Grinding Coffee Beans Coarse or Fine?

grinding coffee beans coarse or fine
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Understanding the science behind different coffee grinds (the question is grinding coffee beans coarse or fine) improve your coffee brew tremendously. This is the trick a barista always cares for. Despite all the coffee extraction process is fine from fresh coffee bean to perfect roasting, from perfect grind (as you think) to the excellent coffee brew, when you taste your cup…tell yourself “no”…not exactly the coffee I wished to make! The result does not meet your expectation.

Here some rules while grinding coffee bean are needed to explore.

Coffee science says-

Grind your coffee bean just before you prepare to brew. Fresh ground coffee and uniform grind is inevitable. Avoiding pre-ground coffee is best to get the perfect flavor. When the roasted coffee beans are crushed, the oils and flavor release and at that time more surface area exposes for better extraction efficiency. The time expands, the extraction efficiency loses. So fast you can grind before brew, the better coffee you have.

2nd, Choose the Right grind for your brew. Grind size matters. Different coffee extraction process needs different types of ground coffee.

3rd, Sort out the right coffee grinder. It is wise to select high quality burr grinder as the coffee grind sizes should be consistent and stagnant.

4th, Keeping your grinder clean all the time ensures perfect flavor from ground coffee next time.

different coffee grinds

Grind Before The Brew Gets You a Perfect Cup

 

What are the different coffee grind size?

Most of the time your coffee is over-extracted or under-extracted? It is the time you must check why this is happening. Do you know that choosing the perfect grind size you can avoid those extraction problem? Yes , coffee brew mostly depends on it. Let’s check out what are the coffee grind sizes we have for our favorite brew.

  1. Extra coarse
  2. Coarse
  3. Medium-coarse
  4. Medium
  5. Medium fine
  6. Fine
  7. Very fine
coffee grind sizes

Coffee Grind Size

Coffee Grind Description According to Grind Settings

  1. Extra coarse– coffee beans completely broken up with large particles. Most similar like kosher salt but a little larger in size. Extra coarse is best for Cold brew, cowboy coffee
  2. Coarse– Almost the same as sea salt used for canning. The ideal brew is French Press, percolator. Also used for experiment in coffee cupping
  3. Medium Coarse–  Looks rough. Most similar to coarse sand. Best for Clever dripper, Chemex, Cafe solo brewer
  4. Medium to Medium Fine– The particles are a little smaller than table salt and you feel a little smooth when you rub with the finger. The grind size is used for cone shaped filters(cone shaped pour over brewer), automatic coffee makers(Flat bottom drip machine) and siphon
  5. Fine– Finer than salt but still feels distinct particles. Espresso always requires fine grind. You can grind in fine setting for Moka pot and Aeropress
  6. Very Fine– Like powder or flour and you cannot feel the kinky grains. Very fine grind is used for Turkish coffee.

 

Here is the chart & video

 

This Video from Stay Roasted has an excellent explanation.

Grind size by Whole latte Love give you some quick tips

 

#1. Extra Coarse Grind [ Cold Brew, Cowboy Coffee]

Cold Brew:

Cold brew is basically cold water extract and it is processed through steeping or infusion method. Very coarse Coffee grounds are soaked in cold water and kept at room temperature for long time about 12 hours. When brewed, the grounds are filtered for removing stains from coffee and serve with ice, milk and sugar or just with ice. Do not be confused this cold brew coffee with ice coffee.


Grind Size: Coarsely ground coffee or extra coarse grind is must for cold brew. In cold brew making, you have to steep coffee grounds with water for long time and if the ground coffee is fine, it will be over-extracted, that is, coffee gets bitter taste that you will never want to have.

Coffee to Water: Right coffee to water ratio is important. In cold brew coffee, the most home brew friendly coffee to water ratio is 3/4  cup extra coarse ground coffee to every 4 cups of cold water

Cowboy Coffee:

As the name suggest “cowboy” this method of coffee was popular in the cowboys while they are on the trail. This coffee is still used now around the campfire. Using coarsely ground coffee with water and letting it to boil and wait for settling the ground, you are on the go.

#2.  Coarse Grind [ French Press, Percolator, Coffee Cupping]

 

French Press:

French Press is widely consumed coffee, prepared through steeping method. A press pot includes a narrow cylinder with a plunger. Coffee grounds are kept in the cylinder and hot water is added to it. Leaving it for some time, the plunger is lightly pushed down so the brewed coffee comes filtered above the grounds.

