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Coffee Tips

How Much Water to Put in Espresso Machine

The volume of water for a shot of espresso should be 1 oz. Therefore, after your second shot of espresso has reached 2 oz, you’ll have consumed all the fluids. Ensure that your timer is set before taking the shot. Usually, you should brew your espresso for between 20 and 30 seconds. If your espresso brews longer or shorter, check your dose, grind, and tamp, and adjust these factors accordingly. This article will discuss the proper coffee to water ratio in espresso and how to pull a perfect espresso shot. Read on!

pouring water into expresso machine

How Much Water Should You Use for a Shot of Espresso?

The amount of water to put in your espresso machine depends on the number of shots you want. For a single shot of espresso, you should put 1 oz of water which is equal to 30 ml of water.

How Much Water Should You Use for double Espresso?

For double espresso, you’ll require double the amount of water in one shot of espresso. Therefore, you’ll need 2 oz of water for a double espresso shot, which is equal to 60 ml of water.

How Many Ml Should an Espresso Be?

The ml in an espresso depends on the espresso shots. A single shot of espresso uses 7 grams of coffee and yields 30 ml of espresso, which is equal to 1 liquid ounce. On the other hand, a double shot of espresso uses 14 grams of coffee and yields 60 ml of espresso, which is about 2 liquid ounces.

What is the Ideal Espresso to Water Ratio for Espresso?

Modern espresso is brewed using a ratio of 1:2, meaning that for every gram of coffee, you will use 2 grams of water. For a ristretto, you’ll use the 1:1 ratio, while for a lungo, you’ll use the 1:4 ratio. Additionally, the coffee water ratio used may differ depending on the brewing method used. Here are some brewing methods with their coffee to water ratio.

  • Aero press – coffee: water = 1:6
  • French press – coffee: water = 1:12
  • Chemex – coffee: water = 1:17
  • Moka Pot – coffee: water = 1:10
  • Siphon – coffee: water = 3:50

How Many Ml is an Espresso Cup?

Different coffee cup sizes contain different ml. For example, an espresso cup size of 2 oz contains 59 or 60ml, a cappuccino cup size of 6 oz contains 177ml, and a latte cup size of 8 oz contains 236 ml.

How Much Coffee Do You Need for a One-Shot of Espresso?

A single shot of espresso requires about 6 to 8 grams of ground coffee and produces one fluid ounce. For two shots of espresso, you’ll need about 14 to 18 grams of ground coffee and produces two fluid ounces. A single shot of espresso is one ounce, while a double shot of espresso is two ounces. Both shots should be brewed in 20 to 30 seconds. 25 seconds is considered the best brewing time.

How to Pull a Perfect Shot of Espresso

Water and coffee are the two main ingredients for making a cup of coffee or a shot of espresso. Therefore, you’ll need the right balance between these two ingredients. Upon the first sip of espresso or coffee, you’ll recognize the different categories of strengths that your coffee falls into.

Weak coffee – This coffee uses insufficient coffee grounds leading to a watery, papery, and flat coffee.

Strong coffee – This type of coffee doesn’t use enough water during the brewing process resulting in a muddy and ashy tasting coffee.

Balanced coffee – This type of coffee uses the right coffee to water ratio, leading to a perfect cup with the optimal flavor and body.

Here is a step-by-step guide to pulling perfect double shots of espresso.


  • Espresso machine
  • A grinder
  • Scale
  • A portafilter
  • A tamper
  • Filtered water
  • Espresso size cup
  • Quality coffee
  • A timer

Before we dive in, the key to pulling a perfect shot of espresso is consistency. Do things the same way – unless you’re experimenting with variables. Let’s begin.

Step 1 – Pre-Heat

Preheat your espresso machine, portafilter, and espresso cup by pulling a “blank” shot. A “blank shot” is pulled by running water without coffee through the portafilter and espresso cup. This process takes 15 to 30 minutes depending on your espresso machine.

Step 2 – Grind

Use your grinder – preferably a burr grinder to grind your coffee beans. The ground texture determines your shot quality. For example, a too fine grind will lead to over-extracted coffee that tastes bitter and burnt, while a too coarse grind will lead to under-extracted coffee which tastes watery and sour. Grind your coffee beans into a fine texture that is similar to granulated sugar texture.

Step 3 – Dose

Fill your portafilter with the right amount of coffee grounds you need for your espresso. For example, if you need to pull a double shot of espresso, fill your portafilter with between 14 to 18 grams of ground coffee. This also depends on your espresso machine and your preferences.

Step 4 – Settle and Clear Grounds

Now that you have the correct amount of coffee grounds you need in your portafilter, it’s time to settle your coffee grounds evenly. The aim of leveling the coffee grounds is to ensure the water doesn’t flow out faster in any area for an even extraction. To level the coffee grounds, gently tap the sides of the portafilter with your hand. You can also use a tamping mat to settle the grounds.

Step 5 – Tamp

As you tamp, you want to ensure that you keep level and use the right pressure. Tamping ensures that there’s uniformity during the extraction process. The correct way to tamp your coffee grounds is to rest your portafilter on a level surface, hold your elbow at 90 degrees, and gently apply pressure until the grounds have an even and polished look.

Step 6 – Brew

Place the portafilter into the espresso machine’s brew head and put your espresso cup beneath it. If your machine doesn’t have a timer, grab your timer and start it once you hear the pump. The ideal brewing time is between 20 to 30 seconds. Once your double shot is at 2 oz (60ml), stop the espresso shot and check your timer.


The first part of the espresso shot is dark before turning golden brown and foamy. The mixture flows in a thin stream without breaking. Additionally, a perfect shot of espresso has a golden brown crema that rests above the drink.

Most importantly, if your 2 oz of espresso comes out before 25 seconds, make your coffee grind finer. If your 2 oz of espresso takes more than 30 seconds, make the grinder coarser. And if your 2 oz espresso pulls on time but tastes harsh, make your grind coarser and increase the coffee dose. Finally, if your shots come out unevenly from the sprouts, even the tamp.


The amount of water that your espresso machine pushes through the coffee grounds is very important. For a single shot, the amount of espresso yielded is 1 oz, which is equal to 30 ml, while for a double shot, the amount of espresso yielded is 2 oz, which is equal to 60 ml. Additionally, pay attention to the brewing time which should be between 20 to 30 seconds.

Also, you can pay attention to the color of the espresso extract. What you need is a brown hazelnut color. If your espresso color goes lighter with time, it means that fewer flavors are being extracted from the coffee grounds. You can stop the extraction when the color begins lightening. Ideally, you can also use espresso cups that have the 30ml and 60 ml mark, so that you can stop the extraction once the espresso collected is on the line or slightly under the line for the best espresso.