Set the Coffee Machine Correctly – for Perfect Enjoyment

Set the Coffee Machine Correctly – for Perfect Enjoyment

This is the best way to use the numerous functional options of your fully automatic machine

The fully automatic coffee machine promises coffee enjoyment just like in your favorite café. However, in order to get the best out of the coffee bean, it is important to set the fully automatic machine correctly. With the grinding degree of the bean, the amount of powder and water and the brewing temperature, there are several factors that you can use to set the coffee machine and that influence the taste. With a portion of curiosity, a little practice and good tips, everyone will quickly find the perfect setting for their favorite coffee. For this, it is useful to first know and understand the functional principle of a fully automatic coffee machine.

Remember: You can always check our shop page for our recommended products that we tested ourselves. We’ve tested espresso makers, espresso machines both fully automatic and portafilters, coffee beans and coffee utensils.

From beans to coffee: this is how a fully automatic coffee machine works

Unlike a filter coffee machine, which only heats water and directs it onto the coffee powder in the filter, a fully automatic coffee machine consists of different stations. It all starts with the whole coffee bean in the machine’s storage container. The coffee beans come from here into the grinder, which it crushed under the previously set grinding degree. The beans are ground in several areas of the grinder and go from coarse to fine.

Once the coffee powder has reached the desired degree of grinding, the actual brewing process begins in the heart of the fully automatic machine – the so-called brewing group. To do this, the fully automatic coffee machine guides the powder into the brewing chamber in order to press it for coffee preparation. A pump then ensures that the desired amount of water flows through the coffee powder at high pressure and ends up in the cup as the finished coffee. The leftover coffee grounds then automatically fall into the pulp container and can be disposed of with household waste or used as fertilizer, for example. 

Coffee connoisseurs can make individual settings at several points during coffee preparation in order to adapt the aroma of the coffee to their own preferences. The first thing to do is to take a look at the grind of the coffee.

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Setting the coffee machine correctly – the way to perfect coffee

How finely or coarsely the coffee beans are ground has an impact on the intensity of the coffee. The fully automatic coffee machine always first coarsely chops the coffee beans and then becomes finer and finer until the desired degree of grinding is achieved. Since tastes are different, it is not easily possible to determine the ideal degree of grinding across the board.

Every coffee connoisseur has to find the best grind for himself, so trying it out is encouraged. Most fully automatic machines offer three or seven different degrees of grinding and thus a lot of scope for tests.

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With many manufacturers, the customer can set the amount of coffee and water as well as the brewing time and temperature on the fully automatic coffee machine in addition to the grinding degree. Depending on which settings are selected here, these can also influence the other settings, as they partly depend on one another.

This applies, for example, to the grinding degree and the brewing time: a very short brewing time indicates a very coarse grind and a long brewing process indicates a very fine grind. If you want to change the intensity of your coffee, you can start by measuring the brewing time and then, if necessary, set the grind to be coarser or finer on the fully automatic coffee machine.

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How are the grind and brewing times related to each other?

Finely ground coffee has a larger surface area than coarsely ground coffee powder, so the substances it contains can be extracted much faster. This is why a shorter brewing time is required here than for coffee powder with a smaller surface (coarsely ground coffee). Traditionally, very finely ground coffee is used, for example, to prepare espresso. Finely ground coffee can also be used for other coffee specialties from the fully automatic machine. By the way: filter coffee usually consists of medium-strength ground coffee that takes about 3 minutes to prepare. A coarse grind, on the other hand, is ideal for French press coffee , which takes around 4 minutes.

A wrong grind has a noticeable effect on the taste of the coffee. For example, if a very finely ground coffee is brewed too long, too many ingredients are extracted, including bitter substances and tannic acids. They cause an unpleasant taste and affect how appetizing the coffee tastes in the end. Such over-extraction is evident in espresso with a very dark crema and a bitter, sometimes even burnt taste. In contrast, too few ingredients are extracted during under-extraction. The result: The coffee has no or a very thin and light crema and tastes watery.

Set the correct brewing temperature

Most fully automatic coffee machines regulate the brewing temperature automatically depending on the drink selected. This is practical as each coffee specialty requires a specific brewing temperature. Coffee, for example, requires a brewing temperature of 86 to 96 ° C, while espresso develops its full aroma at a brewing temperature of 92 to 96 ° C.

However, some fully automatic machines allow the brewing temperature to be set individually, which is usually preset at 85 ° C. A readjustment can be useful, for example, if the coffee tastes too bitter or too sour. A rather bitter taste indicates that the brewing temperature is too high, which should be reduced manually in this case. If, on the other hand, the brewing temperature is too low, the coffee may taste weak or have a sour taste. Then coffee connoisseurs should gradually increase the brewing temperature until the result is perfect.

By the way: Arabica coffee beans are more suitable for high brewing temperatures, while Robusta coffee beans are more likely to appreciate slightly lower temperatures.

Coordinate the amount of coffee and the amount of water

The aroma of the coffee depends crucially on the proportions of coffee powder and water. The perfect coffee is made when exactly the right amount of water meets the right amount of coffee powder, so that the water extracts the substances contained in the coffee. If the amount of water is too large, too many bitter substances are washed out of the coffee powder. The result is a thin and bitter coffee. The taste intensifies as the amount of coffee increases. The setting for the amount of coffee powder (three-stage setting for most machines) is often marked with one to three coffee beans.

Coffee - 46989
Coffee - 46989

According to the recommendations of the Specialty Coffee Association of Europe (SCAE), a ratio of 60 grams of coffee to 1 liter of water is ideal. This corresponds to 12 grams of coffee powder for a 200 ml cup. This brewing ratio is only intended as a guide, because the amount of powder and water can be varied depending on the type of coffee and roast, as well as personal taste. In the menus of the fully automatic machines, the amount of water corresponds to the cup size.


  • The taste of the coffee can be influenced by various settings.
  • Incorrect settings can be responsible for the coffee tasting too bitter, too thin or too sour.
  • A fine grind is recommended for preparing coffee in a fully automatic machine.
  • It is important to perfectly match the amount of coffee and the amount of water.
  • By trying out the settings, everyone can find their favorite coffee. Choosing a very good roasting company can certainly not hurt.