coffee extract pouring from the coffee machine to a mug

Espresso Terms Explained

The world of Espresso brings with it a number of interesting terms – which can be baffling to the aspiring home barista. The aim of this post is to list common Espresso terms, and what they mean.          


Group Head

This is the part of the coffee machine that the portafilter, or group handle connects in to.

Shower Screen

This is the little screen inside the Group Head, that helps to distribute the water evenly through the coffee puck in the portafilter.






The handle that the filter basket sits in. Usually has a single or double spout, to allow the espresso to fall nicely into the cup.



Filter Basket

The basket inside the portafilter, where the coffee is ground into. They usually come with a rating for the amount of coffee that can be dosed into the basket, which you can generally dose ±1g into.

Grind Size

The coarseness or fineness of the ground coffee. In coffee, this is usually the variable that is manipulated to achieve the tastiest extraction. Small adjustments are made to the grind size to change the flow rate of your extractions.



The amount of coffee put into the filter basket. This is kept as consistent as possible to ensure the only variable in our espresso extraction is the grind size. At Yahava we weigh our dose to an accuracy of 19±.1g.


The act of moving the ground coffee in the filter basket around so that it sits evenly in the basket prior to tamping. Very important to help the water run evenly through the puck, and often overlooked.

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The act of compressing the coffee grounds into a nice even puck, prior to extraction. A level puck with an even density throughout will cause the water to run evenly through the puck, and produce the tastiest coffee.

Coffee puck

The name given to the compressed dose of coffee. Can refer to the dry puck before extraction, or the wet puck post extraction.


The volume of espresso extracted during extraction. Traditionally this was measured in mL, but is now usually measured in grams for accuracy.

Flow Rate

The time it takes for the extraction to occur. This is measured from the moment the pump is engaged, through to the end of extraction, in seconds.




The act of running water through the coffee to pull out everything you end up tasting in the cup.


The programmable buttons which automatically cut off the espresso machine when the desired volume of espresso has been reached. Typically programmed to the desired espresso yield, so that the grind can be adjusted to alter the flow rate of the extraction.

We hope this glossary has answered some of your Espresso Term questions. If you are still unsure about something, contact us and we will add it to the list!

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