Did you know that the height of coffee favoritism has reached so far that famous mathematicians across the globe have taken a step forward to understand what goes behind making an excellent cuppa joe?!
With the help of a few complex calculations, they have reached the conclusion that from the process of extracting coffee from grains to processing them in a filter machine – everything plays a significant role when it comes to extracting the nuance of coffee.
However, initiating the subjective endeavor like brewing the perfect cup of coffee always involves a fine grinding methodology. Not every coffee grain is the same size. Due to this reason, it’s essential to understand and identify the right grinding technique which omits the chances of over-extraction that leads to bitter cups.
On the other hand, it’s equally important to keep in mind that if you don’t grind coffee beans enough, they can turn way too watery. So, when it comes to grinding your coffee beans perfectly, your job should revolve around the notion of making things quantitative.
Keep reading this post to understand the grinding methodology better so that every time you attempt to brew your cup of coffee, you save it from turning bitter, tarry, or messy.
The eternal formula: Perfect ground + Right brewing techniques = Avant-garde coffee
You can’t simply underestimate the necessity of perfect grinding as it works as the bridge between high-quality coffee cherry and supreme espresso, lattes, cappuccinos, and more. Probably, you have kept on overlooking the importance of analyzing your coffee grinding tool’s capacity so far; however, I’m sure after knowing everything about grinding, you won’t let yourself go wrong anymore. As a result, every day, you will award yourself and your loved ones with delectable cups consistently.
Coffee Extraction and Grind – The Relativity
When it comes to determining the extraction, coffee grind size acts as the king component. You can define it as the method of dissolving flavors from coffee grounds in water. The correct coffee to water ratio guarantees a perfect tasting cup. The correct temperature and right brew time also play a vital role. However, the perfect grind still acts as the curtain-raiser.
When we use the term ‘wrong grind size’ – it hints at two expected outcomes; over-extraction or under-extraction. When the grounds are too fine, you can call them overly extracted. They taste bitter, and tarry and they produce cups with little to no flavor. Contrarily, under extraction occurs when the grinds remain too coarse. A cup of under-extracted coffee may render, an acidic, salty, and sour taste.
Your ultimate aim should be a balanced extraction that prevents all of the tasting notes from showing up. Needless to say, it ensures a flavor that’s well-rounded, sweetish, and briefly acidic.
To ensure that the next time you brew your cuppa joe with ground coffee, consider checking out the following chart. It will help you learn the secret of tweaking either the brew time, water temperature, or grind size, depending on its taste.
|Nuance||Brew Time||Water Temperature||Grind|
Let’s delve deeper and check out the primary ground types, the ways to distinguish them, and the ones that are recommended for different brewing methods.
#1 Coarse, medium-coarse, or extra coarse
Identical to sea salt, coarse grounds are considered perfect for use in a percolator or french press. The medium-ground or medium-coarse coffee looks like sand, and you can use it with a clever dripper, Chemex, or a flat-bottom filter. The extra coarse grounds are comparatively larger, and they are primarily used for cold brewing.
#2 Fine, moderately fine, or superfine
You may confuse fine grind with powdered sugar, and it’s mostly used for espresso brewing. The best gadget to brew fine grinds is Moka pots or Aeropress. Talking about moderately fine grind size, it’s ideal to use in cone-shaped filters. The extra-fine grind looks like flour, and it’s primarily used for brewing Turkish coffee.
