Recommendations for espresso machine warmup time seem to have gotten longer and longer over the years (some describing 30-45 minutes), but is this really needed?
This guide will probably save the most time for single boiler or heat exchanger espresso machines (because most steam boilers will start heating once the brew boiler reaches its target temperature).
If you watch most of our favorite espresso machines warm up, you'll likely see the brew boiler reach temperature in 5-10 minutes. We recommend waiting at least 5-10 additional minutes for the portafilter and the rest of the group head to reach a more stable brewing temperature. But did you know you can expedite this warm up process and start pulling shots sooner?
Once you see the machine reach its target temperature of 200 degrees Fahrenheit or around 95 Celsius, activate the pump and draw a few ounces of water through the machine and portafilter into your cup or shot glasses. This will make the temperature of the brew boiler drop, but it will regain its target temperature quickly. If you wait a minute or two and repeat this process once or twice you'll be pulling consistent shots significantly sooner than you thought possible.
If during your experiments the shots look darker than normal or taste overly sour, this means the machine is brewing too cool and needs some more time to warm up. Give the machine a few minutes and try again!