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Setting up Your Coffee Grinder

11 Aug 2020

Setting up Your Coffee Grinder

Setting up your coffee grinder is imperative to getting the best out of your coffee. Two or three seconds of extraction time could be the difference between a balanced, sweet espresso or a watery and bitter brew. With that in mind, we’ll be briefly going over some common pitfalls and how to get the best out of your coffee.

Ancillary equipment needed; 1 X bench scales (accurate to the nearest .1 of a gram), 1 X Brew scales (accurate to the nearest .1 of a gram), 1 X Timer. A refractometer is optional but will give you quantifiable data to supplement sensory analysis.


How to get the best out of your espresso

When first starting out dialling in your coffee grinder, it can feel like a daunting task. However, if you approach it logically and make a note of each step you have taken, it can be a simple and enjoyable process.

You’ll first want to start by, of course, making sure that the coffee you are using is fresh and the equipment you are using is clean and operating correctly. Once this has been confirmed, you will need to grind your recommended dose of coffee into your portafilter (14-16g for Carraro Italian coffee and 17-18g for Cornico hand roasted house coffee).

Go about preparing your espresso correctly, ensuring that the portafilter is clean and free of debris also that the coffee has been distributed evenly, place your cup onto a set of scales to weigh the yield and tare them to zero. Initiate the brew and start your timer. For darker roasted coffee aim for between 18 and 25 seconds and for lighter roasts aim for between 25 and 32 seconds. An example recipe would be as follows;

Dose: 18g
Yield: 36g
Extraction time: 26 seconds
Brew temperature: 93 degrees C



               = Tasting Sour and Thin

So, in our example recipe we have an extraction time of 26 seconds and the brew is tasting sour and thin. To rectify this and bring more body and balanced acidity into play, one thing we can do is to adjust our grind setting one or two notches finer. This should increase body and could possibly bring forth some sweetness that was previously missing from the brew. If making your grind finer has started to bring a ‘roasty’ or bitter edge to the brew, then go back to your previous setting and up the brew temperature by half a degree.

The be all and end all of successfully dialling in your espresso is to get the best result possible, this will depend on how attuned your palette is to tasting espresso. You can train your palette over time and tasting espresso will become easier, this however only comes with practice.

For more on how to dial in any coffee to taste, contact Cornico Coffee for 1-2-1 training and consultancy.