Embark on a deep dive into the dynamics of pressure in espresso brewing with ‘Experimenting with Espresso at Home’ using the Linea Mini. This guide illuminates the critical role of pressure, from the art of pre-infusion to the innovation of adjusting static pump pressure for varied extractions. Learn how manipulating pressure, including brewing at pressures like 6 bars, can transform the taste and quality of your espresso. This guide is an invitation to explore and master one of the most fascinating variables in espresso making, encouraging you to push the boundaries of your home barista skills with the Linea Mini.

Changing the pressure on our Linea Mini can be done in a few different ways.

pressure options like never before

The Linea Mini has a few ways to brew with different pressures.

using pre-infusion
If connected to the app and plumbed-in, we can follow a recipe that involves adding a timed pre-infusion.

Pre-Infusion is the continuous introduction of water at a low pressure (3 bars or line pressure, for example), until static pump pressure is applied to the brewing process.

The goal of this continuous flow of water is to allow for the lower bars to gently push the hot water through the espresso puck until it swells and becomes fully saturated. At that point, the pressure rises to the static pressure, usually 9 bars for the rest of the extraction.

brewing at 6 bars
To brew a recipe that recommends 6 bars of pressure we can easily make the adjustment on the pump of our Linea Mini. Changing the pump pressure is done internally but the adjustment screw is located on the top right side of the machine, meaning we don’t need to remove any of the body panels. We should remember to change it only while a shot is being brewed.

When the bars of pressure are applied more intensely during the brewing, such as with 9 bars, it allows for the rapid extraction of our sought-after flavors but brewing with a lower 6 bars can also taste fantastic!

Brewing espresso is a delicate balance between extracting the optimal flavors and avoiding less tasty compounds. Changing the pressure can result in helping us to achieve a flavorful and well-balanced shot of espresso, but it is not guaranteed. It’s simply another variable to experiment with. Get comfortable with the process of making espresso well before jumping into these changes. 

Brewing at any lower pressure—means making changes to other variables to offset what we’ve done; in this way we can work to try and develop recipes we enjoy.