Welcome to world of brewing manual espresso, where a dedicated burr espresso grinder is the requirement.
Trying to brew espresso using a blade grinder or pre-ground coffee will unfortunately yield inconsistent, unrepeatable results and lead to sub-par espresso. La Marzocco offers a range of espresso grinders from Mahlkönig and Mazzer, perfect for any kitchen. Once you have your grinder, here’s how to get it dialed int.
Out of the Box
You'll need to make adjustments to the grinder’s collar, as a grinder will not be set to match the coffee we put into it.
The movements on the grinder should be small and made while the grinder is running. Keep moving towards fine until the coffee starts to stick together and looks like powdered sugar.
To check the size, you can press some grounds in between your fingers – if some of it stays on your finger, you’re getting close. Even small adjustments on the collar will show up as a big effect in the grind size and time of the espresso shot, so try to make micro adjustments when fine-tuning.
Once the grind size is looking close to powdered sugar, pull a test shot, you may notice it flowing too quickly or slowly, when that happens make another little adjustment to the collar.
The general rule is to purge a small amount of coffee after making an adjustment. Pro tip: If nothing comes out of the grinder after making an adjustment, it’s not broken. There just might be coffee stuck between the burrs. Move the collar back to course to get it unstuck, then adjust back to fine while running the grinder.
Brewing with a new coffee
Switching between coffees of different roast levels will typically require a more drastic change to the grind size than if you’re switching to a coffee that was roasted similarly. For example if brewing a darker roast and switching to a lighter roast, you will most likely need to adjust the grind size more fine.
However, keeping the same coffee or similar roast in the hopper means adjustments will be smaller and less frequent. Try getting two bags of the same coffee so that there is enough coffee to brew at the current adjustments before switching and needing dial in again.
As we narrow down dialling-in and your taste for espresso becomes more and more fine-tuned to your preferences, being able to make micro adjustments is essential. You’ll need a grinder that performs well in this area.