Defining the Grind Sizes based on the Brewing Methods
|Method of brewing||Grind Size||Comparison of grinds||Steep Time||Comments|
|Espresso||Fine||Fine grind boasts sugar-like consistency||20/36 seconds||When it comes to naming the most versatile brewing method for preparing coffee, espresso definitely deserves mention.|
|Drip Coffee maker||Medium||Looks like rough sand||Around 5 minutes||Drip coffee makers are trusted for their efficiency, convenience, and capacity.|
|French Press||Coarse||A look-alike of kosher salt||240 seconds||The uniqueness of the French press is it never filters out any flavor from the beans, ensuring strong and flavorful brews.|
|Pour-over||Moderately-fine||The blend of espresso and drip grind||180-240 seconds||Pour-over is known for its deliciousness. Besides, it leaves you with an extensive range of options. You can opt to prepare single-serve or full carafe amounts.|
|Vacuum/Siphon||Medium||Looks like beach sand||60-90 seconds||The finest example of weird science, vacuum or siphon coffee, locks all of the aromas and flavors of your favorite beans.|
|Moka pot||Fine||Sugar-like consistency||140-240 seconds||Moka pots can brew similar to espressos, making them the best choice for home baristas looking for a cost-effective alternative to espressos.|
|Cold Brew (Drip)||Extra Coarse||Peppercorn like consistency||4-6 hours||A bit lengthy method, but it amazingly extracts flavors from grinds quickly.|
|Cold Brew (Mason Jar)||Extra Coarse||Peppercorn like consistency||12 hours||This conventional cold brew method wants you to soak the grinds overnight.|
|Percolator||Coarse||Looks like kosher salt||7-10 minutes||This classic version of coffee is the ideal blend of authenticity and cost-efficiency.|
|Chemex||Medium-Coarse||Looks like sea salt||180-290 seconds||Produces Chemex, brews, grit-free, flavorful brews.|
|Vietnamese Coffee||Coarse||Looks like kosher salt||240-300 seconds||A simplistic, rich, and flavorful version of coffee.|
|Turkish Coffee||Extra fine||Looks like powdered sugar||7-10 minutes||Rich, bold, and thick coffee|
|Cowboy Coffee||Coarse||Looks like kosher salt||240 seconds when boiling||Gritty and rugged. The preparation method is extremely easy.|
|Aeropress||Any. Depends on expected results. Fine grind is preferable as it aids in making cups that are smooth and quick.||Looks like sugar||30 seconds to 1 minute||Portable, durable. Perfect for single-serve espressos.|
Here is the Coffee Grind Size Chart for your convenience!
Brewing for Espresso: Uniformed Grinds are Essential
When you brew for espressos, it becomes even more critical to maintain consistent/uniform grounds. Using a blade grinder can produce killing results. The water flow brings out different tastes from differently sized grounds which ruins the ultimate taste, leaving you with a horrible cup of espresso.
Popular Settings for Burr Grinders
|Brew Type||Baratza Encore||Baratza Virtuoso||Capresso Infinity||Cuisinart Supreme Grind||Bodum Bistro||Mr Coffee Burr Grinder|
|Chemex||#21||#20||Medium #2- Coarse #1||#8 – 10||Chemex icon + 1||#5 – 10|
|Aeropress||#5 – 20||#5 – 20||Fine #1 – Medium #4||#3 – 15||Anywhere from espresso to drip||#1 – 13|
|Clever Dripper||#14||#14||Fine #4 – Medium #1||#4 – 6||Drip icon – 2.5||#3|
|Cold Brew||#22 – 40||#22 – 40||Coarse #1 – #4||#18||Not ideal for cold brew, but you can try the french press||Not ideal for cold brew, but you can try the french press|
|French Press||#30||#30||Coarse #1||#16||French press icon (far right)||#18|
|Espresso||#5||#5||#5 – 7||#1||Espresso Icon (far left)||#1 – for better results, adjust your grinder|
|Cone filter drip machines||#15||#15 – 30||Medium #1 – Coarse #1||#10 – 15||Chemex icon + 1||#8 – 10|
|Flat filter drip machines||#20 – 25||#20 – 25||Medium #2||#10- 13||Chemex icon + 1||#10 – 12|
|Moka Pot||#12||#12||Fine #2 – Medium #1||#2- 5||Espresso icon + 1||#2 – 4|
|Hario V60||#14||#13||Fine #4 – Medium #1||#4 – 6||Drip icon – 2.5||#3|
|Kalita Wave||#14||#13||Fine #4 – Medium #1||#4 – 6||Drip icon – 2.5||#3|
|Siphon||#13||#13||Fine #3 – Medium #1||#4 – 10||Drip icon – 2||#5|
|Soft Brew||#15 – 30||#15 – 30||Medium #1 – Coarse #1||#12 – 16||Drip icon – 1||#4 – 6|
|Vietnamese Phin||#30 – 40||#30 – 40||Coarse #1 – #4||#17||French press icon (far right)||#18|
|Turkish Brew||#1||#1||Extra Fine #1||Not ideal for Turkish coffee||Not ideal for Turkish coffee||Not ideal for Turkish coffee|
What’s the better pick – Burr Grinders or the Blade ones?
