Just starting out, grinder setting advice?

Beginner and pro baristas share tips and tricks.
enigma-2

Postby enigma-2 » Aug 29, 2007, 2:40 pm

First I apologize for this, as it's in all probability it's been asked hundreds of times before. I did do a search and didn't find an answer, so if someone would be so kind.

Current machine is a La Pavoni Club Combo. Love it, great espresso, easy to use. Just bought a La Pavoni Europiccola & a Baratza Maestro Plus Burr Grinder. (Haven't received either at this point).

My question is, what's the best grinding setting for this grinder and machine combo? From everything I've read, I start with a full basket (I like a double serving) and around 30# is the best tamp. Does anyone recommend anything different?

Thanks for helping a newbie.

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cafeIKE

Postby cafeIKE » Aug 29, 2007, 3:09 pm


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jesawdy

Postby jesawdy » Aug 29, 2007, 3:10 pm

I've used the similar Starbuck's Solis variant. It doesn't have 40 grind settings like the Maestro Plus. On the Starbuck's Solis model (apparently no longer available), the finest and the next to finest setting are about the only usable settings. I would expect to start at the second or third to finest set point and work from there.

I think an inexpensive 0.1 gram scale is a nice tool for newbies... it helps control one variable so you can keep dose consistent or controlled. For example, if the finest setting and 14 grams is too fast, you could try 16 grams, etc.

In my experience, you can run the Solis conicals until empty with good results, so you could also volume or weight dose whole beans into the hopper instead of weighing the basket/ground coffee.
Jeff Sawdy

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another_jim
Team HB

Postby another_jim » Aug 29, 2007, 3:11 pm

Whatever setting produces 1.5 to 2 ounces in 25 to 30 seconds.

...and ... read harder, this is not a hard piece of info to find.
Jim Schulman

enigma-2

Postby enigma-2 » Aug 29, 2007, 3:29 pm

jesawdy wrote:I've used the similar Starbuck's Solis variant. It doesn't have 40 grind settings like the Maestro Plus. On the Starbuck's Solis model (apparently no longer available), the finest and the next to finest setting are about the only usable settings. I would expect to start at the second or third to finest set point and work from there.

I think an inexpensive 0.1 gram scale is a nice tool for newbies... it helps control one variable so you can keep dose consistent or controlled. For example, if the finest setting and 14 grams is too fast, you could try 16 grams, etc.



Thanks jesawdy, that's the kind of response I was looking for. As I stated I had done an extensive search and was unable to find where anyone had posted the settings for the combo I have. Your response is about where I'll start, probably around 3.

I have a scale in the kitchen, hadn't thought about using it.

Excellent idea, thanks again.
Dennis

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HB
Admin

Postby HB » Aug 29, 2007, 3:42 pm

enigma-2 wrote:My question is, what's the best grinding setting for this grinder and machine combo?


It's nice to have a starting point provided by someone with the same setup, but it's even better to know how to dial in any grinder. Here's the trick I've mentioned a few times: Grind a sample and pinch it between your fingers. It should feel much coarser than flour, but finer than salt. The grinds should stick together slightly; if the beans are fresh and the grounds don't adhere together, it's too coarse. If the grounds hold a fingerprint impression, it's too fine. If the coffee is fresh, you'll feel the moisture in the beans. If you don't, the grind setting is too coarse. Learning to judge the proper grind setting by feel will save you coffee, since the first extraction will already be in the ballpark.

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