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Basic question about grind

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  • Basic question about grind

    Was wondering if it is best to go for a finer grind and tamp very light, or a courser grind and compact more?


  • #2
    Dose= 14g-18g (for a double shot basket, will vary a little to blend etc)
    Distribute evenly around the basket (I use a dissection needle)
    Tamp to 30lbs-40lbs
    Aiming for 22-26 seconds for a 60ml shot (a double)
    Summary: Adjust grind so the 18g dose, with the 40lb tamp pressure results in the volume in the time indicated.

    More detail:
    Dose, Distribute, Tamp - Espresso Guide •

    EDIT: And there are *many* slight variations on this theme, in the pursuit of consistent espresso and the ever-elusive "God shot"


    • #3
      good post sultan.

      Samnz, I would suggest that you check youtube for clips on tamping and grinding as well. The reason you grind is to get the bean particles to the right size allowing the soluble flavours to be released into your cup. Too fine and the water won't pour through, it chokes, too large and it flows thru like a tap and underextracts. Using a quality grinder, around the $400+ mark, you can grind to a consistency that is just right for extracting the soluble flavours and give the best strength of flow. You will need to adjust for finer/courser almost every time your grind, each change of bean, as the bean ages, humidity, temperature, air pressure, morning or evening, etc.

      Tamping is very important, under tamping is as bad as over tamping, so learn to tamp and then keep it at that same pressure every time, so consistency is important in tamping. If you tamp too hard on one side and soft on the other, or at an angle, the water will rush thru the point of least resistance thus only half your ground coffee is extracted. A quick and rough summary - grind (courser or finer) should subtly change almost every cup your make, and tamp should remain the same. Good luck, and enjoy your coffee journey


      • #4
        Originally posted by samnz View Post
        Was wondering if it is best to go for a finer grind and tamp very light, or a courser grind and compact more?

        In answer to your question. Yes!

        Whilst others may suggest that it's all about tamp- not so. Tamp is more a method of ensuring a normalised density within the puck. Do what you do but keep things consistent...

        Many find that younger beans work well with a lower dose, finer grind. Older beans, higher and coarser. Ultimately though, it's your palate. Try both and see what suits you.


        • #5
          Grind is the major effect on the end result. Dose comes next and tamping is like the fine tuning to get the best out of your beans. I grind finer with my VST baskets, I dose lower than the manual says and I use a progressive tamp because I find I have more control over a 3kg tamp than a 15kg+ one.

          I've learned to do all that because it works for me and gives consistently great coffee across a variety of beans.

          Coffee making is an artform; part of the enjoyment comes from playing with the factors to find your 'ultimate' cup.