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Almost all fully automatic espresso machines have adjustable grind settings. Some have many and some have a a few. The settings can have a big impact on both the taste and quality of your espresso. But where should you set the grind? Here’s some quick tips to help you zero in on the optimal grind setting.
The 2 major factors in determining grind setting are: the type of beverage you’re making and the roast profile of the beans you’re using. As many of you are aware we do not recommend a dark oily bean for any type of super-automatic espresso machine. I always think you should set up your machine to brew the finest espresso it can. It will not serve you well (pun intended) if you keep changing the grind.
I like to leave my settings at the finest grind possible and set to use the highest dosage of coffee possible. You can also use your machine to brew a cafe crema. A cafe crema is a cup of coffee brewed on your super auto, basically you’re just forcing more water through the same amount of ground coffee you would use for espresso. It is a delicious nice foamy headed cup of fresh coffee with full body and flavor. Best of all, you can brew it with just the push of a button.
The other factor is the roast level of your beans. Use coarser settings for darker roasts and finer settings for lighter roasts. For best results though, we still recommend you go as fine as you can. A word of caution is that you want to avoid beans with an extra dark roast. Their oily surface sheen can clog up super-automatic espresso machines and cause problems down the line. In the end, it’s really best to avoid them if this is how you’ll be brewing. We have lots of great non oily beans and give us a call with any questions.
When brewing espresso timing can help determine grind size. We’re looking for about 10 seconds per ounce of espresso. So watch the clock and to slow down your extraction use a finer grind. To speed it up go coarser. In the end what really matters is flavor and how the coffee tastes to you. Hopefully these tips will help to get you started. Always be sure taste your shots as you adjust the grind to your preference.