Grind Size: Coarse ground coffee works best for french press. If the ground coffee is fine, it will clog the filter when pressing the plunger and feels too hard to press. And too coarse grind also affects the taste. When the plunger is easily pressed down without any resistance, the ground coffee must be too coarse that is wrong grind size.

Coffee To Water: Who loves strong coffee, french press serves that. The general coffee to water ratio is 15.5:1 experimented by Indeedcoffee that is, 15.5 grams of water it takes 1 gram of coarse ground coffee. If you measure by volume, 1 tablespoon of coffee per 4 cups of water is best. This amount of coffee can be increased if you wish to have stronger brew.

Percolator:

This once popular coffee brews your coffee by persistently cycling the boiling water mixing through the grounds utilizing gravity. The process continues till it achieves the required strength. In percolation, coffee grounds are exposed to high temperature and vulnerable for over-extraction until the right method is followed to brew in percolator

Grind size: Coffee enthusiasts prefer to grind coarse for percolator. The reason is that in a percolator, coffee grounds remain in contact with heated water for longer period and cycling the process continuously. So too fine grounds will make the coffee bitter and harsh and too coarse grounds may weaken the taste of the brew.

Coffee to Water: 1 tablespoon ground coffee for 1 cup of water is good enough. So when you are in camping with a gang you want to make more coffee in a percolator. In that case, using

2 ½ cups of ground coffee for 40 cups really for large team.

Coffee Cupping:

Coffee cupping is a professional practice of coffee brew, informally done by the professionals for the taste, aroma and for experiment. According to Specialty Coffee Association of America, the grind particle size should be coarse grind  for cupping preparation.

 

#3. Medium Coarse Grind[ Clever Dripper, Chemex, Cafe Solo Brewer]

Clever Dripper:

Clever Dripper coffee brewer presents the feature in between french press and pour over drip brewer  taking aside the drawbacks of this two coffee makers. French press brewer allows the coffee grounds dipped in hot water for some time and loses heat as well as leaving sediment in the coffee. In the pour over drip coffee brewing, hot water has a little contact with grounds and drains the coffee instantly so it loses consistency and results in weaker brew. The clever dripper uses a stopper in a filter cone that balances over steeping time, sediments as well as inconsistent brew. So you get a sediment free excellent cup.

Grind Size: Taking to medium coarse grind for Clever dripper may serve the good result. French grind is coarse and for clever dripper the grind size should be a little finer than coarse setting- in between french press and drip brew that is, medium coarse is fine enough.

Coffee to Water: In clever dripper the best coffee to water ratio is 24 grams of coffee for 340 grams of water.

Chemex:

Chemex brew coffee is the most similar to drip coffee using same infusion method. The difference is in the filter thicker than those of pour over coffee brewer and at last you get richer, sediment free cup that you hardly have in automatic drip maker or pour over coffee brewing method.

Grind Size: Chemex suggests to use medium coarse grind for perfect cup. Too coarse grind may brew the coffee very fast and gives you weaker taste and fine grind may clog the filter.

Coffee to Water: though water to coffee ratio largely depends on personal taste, bluebottlecoffee recommends after experiment that using 50 grams of coffee per 25 ounces of water is best to start.

Cafe Solo Brewer:

It is one of the rich coffee brewing methods and the brew process is more like french press having that convex paper that gets down into the cafe solo glass chamber. The flavor you get like french press but the most likable for this brewer, you get cleaner tasting than french press.

Grind Size: As Cafe solo brewer requires somewhat long steeping time, a medium-coarse ground coffee is best for nice, clean and rich flavor.

Coffee to Water:  At the minimum starting point, the dosage is 1 tablespoon of coffee per 4 oz. of water. The Prima Coffee claims, it can brew 1 liter coffee using 60-65 grams coffee grounds.

#4. Medium Grind [ Pour Over, Drip Brew, Siphon]

Pour Over

This very simple method starts with medium grounds coffee in pour over cone shaped coffee filter and hot water pouring over through the grounds slowly. The pour over drip coffee is increasingly popular in home brew. Each step you have full control than automatic drip brew. The final cup with rich and bold flavour comes from slower pouring through the grounds.

Grind size: Grind coffee in between the setting medium and fine in a grinder. Fine grind will end with very slow brew and will not get the good flavour.

Coffee to Water: 25 grams of coffee for every 350 gms of water will give you the good result [Bluebottlecoffee’ Trial on Pour Over Coffee ]

Automatic Drip Brew:

Drip brew refers to brew manually in both pour over method as well as brew coffee in an automatic coffee maker. The difference is in the manual brew and electric drip maker.In the automatic drip machine, you will find the same filtered method process most like pour over. But you have a little control over it.

