How To Set The Espresso Grind Setting

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Grinding coffee is one of the most essential things when it comes to having that exceptional cup of coffee and it must be done just before the brewing process. In this post I will basically give you the best steps you should to set the espresso grind setting together with basic grinding principles or tips that will take from being a standard barista to a head barista.

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  • First of grind coffee beans at the moment you feel like having a cup of coffee: the best way to have the freshest and tastiest cup of coffee is grind coffee beans just before the brewing session. Coffee is very delicate and will start to lose flavor instantly after being ground.

Put in the coffee: i want to imagine that you have your machine thoroughly clean from the last time of use and ensure that you put in the same amount of coffee each other time. Some people tend to think that tamping is what determines the rate at which water flow through but this is not right. All you have to do is weight you coffee well to make sure that it just the right dose.

Pull a downright shot through the machine: this will help the machine reach optimal temperature and as you pull the shot be keen enough to observe the rate at which liquid goes through the coffee. For most coffee grinders when turned clocker wise liquid pour through faster and with coarse grounds and when turned anti-clockwise it pour out at a slower rate and with finer grounds.


Set the grinder: after dialing the grinder, it is very essential that you keep feeling the grinds to ensure that they a really granularity.

Adjust the grind: after the first try you will realize not all coffee grinds will be the same and it is very rare to get the same granularity at first but you have to keep playing until you get what you want exactly this may take up to 5-6 times. After every 30 seconds that shot that you get must weigh between 20 to 25 grams.

Repeat the procedure: if you repeat this procedure and get the same grind size as the one you get in the first session then that will be your espresso grind setting. That setting should coarse enough to get you 20 or 25 grams every shot.

Adjusting the grind setting

If you are sure that you have followed the whole procedure carefully but still found your espresso not being of the quality you want it then it means you have to do something about it. If your espresso does not taste as strong as you want it or if it is being much way too strong that it even tastes bitter below are some things you should do to alter the taste of your espresso for the best.

  • If your espresso tastes too plain almost tasteless then it means that most of the flavor was not extracted so you have to make the grind coarser and surge the dose so that more flavor can be extracted and balanced.
  • If the espresso is too bitter then there is a sign of over extraction which means you must reduce the dose and grind finer to ensure that less flavor is extracted to make your drink bitter instead.
  • If the taste of espresso it too sharp almost like lemon peeling then you must maintain the dose but make grind coarser so that flow of liquid through grinds is faster. This will help to get rid of the sharp bitter taste.
  • If the taste of espresso is too light then you must grind finer and sustain the dosage, so that liquid can slowly flow through grinds hence making the taste of espresso stronger.


Grinding tips

Know the different grind sizes; if you know the difference between grind sizes you will easily know which grind should be used for which machine or strength of espresso. They are 5 different grind sizes namely

  • Fine, these grinds feel really smooth to touch and they are slightly finer that table salt
  • Extra fine, these are even finer compared to sugar however they are not powdered.
  • Medium, they are more defined just like coarse sand
  • Turkish, if you are using blade grinders, you will definitely not be able to achieve this kind of grind. These grinds are powdered more like flour.
  • Coarse,these grinds are very distinct and quite heavy.

Know the type of grind size to use for your machine; different machine use different grind sizes.

  • Espresso machines use extra fine grinds despite of whether you are using a high end brand or cheap espresso machine. The grind must always be extra fine.
  • If are using an espresso moka pot then you will have to fine grind.

Invest in decent purge for your grinder: even if you coffee grinder is of highest quality it will retain coffee grounds so purging will help make your grinder perform much better.

Always have a recipe; a lot of things can affect your espresso quality therefore before grinding the coffee beans have a clear recipe of what you are going to do. This will guide you on how best to grind your coffee beans for the perfect espresso cup.

Ensure to adjust grinder setting when it is completely empty or when it is in use: changing the setting while the grinder is off means the burrs while come close and coffee beans will block their movement. It is therefore best to adjust the grinder setting when the machine is either empty completely or during brewing process.

In conclusion, there is a whole list of things that will affect the quality and taste of your espresso such as brewing method, the temperature at which water is boiled, cleanliness of the machine, the type of coffee being used and your own personal preference but all of these go in hand in hand with the grind setting so you must be very keen with it.