Best Settings on the Breville Barista Express

Grind size

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.

Grind amount 

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.

Pressure gauge

An ideal pull will move the pressure gauge needle within the solid gray area. 

Under extracted

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.

Over extracted

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.