Why Your Espresso Is Watery & Exactly What You’re Doing Wrong

If you notice that your espresso has become watery, you might be curious about what happened and what you can do to fix it. Unfortunately, watery espresso is a common problem, but the good news is that there are a variety of solutions available to help you fix it.

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Your espresso will come out watery for a variety of reasons, including inadequate extraction, insufficient grind size, low brew temperature, insufficient dose, and inadequate tamp size. In addition, if the tamping is poor and the coffee is ground too finely, your espresso will come out with watery inconsistency.

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We’ll share some useful tips on avoiding watery espresso in your next coffee session in this post. So let’s get this party started!

What is causing my espresso to taste watery?

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Generally speaking, if you want to avoid watery-tasting espresso, use fresher coffee beans and finer ground coffee to achieve the desired result. However, suppose that solution does not work. In that case, you can experiment with lowering or increasing the dose, using a darker roast, and making sure you are pulling at the proper temperature, which is approximately 200 degrees Fahrenheit.

What Causes Your Espresso to Be Watery?

Before tamping, double-check that the coffee grounds are evenly distributed and that the machine’s pressure is set properly before tamping. While various factors contribute to the watery taste of your espresso, you can improve the outcome by making some adjustments.

Avoid under-extraction at all costs.

One of the causes of the watery espresso is under-extracting the coffee beans. Running this process too quickly can result in less oil being absorbed by the water from the coffee.

For example, the coffee grounds are not fine enough, which is one of the reasons for this. As a result, the water is pushed through it more quickly due to the larger spaces created by the grind.

If you use beans that have been lightly roasted and are low in oil, the water will pass through them quickly. Low temperatures can also result in under extraction because colder water is less active than warm water.

Besides that, it moves through the coffee grounds more quickly and picks up fewer oils from the beans.

Make Use of Fresh Beans

The freshness of your coffee beans can impact the flavor of your espresso. If you do not use fresh beans, your espresso will have a watery and bland taste because the beans will have gone bad.

It is important to remember that coffee beans age and begin to oxidize after the roasting process, reducing the amount of oil in the beans. In other words, using old beans can result in a more watery taste than using fresh beans.

It is best to use coffee beans that have been stored for at least 2-3 weeks before roasting. If you want to keep the beans fresh for a longer period, store them in a dry and cool environment.

Use your ground coffee beans as soon as possible after they have been ground. Keep in mind that the flavor of ground beans begins to diminish approximately fifteen minutes after they are ground.

Check the Grind Size before you start.

Using a coffee grind that is too coarse, the water will pass through it more easily. As a result, you will be served an espresso that is far too watery in flavor. Make sure to use a finer grind to resolve this issue.

You should replace your coffee grinder if your beans aren’t ground to a fine powder when you make your coffee. However, it is possible to purchase a grinder that produces an ultra-fine grind.

The temperature of the brew

Another factor contributing to the watery taste of your espresso is the temperature at which you are brewing it. When brewing the coffee, using a lower temperature can result in a stronger water taste. This phenomenon occurs because less coffee is being dissolved into the water that passes through. Therefore, it is recommended that you pull your espresso at a temperature between 195 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit.

Does the grinds correctly

As you are probably aware, an espresso recipe is a way of communicating the three main variables in espresso brewing: dose, yield, and time. The weight of the dry ground coffee in the portafilter is referred to as the dose.

In terms of dose, it can range from 5 to 30 g, depending on the espresso-style used. On the other hand, modern espresso can weigh anywhere between 18 and 21 g.

A slow espresso shot is caused by a large amount of coffee, whereas a small amount of coffee causes a fast espresso shot. As a result, the best thing you can do in this situation is an experiment.

While it will take a lot of practice to get the perfect shot, perseverance will pay off in the end. You can time the espresso shots with the help of a stopwatch. Keep in mind that your goal is to take a shot between 25 and 28 seconds.

Make Use of the Properly Sized Tamper

If you want to make sure that your espresso tamper is the correct size, make sure that it is slightly smaller in diameter than the inside diameter of the espresso machine filter basket.

As a result, you can ensure that your espresso does not become overly watery while also evenly compacting the ground coffee without the use of any tampering.

By measuring the inside diameter of the filter basket with machinist calipers, you can determine the proper tamper size for your filter basket. After that, select a tamper that is just a tad smaller in diameter than that measurement. If you do not have a set of calipers, you can make do with a 1/32′′ steel measuring tape if you do not have any.

