Step 1: Out of the box and onto the counter
- Make sure your grinder is stable on a level surface.
- Install hopper, pull the lock slide, add a bag of your favorite coffee and turn the grinder on.
Step 2: Feeling the Coffee
- If the coffee looks and feels very coarse like cornmeal, you’ll have to adjust the grind finer.
- If the coffee looks and feels overly fine like powdered sugar, you’ll have to adjust the grind coarser.
- Manually grind a small amount of coffee. Press the center button once to enter manual mode. Press the center button one more time to grind a small amount of coffee. Press it again to stop grinding.
- Now feel the ground coffee. We’re looking for a texture that falls between table salt and flour.
- Out of the box our Atom was set far too coarse than you will need to make espresso. This means it may require a few adjustments before you near the ideal grind size and texture.
Step 3: Nailing the dose
- The goal is to have 18 grams of ground coffee fill the double basket without overflowing, like this.
- If there is much more than 18 grams, adjust your grind coarser.
- If there is much less than 18 grams, adjust your grind finer.
- Place a double spouted portafilter with a double basket on a scale and tare it out.
- In manual mode, grind enough coffee to fill the basket.
- Put the portafilter back onto the scale and check the weight of the coffee.
Step 4: First adjustments – drop time
- If the shots start dripping before 6 seconds, the final espresso will likely taste sour and watery. Adjust your grind setting finer.
- If the shots starts dripping after 10 seconds to start dripping, the final espresso will likely taste overly strong and bitter. Adjust your grind setting coarser until the first drops fall in the ideal 6-10 second window.
- At this step, try to make gradual changes instead of large shifts. Making smaller changes at this step will help you hone the flavors instead of leaving you to chase drastically different variables.
- Grind a fresh, full dose of coffee into your basket. Compress the coffee with your tamper. Remember: Tamping pressure is less important than making sure your tamp is level.
- Insert your portafilter and start your shot. We are going to be watching for the time of the first drips of espresso. We recommend either setting a timer or watching the timer on your espresso machine.
- We’re looking for the first few drops of espresso to drop between 6-10 seconds. If they fall outside of the window, we’ll have to adjust the grind setting.
Step 5: Next adjustments – total shot time
- If the shots take less than 25 seconds, the espresso will likely taste sour or thin. Adjust the grinder finer.
- If the shot takes more than 30 seconds, the espresso will likely taste bitter or overly strong. Adjust your grind setting coarser.
- Once you hit the target recipe (18-20 grams of ground coffee to 30 grams of liquid espresso produced in 25-30 seconds), it’s time to taste and enjoy.
- Prepare your shot – grind a fresh, full dose; give the coffee a firm, level tamp.
- Insert your portafilter and start your shot. This time, we’ll be watching for the full shot time.
- Our goal is to produce a 30 gram or 1.5oz espresso in 25-30 seconds.
Step 6: Setting the timer
- If the dose is over or under your target, you’ll have to adjust the time. Generally, adjusting the time by a half second will reduce the output by roughly 2 grams depending on the coffee.
- Repeat the process until you hit your desired target.
- Once the grind setting is dialed-in, it’s really easy to set the grind timer to get a consistent repeatable dose.
- Place a dry clean portafilter on a scale and hit tare. Press the right, two cup button to enter into timer mode.
- Use the portafilter to hit the grind button. Let the full dose fall into the portafilter. Place the portafilter back onto the scale and check the amount of ground coffee.
- Due to the Atom’s high powered motor and fast spinning burrs, we don’t recommend using the Atom to single dose. For the best performance, we’d recommend having a minimum of 4oz of coffee in the hopper.
- At this point your grinder is set and dialed-in. For more tips on brew ratios and coffee extraction, check out these articles from the Clive Journal.
And for more coffee tips, tricks and brewing science, don’t forget to check back in at CliveCoffee.com.