I'm not sure if it's my grinder or my machine or what, but I find I can't a get a ratio of less than about 3:1 - any shorter and the shot comes out sour.

In theory I can grind finer, but the pour is slow even at the current grind level. If I go any finer, the coffee comes out in drips (even if I reduce the amount in the pf).

Could this be to do with the beans? I have been using fairly dark roasts, but not super dark.


I'm also wondering if this is affected by temperature - other things being equal, higher temp = more complete extraction?

  • When you say ratio, are you comparing mass (both for the beans and the output in the cup)?
    – JJJ
    Jan 21 '20 at 11:01
  • Yeah. It's not the biggest issue but I don't get why I can't pull a ristretto at somewhere between 1.5:1 and 2:1 and have it taste good. I am adding milk anyway but in a short drink an extra 15ml of water in the mix does make a difference.
    – JD2000
    Jan 21 '20 at 13:37
  • It's hard to tell what causes it for you without knowing how reproducible your set up is. If you get these varying results with the same beans, then I'd think it's not the beans (though even age of the beans could play a role) but it doesn't necessarily answer the question for your specific case. Of course beans can play a role in general, for example because of different roast levels, but it's the combination of settings that counts. Also, how do you determine when it's done? Based on the taste of the espresso? Trying the final product (in your case with milk) may be more forgiving.
    – JJJ
    Jan 21 '20 at 13:44
  • OK thanks, I'll experiment some more. Yeah I go by the taste - if it's sour I go a finer and/or longer, and if it's bitter then in theory I go coarser and/or shorter if it's bitter - but in reality that hardly ever happens.
    – JD2000
    Jan 21 '20 at 15:40
  • Well, my point is that if you use closer to your regular time (rather than pulling more to make it taste better as an espresso) and add milk, then the taste might be fine. Adding milk (or water for an americano) gives you a bit more leeway that isn't there when you want to drink it as an espresso.
    – JJJ
    Jan 21 '20 at 16:03

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