Grind Size: generally the coffee grind size for automatic drip coffee machine is medium grind though some difference is seen in different drip machine. But the coffee ground will be in between medium-medium fine. Some taste will go for the rest.

Coffee to Water: 2 tablespoons of ground coffee for six ounces of water is recommended for drip brew though taste differs from person to person.

Siphon

Coffee brewed in siphon ( vacuum brewer), is a kind of infusion method. A siphon pot including two chambers- vacuum pressure flask and vacuum coffee chamber as well as the brew method tell the beauty of this maker. The process starts with heating the water in the lower vessel and pushing the water up into the vacuum coffee chamber through siphonage. There the coffee extracts happens and falls back down into the lower chamber filtering the coffee. The result is you get a delicate flavor and tea like cup of coffee.

Grind Size: The grind size is a bit finer than your regular drip coffee i.e. medium fine would be the best for it.

Coffee to water ratio: according to SCAA standard coffee to water ratio for siphon brewer is 1 oz coffee per 16 oz water. Provided you make it easier take 2 tablespoons of coffee for 6 ounces of water.

#5. Fine Grind [ Espresso, Aeropress, Moka Pot]

Espresso

Espresso is very concentrated brew and base of many other coffee drinks. Nearly boiling water is pressurized through fine coffee grounds, the consequence is nice crema on top with thicker brew.

Best Espresso Grinder For the Budget

Rancilio HSD-ROC-SD Rocky Espresso Coffee Grinder




Grind Size: You must grind coffee beans into fine enough so that the increasing pressure of the water pushed through the ground easily and creates crema on the top. Very finely grinds has probability to clog the filter during pushing the pressurized water.

Coffee to Water:  With espresso shot, there are different type of ratio for different type of shot. The normal shot of espresso ratio is 1:2. And 1:1 ratio is ristretto-style shot. Again 1:1.75 ratio would be good for cappuccino or latte. At the starting point, suppose, you take 15 grams of ground coffee per 30 gms of water.

Here is the chart from Home-Barista you need all time for different espresso shot.

Moka Pot

Moka pot, mostly known as stove-top or electric coffee maker with three chambers, forces the boiling water in the lower chamber through the coffee grounds in the middle chamber and the brewed coffee is filtered in the top chamber.

Grind Size:  The grind size should be as fine as a espresso shot. The coffee has the same strength as the espresso but lacks of espresso crema. As the boiling water is pressurised by the steam through the grounds, finely ground coffee is essential for a moka pot.

Water to Coffee:  The standard coffee to water ratio for Bialetti moka pot is 15-17 grams per 4 cup.

Aeropress:

Coffee made in a Aeropress maker is smoother than espresso and the flavour you get somewhat in between moka pot and french press.

Grind size: In an Aeropress 4 kinds of ground coffee works excellent. Depending on your personal taste, you make sure that you are grinding the right grind. If you-

Brew for 1 minute in an Aeropress, fine grind will be excellent.

Brew for 3 minutes, medium grind

Brew for 3-4 minutes, coarse grind

Brew for 4-5, coarse grind…and that’s all.

 

#6. Very Fine Grind [ Turkish Coffee ]

Turkish coffee

This traditional Arabic coffee is made with very fine grind putting in the ibrik pot and boiling the water slowly. You will not find very fine grind setting do excellent in all grinders. Though few burr grinders do the work well and the choice always goes with a hand grinder for this popular and exceptional turkish coffee.

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Why my coffee tastes bitter? Sometimes sour? Ah…yes the wrong extraction spoils all! Is my coffee under-extracted or Over extracted?

All the time we get the question and puzzling why my coffee does not get the real taste as it should be! May be for over-extraction or under-extraction. Here is the chart showing you why this happens-

 

Now you get the perfect grind size for different coffee brew and ready to experiment with it. So why late? We are also waiting to hear from you how you are doing by testing the brew with the right ground coffee.

You may like this grinders for best grind

         

 

See Also

French press coffee vs drip brew

Baratza Virtuoso coffee grinder review

Rancilio HSD-ROC-SD Rocky Espresso Coffee Grinder Review

Resources:
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Grinding Coffee Beans Coarse or Fine?
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Grinding Coffee Beans Coarse or Fine?
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There are a few standards while grinding coffee beans coarse or fine that are expected to explore. check out what are the different coffee grinds sizes we have for our most loved coffee blend.
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GRINDER GUIDES
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