What Grind Size To Use For Breville? (From Experience!)

Using the right grind size for your Breville espresso machine is important. It can make the difference between a gross sour espresso and a bitter-sweet one.

Although choosing the right grind can be a bit subjective. Every batch of beans is different and not everyone likes their coffee the same. I’m going to give you the tips to determine the right grind size to use for yourself.

Breville What Grind Size To Use?

The perfect grind size setting can vary from one coffee bean to another. I like to use size 8 on my Breville Barista Express when starting out with a new batch. Then see if the pressure dial comes up to around 12 o’clock. If the dial only gets to about 10 o’clock, you know you need to use a slightly finer grind.

Breville what grind size to use

Figuring Out The Right Grind Size

Figuring out the right grind size can be a bit tricky

If the coffee grind size is too coarse the water can run through easily. Your machine doesn’t have to use a lot of pressure then and you won’t get a good shot of espresso.

When using a ground size that is too coarse the espresso pours too fast. You get an espresso with a lot of crema on it but it won’t be a strong espresso and it will likely be very sour. 

This is usually the case when you’re using sizes 10 and above. I like to use grind size 8 for espresso usually, but it could be different for you depending on the beans you use and the taste you like.

You’re at the right grind size when the pressure dial is at around 12 o clock. When the dial is pointing north you usually get a nice tasting espresso. That is if you’ve also got your machine at the right temperature and you’re using enough ground beans.

You have to try out a few different grind sizes to find the one you like.

A good analogy is to think about it like sand and rocks. If you have a bucket of big rocks and you pour water on it, the water will flow right through.

But if you have a bucket of sand and you pour water on it the water will just sit on top of the sand. It would take a lot of pressure to get the water through.

ground coffee beans

Adjusting The Top Burr Grind Setting

If you have to go lower than four with the external grind setting, this usually means that the internal burr grind setting is not right.

The grind size of the top grinder is probably size 6 since that is the default size from the factory.

To change the size. First, unplug your Barista Express. Then remove the coffee bean container on top. Now you can see the top grinder, simply turn the top grinder a quarter counterclockwise, then pull it out.

When you’re not getting enough pressure you want finer ground coffee beans instead of coarser. So you need to adjust it to a number lower than 6. Simply take the pin out and align the red dot with the number five or four.

To put it back turn the top grinder clockwise until you hear a clicking sound.

If you have done this and you still feel that there is something wrong with the espresso you have made, for example, it tastes flat or sour, then there may be something else you need to do.

cup of Breville espresso


The right grind size to use can be different for everyone. In the end, it comes down to trying a few different settings. To summarize, this is how you find the right grind size:

  • The best grind size to use may vary depending on the beans you use and the flavor you like
  • If the pressure dial is pointing north, that usually means you have the right grind size setting
  • if the pressure dial is only pointing north when using grind size for or below, you might need to adjust the internal burr setting.

I hope that this article helped you to figure out the right grind size to use and that you can enjoy a nice espresso now!

Thanks for reading!