Statutory warning: Never grind your coffee beans using a blade grinder.
Explanation: Brewing a great cup of coffee requires consistent grinding. In case your little grinds are not of the same size (some are over-extracted and others under-extracted), you can bet on the fact that you are going to brew a cup of shitty coffee. Doesn’t matter how much you have shaken your blade grinder; you won’t be able to grind the beans while maintaining 100% consistency.
Apart from that, blade grinders come with another pitfall – they spin utterly fast, causing friction and heat. This heat somehow heats up your coffee, and upon brewing, it will be overcooked.
Now talking about burr grinders, they are free from all this nonsense. They use uniform pressure and rotation, which ensures precise consistency. Additionally, they achieve this at low speeds, omitting the chances of added heating and maintaining a precise and consistent uniform grind.
- Pick up a conical burr grinder.
- Blade grinders can’t achieve uniformed grounds.
- If you still want to stick to blade grinders, pull up your socks and start working on finding out hacks that allow you to make grounders better.
Thinking about a Grinder, well here are our Favorite Coffee Grinders
Why shouldn’t you buy Pre-Ground Coffee?
A coffee bean is an organic product, and outside factors can affect its flavors. By not being a synthetically produced good, coffee beans fail to maintain consistent flavors for long. While roasting, CO2 is released from the beans, which determines and enhances the aroma and flavor of the beans. It’s roasting that brings out fruity and floral notes from the beans.
Later, when oxygen enters the grounds, it breakdowns the cells, which ensures a lively taste. Without that, the coffee tastes soapy and muddy. Due to this reason, it’s essential to grind your beans just before making your cup. Apart from this, pre-ground coffee beans leave you with a specific method of brewing, limiting the areas of experiments with brewing.
How to grind coffee at home?
Coffee grinding is definitely an art, but you can’t call it rocket science. Here’s how you can perfectly grind your beans at home!
- Match your grind level to your coffee maker. For reference, you can check the charts given above.
- Always grind coffee just before you brew it
- Don’t forget to measure out your beans (the ideal amount is taking two tablespoons of beans per cup).
- Don’t forget to check out the manufacturer’s instructions before using the grinder.
Give yourself a pat on the back! Finally, you have managed to learn every little secret of great grinding. Make sure you choose the right grinder, get a bag of avant-garde coffee beans, and witness the change.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it essential to grind my coffee beans every day?
If you want to retain the maximum flavor and fresh taste, you should consider grinding your beans each day.
What’s the ideal grind size for cold brews?
For cold brews, you should always use an extra coarse grind.
Should I grind my beans for Aeropress as well?
As said before, grinding beans on your beans allow you to make the most out of your cup. Though Aerospace doesn’t have any specific grind size, when you prepare it with freshly ground beans, you turn your cuppa joe into a cup of wonder. Besides, Aeropress allows you to play with the grind size.
How does over-extracted coffee taste?
Over extracted coffee tastes tart and bitter.
How does under-extracted coffee taste?
Under-extracted coffee tastes watery and sour.
What are the numbers on a coffee grinder?
The numbers on a coffee grinder represent the various grind sizes. The higher the numbers, the more variety of grind size a grinder can have.
How thin should I grind coffee?
Well, this purely depends on the type of coffee you are preparing. If you are preparing espresso, you need fine (like sugar) consistency whereas if you are using a drip machine, you must go for Medium grind size.
What are the different grinds of coffee?
The different grinds are Extra Coarse, Coarse, Medium Coarse, Medium, Medium Fine, Fine, and Extra Fine.
What is the right size coffee grind for espresso?
The right grind size for Espresso is Fine, a little finer than table salt.
What’s the best grind for drip coffee?
The best grind size for drip coffee is Medium, something like regular sand.
What’s the right grind size for Aeropress?
The medium grind size is ideal for an Aeropress.