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How fine to grind for espresso
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kenintenn
Senior Member


Joined: 31 Dec 2011
Posts: 1
Location: Tennessee
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Sat Dec 31, 2011, 5:15pm
Subject: How fine to grind for espresso
 

In one of the Coffeegeek 'how to' guides, it suggests for beginners on a budget (like me) the Baratza Maestro Plus or Virtuoso grinders. After looking at the Coffeegeek reviews, I see that some people love them, and some think they don't grind fine enough for espresso. The Baratza web site shows that they grind down to 300 and 250 microns respectively. I'm wondering how fine the grind needs to be for espresso. Thanks. Ken
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NobbyR
Senior Member
NobbyR
Joined: 10 Jul 2011
Posts: 1,991
Location: Germany
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Poccino Opus One, Ariete
Grinder: Eureka Mignon Istantaneo
Vac Pot: N/A
Drip: Melitta Linea Unica de Luxe
Roaster: N/A
Posted Sun Jan 1, 2012, 3:06am
Subject: Re: How fine to grind for espresso
 

Neither the Maestro Plus, nor the Virtuoso are really appropriate grinders for brewing espresso. IMHO the entry level Baratza grinder that is capable of grinding adequately for espresso is the Preciso having enough settings with its macro and micro adjustment. Even though the Virtuoso might work for espresso (in contrast to the Maestro Plus is does grind fine enough), its steps are too wide.

The required fineness of grounds needs to be dialed in with your espresso machine, until you get the extraction time you need. That setting can change daily depending on factors like humidity and aging of the beans, for example. Sometimes that difference is only a fraction. If the steps of your grinder are too wide, it might leave you stuck in between two steps for proper extraction.

 
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"This drink of the Satan is so delicious that it would be a shame to leave it to the infidels." (Pope Clement VIII on coffee, when he was urged to ban the beverage)
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cappuccinoboy
Senior Member


Joined: 27 Jun 2009
Posts: 798
Location: MILANO
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Milano pod, Milano fully...
Grinder: grind on demand
Posted Sun Jan 1, 2012, 7:01am
Subject: Re: How fine to grind for espresso
 

NobbyR Said:

Neither the Maestro Plus, nor the Virtuoso are really appropriate grinders for brewing espresso. IMHO the entry level Baratza grinder that is capable of grinding adequately for espresso is the Preciso having enough settings with its macro and micro adjustment. Even though the Virtuoso might work for espresso (in contrast to the Maestro Plus is does grind fine enough), its steps are too wide.

The required fineness of grounds needs to be dialed in with your espresso machine, until you get the extraction time you need. That setting can change daily depending on factors like humidity and aging of the beans, for example. Sometimes that difference is only a fraction. If the steps of your grinder are too wide, it might leave you stuck in between two steps for proper extraction.

Posted January 1, 2012 link

I prefer stepless grinders and conical burrs, still that is not a good reason to throw away a decent stepped grinder, because half gram of coffee, more or less, will make the difference, when you are "stuck" in between two steps..... let's just be practical....
Happy new year, ciao, Pietro
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JasonBrandtLewis
Senior Member
JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,278
Location: Berkeley, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Elektra T1 - La Valentina -...
Grinder: Mahlkönig K30 Vario -...
Vac Pot: Yama 5-cup
Drip: CCD, Chemex
Roaster: No, no, not another...
Posted Sun Jan 1, 2012, 7:39am
Subject: Re: How fine to grind for espresso
 

First and foremost, Ken, welcome to CoffeeGeek (and Happy New Year!)

kenintenn Said:

In one of the Coffeegeek 'how to' guides, it suggests for beginners on a budget (like me) the Baratza Maestro Plus or Virtuoso grinders. After looking at the Coffeegeek reviews, I see that some people love them, and some think they don't grind fine enough for espresso.

Posted December 31, 2011 link

In the grand scheme of things, Ken, neither the Maestro Plus nor the Virtuoso are great grinders for espresso, but they will do (the Virtuoso more than the Maestro Plus) in a pinch, if that's what you got!

kenintenn Said:

I'm wondering how fine the grind needs to be for espresso.

Posted December 31, 2011 link

There is no single answer for that (e.g. ____ microns) in terms of size.  It varies with the type of beans, the roast level, the age (how long since the beans were roasted), the machine you're using, the type of shot you're pulling, and so on and so on and so on . . . .

You might want to take a look at Dialing in a new espresso machine, a step by step guide.

Approximately, the grinds should be about the same size as/a little smaller than white sugar crystals, and should feel smooth and stay pressed together between your fingers, but not so small that they are like powdered sugar or talc.  

Cheers,
Jason

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
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