Making A Perfect Espresso with My Grinder Coffee Machine

Do you dream of making an espresso or a ristretto worthy of those enjoyed in an Italian bar? If you have the means to use freshly roasted and ground beans, the work is already half done!

You may have acquired an automatic grinder espresso machine and it is also an excellent thing for tasting a perfect espresso 🙂

To go further, I will present you some tips to become a real barista at your home. You are ready? Let’s go.


  • Making an espresso: The choice of coffee
  • Machine settings: better control of your extraction
  • Options and parameters to consider
  • Maintenance not to be neglected

Making An Espresso: The Choice of Coffee

How do you recognize a good Italian espresso?

The Italian espresso can be recognized by different aspects. First, the crema should be dense and thick with nutty hues. It must also be persistent and endowed with fine bubbles. The presence of Robusta will help to obtain this beautiful crema.

The body should be rich, round, and syrupy. It envelops your taste buds and caresses your palate. In the mouth, you must find a frank attack as well as a beautiful persistent length. Finally, the tasting notes are often gourmand, mainly toast. A pronounced bitterness must be present without being unpleasant and without astringency.

Which Italian coffee to use?

Above all, I advise you to favour a freshly roasted coffee bean. It will offer you more aromas and a much better result. To ensure freshness, choose a coffee that indicates a specific roasting date.

If you want to have a successful Italian coffee with your espresso grinder, it will obviously be necessary to choose an Italian-style roasted coffee bean. Their roasting is darker than that which we practice in France. To the eye, you will find dark and shiny coffee beans. And on the nose, the powerful aromas of toast will be the main markers.

There is a wide selection of Italian coffee beans. Choose a 100% Arabica for aromatic complexity and a tangy edge or an Arabica/Robusta blend for a richer body, dense crema and aromas of cocoa and toast.

The Settings of Your Automatic Machine

You have already acquired an automatic machine to finally get a My Espresso Machine at home. As we have previously the choice of coffee is essential, but the settings of your machine will also help you.

Here are some things to consider controlling the settings of your coffee machine (if you haven’t yet made your choice of coffee machine with grinder, consult this buying guide which could be very useful to you).

Adjusting the grinder to make an espresso

Virtually all automatic bean machines have an adjustment at the grinder. This adjustment allows you to tighten (or loosen) the grinding wheels to obtain a fine grind.

The principle is quite simple. A coarse grind (largest setting) will allow the water, during extraction, to pass more easily and quickly through the coffee cake. You will thus obtain a softer, less intense result, with more tangy notes. Conversely, a finer grind (tight grinding wheels) will prevent the water from passing through too quickly. The cake will then be more humid, the water will take longer to extract the aromas and you will obtain in cup, a coffee richer in aromas and more intense.

Do not hesitate to play on the setting of your mill to adapt the result to your taste. Attention, the wheels must be tightened notch by notch during grinding to avoid damaging them. Adjust your grinder only when it is in operation.

Adjusting the coffee strength

Most bean-to- cup espresso machines also offer a coffee strength setting. You will thus choose the quantity of coffee (in grams) per cup. If you choose a light intensity, you will get a smoother coffee. The more you increase the intensity, the more intense and syrupier your espresso will be. In general, grinder machines offer 3 or 4 intensity settings (which is already interesting to start with). But if you want to go further in customizing your cup result, Jura automatic machines, for example, will allow you to adjust to 8 different levels, ranging from 5 to 16g of coffee in a cup.

The volume of water in cup, the perfect length

If you want to get a perfect Italian espresso with your automatic machine, I advise you to set your cup length of your drink. The longer your coffee, the more the aromas will be “washed out”, diluted. You will also get a more caffeinated drink by adding more water.

The perfect espresso should be between 30 and 45 ml maximum. It will thus be richer in aromas, more concentrated, more intense. In Italy, coffees are served very tight.

Your water temperature

The ideal temperature to respect the aromas of your coffee is 85°C. Some automatic machines offer water temperature adjustment, which is a real advantage. Do not hesitate to increase it if you find that your coffee is not hot enough or if the cup result is not what you expected.

A little tip: if your automatic machine does not allow you to adjust the water temperature, do not hesitate to preheat your cup under running hot water before pouring a coffee.

A Perfect Espresso: Other Parameters to Consider

Some automatic machines have additional options, which explains the price differences. However, these options can play an important role in finding the perfect espresso.

The pre-infusion

If the machine you purchased has automatic pre-infusion, then you have made the right choice. Some coffee machines, such as the Nivona automatics for example, allow you to set the pre-infusion for a longer or shorter time.

What is pre-infusion? This is a small dose of hot water, injected on the coffee cake, before launching the total amount of water for your drink. The tamped coffee will thus be moistened, swell, and reveal more aromas. Thus, you will obtain an espresso richer in taste and more intense.

The choice of the coffee cup is essential

Your coffee cups will also play a role in achieving the perfect espresso. Did you notice that in Italy, coffees in bars are only served in eggshell-shaped porcelain cups? Indeed, porcelain, often quite thick, allows you to better retain the heat of your coffee (especially if they have been heated before). In addition, the so-called “eggshell “shape, rounded on the base, allows the aromas to be better mixed. You will thus have a homogeneous coffee in its tasting.

Also, don’t forget to always stir your espresso with your teaspoon, even if you don’t add sugar! The oils in your coffee, which are richer in taste, are above all heavier in density! Thus, they will automatically rest in the bottom of your cup. By stirring, this makes it possible to mix the different layers and obtain a perfect whole.

Not To Be Neglected: The Maintenance of Your Automatic Machine

We can never repeat it enough, but to obtain a perfect espresso, it is necessary to have a perfectly maintained machine. This first involves filtering the water, with a filter cartridge in the water tank for example.

A coffee consists of 99% water. If your water has a “taste” (of chlorine for example), this will alter the taste of your espresso. The filtration will remove the limestone but also purify the taste of the water.

Cleaning the infuser group is also essential. It should be done at least once a week to remove the oils from the coffee and the particles that stick together over time. Also, the rinsing of the nozzles (often automatic on espresso grinders) will also be important. This cleaning removes particles that settle in the nozzles and change the taste of your espresso.

Finally, descaling is necessary to protect the heating system but also to obtain a perfectly flavoured espresso.

You now have all my tips for properly setting up your automatic bean machine and making the perfect espresso.

Nicholas Jansen