Frequently Asked Questions

It’s slim, lever-less design, was engineered to make the best tasting shot of espresso while being easy to use and give you the ability to bring it anywhere.  You can enjoy zero compromise in shot quality whether at home or on the go.  Making espresso requires a minimum of 6-9 bar (87-130psi) of pressure to properly extract.  This is key to produce crema and create the unique body and flavor of espresso.  Aeorpress and other similar small manual brewers generate far less pressure than what is required for espresso.  Espresso Forge’s narrow cylinder design can generate up to 160 psi and requires the least amount of human effort to generate.  Espresso Forge is also one of only a few portable espresso makers that uses the industry standard 58mm brew basket based on an e61 group head design. 

Yes.  Coffee beans must be ground finer for espresso than drip coffee.  If you do not see crema when brewing, or all the water runs out in under 20 seconds, try grinding your beans finer and/or dose higher until you get the taste and flavors you desire.  Due to the natural pre-infusion process unique to the Espresso Forge, we find that the Forge needs a finer grind than most pump machines.   A finer grind allows you to produce better extraction, while still maintaining a good flow.  This is a good thing!

Most burr grinders that are capable of an espresso grind will work.  For any espresso machine, the grinder is a key part to your success in brewing quality espresso.  For a hand-grinder we recomend the Lido OG. For an electric grinder, we would suggest looking at the Baratza Encore or better.

We don’t recommend it, and likely just isn’t possible without getting a pressurized basket. 58mm size is quite large and requires both fresh coffee as well as a good grinder to be able to grind fine enough to allow for the proper pressure to be achieved.

We recommend using between 14 and 19 grams of coffee per shot.  You can also purchase different size brew baskets for the Forge thanks to its industry standard 58mm size. We like the basket that comes with it but feel free to experiment and find what works best for you. 



No.  For most darker roasted coffees no preheat is needed.  The stainless steel design reduces the amount of heat transferred from the water into the espresso maker keeping the water temp high.  

Although preheating the Forge is not necessary, you may find it beneficial when using lighter roasts.  You can do this in two ways:  1. Remove the lock ring and basket and place the Forge on a kettle while the water comes to a boil.  2. Fill the cylinder with boiling water and let it sit for 30-40 seconds before brewing.  Preheating your coffee cup with a splash of hot water then dumping it out also helps keep you beverage warm longer.  

Yes, you can stop pulling down on the piston at any point for a shorter shot.  If you prefer a longer shot, two things can help increase shot volume:  First, you can pre-infuse the coffee under 1 bar of pressure. Then remove the piston and refill the cylinder. Alternatively, lower doses will help with getting higher volume shots as.

The oils on the coffee have either dried up or the coffee is ground to coarsely.  Check the freshness of your coffee and grind it as close to making your shot as possible.  If your coffee is fresh, make your grind finer until the shot takes 25-40 seconds to pull at 9 bar (130 psi).  See the FAQ on grinders for more info. 

This is most likely due to an uneven distribution of the ground coffee allowing water to flow faster through one area than another.  Water likes to take the path of least resistance, so if there is a crack in the puck or a larger piece of ground coffee, water will “channel” through these areas and under extract the rest of the shot.  This is called “channeling” and can be a normal part of using a bottomless brew basket.  We recommend using a WDT tool to help evenly distribute your ground coffee prior to tamping.  A high quality grinder that produces evenly ground coffee also helps.