Brewing with a super automatic espresso machine is one of the easiest ways to get your daily caffeine fix. Once the reservoir and bean hopper are filled, you’re basically just the push of a button away from enjoying a delicious brew. But brewing with a super is so simple that most people forget they can make adjustments to optimize their regular drink or create something new. That’s where this guide comes in. Using the tips and tricks listed here, you’ll be brewing up the best your espresso machine has to offer in no time.
The 2 adjustments that will make the most impact are the grind setting and the ground coffee dosage. Let’s start by getting familiar with these changes and the affects they’ll have on your coffee.
The grind setting determines how quickly water is able to pass through your coffee grounds and therefore, the extraction time – how long the water is actually in contact with the grounds and is able to pull flavor from them. This has a major impact on the final brew because, as you may know, an extraction time that’s too short can result in a bland brew, whereas an extraction that’s too long generally produces a bitter flavor.
Now, the amount of time the water is in contact with the coffee – the extraction time – is also directly related to the amount of water you’re pulling through it. Think of it this way: if you’re brewing an espresso, you’re generally going to pull 2 to 2.5oz of water through your grounds. So for espresso, you would want to slow the water’s ability to flow through coffee to ensure that all of the flavor characteristics make it through to your cup and to avoid under extraction. Conversely, if you’re brewing a café crema, you’ll probably be pulling 5 to 6 oz of water through your grounds, so you want water to flow more freely through the grounds to prevent over extraction. Therefore, we can rely on this general rule of thumb:
That being said, it is all about taste, so there isn’t any one magic grind setting that will produce the “perfect” espresso or café crema. Experiment a little, but keep with this general rule, and you should easily find your optimal setting.
Other Important Considerations
Before you run over to your machine and start adjusting the grind setting, keep these few additional pieces of information in mind:
Ground Coffee Dosage
The ground coffee dosage allows you to determine how much ground coffee is used in a single brewing process. Each super auto’s range of dosage varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, but the purpose is the same: changing the dosage changes the strength of your brew. Since everyone’s preferences are different, there’s no real set standard for dosage, but there are a few things you should consider:
Again, the above information is simply a guideline – if you find that you prefer a lower dosage for your café crèma, go ahead and change it. It’s all about taste.
Other Important Considerations
Although you can go ahead and change your machines ground coffee dosage at any time, here are a few things to think about before you do.
Hopefully this guide has given you a better idea of what the capabilities of your super automatic are and how to customize them to your coffee-drinking preferences. With all of the convenience that a super automatic espresso machine offers, this information should help you optimize each cup to be its best.
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