One of the hottest topics when it comes to choosing an espresso machine is what coffee to use.
Those who purchase a coffee machine do so with the intention of getting the finest possible result: a high-quality espresso.
But how can you get the most out of your coffee machine?
Which coffee should I use for the espresso machine?
Coffee preparation is made up of many small but fundamental steps: the choice of the machine and extraction method, the temperature of the water and its pressure, the roasting and grinding of the coffee.
Each of them has a significant impact on the end product, establishing the drink’s flavour qualities.
Although it may appear insignificant, grinding is critical because it controls the amount of time the water is in touch with the coffee and, as a result, the taste and texture of the coffee.
For novices, it’s better to opt for commercially available blends or pods. However, as you level up, it is a good idea to look for a customized product to make the coffee moment even more special.
Each extraction method, as well as any equipment, must be used with the most suitable grain size in order to obtain the best from the beans.
The French press, for example, requires a coarse grind, while a very fine powder is required for Turkish coffee.
And what is the most suitable coffee for the lever machine? Let’s find out together.
Do you need a special coffee for your machine?
When we talk about espresso, generally, we’re referring to the drink that is served in a small cup.
Actually, espresso refers to the coffee extraction process, which is carried out by hot water passing through powder at a pressure of roughly 9 atmospheres.
This means that any kind of powder, roast, or grind might theoretically be employed.
The procedure is determined by the machine, not by the ingredients.
But only in theory.
If we talk about flavour, the scenario changes considerably.
In fact, lever coffee machines are designed in such a way that pressure and grinding must be perfectly matched in order to produce a balanced and enjoyable cup of coffee.
Let’s focus for a moment on the grinding process.
Grinding is nothing more than the pulverization of roasted coffee beans.
The qualities of coffee are trapped within the cellular structure of the bean during roasting. As a result, the aromas do not evaporate and disperse.
However, to bring out the aromatic substances it is necessary to break the beans and pulverize them.
This procedure increases the amount of coffee surface area that comes into touch with water.
A finer grinding allows the water to extract a greater amount of aromatic substances. The coarse grind, on the other hand, is suitable for longer infusions.
Using a coarse or too fine grain, yields a coffee with a bitter or watery taste, far from the desired one.
So which coffee to use for the espresso machine?
The recommendation is to use a fine grind, which is ideal for providing the cup a balanced taste.
If this is the basis for starting, you can gradually find the blend you prefer: appropriate roasting, balanced blend and grinding according to your tastes.
Why is the size of the grind important?
When the coffee leaves an unpleasant, watery, or bitter taste, the result is often attributed to the lack of experience of the bartender, the espresso machine used or even the water.
However, for the extraction of an espresso with precise aromatic features, two more crucial components are often overlooked: pressure and bean grinding.
Because these factors have such a big impact on the coffee’s aroma, it’s important to pay great attention to the water pressure and grind size.
The coffee extraction process must be revisited in order to better comprehend the significance of these two factors:
The water passes through the coffee beans, taking the aromatic notes and characteristics of the chosen blend.
The pressure allows the water to carry out this step and reach the filter holder, until the extraction is complete.
The force applied to the lever and the speed of the blow influence the final result.
Once the water is pumped, then, it must pass through the coffee beans, and it is there that the size of the powder affects the taste of the coffee.
A coarsely ground coffee does not allow the water to capture all the aromatic nuances of the beans, because the water flows quickly, without retaining it.
This means that the coffee is under-extracted.
On the other hand, a too fine grind produces a too strong, dark, and rich in flavour drink.
It is recommended that you select the most appropriate grind based on your preferences and the features of your espresso machine.
What are the different types of coffee grinding
Coffee grinding is a variable that should be carefully evaluated.
The grain sizes are standard in large-scale distribution and are equally recommended for both the classic Moka pot and the professional coffee machine for home use.
A true espresso lover, on the other hand, prefers to select the blend, degree of roasting, and grind.
So, here’s a quick rundown of the many sorts of grinding so you can shop like a genuine connoisseur.
Extra coarse grind
With a very coarse grind, the beans remain almost intact and resemble peppercorns.
This size is most commonly used in slow, cold preparations.
Generally, extra coarse bottoms take at least 12 hours to return a drink with a pleasant and balanced flavour.
The coarse ground grains, which are the same size as coarse salt granules, are suitable for use in the French Press.
Because this form of extraction necessitates a four-minute infusion, more resistant beans are required.
In this case, the coffee has the consistency of sand, making it suitable for preparing coffee with the Chemex method or smart drippers.
Slower preparations are required for medium-large ground coffee than for espresso or Moka: extraction takes a few minutes to produce a drink with optimal qualities.
The medium grind is the right one for American coffee, made with a large amount of water.
Long coffee takes a few minutes to prepare, and the extraction pressure is lower than that of espresso machines.
This kind of grinding is not suitable for the extraction of espresso because it would give an under-extracted and tasteless result.
The medium-fine size is a starting point for preparing a good coffee.
This type of grain, in fact, can be successfully tested by those who love a lighter espresso.
It is also suitable with traditional coffee machines.
Finely ground coffee
Fine-grained coffee is the ideal ground coffee for espresso machines because it produces a balanced, consistent drink with full organoleptic qualities.
The flavour of the cup is enhanced by the ground coffee blend, which allows the water to extract the most vital characteristics.
Too finely ground powder is only suitable for preparing Turkish coffee.
When used in an espresso machine, it produces an over-extracted, bitter coffee with a burnt aroma.
Each type of coffee recalls a taste, choose the one that best suits your palate
The grinding of the coffee powder is one of the aspects that most influences the end product.
In general, fine-grained ground coffee is better for making an espresso with the best tasting.
However, it is important to consider the type of drink you wish to obtain.
A good idea is to keep the following information in mind while making a decision:
- The extra-fine grind increases the contact surface between coffee and water: this makes the coffee more full-bodied and stronger;
- A coarser degree of grinding makes it necessary to lengthen the infusion times: in this way the drink will be watery and more similar to an infusion;
- In addition to the degree of grinding, there are other factors that must also be considered: temperature and water pressure, the quality of the beans and their preparation method, and the quality of the coffee machine.
After reading this guide, all you have to do now is find the parameters that best suit your tastes.
Remember that coffee is a simple drink that requires a high-quality espresso coffee machine to produce properly.
Discover our lever coffee machine models. You’ll notice that with the appropriate combination of pressure, grind, and coffee machine, you’ll be able to make great coffee every day.