Fully automatic machine guide – good taste of coffee from the fully automatic machine

It's wonderful when everything is done for you. You just press a button and your fully automatic machine delivers a delicious coffee, espresso or cappuccino . Sounds simple - but can also be complicated. Everything that runs fully automatically only turns out well if it is set up correctly. Be it the grind, the brewing temperature, the amount of coffee and water, the right beans - all of this has to fit together. For example, you should keep the grind in the middle range, with a tendency towards fine. The water temperature should ideally be between 92 and 96 degrees, then the coffee will be neither too bitter nor too sour, and don't forget the quality of the water you use... it's best to install a water filter in the water tank to avoid too much limescale in the water. Because if one of these points is not optimal, your coffee will be too watery if too much water runs through compared to the coffee grounds, too bitter if the temperature is too high, or too sour if the temperature is too low. The degree of grinding also affects your coffee enjoyment, especially since you usually set a degree of grinding and then use it for all types of coffee from the fully automatic machine - whether cappuccino, espresso or coffee. Good taste from a fully automatic machine therefore needs instructions: a fully automatic machine guide, no problem . We will explain the challenges mentioned above in detail below.


Fully automatic coffee machine guide - the grinding level

The grinding level is the setting for how coarse or fine your coffee beans are ground before your fully automatic machine brews them. You can usually adjust the grinding level with a wheel in or near the bean compartment. How fine or coarse your coffee is affects the speed that the water needs to run through the powder. The grinding level therefore has a significant effect on the taste of the coffee from the fully automatic machine.

Too fine

If you have set the grind too finely, the hot water can dissolve too many bitter substances from the coffee. The result is an unpleasantly intense taste that can even taste bitter or burnt .

Too coarse

If the grinder is set too coarsely, you will most likely end up with a very bland tasting coffee . The reason is that the few larger chunks of coffee bean have less surface area than finely ground beans and the water can therefore extract less aroma and flavor from the coarse ground coffee.


Generally speaking, you would set the grind level somewhere in the middle of the given scale. Neither too fine nor too coarse, but with a tendency towards fine. And then it's best to readjust. If your coffee is too sour or too watery, then set the grind level finer; if it's too bitter or too strong, then set it a little coarser. And remember that you always have to use 2 to 3 cups before a newly set grind level actually reaches the brewing chamber. Fully automatic machines usually have a channel in which there is already ground coffee.

Fully automatic coffee machine guide – the brewing temperature

Heat is extremely important for coffee from a fully automatic machine. Generally for good coffee enjoyment - and the right heat also has a big influence on the taste of your coffee. The brewing temperature should be tailored to the beans used, the water used and of course to your personal preferences.

Too low

The lower the temperature at which you brew the coffee, the fruitier it becomes and at some point the fruitiness just becomes unpleasant acidity. So your brewing temperature should never be too low - and certainly not below 88 degrees Celsius .

Too high

If the water is too hot, you will burn the coffee, the aromas and essential oils, and what comes out of the fully automatic machine will be bitter, strong and often inedible. But the hotter the water, the more chocolatey your coffee will be and the less fruity/acidic it will be. Ideally, you shouldn't go over 95 degrees Celsius , otherwise the aftertaste will suffer - that is, what you taste when the chocolate is gone and the fine nuances come out.


A temperature between 88 and 95 degrees Celsius is perfect. This means your coffee will be neither too sour nor too bitter. You can experiment in this area, because some people like it fruitier (so a slightly lower temperature) and others like it more chocolatey (so a higher temperature).

Fully automatic guide wild coffee roastery brewing temperature

Fully automatic machine guide – the amount of coffee powder

The amount of coffee powder cannot always be adjusted on fully automatic machines. Nevertheless, it should be mentioned here in the fully automatic machine guide, because there is a corresponding amount of coffee powder for almost all preparation methods and amounts of water. For example , 16 to 20 grams for a double espresso or 25 grams for 400 milliliters of filter coffee. You can remember these sizes and adjust them for the fully automatic machine.

