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Coffee Tips

Can You Make Espresso the Night Before?

Sometimes you got no energy and time to make your morning cup of espresso. Or maybe you want your coffee done by the time you wake up. But, can you make espresso the night before? Would it taste the same as freshly brewed espresso? Does overnight espresso go stale? Coffee sparks lots of questions. However, the answers are easy to find in the right place. This article will answer this common question (can you make espresso the night before?) and discuss everything you need to know regarding espresso preparation. Read on.

espresso poured in a cup that was prepared the day before

What is Espresso

Espresso is a concentrated and specialized form of coffee that is made with very finely grounded and dark-roasted coffee beans. The concentrated espresso shot is made using hot and pressurized water that is pushed through the coffee grounds using an espresso machine. Espresso is served in small, strong shots, and is used as a base for most coffee drinks. The exact profile flavor will depend on the coffee roast. Basically, espresso has similar flavors to those of coffee but is amplified – lightly sweet, acidic, bitter, and toasty.

How to Make Espresso

Firstly, if you love espresso, it is worth getting yourself an espresso machine. However, you can opt for alternative machines such as a Moka pot, Aero press, or French press, but an espresso machine will definitely give you the true espresso. The second step to a rich and flavorful cup of espresso is getting the right coffee beans. Fresh coffee beans will make a huge impact on your espresso.

Therefore, ensure that the coffee beans are freshly roasted. Most whole roasted coffee beans you buy from the stores have lost their freshness since whole-ground coffee beans usually lose their freshness within two weeks as a result of their short shelf life. Additionally, go for dark roasted coffee beans. The next step is to finely grind the coffee beans to a powdery consistency using a clean burr grinder, which will give you the best results. If you grind a lot of coffee at a time, ensure you store the grounded coffee in a well-sealed container to ensure they don’t lose its freshness. Ground coffee exposed to air will lose freshness within minutes of exposure.

Clean your portafilter and ensure that there’re no leftover coffee grounds since they may make your espresso taste more bitter than usual. After cleaning your portafilter, weigh the coffee grounds depending on the number of shots you want. For example, a single shot of espresso requires 6 to 8 grams while a double shot requires 15 grams of ground coffee.

Fill the portafilter with the grounds and finely distribute them using a finger to enhance the consistency of your espresso during extraction. Also, use a tamper to tamp the coffee grounds to remove any air pockets in the coffee grounds and to completely level the coffee grounds. Purge the machine before inserting the portafilter by running it briefly to rinse the ground head. This process also ensures that the ground head is properly heated so you can easily extract your coffee.

After the rinsing process, insert the portafilter into the espresso machine and position your coffee mug underneath. Start the espresso machine and your espresso will be ready in minutes. The hot steaming water is forced through the coffee grounds at a high speed thus extracting a highly concentrated shot of espresso. A perfect cup of espresso will have a crema and a balance of three elements. These are bitterness, sweetness, and acidity. The espresso crema is from the mixture of carbon dioxide bubbles with the natural oils, sugar, and fats present in coffee. To achieve the perfect espresso shot, you’ll need fresh ingredients (freshly roasted coffee beans and freshly grounded coffee) as well as filtered water. Tap water may not give you the best results.

Causes of Bitter Espresso

Your espresso will taste bitter as a result of over-extraction, under extraction, the wrong grind size, and dirty equipment. When it comes to over-extraction, you’ll need to master the right balance between brewing time and water temperature. Water that is too hot will lead to the bitterness of your espresso. Equally important, if the coffee brews for too long, it will lead to the release of unwanted flavors, thus bitter and burnt espresso. With under-extraction, there is the release of too few good flavors, thus a weak and sour espresso shot.

Additionally, you need clean equipment to make a perfect shot of espresso. Otherwise, you’ll get a build-up of coffee residue that will taint the taste. Also, if you’re making espresso, you’ll need fine-grind coffee grounds.

Can You Make Espresso the Night Before?

You can make espresso the night before and store it in an airtight glass container in the refrigerator or freezer. The problem will be reheating your overnight espresso since it won’t reheat how you want it to when you’re ready to drink it. You’ll require a steamer to even get close to reheating it as you would want. Here are some tips you can use to retain the espresso original flavor after making it overnight.

  •         Store your espresso in an airtight glass container
  •         Add fresh milk or coffee to it before reheating
  •         Reheat with a milk steamer or milk frother
  •         Add your favorite syrup
  •         Drink it before 36 hours

Equally important, you can set up your coffee machine the night before by filling it with coffee. Just ensure you don’t expose the coffee grounds or beans overnight. Setting up your machine the night before will make it easy and quick to make your espresso in the morning. Also, it will help you avoid reheating your coffee. Alternatively, you can use the refrigerated espresso as a base for iced coffee

How to Store Overnight Espresso

You can store overnight espresso in the refrigerator using a glass container that won’t compromise the taste. However, espresso tastes better when it is freshly brewed. This is because reheating overnight espresso can make it taste burnt or overcooked. Moreover, you can reheat your espresso within 24 hours using a steamer, which will give you close to the desired results. A steamer, clean equipment, and fresh ingredients to start with minimizes the chances of burnt and staleness taste. Additionally, if your espresso doesn’t reheat well, there are other alternative ways to use overnight or leftover espresso that will still save you money.

Can Overnight Espresso Go Bad?

Brewed espresso will begin to taste bad after about 30 minutes. The espresso will then have four hours before the oils start to go bad, which further alters the espresso taste. Furthermore, an espresso shot will only sit for a short time (10 seconds) before its flavor and texture begin to significantly change. This is a result of temperature loss and oxidation.

Alternative Uses of Overnight Espresso

As mentioned earlier, you can use your refrigerated overnight espresso as a base for cold or iced coffee instead of reheating it. Additionally, you can put your espresso in the freezer in ice cube trays and use the espresso-based ice cubes with milk for a traditional iced latte twist. You can also add your overnight espresso to baked goods. This works particularly well with any chocolatey baked creation like brownies and cake. Also, baristas use leftover espresso to make alcoholic drinks such as espresso martinis.


Espresso coffee is at its best freshly brewed. However, if you want your coffee readily available when you wake up, you can make it the night before. The problem will be reheating it, since it may taste bitter as a result of over-extraction. Reheating with a steamer will however give you closer results. To avoid the bitter taste after reheating, you can set up your coffee machine overnight so it is quicker to make your coffee in the morning. Alternatively, you can drink the espresso as a cold or iced coffee drink. Everything sums up your personal preference. If you like your espresso reheated, ignore the coffee snobs and reheat it. Just ensure you enjoy your espresso.


Also read:

How Long Does Freeze Dried Coffee Last?