There are many schools of thought in regards to coffee grinding, but there is one factor that virtually everyone in the coffee community agrees on if you are looking to update your home setup: using a burr grinder. Burr grinders provide a much more consistent approach to your grounds, and the difference can be tasted in your cup even if you don’t have an experienced palate. If you are using a blade grinder, it can tend to separate the coffee bean inconsistently, leading to poor extraction.
Here’s how to set up and adjust your grind for great coffee:
An example of a good starting point for your grind.
It’s quite possible you already own a burr grinder that will be perfectly suited for brewing on the Ratio Eight. When establishing whether your current grinder is up to the task, you should simply start by grinding coffee for a half pot (20 oz.) of coffee on your Ratio. By starting at a lower brew volume, you will be able to pay increased attention to extraction while reducing coffee waste along the way if it takes two or three batches to dial-in.
1. For a half-batch (20 oz.) of coffee, grind and measure 36 grams (7 level tablespoons) of coffee.
2. Once measured, pour into your filter and gently shake to level. If you are using a glass carafe and Chemex paper filter, ensure the three folds are facing the pour channel to prevent an airlock that may lead to overflow. Take a note or picture of the grind particulate size so you can compare/contrast to any future adjustments if necessary.
3. Pour fresh, filtered water into your tank up to the half-fill line.
4. As your coffee brews, observe the coffee bed as it becomes increasingly saturated. Try to answer these questions according to what you are seeing:
- Is the coffee bed draining too quickly or too slowly during bloom and brew?
- Is the coffee bed at any point very close to overflowing during brew?
5. Once your brew has completed and you have allowed for all of the water to drain beneath the coffee bed, pour yourself a cup and allow it to cool for a few minutes.
If your coffee is tasting sour, try adjusting your grinder a bit finer. If your coffee is tasting bitter, try adjusting a bit coarser. Small increments between adjustments are recommended so you are not over-adjusting at any point and having to work backward. If you noted that your coffee bed was draining too quickly during your brew, you may want to adjust it a bit finer. If it was draining too slowly, you may want to coarsen the grind a bit.
If your grinder is at the coarsest or finest capability according to the adjustment markings, and you are still unable to produce a consistent and even grind that works for your Ratio when dialing-in as detailed above, you may want to consider upgrading your grinder.
We have two great options for you from Baratza:
The Baratza Encore is a simple, rugged, and versatile grinder. The only drawback is it runs a bit loud. It does make quick work of the job, so this is not a big issue.
A step up from the Encore is the Baratza Virtuoso. Rather than plastic, the chassis of the Virtuoso is metal. This will provide the same consistent grind as the lower model, but runs quieter with a more efficient motor, and looks nicer. This is our most popular pairing with the Ratio Eight.
The Baratza Virtuoso coffee grinder.
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