What is Preinfusion Espresso?

Pre-infusion is a crucial step in the espresso-making process that involves soaking the coffee grounds with a small amount of water before full pressure is applied. This initial wetting allows the coffee grounds to bloom, releasing trapped gases and promoting even extraction of flavors. By gradually introducing water to the coffee bed, pre-infusion ensures that all particles are evenly saturated, resulting in a more balanced and flavorful shot of espresso.

Benefits of Pre-infusion

One key benefit of pre-infusion is its ability to prevent channeling, which occurs when water finds paths of least resistance through the coffee puck, leading to an uneven extraction. By saturating the coffee bed before applying full pressure, pre-infusion helps to mitigate this issue and produce more consistent and high-quality espresso shots. 

Additionally, pre-infusion can contribute to enhanced sweetness and acidity in the final cup by allowing for a more controlled extraction process. Understanding and mastering the art of pre-infusion can significantly elevate the quality of espresso produced by espresso machines.

Key Takeaways

  • Pre-infusion gently wets coffee grounds prior to brewing.
  • Soaking grounds early helps extract more flavors.
  • Pre-infusion can take between 2 & 8 seconds.
  • Some espresso machines include automatic pre-infusion; otherwise, you do it manually.
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