The Challenge of Grinding Espresso Coffee correctly
It's not until you handle espresso coffee on a daily basis that you appreciate how many reasons there are as to why it might not extract the flavour as well as you might expect. For the purposes of this blog I'm assuming water temperature, the pressure of the machine and the freshness of the coffee are all perfect (big assumptions I know!). Here I want to focus on the grind of the coffee.
1. Different origins due to different processing methods will affect the fineness of the grind.
2. Different roast colours will affect the fineness of the grind.
3. The atmospheric conditions on the day you use the coffee will affect the grind.
4. The conditions around the grinder will affect the grind.
5. The sharpness of the grinder blades will affect the grind.
6. The cleanliness of the grinding blades will affect the grind.
So you can see when a coffee brand states on the side of its packet "this coffee is suitable for all coffee makers" what a load of rubbish that is if you have any desire to achieve a decent flavour.
Even the flow of liquid through specialist espresso ground coffee bought off the Supermarket shelf can be problematic for different machines.
The point I make in this Blog is that if you use a local speciality coffee roaster for your coffee supplies, pay attention to the grind setting they use. Every store will have its own setting which works for their machine, however bear in mind it might not necessarily work for you. Don't be frightened to ask your supplier to change the grind for your specific requirements, that's what specialists are for.