How to pull a perfect shot

How to pull the perfect shot

The beginner’s guide

“Espresso is a miracle of chemistry in a cup.”- Andrea Illy

All you home baristas out there, this little guide is for you! We sat down with our Coffee Director to get an insiders guide to how it’s done and his staple espresso making tools. So get ready because these next few tips are going to have you pulling shots like a pro… but be pre-warned, you might get so good your coffee consumption may increase from desire.

The basic method is grind, dose, tamp and extract. Each step is important in its own right and perfecting each part is going to be key to pulling the perfect shot.

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Okay so to begin, you know that part where the freshly ground coffee goes? Well we call that area the filter basket, which sits in the portafilter; we use Pullman baskets because they are precision made for a more even extraction.  You want to make sure that your cup and portafilter is pre heated. This will ensure your shots temperature is maintained throughout the process.

Next you want to freshly grind your coffee… we really want to emphasise on the freshly ground part. This will give your shot the most ideal flavours from the coffee. The grind is also very important and will have an impact on the colour and speed of the extraction. You want to adjust your grind to get close to 30 seconds of extraction time. If it’s too fine it will result in a slow, over extracted shot that will give you that bitter and burnt taste, and if it’s too coarse it will give you a fast, under extracted shot that will be weak and slightly sour, so that 30 seconds is a guide of what you want to aim for but everyone’s personal preference in how their coffee tastes is different so this time may vary as you experiment.

Here’s a little fun fact for you, if the humidity where you live changes regularly then you will need to adjust your grind a lot more frequently. Also as the bean ages you’ll need a finer grind or firmer tamp.

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Now we move onto dosing. This is the amount of coffee you put into your basket. The ideal dose for a shot is dependent on the size of your filter basket. If you’ve got an 18g filter basket you’re going to need 18g of coffee, if you’ve got a 22g filter basket you’re going to need 22g of coffee, you get where we’re going with this… Also, it’s ideal to be able to weigh out your ground coffee dose to the exact gram. We love using the Acaia Brewing Scales; these scales will ensure precision each and every time, as they simultaneously show timer and weight so you can get that perfect shot ratio.

Next up is tamping. Tamping levels the dose and compresses any air pockets out of the coffee basket. We use Pullman Big Step Tamps and Bases, they are precision made to work with the Pullman filter baskets and have a larger tamping surface area. Before you tamp down the coffee it’s a good idea to get a distribution stick to level out the dose. If you tamp the coffee unevenly then you will end up an uneven extraction – not ideal. When you tamp you want to ensure you evenly distribute your weight into the basket nice and firmly.

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The final and most anticipated step is the extraction. This is where it gets tricky to explain because it is all very subjective on how you like your coffee to taste. So what we’re going to try to achieve here is to help you to get to a good starting point from where you can then experiment with different ratios to find your perfect match.

Now obviously ratios are going to be different with different machines but the process will be the same and you will use the ratio 1:2 coffee to water with an extraction time of around 30 seconds (but as mentioned before your taste preference might differ from this time bracket) So here we go… Place the portafilter into your machine’s brew group and put your preheated cup under it. If you don’t have scales that also have a timer then use your phone timer to make sure your shot is running on time. If the dose, grind and tamp are all good the first part of the brew will be dark, then turn to a golden brown mixture that we all know as the crema. The volume of water for each shot should be double whatever the amount of coffee you’re using and should run for around 30 seconds. For example, if you’re using 18g of coffee the espresso yield should be 36g. So if it’s running a little slow or too fast you’re going to want to check your grind and change it to improve the flow. What you’re looking for is a rich dark brew that’s topped with a fine golden, dark honeycomb looking crema that will taste sweet and smooth and oh-so heavenly.

Another little fun fact for you, as of 2015, astronauts on the International Space Station can brew fresh espresso on board.

