Brew pressure vs. shot time

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks for making espresso.

#1: Post by Kyle26d »

Hey guys,

Question about machine pressure vs brew/shot time. I have been pulling some shots that when brewing, the pressure has been consistently hitting the correct pressure zone on the gauge, however, the shot seems to be flowing too fast visually (even the first part of the shot) and with a brew time around 28 seconds (which seems okay as for an 18g dose?)

If I go finer, I may over-pressurize so I am unsure if I should leave it. Should I just accept the visually fast flow? The shots taste decent but I feel like I could have a little more sweetness out of the coffee

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#2: Post by Jeff »

It's something of a challenge to figure put what is behind the Italian-inspired styling of the Sunbeam PU8000, if that's what you're using. I've found at least one thread that suggests that it doesn't have an OPV. It appears to be a very simple thermoblock machine, styled to look like an E61. Without an OPV, you're very limited on what you can do with the machine as you can't adjust grind and dose without impacting extraction pressure. Thermal stability and repeatability are other problems common to most entry level, thermoblock machines.

With what you have, I think the best you're going to be able to do is play with grind and dose until you find something that tastes reasonable to you. You may, for example, have to reduce dose if you grind finer to keep the pressure in a reasonable range. Most of the advice here is for machines that have an OPV or other method of managing the brew pressure and you'll have to figure out what might be applicable to your machine.

Kyle26d (original poster)

#3: Post by Kyle26d (original poster) »

Correct Jeff, I am using the PU8000 which is just a triple thermoblock system unfortunately.

Thank you for the insight though. I see what you're saying with thermal stability as this morning I made a coffee for the 3 of us, dosing each at 18g +-0.2g. The first shot hitting the ideal pressure but flowing a bit fast.
The next 2 gradually had higher pressures and visually slower flow rates where I would manually stop the machine at about the 30 second mark +-2 seconds.

I will continue to monitor each shot since I note down all my numbers for my learning.


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#4: Post by Jeff »

If you see an A,B,B pattern repeating, that suggests to me that something is different about the first shot of the day. You might want to try pulling a shot with an empty basket to heat everything up around the same before your first espresso of the day.


#5: Post by Bar »

Hey Jeff, good point. Since we are supposed to heat up the portafilter and group head with by running hot water on them would this not be a good practice for all barista all the time anyway? (Provided the tools have gone cold)