You may use a high-quality espresso machine, like a Breville or De’Longhi, you may also know how to use a De’Longhi espresso machine perfectly, but you may still be struggling to make the perfect espresso. Why? The art of espresso-making ultimately comes down to the coffee grind. To address this problem, most machines come with a grinder to give you full control of your coffee grounds, and you may also use pre-ground coffee with your bean-to-cup machine to simplify the process. In any case, it is important that you learn how to grind coffee properly for your machine. Let’s look at how to grind coffee for a De’Longhi espresso machine to get the perfect espresso.
Why are Grind Size and Consistency Important?
The process of making coffee is basically a chemical reaction that takes place when water passes through ground coffee. If the coffee is ground too coarsely, it will lead to under-extracted coffee with a sour and acidic taste. Alternatively, if it is ground too finely, you’ll get over-extracted coffee with a bitter and hollow taste.
Aside from grind size, consistency also matters–if some grinds are larger than others, the coffee will be extracted at different rates, preventing you from getting your ideal espresso shot.
Further, the ideal grind size depends on the method used to prepare the coffee. Generally, the finer the grind, the more quickly the coffee should be made, which is why ground coffee intended for use in espresso machines is much finer than ground coffee for use in drip or filter systems.
Using De’Longhi Coffee Grinders
De’Longhi offers a wide range of coffee grinders, as well as bean–to-cup machines that come with an inbuilt grinder. If you don’t own a bean-to-cup machine, it is important to choose the right coffee grinder.
Burr Grinders are usually the best choice to get consistently ground coffee. Here are the basic steps you can follow to use a stand-alone coffee grinder:
Step 1: Install the Machine Properly
Every machine comes with an instruction manual–read this carefully to ensure safe operation of the machine. Install the machine properly and place the empty ground coffee container in its slot. Make sure all the parts are clean and dry before you plug in the machine.
Step 2: Add Your Coffee Beans
After you’ve turned on the machine, add the coffee beans into the bean hopper. The general measurement is one tablespoon of coffee beans to make one cup of coffee.
After adding the desired amount of coffee beans, close the lid and ensure that it is correctly positioned. Always make sure not to fill the hopper above its maximum level.
Step 3: Set the Grind Amount
Set the quantity of ground coffee you’d like by selecting an option from the cup selector showing the desired amount.
Step 4: Set the Grind Size
Select the coarseness of coffee you require by turning the dial anywhere between fine, medium, and coarse, depending on the method you are using to prepare the coffee.
Some De’Longhi grinders also have a range with gradations that help you choose the grind size. Choosing the right grind size for your needs requires some practice, and you can adjust this to your liking as you gain experience using the machine.
Step 5: Grind the Coffee
Press the power button to turn on the machine. Once the selected quantity of coffee is ground, the machine will stop automatically, but if you want to stop the machine before grinding is complete, press the power button again. The ground coffee is now ready for your espresso machine.
Learning how to use a grinder properly depends on your understanding of the method with which you brew your coffee. When using semi-automatic espresso machines such as the De’Longhi Espresso Machine, getting the right coffee grind is as important as knowing how to operate the machine well.