Best Espresso Grind Size Setting On Breville Barista Express, Pro & Touch

Mike C
Written By Mike C

I've been writing about coffee and espresso machines for 3 years. My goal is to provide you with helpful content that you can trust based on my own personal experiences, information from manufacturers, and tips and tricks I've gathered from other coffee and espresso machine users.

I may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

How To Pick The Best Grind Size Setting For Your Breville Barista Espresso Machine

Making the perfect espresso with your Breville machine is a bit of art and science. And it certainly takes patience! If you are new Breville Barista owner, know that it will take some trial and error to get a great tasting espresso shot. One of the key settings you’ll need to experiment is the grind size. The color and taste of your espresso depend in large part on this. Keep reading to learn about the recommended grind size setting for Breville Barista Express, Barista Pro and Barista Touch espresso machines.

Understanding Grind Sizes

The grind size setting on your Breville Barista is one of the most important factors that will determine how quickly water will flow through the coffee in the filter basket. This flow rate has a huge impact on the taste of the espresso shot you pull. In addition to the grind amount, the grind size will also impact how much espresso is extracted into your cup.

Grind size is measured on a scale from fine to medium to coarse. On your Breville Barista, the lower the grind size setting number, the finer the grind. The larger the number, the coarser the grind. Beans that are ground to a fine setting will look like powder and feel like flour when you rub them between your fingers. Beans that are ground to a coarse setting will yield bigger particles, similar in size to sea salt or ground peppercorns. The grind size that you need will depend on the type of coffee you are trying to make or the method you are using (e.g. cold brew, french press, pour over, etc.)

The general rule when grinding fresh coffee beans for espresso is that you want it to be fine, but not too fine. That’s still a bit vague, so let us get into the details of what that means for your Breville Barista espresso machine.

Best Espresso Grind Sizes To Start With For Every Breville Barista Model

The important thing to know about espresso is that there’s no one size fits all rule when it comes to grind sizes. It can vary from bag to bag of beans. Every time you switch up the coffee you are using to make espresso, you’ll want to start with these recommended settings. Then follow the steps in the next section to adjust to your taste.

Breville Barista Espresso Machine

Barista Express Grind Size

The Breville Barista Express espresso machine has 18 different grind size settings: fine, 1-16 and coarse. You can adjust this using the grind size selector on the side of your unit, just above the tamper. Breville recommends starting at number 5 and then fine tuning from there.

How To Set Breville Barista Express Grind Size

Barista Pro Grind Size

The Breville Barista Pro espresso machine has 30 different grind size settings. The default grind setting you should start with is 15. You can adjust from there using the LCD screen. A bar will display on the screen when you are adjusting this setting using the selector on the left side of the unit.

How To Change Breville Barista Pro Grind Size

Barista Touch Grind Setting

Like the Barista Pro, the Breville Barista Touch espresso maker has 30 different grind size options. Start near the middle with number 14. You’ll find the grind dial on the side of your brewer, which will allow you to adjust this up or down. The grind size will be shown on the touch screen under the grind button.

Adjusting Grind Size For Breville Barista Touch

How To Fine Tune Your Grind Size Settings

After you pulled a shot using the default grind size settings above for your Breville Barista machine, you may need to try two or three different settings to get an espresso you are happy with. Here is what to look for and how to adjust. I recommend going slowly and changing up or down by only one (ideally) or two numbers at a time.

When To Try A Higher Grind Size Setting

If your coffee beans are ground too finely, you will end up with over extracted espresso. You can identify this looking at and tasting your pour. Over extracted espresso is very dark in color and bitter in taste. If this happens to you, you’ll want to try a higher grind setting number to get less fine grounds.

When To Try A Lower Grind Size Setting

If your coffee beans are ground too coarse, you will end up with under extracted espresso. Water will flow through coarse grinds much too quickly. This will result in a lack of both flavor and color. If this happens to you, you’ll want to try a lower grind setting number to get finer grounds.

Other Details To Pay Attention To For Great Espresso

The grind size is just one of a many things you have to consider when brewing espresso using a Breville machine. There is also the grind amount, the weight of the coffee grinds and how much pressure you apply while tamping. We’ll have more content on all of that soon. Stay tuned.

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