- >What is the best grind size for my espresso machine?
What is the best grind size for my espresso machine?
Coffee grinding is a topic that is frequently disputed and is far more complicated than anyone outside of the coffee industry would ever guess. This implies that all we can do is briefly touch on the subject here, but let's first define some key terminology. When people discuss grind size, they typically mean how smoothly or roughly you grind your beans, whether the finished product is fine or coarse.
The water is what removes all of the flavour from the grounds to form the coffee you taste, therefore the size of the grind has the biggest impact on what happens to the water as it comes into contact with the beans. Because coarse grinds don't easily release all of their flavour, they are typically reserved for brewing techniques where the water is in direct contact with the coffee for the longest periods of time, like the French Press. Pour-overs, which have a little shorter contact time, are a step down from this, followed by the Aeropress and, typically, espresso grind sizes, which are significantly finer still. However, Turkish coffee is ground even finer, so this isn't the best.
This does not imply that you can set your grinder to a certain setting for your beans and then forget about it. You might need to adjust the setting when using fresh beans or even a different batch of beans that you are accustomed to. People's preferences for coffee strength vary, and certain beans are stronger than others. It is always worth experimenting with how finely you want to grind any new beans because this will affect how long the water is in contact with the grounds during the extraction process. Because even ambient temperature and atmospheric pressure can affect extraction, you may need to occasionally change your grind at any point for beans from the same batch.
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