WHAT GRIND SHOULD I USE?
Understanding how grinding works and the pressure generated by it is one of the first steps for you to find your best result
It is common for your first extractions in the Aram coffee maker to lock the handle or until the crema does not appear, because there are some tricks for preparing the coffee powder before it is compacted in the filter.
You must have seen the video with our basic recipe, right? If you are making an espresso at Aram Espresso it is essential that you see it to continue this article. Click here.
A great coffee starts with quality beans and as fresh as possible. The ideal is that it has been roasted for more than 5 days and at most 30 days after roasting. The secret of a tasty and beautiful espresso is a fresh and lively coffee. If you don’t have all that freshness in hand, use what you have. You will achieve good results with less fresh coffees as well. The important thing is to understand the basic principles that we will explain here.
One of the most exciting things during preparation is being able to see that beautiful cream. A beautiful crema basically indicates two things: the beans are freshly roasted and the most difficult coffee oils to extract went into the cup.
It is formed by oils and gases such as CO2, from the roasting, so the fresher the roasting, the more chances of getting the cream and flavor right. An all-stained (brindle) crema shows different components being extracted, so normally the more colors the more flavors and the more complexity the espresso can have.
But beware: gases – and especially carbon dioxide – are bitter. Remember that a pleasant espresso is harmonic and balanced. Our tip is: before taking mix with a spoon or remove the cream.
The performance of the Aram Coffee Maker and all espresso machines is guaranteed by the quality of the coffee you have in your hands and its grind. They are worth every penny invested.
If it is not possible to grind on the spot, that’s fine. It is still possible to make a tasty coffee. The important thing is to know that grinding on the spot makes you achieve the best results in any drink with coffee.
An already ground coffee loses its quality and crema every hour that passes through the effect of oxidation, caused by the contact of the bean with oxygen. In other words, a coffee that has been kept in beans and freshly ground will give you much more flavor than a coffee ground for days.
For you to better understand, we made several different grinds using the same amount of 19gr coffee. For you to replicate at home, it is important to always keep the same amount of coffee bean, and focus only on adjusting the grind.
See the examples below:
In the photo above you see a coarse grind, usually indicated for filtered coffee. The pieces are large, resembling coarse salt. Below, the result:
A thinner drink, without a crema and reminiscent of filtered coffee. This is because the grind is so thick and there is so much air space between each ground grain, that the water passes through these vacant spaces without difficulty, without applying any pressure, and it is very easy to turn the handle.
This makes the extraction time very fast (something less than 15 seconds), creating a lot of splashes and an under-extracted drink. In other words, you were unable to extract all the delicious substances from the coffee bean with this extraction time. It is likely that with this coarse grind, you have not generated any pressure. 0 bar.
In this other test, the grind is less coarse. It looks a lot like grinding traditional grinded coffee from the supermarket.
The final drink made a little more cream, less squirt and the taste was more pleasant. There are fewer air spaces between each coffee bean, creating a little pressure that has made more coffee extracted. At this level you have already managed to feel a little weight when turning the handle, but still very light. It was even easy to turn the handle, wasn’t it? It is likely that you generated between 1 and 3 bars of pressure.
In the grinding above you have reached the ideal point. The grind is finer, resembling a refined salt, or something close to talc. It is thinner than market coffee.
And now our espresso dream! The extraction took around 25 to 35 seconds – time counted from the descent of the crank. The turning of the handle became heavier, but nothing uncomfortable to the point of moving the coffee maker, nor light enough to rotate with a finger on the handle. The coffee came out as creamy as a hot chocolate. The result is that coffee full of crema and balanced taste. – With this grinding, it is likely that you generated between 5 and 9 bars of pressure.
In the coffee powder above you can see a finer grind – suitable for Turkish coffee. Only with the eyes it is impossible to see the difference between it and grinding 3, but the result is quite different.
The result of using grind 4 you see above: The powder has become so fine that there is no space between each coffee bean for the water to pass through, making only a few drops of coffee come out through the filter. The crank turning was too heavy to move the coffee maker around and there was almost no drink. The time to get the entire crank down took a few minutes, or you just couldn’t turn the crank so heavy it got. If the handle is too heavy or too difficult to turn, stop immediately.
Do not try to force the handle, it will damage your basket, leaving it shaken. Wait for the pressure to drop and turn slowly until the entire crank is lowered, removing all the water so that it is safe to open the portafilter.
With such a fine grind, it is likely that you generated between 10 to 20 bars of pressure. Too much pressure makes you extract unpleasant substances from the coffee, in addition to over-straining your equipment.
Grinding is the most delicate part of espresso and will directly affect the final result. The extraction in the Aram coffee maker is generally a little bit finer than the grinding used in other electric espresso machines. Test before you buy a packet of ground coffee.
Do not try to achieve a grind identical to the one in the photos, because for each type of coffee bean, you will have to make small adjustments in the grind. Sometimes a little thinner, sometimes thicker, being imperceptible to the eyes. Pay attention to the result in the cup. Note the density, the time it took to extract your espresso and especially the final flavor.
If you managed to reach your ideal grind with a coffee, it does not mean that this adjustment will work with all the beans you have. For each new type of coffee, small adjustments to the grind will be necessary.
Do some tests and find the ideal grind for your taste.
I hope I have helped you understand more about the art of espresso. If you do not know what grinder to use, read this other article.
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