The espresso grind
What is espresso grind?
An espresso grind is a very finely ground coffee, like powdered sugar. To make an espresso coffee, water is heated and pushed through ground coffee at a really high pressure. If the coffee grind is too coarse, the water will rush straight through and you’ll end up with a very watery coffee, but if it’s ground finely a whole world of delicious coffee awaits.
Espresso. The hero of grab and go, caffeine-hit coffee drinks. Nothing (bar a few hours extra sleep, maybe) will help an exhausted coffee drinker like this cup of coffee will.
We have a real variety of resources for you on getting yourself a great espresso brew, whether that’s brewing for its use in various coffee recipes like lattes and cappuccinos, or the nitty gritty to how to make the drink beautifully neat. In this resource, though, we’re going to focus on getting your coffee grounds perfectly prepared with a neat espresso in mind.
What grind size do I need?
When it comes to coffee grind sizes, for espresso we recommend grinding your coffee to an extra fine consistency, like powdered sugar. The most fine end of the scale you can reach, if you’re using a coffee grind chart.
Why? It’s all about how the extraction process works. The finer the grind, the bigger the surface area of the ground coffee, and the bigger the surface area, the faster the extraction.
With espresso, water is pushed through the grounds at a high temperature and high speed – it only makes sense, then, that we have to complement that with a bean that will extract well at this speed.
How to grind coffee for espresso
As we’ve said before, you have a couple of different coffee grinder options to prepare your extra fine grind: a handheld burr grinder, or an automated blade grinder.
For the best result, we recommend an automated conical burr grinder or blade grinder due to the need to get a very fine grind – we love a Turkish coffee, but in this case, we don’t want any grounds ending up in the cup!
A handheld burr grinder is better left for extra coarse or medium coarse grinds, which you’d need for brewing methods like a Moka Pot (you can read more on Moka Pot grinds here).
With the end result, you’re looking at about 63mg of caffeine for a cup of the strong stuff when the traditional water ratio of 1:2 is used. Definitely one to wake you up!
Wilfa Classic Aroma Coffee Grinder
How to make an espresso
So, you’ve got your ground coffee beans ready for brewing coffee. When you’re ready to get that perfect espresso, follow this article for a few tips on how to get it just right. It’ll explain everything from how to use an espresso machine to make your perfect energy boost, through to DIY options such as using a french press to get you a great brew. Don’t say we never treat you to anything!
Now you have your beans, it’s worth thinking about how much you actually need for your espresso. Sometimes the best of us get carried away with the coffee grinding process.
There’s something satisfying about turning a roast bean to something ready for magical coffee making – so if you’re like us, you may well find you have far more ground coffee than you intended. As much as we love an espresso, we wouldn’t recommend using up all the ground coffee on these bad boys in one day, so next – let’s talk storage.
How to store my ground coffee
Ground yourself too much coffee? No fear – here’s an article all about how best to store your coffee.
The TL;DR is that you’re wanting to keep your grounds away from light, heat, oxygen and humidity. That means an airtight (oxygen), opaque container (light), kept in a dark, cool place.
We don’t mean next to your vintage rubiks cube or your home bar with this one – we’re talking about keeping the coffee away from a cooker, but not getting it too cold and humid, like a fridge or freezer would. A high up cupboard is best!
It’ll last in its best condition for a few weeks (which we think is more than long enough to get through the whole thing, how could you resist). Saying this, if you don’t mind losing a bit of the flavour, your coffee grounds will still keep well for a few months.
Speciality coffee for espresso
If the thought of coffee grinding is too much right now, we’ve got you covered. Many of our single origin roasts are available on our website ready ground specifically for espresso. Old Mother Nightshade from Peru, King Canute from Ethiopia, Blind Byard from Columbia, The Lincoln Imp blend (Ethiopia, Peru and Nicaragua) and Nanny Rutt from Brazil are all available with the hard work done for you.
Like the thought of a great homemade brew, but espresso sounds too intense? You might like to try out our guides to brewing with an aeropress, V60, also known as drip coffee or french press. All inexpensive pieces of kit that will provide great results if you’re after a longer coffee. Or perhaps you’re looking for something for the warmer weather? Our cold brew recipe will do just the trick. However you drink your coffee, we’ve got a roast or blend that’ll suit. Enjoy!