Stop: Have you checked your grinder lately?
No matter what machine and grinder you have, don’t under-estimate the importance of checking your grinder. The settings need to be checked sporadically to ensure you are getting perfect cup as coffee beans can react to weather (in particular, humidity) and age, which over time can alter the texture. Different grinders have different adjustment dials, so start by checking your particular model and understanding which way to turn the dial to make the grind coarser or finer. We recommend only moving the dial in very small increments (we’re talking approx. 3mm here).
The grinder has a pair of blades that crush the beans into powder. The closer the blades are together the finer the grind will be. And in reverse, the further apart the blades are, the coarser the grind is.
Getting the right grind is a balancing act. The first step is feeling if a grind is roughly accurate – it should feel powdery but with a grainy finish. If the powder feels very dry and soft it is likely too fine. It the powder feels very sandy and rough it is probably too coarse.
There are many different opinions on what makes a spectacular shot of coffee. A good general guide is that the first drop should take four to six seconds and should drop like melted chocolate off a spoon. A good extraction rate is 25 to 30 millilitres in 25 to 30 seconds.
If shots take less than 25 seconds, then the grind is too coarse and water is moving through it too quickly. The grinder probably needs to be adjusted to make the grind finer.
If shots take more than 35 seconds then the grind is too fine and water is moving through it too slowly. The grinder probably needs to be adjusted to make the grind coarser.
By checking your grinder and making small adjustments when necessary, you can be sure you will keep producing the perfect brew!