So to recap:

1. Preheat your cup and portafilter

2. Freshly grind your coffee

3. Dose out the correct amount of coffee for the basket you are using

4. Level out the dose and tamp the coffee, evenly distributing your weight into the basket, nice and firmly

5. Extraction time! Using the ration 1:2 coffee to water you’re looking for an extraction time of around 30seconds. What you will get is a rich dark brew that’s topped with a fine golden, dark honeycomb looking crema.

Seems like a lot to get your head around but after a few goes and tweaks we’re sure you’ll be pulling like a pro. And never fear, if you want to get a little bit more practice in with someone to guide you, we have a range of training courses available for all skill levels.

Coffee Brewing Gear

Brew gear for your lifestyle.

If you’re anything like our crew you’ll have the best brew gear for your lifestyle, and if you’re unsure, well we’ve broken them down for you so you can get your morning fix the most ideal way.


The Adventurer

The weekend comes around and you’re off. Whether that’s camping, hiking, down at the beach, on a road trip, or really just anywhere but home, then we think this category is for you. Super portable, extremely delicious and oh-so easy we recommend getting either an Aeropress or a Hario One Cup Cafeor. These handy little devices are super light, are small enough to fit in your back pack and most importantly, produce an amazing coffee! Perfect for all you people on the go.

See AeroPress – See Hario One Cup Cafeor


The Socialite

You love entertaining, enjoying the company of others in your home. Whether it’s for a small group or a party we’ve got the perfect apparatus for you! The trusty old Stovetop or Plunger that we all know and love is perfect for brewing small to large batches of delicious, smooth filter coffee for your occasion. Available in different sizes to suit your lifestyle, there is a reason these trusty companions have been around for so long.

See Stovetop – See Plunger


The Lazy Weekender

Ahh we all love those lazy mornings at home. A nice little sleep in followed by a slow morning around the house, that sweet morning light filtering through. It makes our heart full just thinking about it! If this sounds like your ideal morning than what better way to top it off than with some delicious filter coffee the best way we know how… Through a Pour Over or Chemex. These types of filter brews give you a clean, delicate coffee flavour that will fill your morning with so much happiness.

See Pour Over – See Chemex


The Athlete

You’re the sporty type. You’re usually up at the crack of dawn either on your bike, in your sneakers or in the water. You need coffee to get you through, something that will sustain you through your workout and keep you refreshed. Have you tried cold brew or cold drip coffee? If yes we’re sure you’re hooked, if no then you need this in your life! You can make this delicious drop at home through a Bruer or Cold Drip tower and keep it in your fridge for those sporty mornings… or any time really. This style of coffee gives a sustained release of caffeine, to keep you going on your morning mission.

See Bruer Cold Drip – See Cold Drip Tower

So there you have it. Whatever your brew method, whatever your lifestyle, we’ve got your coffee needs sorted.  Browse our website for all our brew methods and products.

Moccamaster Brew Method

Set it and forget it!

Moccamaster Classic Brewer

Combining convenience, quality, affordability and style… it’s understandable why the Moccamaster is described as “the finest filter coffee machine in the world”.
We have various colours of Moccamaster Classic Brewers available on our site. See colours here.

See our recommended Brew Method below for best results.

Step 1: Refer to brew ratios – Determine your coffee to water ratios for batch brewing by the matrix below.

Step 2: Fill water reservoir – Fill the water reservoir using cold filtered water to the required level.

Step 3: Weigh and Grind Coffee – Coffee grind should be similar to a plunger/french press grind. Larger batches will require a slightly courser grind setting.

Step 4: Fold edges of filter and pre-wet – fold the edges of the filter over and place filter into the filter holder. Rinse the filter with hot water to remove the paper flavour from the filter. Discard the rinsing water. Discard the rinsing water.

Step 5: Set the filter holder to closed – This will allow no drip flow at the beginning so we can pre-wet and stir the grinds to promote total immersion.

Step 6: Turn on the Moccamaster – Switch on the Moccamaster and wait for the water to dispense from the spout.

