Finer/fewer coffee beans or coarser/more for richer flavor

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks.
chanty 77

#1: Post by chanty 77 »

I do think there is something to this. I noticed when I grind finer, with say....16.7 or 16.8g of beans in, sometimes the flavor is not as rich. I wonder if I am imagining at times when I made the grind a little coarser and added more beans, say 17g or over--if the flavor was richer? Is there something to this reasoning? Thanks.

VoidedTea

#2: Post by VoidedTea »

I actually found the same thing and by trial and error my favourite number for a medium dark roast is 21g (with Cafelat Robot). Darker roasts I'd go with 20g. My wife and I prefer long blacks, not pure espresso shots. So I find more beans help preserve fullness of the body when water is added.

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Jeff
Team HB

#3: Post by Jeff »

Espresso 101: How to Adjust Dose and Grind Setting by Taste

My experience has been that a 1-2 g change is sometimes noticeable with darker roasts, a few tenths usually isn't.

People reading this with tastes in lighter roasts may find lower doses than the typical 18 g worth exploring. 17 g or, if your puck prep is good, even 15 g may give a more enjoyable cup.

klee11mtl

#4: Post by klee11mtl »

For the past month, I've been experimenting with paper filters above and below the puck. In trying to keep my pull times and doses the same as before, the filters force me to grind finer. I've found that with the combination of finer grind and slightly higher (2.5 vs 2.25) output, I'm getting a richer coffee flavor with my lattes.

Note that we only drink lattes so the mouth feel of the shot isn't a consideration for us.

VoidedTea

#5: Post by VoidedTea »

I wanted to add to my post based on my most recent experience. My last bag of beans didn't work well with my usual Robot technique - higher dose and coarser grind. I thought I would give up on it and just never buy it again, but these beans are sold very close to my house, so I hate to lose the convenience. The description on the bag was very intriguing as well - floral, clear and sweet - which was another reason to not to give up on it too quickly. My usual technique would fail to deliver any of those notes, giving what I would describe a very flat espresso taste without anything to stand out. Recently, I learned how to work with much finer grinds without choking the Robot. So I decided to give it a try with my troubled beans - I reduced the dose to 15g and reduced grind settings by about 30% on my grinder, and then pulled the shot using my new technique for fine grinds. The result was very pleasantly surprising. I could certainly detect floral character on the nose, and the slight acidity that was bothering me before was replaced with a bit a of saltiness, which was very pleasant. What was even more surprising, the drink felt slightly stronger overall despite much lower dosage. It was the most enjoyable cup from these beans, even when it cooled there was no change in profile unlike with my previous method, which usually lead to more acidity. So I have to admit that larger dose will not always produce the best result, it all depends on the beans.
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chanty 77 (original poster)

#6: Post by chanty 77 (original poster) » replying to VoidedTea »

Very interesting. If I would lower the dose to 15g on anything I drank--I would have to make the grind much finer or I would have a sour gusher.

HRC-E.B.

#7: Post by HRC-E.B. »

In my experience, that's highly coffee dependent.

By and large, and everything else being equal, "traditional" espressos (less dense, darker roasted) favor overdosing and coarser grinding, and shorter ratios, because the additional compounds you get with fuller extractions are usually displeasing.

Everything else being equal, denser coffees (higher grown, lighter roasts) benefit from maximising extraction. Smaller doses. Finer grind. Longer ratios.

Those are not absolutes, but general guidelines that can point in the right direction.
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