What is the ideal temperature for espresso (and coffee in general)?

Dany Marquis

The ideal temperature for an espresso

I am often asked at what temperature you should prepare espresso. This is a great question because temperature impacts the outcome in your cup. And if your machine allows you certain adjustments, it's an interesting parameter to work on. I also like to bring the discussion from the preparation temperature to that of serving.

Is there an ideal temperature for perfect espresso?

As a general rule, we want to have an extraction using water between 85°C to 95°C. This applies to espresso, as well as other coffee preparations.

I would say that aiming for 94°C is a good start for your preparations. And although an espresso will come out slightly different depending on the temperature, the variations will be slight and to perceive them, all the parameters of the 4M must be perfectly similar from one shot to another, which is quite a challenge, even in a business environment.

So, with a recipe cast in concrete, we will have the following results:

  • Hotter water = Higher yield , so there will be a greater transfer of solid and soluble elements for the same time.

    Increased body with a risk of increasing the astringency and bitterness of the beverage.

  • Less hot water = Lower yield , so there will be a smaller transfer of solid and soluble elements for the same time.

    Reduction of body to make way for acidity with a risk of obtaining a sour and too acidic coffee.

Playing with the extraction temperature is a route that can drive you crazy ;-)

Yes, reducing the temperature can give you a brighter and clearer shot but I repeat, your recipe must be concrete.

Useful information and tips for perfecting your espresso

Here are some points that will make you dizzy :-)

  • Your coffee grinder , depending on its design and the volume supplied, will tend to heat up, therefore heating the coffee, making it more soluble.

    A more soluble coffee will give a higher yield by increasing the transfer of solid and soluble elements, thereby increasing the body of the espresso. So, if you lower your extraction temperature, you will see a difference but if your grinder heats your coffee, it's a bit like it cancels out...

  • Your settings really need to be fixed to see the difference. As soon as you touch the grind, you drastically change the world of extraction.
    However, you can use temperature to compensate for too fine a grind (drip) by increasing the extraction temperature. This will increase yield.

  • A higher temperature can be used to compensate for an underdeveloped roast which tends to be naturally less soluble, and for overdeveloped coffees that are past 2 crack, a lower temperature will compensate for its greater solubility.

  • On the refractometer , the % yield between extraction at 92°C and up to 98°C is minimal, less than 1% difference. On the other hand, the impact on taste is quite easily noticeable.

  • The roast profile will greatly influence the solubility of the coffee. So a change in the roast profile of your favorite coffee will therefore change the way it is extracted. Was your roaster in the moon when he roasted your favorite coffee?

  • Every coffee, even single-origin coffees, are all, in some way, blends . For example, a Colombian bean, Huila el pital, is a pure origin, but the coffee can include beans of grades 17 and 18 according to a certain%. These grains of different sizes are therefore mixed at the sorting stations. Your espresso shot will therefore include a random % of beans, % which will be different from time to time. It’s even greater when it’s a blend of different origins, roasted differently…
I stop there, I feel the obsession of the perfect shot rising…

To go further, and truly see what happens during temperature changes, it is essential to have a high quality machine , and to use a refractometer to objectively measure the differences in yield, in addition to evaluating sensory way each cup to make correlations. These kinds of tests have been done many times and the rules mentioned above can be relied upon.

So, for espresso, I suggest going with 94°C, and working on mastering your extraction settings.

For filter or other brewing methods, you can target the same temperature. I would recommend avoiding boiling the water, as boiling will decrease the oxygen in the water, resulting in a less desirable result. So turn off your kettle before it boils . And if you make coffee again, always leave with fresh water.

Is there also a serving temperature for coffee?

The ideal temperature for a beverage is between 55°C and 65°C . Personally, I tend to drink my coffee lukewarm, around 40°C, because it is at this level that I taste the coffee aromas the most. It is also around this temperature that we will also taste the faults of a coffee. So I probably developed this habit from reviewing coffees, because the hotter the coffee, the less you will be able to taste it.

At our coffeeshop, our drinks are optimized to be served at a temperature of 63°C ± 2°C.

Here is a top 5 of our coffees that are delicious as espresso:

  1. The Bad Boy Espresso
  2. The Inspiri Organic
  3. The Bad Girl Espresso
  4. Organic Italian Espresso
  5. The Special Cream

You can also browse the following texts published on our blog:


  • Hugues

    Moi,après avoir passé beaucoup de temps en Amérique centrale, j’ai adopté la pochette filtrante et la laisse trempé dans la tasse 30 seconde avec de l’eau Très proche de l’ébullition et je moue les grains juste avant d’infusé,d’après Les ticos aux Costa Rica c la première façon que le café fu découvert et demeure la meilleure et la plus simple et la joke c’est de prendre ta chaussette après le jogging du matin pour faire ton café 😜👌🏻Délicieux

  • Alexis

    Merci Dany pour toutes ces informations, quelle machine utilises-tu? Et quel café conseillerai-tu pour débuter?

  • Gilbert Dupont

    Réponse définitive: 57,8 degrés !

  • Laurent

    Ce sujet est très intéressant, merci ! Il est vrai que les arômes ressortent beaucoup plus lorsque le café n’est pas très chaud en tasse. Ceci n’empêche pas de l’extraire à haute température puis de le laisser refroidir un peu.

    Par contre, le commentaire de Robert est incompréhensible…

  • Robert

    Beurk, un café à 60 degrés C c’est la température de l’eau du robinet, vraiment dégueulasse et sans goût

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