Why is it important to set the grinder for an espresso machine?

Setting the grind for your espresso machine is really important when it comes to making your coffee.
If you set your coffee grinder too fine, this will result in over extraction and leave a bitter taste in your mouth. You will be able to tell if your coffee is over extracted by the slow speed that the coffee drips out of the machine and the dark colour of the crema. If you set the coffee grinder too coarse, this will result in under extraction and do exactly the opposite, leaving the coffee pouring out too fast into the cup and not capturing any of the flavour that it should.

How do I set the grinder for my coffee machine?

The grinder should have a wheel which you can turn, to change the blade settings and give you the result that you desire.
Inside the grinder are small chambers which hold an industry standard 7 grams of coffee. When you pull the handle on the side of your grinder, this releases grounds into your group handle in a measured shot. The industry standard for a single shot is 7 grams and 14 grams for a double shot.

When delivering your shot of espresso, the sweet spot where coffee is delivered,  the right amount of extraction can vary between 22 and 25 seconds. This of course can be argued between Barista’s the world over and everyone has their own preference. With some people setting the commercial coffee machine to deliver water for less time to account for speed, when lots of takeaway coffee is an issue.

Should the grinder ever be touched?

The grinder settings should only be changed if the weather changes drastically and your grind is affected or you use a different blend of coffee in your grinder. Both can cause subtle differences in the way your coffee is produced and arrives in your cup.

How long will my grinder last?

Your grinder will need servicing at regular intervals and the blades will need replacing after a certain amount of coffees have been made. This is one of the reasons to make sure that you spend good money on a reliable and robust grinder, The grinder is just as important as the espresso machine itself.