Congratulations on your new Macap M7D Espresso Grinder. Dialing in your coffee grinder isn't always easy. We discuss the steps to fine-tune your burr grinder for the best possible extraction.
Join Charles as he demonstrates how to set up and dial-in the Macap M7D Espresso Grinder. Please note that Clive Coffee also offers a grinder dial-in service if you prefer to have someone else do the hard work for you!
Step one: Out of the box and onto the counter
- Remove the grinder from its box and place it on a solid level surface.
- Inspect the grinder for any damage. If you notice any, contact us immediately.
- To insert the hopper, remove the hopper screw from the collar of the grinder. We recommend leaving this out, as the hopper is stable on its own and the screw interferes with grind adjustment.
- Plug the grinder in and turn it on.
Step two: Feeling the coffee
- If you got our exclusive grinder dial-in service, you can skip this step. If you’re just excited to get a bit messy, then come along.
- Put some beans in the hopper and grind them into your hand.
- Feel the grounds. For espresso, they should feel similar to table salt. Not as fine as powdered sugar, and not as coarse as sand.
- If they feel too coarse, you can adjust finer by turning the worm drive toward you. Likewise, you can adjust coarser by turning the worm drive away from you.
- The labels on the collar can be a bit tricky, but just remember that the numbers in the direction of the word coarse are coarser, and the numbers in the direction of the word fine are finer.
Step three: Dialing the dose
- Once the grind is in the ballpark, it’s time to start pulling shots.
- First, grab a scale and tare the weight of the portafilter.
- It’s worth noting that the M7D is a fantastic single dosing grinder. Its conical burrs and powerful motor make for relatively low grind retention. For more on that, be sure to check out our single dosing comparison video.
- If you’re only making a couple of cups a day, single dosing is ideal for keeping your coffee fresh.
- If you plan to single dose, simply weigh out your beans ahead of time and grind them through.
- If you plan to do timed dosing, now would be the time to fill your hopper.
- To grind manually, press the silver button above the display until you see this 6-bar symbol, then simply press and hold the grind button with your portafilter until the basket looks about full.
- Now weigh the portafilter. Add or remove grounds as necessary to get to 20g if you’re using a triple basket, or 18g if you’re using a double.
Step four: Adjustments - shot time
- Grip the tamper handle as though you were grasping a doorknob. Tamp straight down and simply lean your weight into it comfortably. The amount of pressure is not nearly as important as your consistency and ability to keep the tamp perfectly level so water doesn’t find weak spots.
- Insert your portafilter and start the shot.
- We’re going to be watching for the time of the first drops of espresso to fall between about 6 and 10 seconds.
- As the shot progresses, we’ll observe the total shot time: Our target output is 1.5oz (or 30g) liquid espresso in 25 - 30 seconds.
- If it falls under 25 seconds, adjust your grind finer. If it falls over 30 seconds, adjust coarser.
- Make small adjustments of just a few half-turns at a time. This will be easier than making big changes and overcorrecting. I also recommend doing a brief one-second grind to purge old grounds between adjustments to ensure your entire dose is ground at the new setting.
- Once you’ve pulled a shot in those parameters, great work! If it isn’t tasting quite as you like, then change it! You’re the barista now.
- If it’s somewhat bitter and acrid, then stop the shot a bit earlier. If it’s too sour, extend the shot time a bit. Balancing these bitter and sour flavors to find a coffee’s literal sweet-spot is the key to great coffee. Adjust to your taste, and make sure to break the rules.
Step five: Timed Dosing
- Now that we have our grind dialed, we can set up the grind timer for consistent and repeatable dosing.
- With the hopper filled, press and hold the silver button atop the grinder until the display looks like this. From here, spinning the button like a dial will take you to the different programmable timed dose settings. Pressing the button on any will allow you to change it.
- Let’s go to the first timed dose and change the time to 4 seconds. Press the button again to save, and then rotate the dial counterclockwise to the “exit”, and press the button.
- Tare the portafilter, grind, and weigh the portafilter again. If the dose is too small, increase timed setting by a few tenths of a second. If it is too much, decrease it.