Would you like to know what kind of coffee to use for an espresso machine? Well, we have researched this topic and have answers for you. Understanding what type of coffee to use for an espresso machine is essential to ensure a consistent and delicious espresso.
It would be best to use dark roast coffee for an espresso machine. Dark roast coffee will give your espresso a more consistent taste.
In this article, we will learn what kind of coffee to use for an espresso machine. We will also learn answers to other interesting related questions like, what coffee does Starbucks use for espresso, and can you use finely ground coffee in an espresso machine? Keep reading to learn more.
What Kind Of Coffee To Use For Espresso Machine
When choosing a coffee for your espresso machine, you may be wondering if there is a certain kind you need. While you can technically use any coffee with an espresso machine, some coffees are better than others for espresso.
The best coffee for an espresso machine is dark roast coffee. The main reason for this has to do with carbon dioxide.
When coffee beans are roasted, they release carbon dioxide stored inside. The darker the roast, the more carbon dioxide is released. This carbon dioxide in roasted beans slowly decreases over three weeks after roasting.
So a darker roast will have roughly the same amount of carbon dioxide over time, whereas a lighter roast will change more as the carbon dioxide is released. Since the dark roast has approximately the same amount of carbon dioxide over time, it will make a similar tasting espresso no matter how fresh it is. This is why most companies use dark roast beans for their espresso blends.
What Coffee Does Starbucks Use For Espresso?
Starbucks is known for its signature-tasting espresso, but many want to know what coffee they use for their espresso.
Starbucks uses its name brand of coffee for its espressos. Their brand of coffee is available in-store or online, but what makes it so flavorful and unique.
First, Starbucks uses coffee beans from Latin America and Asia/Pacific. Then they roast the beans to be as dark as possible without burning them. This is what gives Starbucks espresso its signature bold taste.
If you were looking for an alternative coffee that would taste similar to Starbucks' espresso blend, you should try a dark roast blend of coffee. Most espresso blends of coffee use dark roasted beans. Here are a few espresso blends that people say taste similar to Starbucks coffee.
Lavazza Dark Espresso Roast
This espresso blend of coffee will produce flavorful and robust espresso. The beans are roasted very dark to give you that signature espresso taste. This blend will also contain notes of maple syrup and walnuts.
Illy Extra Dark Roast
Illy Extra Dark Roast is an espresso blend of coffee that has been roasted as much as possible without burning it. This extra dark roast will give your espresso a robust and bold taste with hints of dark chocolate and caramel. This product is also pre-ground to the perfect coarseness to ensure the best cup of espresso.
Death Wish Coffee Dark Roast
Death Wish Coffee Dark Roast is roasted very dark to give it a strong, bold flavor. Espresso made with this coffee will be powerful with hints of cherry and chocolate.
Can You Buy Pre-Ground Espresso?
Grinding your own coffee can sometimes be a hassle, especially when you wake up in the morning. The solution to this is pre-ground espresso.
Many brands sell a pre-ground version of their espresso blends. Using one of these pre-ground blends will ensure that your coffee is ground just the right amount to ensure that the maximum amount of flavor is extracted.
The finer you grind coffee, the more flavor your espresso will have. This increase in taste is due to the increased surface area of the coffee beans. More surface area gives more places for the flavor to seep into the water.
While this may cause you to think that you should grind your coffee as fine as possible to maximize flavor, this couldn't be further from the truth. Let's explore why you shouldn't use very fine coffee in an espresso machine.
Can You Use Finely Ground Coffee In An Espresso Machine?
You should not use finely ground coffee in an espresso machine. While a finer ground coffee will produce a more potent espresso, there is a limit on it. If your coffee is ground so fine that it resembles a fine powder, it will make a weaker espresso.
A very fine ground coffee produces a weaker coffee has to do with physics. When coffee is ground very fine, it can compact together to form a waterproof layer. This waterproof layer will cause water to not flow properly through the ground coffee.
If the water takes an irregular path through the ground coffee, it may not reach all of the coffee. This means that a portion of your ground coffee may go unused, resulting in a weaker tasting espresso.
The solution is to make sure that your coffee isn't ground so fine that water can't freely flow through it. Try to make sure the texture of your ground coffee resembles a coarse powder. It will be too fine to produce a strong espresso if it resembles a fine powder.
How Do You Grind Coffee For An Espresso Machine?
Now that you know what texture of ground coffee you want to give you the best tasting espresso, you may wonder how to achieve such a texture. While you could buy a pre-ground coffee, we will share how to grind your coffee for an espresso machine.
The first thing to remember is that we want a fine ground coffee, but not so fine that water can't adequately flow through it. We need to use a coffee grinder to achieve such an exact coarseness.
There are many different coffee grinders on the market but, they primarily fall into two categories. These two categories are automatic and manual coffee grinders. Each has its pros and cons, but we will explore automatic coffee grinders first.
Automatic Coffee Grinders
Automatic coffee grinders use a motor to grind coffee quickly and consistently. There are two types of automatic coffee grinders. These two types are bladed and burr.
Bladed Automatic Coffee Grinders
Bladed automatic coffee grinders are the less preferred of the two grinders, and this has to do with two problems created by the blades.
The first issue with automatic bladed coffee grinders is the grind consistency. When you use a blade coffee grinder, the tiny grains of coffee produced will be irregular sizes. With some of the coffee grounds being larger and some smaller, water will take an uneven path through the ground coffee making an inconsistent cup of espresso.
The other issue with automatic bladed coffee grinders is the heat generated. Since a bladed coffee grinder has to spin fast to grind the coffee, it produces a lot of heat, and this heat will cause your espresso not to taste as fresh once it is made.
Burr Automatic Coffee Grinders
If you are going to get an automatic coffee grinder, a burr grinder is the way to go. These grinders crush coffee beans to a uniform shape to ensure a smooth and consistent cup of espresso.
While there are many burr automatic coffee grinders on the market, we have highlighted a couple of the most popular and will tell you how to use them to get the perfect grind level for espresso.
Secura Electric Burr Coffee Grinder
This automatic burr coffee grinder has 17 step settings to give you a wide choice in how fine you want your coffee. Use grind level 15 or 16 to get the perfect grind level for espresso from this product. If you use grind level 17, your coffee will be too fine and will not make a good cup of espresso.
Portable Electric Burr Coffee Grinder
This automatic burr coffee grinder allows for a high level of control on how fine you grind your coffee. With no step system, you twist the grinder to adjust coarseness.
To achieve the perfect grind level with this device, twist the grind adjuster knob clockwise to make your coffee more coarse and counter-clockwise to make your coffee finer. You are looking for a coarse powder, but not a fine powder.
Manual Coffee Grinders
Manual coffee grinders put the control of grinding your coffee into your hands. With the ability to directly control how fine your coffee is, many people prefer manual coffee grinders. We will now look at a couple of the most popular manual coffee grinders and how to use them to achieve the perfect grind level.
JavaPresse Manual Coffee Bean Grinder
This manual coffee grinder has 18 grind levels to give you high levels of control. Use grind levels 16 or 17 to get the best grind level for espresso from this product. Grind level 18 will produce too fine of a ground coffee for espresso.
Triple Tree Manual Coffee Grinder
The Triple Tree Manual Coffee Grinder has an adjustable wheel to vary the grind level precisely. To get the best grind level for espresso with this product, keep the adjustable wheel at least one-quarter twist from maximum fineness.
We learned that dark roasted coffee would be best for an espresso machine in this article. While you want fine ground coffee for espresso, we also learned that you can grind your coffee too fine.
We hope you enjoyed this article. If you want to learn more, check out some of these other posts.