Saturday, December 2, 2023

Unlocking the Secrets of the 10-Second Espresso Rule

by Mads

Unlocking the Secrets of the 10-Second Espresso Rule

If you’re a coffee lover, you might have already heard of the 10-second espresso rule. This rule is often debated among baristas, with some claiming that it’s a myth, while others swear by it. So, what exactly is the 10-second rule, and does it really make a difference in your espresso shot?

What is the 10-Second Rule for Espresso?

The 10-second espresso rule is a guideline that suggests espresso shots should take around 10 seconds to extract. The idea behind this rule is that if the espresso shot takes less than 10 seconds, it will be under-extracted, resulting in a weak and sour taste. Conversely, if the shot takes more than 10 seconds, it will be over-extracted, resulting in a bitter and unpleasant taste.

However, it’s worth noting that the 10-second rule is not an exact science and can vary depending on various factors, including the type of coffee beans, the espresso machine, and the grind size.

How to Follow the 10-Second Rule for Espresso?

To achieve the perfect 10-second espresso shot, you need to pay attention to several factors. First, start by using high-quality coffee beans that are freshly roasted and ground. Next, ensure that the espresso machine is properly calibrated to maintain the ideal temperature and pressure for brewing.

When it comes to grind size, opting for a finer grind will generally result in a slower extraction time, while a coarser grind will result in a faster extraction. However, be careful not to go too fine or too coarse, as this can also affect the taste of the espresso shot.

Once you have your coffee beans, espresso machine, and grind size sorted, it’s time to start extracting the shot. To achieve a 10-second extraction time, place the coffee grounds into the portafilter, tamp them down evenly, and start the brewing process. Aim to have around 1.5 ounces of espresso in the cup within 10 seconds.

Why Does the 10-Second Rule Matter?

If you’re wondering why the 10-second rule matters and whether it’s worth following, the answer is that it all comes down to taste. The 10-second rule is meant to help achieve a balanced espresso shot with a smooth, rich flavor. If the shot is under-extracted, it will taste weak and sour, while an over-extracted shot will taste bitter and unpleasant.

However, it’s worth noting that everyone’s taste preferences are different, and some people might prefer a slightly longer or shorter extraction time. The 10-second rule is simply a guideline to help achieve a balanced espresso shot.

Top Tips for Mastering the 10-Second Rule

If you’re looking to master the 10-second rule and achieve the perfect espresso shot, here are some additional tips to keep in mind:

1. Experiment with different coffee beans and blends to find the one that works best for you.
2. Ensure that your espresso machine is clean and properly maintained to prevent any blockages or issues that could affect extraction time.
3. Play around with the grind size to find the perfect balance between extraction time and taste.
4. If you’re struggling to achieve a 10-second extraction time, try adjusting the tamp pressure or the amount of coffee grounds used.


At the end of the day, the 10-second rule is just one of many guidelines that can help achieve the perfect espresso shot. While it’s not an exact science, sticking to the 10-second extraction time can help ensure a balanced and flavorful shot that is sure to satisfy even the most discerning coffee connoisseur. So, next time you’re brewing a shot of espresso, give the 10-second rule a try and see if it makes a difference in the taste.

Related Posts