For most coffee lovers, the only thing better than a good espresso shot is two of them – a doppio. Learning how to make the perfect doppio espresso allows you to make so much more than your average coffee shop brew.
A doppio espresso is a fairly standard choice when ordering espresso at a cafe. The choice is usually solo (one-shot) or doppio, which offers two. Learning how to brew the perfect cup of espresso yourself means that you'll be able to enjoy that perfect cafe pour without leaving home or spending a premium.
It will also give you the ability to expand your recipe book to include cappuccino and latte macchiato.
The doppio espresso is made the same way as a standard espresso shot. It is created by forcing hot water through a disc (puck) of fine fine-grind coffee.
The water should be hot, but not boiling. It should be noted that the more finely ground the coffee is, the thicker the disc or puck of coffee will be. This means that if the coffee bean grind is extremely fine, the machine will need to use more pressure to get the water to pass through it.
To make the best doppio espresso, the espresso machine has to deliver enough pressure to force the hot water through the coffee puck within 25-30 seconds. If it takes longer, the espresso will taste more bitter, and less of the complex coffee flavor will shine through.
5 Pro Tips for the Perfect Doppio Espresso
Brewing espresso isn't too hard, as long as you know how. Here are 5 pro tips for great taste.
1. Use Proper Pressure
Espresso needs to be brewed quickly to avoid bitterness. The espresso machine needs to force hot water from the boiler and through the coffee within 25-30 seconds.
To achieve that, the grind of the coffee being used shouldn't be so fine that the espresso machine can't exert enough pressure to match it. A solo shot uses about 1.5 oz of water through a tablespoon of coffee grounds, and a doppio (double) shot passes 3 ounces of hot water through 2 tablespoons of grounds.
The doppio needs to force more water through within the same time as the solo. This means that you have to increase the pressure to make sure the timing works. This can be done either by adjusting the grounds or using an espresso machine with a lever.
This allows the barista to add pressure, so the time is met. It allows compensation for an incorrect grind simply by using your own power.
2. Have Quality Products
Make sure you have a good espresso machine, grinder and coffee bean. This doesn't mean you have to pay an excessive amount of money, but proper equipment makes the creation of a good espresso much easier.
You should begin with a machine that is pump-driven and will offer at least a pressure of 9 bars. It should also have a boiler and a portafilter that will make both solo and doppio shots.
The coffee you use is best if it is just roasted. 100% Arabica beans tend to be the best choice for espresso as Robusta is strong and often not of the same quality. Robusta also tends to have a harsher flavor when compared to Arabica.
If you want to do a blend of the two, just make sure that Robusta is added in a smaller amount, so the espresso is not too harsh tasting.
3. Heat it Up
When making the perfect doppio espresso, you want to make sure to preheat a clean portafilter. Run hot water through it before you start. The espresso cup you use should also be warmed before you get started.
Baristas often warm the cups by having them on the heating tray of the espresso maker. If your particular machine doesn't have one, then simply pour some hot water in the cups and drain it when ready. A quick way to heat the portafilter is to simply run the machine with water and no coffee.
4. Measure Properly
Take your freshly roasted beans and grind them. This ensures a fresh taste. Carefully measure 2 tablespoons of the grounds into the portafilter designed for the double shot.
Once this is done, tamp the coffee so it is flat and even. You want it to be level and compact. This is important for flavor and proper water flow. Get rid of any loose grounds so they don't end up floating in the espresso by accident.
5. Apply Uniform Pressure
Once the machine and cup are heated and the coffee in place, lock the portafilter in place and make sure your cup is where it should be. Choose the doppio setting and start. Once there is the correct amount of espresso, stop the pump.
The color will go from dark at the beginning to a more golden color towards the end. You must have a pressure that is uniform while this is happening, or the taste will be off.
You adapt that pressure to make sure you fall within the 25-30 second rule for perfect doppio espresso. Going over time or using inconsistent pressure will create in inferior flavour with less delicious crema.
The Final Word on How to Make the Perfect Doppio Espresso
Making the perfect doppio espresso isn't hard, but it does take some precision and planning. Once you have the proper equipment in place, and pressure set, then there isn't much more to worry about.
If you follow the guidelines then with a few tries you should excel at it. You will learn to adjust as needed as you become more proficient.
If you don't like the grind or taste of your doppio, then feel free to change it so you get the best espresso you can make for your taste buds.
Following these easy 5 pro tips will, after making adjustments for personal preference and taste, allow you to be your own stellar barista.