Step 7: Stir the grinds, open the filter – Once water has begun dispensing, with a spoon stir the water to saturate ALL of the coffee. Once all coffee is wet, set the filter basket to open.

Step 8: Allow brew to finish – The Moccamaster will continue to dispense water over the coffee until the water reservoir is empty. Once all of the water has dispensed, the Moccamaster will automatically stop the brewing. The hot-plate will hold the brewed coffee between 80-85oC for a maximum of 40 minutes before automatically switching off.

Step 9: Enjoy – Place in your favourite cup and enjoy. The hot-plate will hold the brewed coffee between 80-85oC for a maximum of 40 minutes before automatically switching off.

You can choose whatever batch size you like but just ensure you use a 17 : 1 water to coffee ratio
Use a coarser grind for bigger batches and then reduce it down for smaller batches.

1000ml water, 60g coffee, #11 grind
750ml water, 45g coffee, #10 grind
500ml water, 30g coffee, #9 grind
250ml water, 15g coffee, #8 grind

Clandestino Coffee Subscriptions

Recently we did some soul-searching, and by ‘soul-searching’ we mean we spent three coffee-deprived days camping up the beach after leaving our beans at home on the kitchen bench. It was during this ‘spiritual awakening’ (otherwise known as a caffeine-withdrawal induced state-of-mind) that we came to the big realisation that “life’s too short to spend mornings without coffee”. Therefore, once we were back to civilization (aka Noosa) we refuelled with the good stuff and decided to make it our mission to ensure nobody ever has to experience coffee-less mornings ever again. From here we introduce our latest development, Clandestino Coffee Subscriptions. This allows you to pick and choose beans to personalise your subscription according to your coffee needs and then we’ll do all the nitty gritty stuff to get it delivered to your door.

How does it work? It’s simple…

Step 1: Choose how often you want fresh beans delivered to your door. Fortnightly or monthly.

Step 2: Pick your bean.

Step 3: Select how many 400g bags you’d like.

Step 4: Check the mailbox, brew and enjoy!

StepsWhat are the Subscriptions?

Magneto Espresso Organic House Blend

Not a lover of surprises? Then this is the subscription for you. If you’re a creature of habit and delicious notes of chocolate, berry and nuts is your preferred poison, we suggest you choose the House Blend subscription. Chill back and revel in the knowledge that you’ll always have the same perfect bean delivered to your door week in week out. Our organic house blend holds well through milk and is guaranteed to offer that “ahhh” feeling after each sip. Make your mornings easier with this brilliant blend always on hand.

Roaster’s Pick

Let our Roaster’s show off their mad skills by picking you a delicious drop for each delivery, wether you’ve selected a Filter Brew Subscription or the Espresso Style Subscription. We’ll then bag up and ship to your door what we’re currently loving most here at HQ. We source our green beans from all over the world so this is a great way to taste the flavours of the globe from the comfort of your own home. Leave those coffee-deprived morning dramas behind you and enjoy knowing you’ll always have fresh beans stocked in the cupboard.

Stealth Blend

Not a lover of surprises? Do you like coffee that packs a punch? Then the Stealth Blend Subscription is for you. About the blend…

Intended to fly under the radar. Known due to strong demand. Delivers an effective payload. Kick starter for our pilots. Bold, rich and it packs a punch. It is the Stealth Blend!

So, chill back and revel in the knowledge that you’ll always have the same delicious beans delivered to your door week in week out. Make your mornings easier with this bad boy always restocked in the pantry.


Shop Coffee Subscriptions here

Love them right.
Hot tips on how to care for your coffee beans.

#1 Buy less, more frequently


Coffee begins to lose freshness almost immediately after roasting. Try to buy smaller batches of freshly roasted coffee more frequently – enough for a one to two week supply.

Check out our coffee subscriptions to get small regular amounts of coffee delivered to your door here.

