Coffee grinding errors for espresso

Use the right grinder

Using the wrong grinder can be crucial, as several other mistakes can be made. You shoulduse a grinder designed exclusively for espresso - regardless of whether it's manual or electric. Grinders with chopping blades should be avoided completely. These will chop the coffee into unevenly sized pieces, leading tochanneling.

And sometimes just because a grinder has grinding stones doesn't mean it's a bet on quality. In fact, hand-held supermarket grinders are often made of poor quality materials and the axis on which the stones sit is not properly fixed.

In the case ofTimemore grinders, you don't have to worry about such a problem. There aretwo bearings inside Timemore mills to ensure that the axis is precisely fixed. This makes grinding easy and comfortable.

The electric espresso grinders also make your job easier by dispensing the ground coffee directly into the portafilter. Source.

Why should you buy a grinder designed for direct espresso? These grinders designed for espresso grinding have adapted stones so that theycan grind coffee more finely than those for filter coffee.

Thesteel grinding stones in the 1ZPressogrinders are harder and so have not the slightest problem with fine grinding .

In the case of Kinugrinders , you will especially appreciate the micrometer adjustment of the grinding coarseness, thanks to which the stones do not jam when changing the grinding coarseness.

Thesteel grinding stones in Comandante mills have undergone several years of research and thus offer the best of what Comandante has developed.

Use quality coffee beans and grind the coffee before use

The next important step is to use the right beans. These should first be roasted for espresso. If you reach for quality choice beans, you can be sure that the beans won't break before you want them to.

To preserve all the flavours in your coffee, you should use it immediately after grinding, ideally within 10 minutes. I prefer not to even talk about pre-ground coffee from the supermarket.

Weigh the coffee before grinding it

This point goes hand in hand with the previous one. In addition to grinding the coffee right before you use it, it's important to consider theamount of coffee you're going to use.

If you go overboard with the amount of coffee, you might end up with something like this. After brewing, the coffee will be all over the place - outside the portafilter basket and on the shower of the coffee maker. Source.

Nowadays,many electric coffee grinders have a built-in grind timer, and by setting the grind time, you determine the amount that the grinder should grind for you. Either way, it's best to weigh your coffee after you've finished grinding to make sure you've really ground as much coffee as you need. TheTimemore Magic Cube lever holderwill be happy to help you weigh your coffee in the portafilter .

The right grinding coarseness for espresso

Now I come to the most important point of this article and that is the correct grind coarseness.

Espresso, because of the high water pressure requires coffee to be finely ground. This is because the pressure "slows it down". If the coffee were ground coarser, the water would easily (even at high pressure) flow through the coffee and not be extracted at all or only very weakly. The extraction also requires finer ground coffee because it is shorter compared to the preparation of e.g. a V60 dripper

The coarseness of espresso coffee is likened to finer ground table salt or semi-coarse flour, for example. Every grinder is different and so is every coffee. Therefore, it is not fixed how to set a given espresso grinder, how many grams of coffee to use exactly.

How to set up a new espresso grinder?

You've bought a new grinder, but now what?

  1. First, prepare a test coffee. Weigh the ground coffee (for a regular espresso, this should be about 9 grams of coffee per double 18 grams) and stop the extraction.
  2. How was the extraction?
      • under 20 seconds
      • over 30 seconds

Was the extraction less than 20 seconds? If so , you need toset the grinder to a finer grind andkeep trying until the extraction is satisfactory. You can move the coarseness up a few notches at the beginning. The more changes you make, the fewer steps you do. There is no need to rush.

If the extraction was slow, you will do the same, but in the opposite direction - choose a coarser grind.

Don't forget to hold the coffee in the grinder from the previous grind. Once you have adjusted the coarseness of the grind, one or two batches need to be ground off and discarded (or used forfertilization, for example ).

When you get to the optimum ratio of brewing time, amount of coffee used and the size of the resulting espresso. Youcan still fine-tune the flavourby making minor adjustments to the coarseness or removing/adding a few tenths of a gram of coffee .

Finally, here's a little summary of factors that will tell you if you've ground and then brewed your coffee correctly. Have you followed the following points?

✔ I have ground the optimum coffee weight for the size of the basket in the portafilter.

No large coffee particles are visiblein the ground coffee . = The coffee is ground evenly.

✔ The coffee is evenly distributed in the portafilter ( thecoffee distributor can help you with this )

You have tamped the coffeecorrectly.

✔ There are no large uneven depressions, i.e. channels, visible in the used coffee bud.

✔ Coffee extraction time is usually around 25 s +/- 5 s.

✔The brew ratio corresponds to approximately 1:2 (18 g ground coffee : 36 g coffee in a cup)

Tastes good! = Not watery and sour (under-extracted) nor too bitter and heavy (over-extracted)

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