Too little

Too little coffee powder and it can happen that too much water brews your powder and therefore under-extracts it . You can see this when the coffee stream from your machine becomes light and almost white. The result is a bland brew without any flavors that will definitely just taste sour.

Too much

If there is too much coffee powder in relation to the water, over-extraction occurs . The water or coffee drips slowly and viscously from the fully automatic machine because the resistance is too high due to too much ground coffee. This results in coffee essence ending up in the cup, which simply tastes strong and bitter.


The amount of ground coffee is regulated on most fully automatic machines using a bean scale, usually in three or five levels. It is best to start with the middle level and then adjust if necessary or experiment with the amount of coffee. So try a few cups with one level higher and if it doesn't suit your taste or the coffee doesn't come through as it should, then try a level below the middle. How much water you ultimately use for each coffee speciality depends on your taste preferences. 7.7 grams per 150 milliliters or 9 to 10 grams per 180 milliliters is usual when it comes to coffee. For classic espresso, the brew ratio is 1:2, so there are 8 to 10 grams of coffee for 16 to 20 milliliters of water. 25 milliliters is better, which changes the brew ratio slightly.


Fully automatic coffee machine guide – the water

Perfect amount

More is better. However, this is not true when it comes to coffee from a fully automatic machine. Often the water quantity control – i.e. the size of the coffee speciality – is turned up to the maximum because “you want the cup to be full”. The result is actually a large cup, but it often doesn’t taste the way you want it to or how it should. The amount of water and the amount of coffee powder are always related to each other and if one of them is too much or too little, then over- or under-extraction occurs, which leads to undesirable bitterness or acidity. That’s why you should adjust the amount of water to match the amount of coffee powder. Remember: never start at an extreme, always start at the middle level and then you can work your way up and down.

Water hardness

As mentioned elsewhere, water makes up 98 percent of coffee . So you should definitely take a close look at the hardness of the water. Let's say here in German-speaking countries you can use tap water without any problems because at least it isn't chlorinated. But the water hardness is different everywhere. You can test the water hardness with test strips , which you can get from the pharmacy or online. Dip the strip briefly in cold water. After a while it will change color. Based on the extent of the discoloration you can now determine the water hardness range of the water. Most test strips have 4 or 5 ranges, although you can also buy strips with up to 10 ranges in stores. Up to 8 degrees dH, i.e. hardness, the water is described as soft, from 8 to 12 degrees dH as medium hard and above that as hard. A medium hardness is optimal for coffee . If the water is too hard, you should integrate a water filter into the tank of the fully automatic machine.

Fully automatic machine guide – cleaning and maintenance

Another thing that influences the taste of the coffee is a clean and well-functioning fully automatic machine. A dirty machine can, like the previous points, lead to bitter or sour coffee. For example, bean oils can become rancid if you don't remove them regularly. Affected elements can be the bean container, the grinder, sieves, pipes and spouts. It is therefore absolutely advisable that you clean your fully automatic coffee machine according to the manufacturer's instructions and descale it regularly.


Fully automatic machines guide - conclusion

And remember: if you change the parameters on your machine, only change one parameter at a time . That is, the grind level, brewing temperature or amount of water. And then try out 2 or 3 cups of coffee with the new setting . With the grind level in particular, it takes a long time until the new setting actually ends up in your cup. This can take a while at first and cost you a bit of nerves and coffee beans… but once you’ve found your ideal setting, it’s all the more worth it. Good coffee from a fully automatic machine is possible ; with this fully automatic machine guide you might get there a little faster. What also counts is the perfect bean for your fully automatic machine… we covered this topic in detail two weeks ago and you can read about it here. You can tell whether the machine is set correctly by the brewing speed and by the coffee itself. Is it nice and brown and has a crema? Everything’s great. Is the stream even and relatively slow? Everything’s tip-top!