There is always room to improve your game and there are many additional tools that can help you make the best espresso possible. These are all tools you would use before the beer, setting the stage for the perfect extraction.
Atmos Coffee Bean Canister ($40)
A vacuum container is a great way to store coffee beans. By evacuating the chamber of all air every time you close it, Fellow Atmos slows down the degradation of all those flavorful oils and chemical compounds inside your freshly roasted beans.
OXO Cone Grinder ($99)
This is one of our top picks in our Best Coffee Grinders guide and is a great choice for espresso. Espresso requires a fine, consistent grind, like you can easily get out of a grinder. Just be sure to get in there and give your burrs a sweep every now and then – maintenance the OXO makes easy, with a hassle-free removable bean container.
Bezzera bottomless filter holder ($80)
Nothing will improve your espresso brewing like a bottomless portafilter. Not to make you coffee better; will make you better by becoming more aware of your mistakes and inconsistencies. Bottomless portafilters are finicky, and when your grind is off or you’ve covered the grounds too much, the bottomless portafilter allows you to watch the espresso cover the bottom of the filter and pour into the cup. However, be sure to check the circumference of your espresso machine’s cluster head (the place where the filter attaches). There are a number of standard sizes, so be sure to order the correct one. The most common are 53mm and 58mm, and almost all bottomless filter holders come in each of these sizes.
Cream Distributor & Tamp ($44)
Once you’ve got your grounds in your filter holder, the next step is to give them a good, even beat. You want to use about 30 to 40 pounds of pressure, and while you can use a scale to determine exactly how it feels, I find it’s best to just press with your upper body, then pull a shot and see how it went. If it’s too bitter, you’ve stepped on too much; if it’s too watery you haven’t chopped enough. A spreader (also called a leveler) makes it easy to get an even surface for you to tread on, and this one has a buffer on one side and a spreader on the other so you can level the grains, then turn this tool around and give – them a good blow. Just make sure you get one that fits the circumference of your machine’s portafilter!
Duralex Picardie Shot Glasses, Set of Six ($17)
These are my favorite shot glasses in general, but they also make excellent espresso glasses, tall and narrow enough to allow a wonderfully airy crema to form at the top and made of tempered glass so they can withstand the heat . They’re also great for serving smaller drinks like macchiatos—a shot of espresso with a little foam on top.