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Whats the best grind for a stove top?

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  • Whats the best grind for a stove top?

    Just got the BCG800 Smart Grinder from Breville and it has breathed a whole new life into my stove tops.

    Im interested in knowing more about the subtleties of grind and bowl-packing density to achieve the best flavours out of the pot.

    Do any of the site sponsors make a stove-top specific blend?

    I was beginning to doubt my stove tops and thinking Id have to fork out the $1500+ for a domestic espresso but today Ive had two fantastic double shots from my stove top and want to know what I can do to improve more.

    Enlighten me, oh snobbish ones.

    (still a noob, loving the site)

  • #2
    Re: Whats the best grind for a stove top?

    Freshly roasted beans really help, if you havent already tried that.
    The grind generally needs to be courser than typically used for espresso machines, cos the brew pressure is less than pump machines, but finer than a filter machine.
    I find the grind size is not as critical on my stove top as it is on my Silvia, so just keep playing around where you are with small changes in dose and grind, and enjoy good stove top brews.


    • #3
      Re: Whats the best grind for a stove top?

      Thanks, Bullitt.

      Fresh roast: absolutely. Been using fresh house blend from micro-roaster in East Brunswick.

      Im experimenting with coarseness at the moment, but it seems like the best results are coming from making it only slightly coarser than the holes in the bowl.

      Dose: So far it seems that loose packing is making for worse results than tighter packing. Im gently tap-tamping with my teaspoon as I pack but without forcing it down.

      This creates a density in the bowl that light finger pressure can put an indent in but that produces a solid biscuit at the end of the brew that comes out as one piece when you blow through the bowls chimney.

      Thoughts anyone?


      • #4
        Re: Whats the best grind for a stove top?

        I have had good success with perhaps a finer grind than you seem to be using, and tapping on the bench to settle grinds into the basket, and level off with a knife, no tamping. Also have good results with slightly courser grind than above, but light tamping with my finger.
        However if you are getting a solid puck out at the end sounds like you are pretty close.


        • #5
          Re: Whats the best grind for a stove top?

          Just followed Robsters great tip from here

          about turning off the gas the second the coffee appears through the chimney. Brilliant!

          Id also taken Phil Knights tip about where to set the grinder for stovetop - dont remember which thread its in but five gradations from the right seems to work pretty well. Then I packed it down with a reasonable amount of teaspoon force.

          The coffee that came out had a lightness and acidity to it that was fantastic and none of the bitterness was there.

          As an experiment, after the first extraction I put the flame back on until coffee appeared again and then turned it off once more. The coffee this time had none of the front flavours but had that central body to it. No bitterness but nothing worth drinking.

          Then I repeated the flame thing again and all the watery bitter stuff came out. Well played, Robster, Phil and Coffee Snobs.