#2 Grind just before use


Your beans’ greatest enemies are air, moisture, heat, and light. This is especially important when it comes to grinding coffee. When you grind coffee you increase its surface area resulting in greater exposure to oxygen. As exposure to air is bad for your beans try to purchase whole beans and grind the amount you need immediately before brewing.

Porlex Grinders are a great option as they are easy to use & perfect for smaller amounts. Shop here

#3 Store it wisely


To preserve your beans’ fresh roasted flavour as long as possible, store them in an opaque, air-tight container at room temperature. It is ideal to have a container with a one-way valve so carbon dioxide released from the beans can escape, however this isn’t crucial. Although coffee beans are beautiful to look at, avoid clear canisters as light will compromise the taste of your coffee. Keep your beans in a dark cool location. A cabinet near the oven is often too warm, and so is a spot on the kitchen counter that gets strong afternoon sun. You want to keep the temperature stable so usually the pantry is ideal. Our coffee packaging has been especially designed to help increase the life of your beans.

If you don’t have a suitable container keep them sealed in this bag.

Stay tuned for more Hot Tips soon…

New toys for better brews this Fathers Day!


Turn him into a Rad Dad this Fathers Day.

This year don’t buy Dad a daggy mug or new tie for Father’s Day… give him a stylish and environmentally friendly reusable coffee cup. Our Clandestino KeepCups have just landed and we love them.

Turn Dad into a rad dad that saves our planet with a KeepCup. They are available in two colour ways and sizes. See full KeepCup range.


Want to know what KeepCups and Superman have in common other than good looks?… They’re both saving the world. 

Fact: 20 takeaway coffee cups contain enough plastic to make 1 KeepCup. Crazy huh!


Shop KeepCups here


Life just got easier with this…


Get fresh beans to your doorstep with a Clandestino Coffee Subscription.

 Simply pick your volume and choose a grind method. We’ll then sort the rest for you with a automatic delivery service. Easy peasy.

We have various subscriptions to pick from including the Rotating Single Origin for Espresso, Rotating Single Origin for Filter, Magneto Espresso Organic House Blend or the Stealth Blend. You can pick from a fortnightly or monthly delivery.

Make the regular grocery list shorter by ticking-off ‘buy beans’ in one hit with a Subscription. 

Shop Subscriptions here

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New goodies up for grabs!


We’ve got new goodies to get us through winter.

With everybody trying to get their mitts on them, make sure you get in quick and get yours today.



From where: Ngozi, Burundi

Taste: Toffee Apple, Blackberry & Red Tea

Shop Here


From where: La Sierrita, Colombia

Taste: Fruit Chocolate, White Peach & Marmalade

Shop Here




Salty Crew Kiosk

Salty Crew Kiosk

NSW gets a taste of First Class Coffee


Salty Crew Kiosk



Salty Crew Kiosk, probably not a café you’ve heard of but that’s about to change. Last week one of our wholesale reps packed up the van and headed down the coast to Port Macquarie capturing these beautiful snaps along the way.

With his trusty Aeropress in hand and a bag of our Wonberta beans he had an epic trip filled with pumping waves, smooth brews and the pleasure of gifting another NSW cafe with our beans and equipment for a cool new café, Salty Crew Kiosk.

With all the essentials to serving our first class coffee to perfection, Salty Crew Kiosk is sure to impress. We are so excited to welcome owners Chris and Leasa Harris back to the Clandestino family after their stint at Richard Branson’s Make Peace Island, and can’t wait for Port Macquarie residents and visitors to check them out!

Selling everything from coffee to healthy food to beach essentials, Salty Crew Kiosk will be the place to be. These guys aren’t rookies when it comes to this kind of stuff, and what they are offering is something to get excited about. If you’re around the Port Macquarie area be sure to check them out!






Salty Crew Kiosk

Town Beach Reserve, Lot 7065, William Street Port Macquarie NSW, Port Macquarie NSW 2444

Follow: @saltycrewkiosk

Photos by: Al Claridge

For Wholesale Enquires please click here