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How to Grind Coffee Beans for Espresso: A Beginner’s Guide

Espresso shot-making is an art. The most important part of this art is grinding beans. You should know how to grind coffee beans for Espresso. The size of your grind will decide the taste of your coffee. If you are having sour or bitter-tasted shots you must research how to grind coffee beans for espresso.

In this guide on “How to grind coffee beans for espresso” I will tell you how to grind coffee beans for espresso, the right grind size, and some tips and tricks.

How To Grind Coffee Beans For Espresso In A Burr Grinder 

You can grind coffee beans for espresso in both the Burr and Blade grinders. I will give you a proper guide on how to grind coffee beans for espresso for both grinders.

Let’s start with the Burr grinder as it is the most used grinding method for espresso.

1. Bean Selection 

Whether you grind in Burr or not, always choose dark newly roasted beans. Better beans ensure the better taste of your coffee.

Darker beans will give you the liberty of enjoying the smooth and unique taste of espresso. But if you choose lighter roasted coffee beans you can’t have the espresso flavor. It might taste sour!

2. Grind Size Setting 

You have to know what you are making with your espresso to choose the right grind size. Most Burr grinder comes with an espresso grinding feature. You can easily grind coffee beans for espresso with this setting.

But if you don’t have that option, set a finer size(3-5) in the grinder size setting. I am giving you a chart here depending on different espresso.

Grind SizeEspresso Machine TypeGrinder Setting Number
Extra FineStovetop Espresso Maker (Moka Pot)1-3
FineTraditional Espresso Machine (Manual Lever)4-6
FineSemi-Automatic Espresso Machine4-6
Medium-FineAutomatic Espresso Machine with Pressurized Portafilter6-8
MediumCommercial-Grade Espresso Machine (Manual or Automatic)8-10
CoarseLever-Style Espresso Machine10-12

3. Bean Grinding 

Now after setting the grinder size according to your needs, it’s time to grind the beans. You can grind as many beans as you want at once. But ground coffee beans don’t hold that magical taste for long. So grind beans according to your needs.

For a single espresso shot grind approximately 7 grams of coffee beans. It can vary depending on personal choice. I strongly recommend grinding 1/2 cup of beans in the first go and adjusting later if you feel so.

Switch on the Burr grinder and grind coffee beans for espresso.

4. Distributing and Tamping

It is critical to carefully spread the grounds in the portafilter to guarantee a uniform extraction. You can use a distribution tool or just your finger. 

Press the coffee firmly and evenly in the portafilter to generate a uniform and compact puck. Tamping is critical for getting a good espresso extraction.

5. Brew Espresso Shot

After grinding coffee beans you are all set for the brewing step. Now set and use the Breville espresso machine. Simply set the portafilter in the espresso machine, choose your desired shots, and start brewing. You can adjust the grind size and amount of coffee based on your needs.

How To Grind Coffee Beans For Espresso In A Blade Grinder 

how to grind coffee beans for espresso

Blade grinders are actually manual or hand grinders. It is hard to grind beans in a hand grinder for espresso. Espresso needs finer blends but you can’t produce the perfect size ground if you are not an expert.

Yet you can find some hand grinder that has the ability to grind fine as high-end Burr grinders. Follow these steps to grind coffee beans for espresso in Blade grinders.

1. Weighing Beans

Use a kitchen scale to measure the desired amount of coffee beans based on the flavor of the coffee. For a standard double shot of espresso, I recommend using 14-18 grams of coffee beans.

2. Bean Grinding

After weighing it’s time to grind the newly roasted dark beans. Add the coffee beans to the blade grinder and pulse the grinder in short bursts to achieve a fine grind. Each burst shouldn’t be longer than 5 seconds. Grind in a total of 20-30 seconds for finer grounds. Be sure to shake the grinder to redistribute the coffee grounds to achieve a more uniform grind. 

