Do Espresso Shots Die? All You Should Know About Dead Espresso Shots

Many coffee lovers ask: do espresso shots die? While the question may seem bizarre, it’s actually a valid one. Read on to learn more about espresso shots.
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do espresso shots die

What Does Dead Espresso Shot Mean? The Oxidation Process

So, do espresso shots die and what does it mean exactly? When an espresso shot is pulled, the water extracts all of the soluble flavors from the coffee grounds. This process leaves behind a small amount of dry matter, which continues to release CO2 gas. If an espresso shot is left to sit for too long, the CO2 gas will cause the shot to become over-extracted and bitter.

The process of brewing, although simple, is very sensitive and even small changes can lead to big differences in the taste of your espresso. In other words, this means that the crema dissipates quickly, and the espresso loses its flavor. So, do espresso shots die? How long does it take for an espresso to die?

What Causes the Espresso to Die?

There are a few reasons why an espresso might die. The most common reason is that the coffee grounds were not tamped properly. Tamping is the process of pressing the coffee grounds into the filter basket. If the grounds are not tamped evenly, the water will flow through too quickly and over-extract the coffee. This will result in a bitter and unpleasant tasting espresso.

Another reason why an espresso might die is that the grind size was not correct. The grind size is the size of the coffee grounds. If the grind is too fine, the water will flow through too slowly and under-extract the coffee. This will result in a weak and watery espresso.

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Do Espresso Shots Die?

Espresso shots are small, but they pack a big punch. A shot of espresso has about 1/3 the amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee. That’s a lot of caffeine in a small space, which is why many people enjoy espresso shots. But do espresso shots die? 

Generally speaking, after espresso is made, it should be drunk right away. If you leave an espresso shot sitting out, it will start to lose its flavor. But it does not mean that the espresso shot will not be tasty after 3 minutes after brewing. Espresso shots should be drunk as soon as possible after brewing for the best flavor, but they will still be delicious a few minutes after being made.

Does the Espresso Crema Indicate Whether a Shot Is Dead?

So, do espresso shots die and how to tell if it went bad? The crema, or a layer of foam on top of an espresso coffee shot, is usually a good indicator of how long the espresso shot has been sitting out. If the crema is still intact, the espresso shot is probably still fresh. However, if the crema has dissipated, the espresso shot is probably not as fresh.

It doesn’t mean, however, that a lot of crema indicates a fresher shot. The crema is affected by many factors, such as the grind of the coffee beans and the pressure of the espresso machine. So a shot of espresso with less crema doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not as fresh.

The Myth of 10 Seconds

Among baristas, there is a myth that espresso shots die after 10 seconds. This myth probably started because baristas were rushed to serve espresso shots to customers as soon as they were made. However, this 10-second rule of coffee shops is not true. Espresso shots are still delicious a few minutes after they’re made. So if you’re in a hurry, don’t worry about drinking your espresso shot right away. It will still be delicious.

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So, Do Espresso Shots Die? The Bottom Line

So, do espresso shots die? Yes, it’s possible that oxidation can occur, which will make the espresso shot over-extracted and bitter. However, this process takes several minutes to occur. So if you drink your espresso shot within a few minutes of it being made, it will still be delicious.

You don’t have to drink your espresso within 10 seconds after it’s made, as the myth goes. Just drink it as soon as you can for the best flavor. After all, you don’t want your espresso to go bad and cold – unless you’re making iced espresso, of course. Cheers!

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