Best Settings on the Breville Barista Express
On the left side of the Barista Express is the grind size selector. It goes from 1 (fine grind) to 16 (coarse grind).
Best grind setting
Start with a grind size of 5 and adjust as needed.
Grind size tip
With espresso, you want a finer grind but not too fine that it's powdery.
On the front of the machine, is a knob to adjust the grind amount. It goes from "less" (counterclockwise) to "more" (clockwise).
Best grind amount
Start with the setting at 3 o'clock position and adjust as needed.
Grind Amount Tip
The only way to know if you have the correct grind amount is by pulling a shot and seeing the espresso.
An ideal pull will move the pressure gauge needle within the solid gray area.
If your needle is below the solid gray, the espresso will be under extracted. This results in watery and less flavorful espresso.
How to fix under extraction
Change the grind size so it's finer. Make sure the ground coffee is correctly tamped.
If your needle is beyond the solid gray, the espresso will be over extracted. This means too much pressure was used.
How to fix over extraction
Change the grind so it's coarser than the previous setting. Make sure there isn't too much ground coffee in the portafilter.
It's all a matter of trial and error.
Want to see more detailed info on the Breville Barista Express? See setup and complete review.