3. Ground Size Checking

The ideal grind size for espresso is fine and powdery. The grounds must have a consistency similar to granulated sugar. You can use a sieve or a mesh filter to separate the finer grounds from the coarser ones. If there are a lot of larger particles in the mix, you may need to grind the beans for a bit longer.

4. Brewing

You are prepared to begin brewing coffee once the coffee beans have been ground. All you need to do is insert the portafilter into the espresso maker, choose your desired shots, and begin brewing. Experiment with the amount of coffee you are using for the better taste that suits you.

You can grind coffee beans for your espresso easily by following this guide. Be brave to experiment with different quantities with different grind sizes.

The Best Grinder For Espresso

Here I am comparing the Burr and blade grinder based on the efficiency of making espresso coffee shots.

FeatureBurr GrinderHand Grinder
ConsistencyBurr grinders produce a more consistent grind size, which is crucial for achieving a proper espresso extraction.Hand grinders can produce a consistent grind size, but it requires more effort and skill.
Grind AdjustmentBurr grinders often offer more straightforward and accurate grind adjustment options. It is simpler to experiment with and alter the grind size.Hand grinders also have grind adjustment settings, but they can be more difficult to adjust and less precise.
CapacityBurr grinders typically hold more beans and grind them faster. So, it is convenient for in larger households or commercial settings.Hand grinders to have a smaller capacity and take longer to grind enough coffee for multiple shots.
PriceBurr grinders can range from affordable to expensive, depending on the quality and features of the grinder.Hand grinders are generally affordable. High-quality models can be a bit expensive.
PortabilityBurr grinders are less portable.Hand grinders are more compact and portable for travel or outdoor use.

Tips And Tricks On How To Grind Coffee Beans For Espresso 

Apply the tips for easy and effective grinding for espresso shots on your own:

  1. Try to use a Burr grinder for consistency if you are a beginner.
  2. Freshly ground coffee makes the best espresso. To avoid dull and lifeless flavor always grind just before brewing.
  3. The grind size should be finer like salt for a pleasing cup of espresso.
  4. Adjust the grind based on your taste preferences.
  5. Evenly distributed grounds need to be used as they ensure consistent extraction.
  6. To ensure proper water flow tamp with adequate pressure.
  7. Clean the Burr grinder thoroughly after each use to avoid unwanted odor or flavor.


1. What grind size should I use for espresso?

Espresso requires a fine grind size similar in size to table salt. The exact grind size can vary depending on your espresso machine and the type of coffee beans you’re using. But as a general rule, a fine grind is necessary to ensure proper extraction.

2. How to adjust the grind size?

Adjust the grind size based on your taste preferences and the type of coffee beans you’re using. A finer grind will generally produce a stronger and more intense shot. A coarser grind produces a milder and less intense one. Experiment with the grind size until you find the sweet spot for your taste preferences. 

3. Do I need to clean my grinder regularly?

Yes, it’s important to clean your grinder regularly to prevent coffee oils from building up. Mineral build-ups affect the flavor and consistency of your espresso shots. Remove any old coffee grounds and wipe down the grinder with a damp cloth. Some burr grinders also have removable parts that can be washed.

4. How much coffee should be ground for a single shot of espresso?

A typical single shot of espresso requires around 7-9 grams of coffee beans. The exact amount can vary based on your taste preferences and the type of coffee beans. Do not hesitate to experiment with ground size and amount of coffee for espresso.

5. How hard should I tamp the coffee in the portafilter?

Tamp in around 30 pounds of force firmly and evenly in the portafilter. This aids in the formation of a constant and compact puck, ensuring optimum water flow and extraction. Tamping too hard or too lightly can affect the extraction and the quality of the espresso shot.


The hard task of grinding coffee beans for espresso is described with detailed information in this article. Now you know how to grind coffee beans for espresso and how important the grind size is for a perfect cup of coffee. If you find it difficult to have the taste you are looking for don’t get sad. After a few experiments, you will surely find the right balance with espresso.

Enjoy every sip of your espresso coffee!

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