With 30 grams of coffee I fill my original “4” cup aeropress to the brim and stir for about 60 seconds. Press down and enjoy. I use this method to get the most out of my coffees and really enjoy tasting the differences between different blends / roasts.

Cold Brew

Cold brew is probably the preparation I enjoy the most often and in the most quantity. But be careful, using a light roasted coffee and a long cold extraction is one of the most effective ways to get a dose of caffeine. It tastes so good, you’ll have three glasses and be well on your way to heart palpitations.

I brew 3.5 gallons at a time in a glass drink dispenser. It’s got a ceramic lid with a rubber gasket and a small plastic spout for dispensing the coffee. It’s vital to use a glass brewer because the coffee acids and oils will stain any plastic, which can easily affect flavor. In addition to being unsightly. I found my glass brewer at walmart and it’s the perfect size to sit above the vegetable drawers in my fridge.

I buy a full half pound of coffee from my local roaster and have it ground coarse (or “percolator”) at the store. Then I use the coffee to evenly fill two 6" x 4" cotton steeping bags that I purchased on Amazon. The bags go in, then the water. Put the whole thing in the fridge for 12-14 hours. I usually start mine at around 9pm so It’s ready for late morning coffee the next day.

In particular the choice of beans for cold brew must be made carefully. Cold brew can greatly reduce the acidity that develops in coffee so you need something underneath that for flavor. I’m using a medium roast / dark roast blend that suites me well. The chocolatey and chamomile flavors I have found underneath these beans is stunning. I wish you the best of luck in finding your own unique and surprizing flavors!

By far this is my most favorite preparation.