Tamp Is a Good Thing

A good tamp creates resistance, which forces the water to work harder to saturate the coffee grounds. It also aids in the extraction of a delicious coffee flavor.

The opposite is true if a coffee bean is uneven and loose, as water will find the gaps and pass through them rather than extracting flavor. Because of this, your espresso will be bland and watery in addition to being flavorless.

If you want to avoid this problem, you should follow the steps outlined below:

First, the grounds should be level.

Before applying any pressure to the portafilter, place the ground into the portafilter and make sure it is evenly distributed.

Make use of proper form.

To maintain good control while tamping, turn your tamping-side hip toward the counter and then bend your elbow and keep your wrist straight. Next, hold your tamper the same manner as you would a doorknob.

Apply 15 pounds of force to the object.

The grounds are formed into a puck shape with the help of a 15-pound pressure. Keep in mind that even-handed pressure is just as important as force strength when it comes to combat.

Apply 20-30 pounds of pressure to the surface.

After you’ve formed the puck, try pressing down harder to make a more durable and compact puck. Then apply 20-30 pounds of pressure to the cylinder. When pulling up to the puck, make sure to twist your body as you do so.

Check the puck’s condition.

Make certain there are no open spots or gaps around or in the coffee. Don’t forget to clean the portafilter’s edges by wiping away any coffee grounds that have gotten into the portafilter.

Avoid using a too coarse coffee puck or not tamping it enough.

Are the coffee grounds too slushy for your taste? Then the grounds were either not sufficiently tamped or were too coarse. This results in a large amount of open space where water can collect. As a result, the portafilter will contain a sort of soup of some sort.

Another reason for having a wet or slushy puck is that you have used too few grounds in your game. When the grounds come into contact with hot water, they should expand and fill the remaining headspace between the group-head filter and the coffee grounds.

On the other hand, if the coffee is insufficient, it has too much free space, and it quickly moves to another location. As a result, the taste is excessively watery.

Do not use coffee that is too finely ground.

Another reason for having a watery espresso is that you used too finely ground coffee, which results in the espresso being too watery. Apart from having a too watery taste, it will not produce a perfect shot. You may notice that something is wrong from there. As a result, make sure to turn off the machine before it backs itself up.

You may also notice that the ground has become excessively mixed with the water and has the appearance of mud. Again, if the filter is not working properly, expect an even worse outcome.

Before adding more coffee, make sure the portafilter is completely dry.

Shot channeling can occur if the espresso is tamped too hard or not tamped enough, causing the shot to channel. As a result, there are some weak spots in the puck’s construction. As a result, the water has an easier time passing through those areas.

When trying to resolve this problem, keep the puck level and avoid tapping it on the side once completed. If you feel that the tamping is not strong enough, you can apply more pressure.

You have rinsed your portafilter but have not completely dried it before adding more ground is another reason for channeling the spot. In exchange, water from the group-head finds its way to those dripping areas. Then, in those locations, it travels at a faster rate.


What caused my espresso machine to blow up?

A: The group-head on your espresso machine is likely too hot. It also necessitates the appropriate temperature. After several ounces of boiling water have been flushed out, make sure there is no fizzing sound.

What causes Starbucks’ Americanos to be flavorless and watery so frequently?

A: Dark roasted coffee beans are more likely to be used at Starbucks to deliver the illusion of the body to the palate. It also conceals that the beans have a very mild flavor to begin with, which is not ideal. In addition, the proportion of coffee dosed per shot to the volume of water is too small. This indicates that the extraction ratio is insufficient for the size of the drink.

The reason for the watered-down taste of Keurig coffee is not clear.

A: It is possible that your espresso machine does not achieve the proper water temperature or that the water does not filter through the k-cup quickly enough. The ratio of k-cup size to coffee volume is another factor to consider. Machines with smaller pods may brew at a higher pressure than larger ones.

What’s the deal with my espresso cup being watery?

Many people, including some baristas, believe that a watery or soupy puck indicates something wrong with the espresso. However, in practice, it isn’t very significant.

We pulled thousands of shots, most of which were excellent, some of which were not, but we could not establish a link between watery pucks and non-watery pucks.

This can be caused by the grind size you are using in conjunction with the volume of the espresso dose or even by the roast of coffee you are using in your espresso machine.

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