Coffee Strength and Taste
In this blog I would like to share my thoughts about the strength, body and taste of coffee that you can produce using a bean to cup machine. I am confining myself to the Gaggia bean to cup machines but you may find it useful to apply these to other brands as well.
All our models of bean to cup machines are fitted with ceramic grinders for grinding the beans. The number of grind settings vary from 5 to 18 settings. If you look at the 5 setting grinder, '5' will be the coarsest setting and '1' will be the finest setting. On a 18 setting grinder, '18' will be the coarsest and '1' will be the finest. Usually the factory setting will be '3' on a 5 setting grinder and '6-8' on a 18 setting grinder.
Depending on the coffee you use, you can adjust the grind setting to suit the fineness you want. Finer the grind the slower the flow. This is because, the water will have to wet more particles of coffee and infuse the coffee for a longer time. If the grind is coarser the water will flow quickly through the coffee. This in turn will weaken the coffee that is produced.
The coffee strength can also be affected by the type of roast that you select. A darker roast produces a stronger coffee than a light or medium roast.
You can also vary the strength, taste and body of the coffee by selecting a blend that produces more body and strength. The mix of blend, depending on how much Arabica and Robusta coffees are in the bag of coffee, will have an influence on the strength, taste and body. Robusta coffees have more caffeine, earthy qualities and bittnerness. Arabicas have more sweetness and acid depending on where it is grown and how it is roasted.
Some of our machines have a 3 strength setting [ Naviglio, Brera, Accademia] and others have 5 strength settings.
Depending on the strength you select, the machine will grind an amount of coffee :
3 Strength setting Machines
[1 bean] 6.5g-7g of coffee
[2beans] 8.5g-9g of coffee
[3 beans] 10.5g-11g of coffee
5 Strength setting Machines
[1 bean] 6.5g-7g of coffee
[2beans] 7.5g-8g of coffee
[3 beans] 8.5g-9g of coffee
[4 beans] 9.5g-10g of coffee
[5 beans] 10.5g-11g of coffee
Please note that Gaggia machines have an 'opti-dose' system which measures the pressure it applies to the grind and the revolution of grinder and adjusts itself using an algorithm. This can therefore take a few coffees to get to the optimum dose needed.
The amount of water and the quality of water used in a drink can also have an influence on the taste of the coffee. The quantity of water in the cup can be about 10% lower than the amount the machine dispenses because some of the water is retained in the coffee puck. For example, on the Gaggia Magenta and Gaggia Cadorna, the screen says 40cc but you will get only about 36cc in the cup.
Another variable to watch is the temperature of the coffee. This can be adjusted on some of the models.
Hello, my name is Raj Beadle. I am the author of this blog. I am the owner and managing director of Caffe Shop Ltd - Gaggia UK. We represent Gaggia spa in the UK and are the exclusive distributor of Gaggia in the UK. We also directly retail via our website www.gaggiadirect.com and also through our own retail shops.