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How to Grind Coffee Beans

how to grind coffee beans at home for the best cup of coffee or espresso

To grind coffee beans for the home brew novice can be daunting at first. Grinding coffee beans isn’t just a one rule game and grinders are an expensive investment that you may not have the budget for. With the internet full of choices, it’s difficult to know which grinder is best suited for your home set up.

grinding coffee beans properly is critical to creating delicious coffee at home

Coffee Extraction

When we brew a cup of coffee, we are extracting soluble flavors from coffee beans with hot water. This is calledcoffee extraction.

Coffee doesn’t dissolve completely into water. In fact, only 30% of coffee is actually soluble. That’s why there are always grounds left over when we brew.

When brewing a cup of coffee, we are aiming for the sweet spot of between 18 – 22%coffee extraction. This is the window where coffee tastes delicious.

There are many variables that can alter the coffee extraction and the taste of your cup. The grind being one of them.

finding a consistent coffee grind size for the best coffee at home

Consistent Grind Size

Before we look at grind sizes – make sure you’ve got yourself somefreshly roasted coffee beans from a local roaster.

If your grounds areuneven sizes, then the extraction of coffee will beinconsistent.

The smaller grounds will extract quicker. This means the coffee will over extract, tasting bitter. The larger grounds will take longer to extract. Under extracting coffee tastessour.

This inconsistent extraction will make your cup of coffee unbalanced and it just won’t taste right.

grind size matters for the different ways that you can brew coffee at home

So to get a better tasting cup of coffee, we must make sure that we grind coffee beans consistently and that they are thesame size.

A uniform and consistent grind will produce aneven coffee extraction, making your final cup of coffee taste balanced. If you’ve brewed your cup of coffee correctly, you’ll have created a sweet and tasty cup of coffee. Not too sour, not too bitter.

Grind Size Matters

Each brewing device requires a unique grind size. For example, an espresso shot calls for a finer grind, while a French Press requires a courser grind.

Our Grind Size Chart is a visual aid to help you understand the subtle grind size differences each brew method requires.

Grind coffee beans – brew, taste and tweak your grind size accordingly.

 Grind size chart, coffee grind size guide

Burr or Blade Grinder?

Go burr! They produce a more consistent grind size than a blade grinder, and your coffee will taste better for it.

A burr grinder has two revolving burrs that crush your coffee into the same size particles. Convenient and adaptable, you also have the ability to adjust the grind size to suit your brew method. Grind coffee beans with a blade grinder and it will chop your beans into a variety of uneven sizes – some finer grounds and some coarser. Your coffee extraction will be irregular and your final cup will taste unbalanced and ultimately suffer.

different coffee grinder options for making espresso at home

Cheaper and more easily available is the blade grinder. This little guy will chop your beans into a variety of uneven sizes. Some finer grounds and some coarser. Your coffee extraction will be irregular and your final cup will suffer.

Can I Get A Cheap Grinder?

Yes. There are hundreds of cheap grinders on the market. However, you pay for what you get with coffee grinders.

There’s a reason coffee shops will pay thousands of dollars for the right grinder. Because it makes the final cup of coffee taste better. However, there’s no need for you to go out and start big. My advice is start off cheap, and as your palate develops, upgrade to the next level.

If you’re just starting out, or are on a tight budget, get yourself a handheld burr grinder. For under $40, you can find yourself a Hario or a Porlex hand held grinder to get you started. They’re great for your home set up and are perfect for camping or on the road.

For someone wanting to take their coffee brewing to the next level, theBaratza Encore is ideal. As your palate develops, you’ll naturally want to get a better grinder. Whether you’re grinding for a pour over or for espresso, theBaratza team have a grinder to match most budgets.

Every time you upgrade your grinder, you’ll taste the difference.

cheap grinders won't work as well as expensive coffee grinders as they aren't as consistent

Pre-Ground Coffee: What’s The Deal?

If you don’t have a grinder, this may be your only option. However, pre-ground coffee is already stale before it hits the shelves.

Let me explain.

Coffee is a perishable food type. When your coffee beans come into contact with oxygen, they start to go stale. The oxygen reacts with the freshly roasted beans and they start to lose their original aroma and flavors.

When you grind your coffee, it speeds up this aging process and flavor is lost even quicker.

We advise you to buy whole bean coffee and get a burr grinder. Grind your coffee just before you brew so your coffee will taste fresh and full of flavor.

And the smell of freshly ground coffee in the morning… oh my!

 

Brew Guides

We’ve created somebrew guides (V60,Kalita Wave,Chemex, orClever) to get you started.  

If your brews aren’t quite hitting the spot, you need to tweak something in your recipe and it may be might be your grind size. Follow our cheat sheet for reference.

When to change your grind size on your home coffee brewing

Grinder Maintenance

Leaving old coffee particles and oils in your grinder will eventually make your coffee taste rancid. Treat your grinder to the occasional spring clean and your morning cup will thank you for it.

Use a dry or very lightly damp cloth to clean your grinder, and occasionally give it a healthy dose ofGrindz. If your grinder uses electricity, we advise against using water.

Try to avoid using soap or any other cleaning sprays or chemicals as this may end up in your cup of coffee.

Each brewing device and each coffee will require fine tuning on the grinder. Experiment and tweak according to taste.

The more times you brew, your palate will develop and you’ll soon be making micro adjustments like a world championship barista.

Try out our differentbrew guides with different grind sizes but most of all, enjoy yourcoffee.

how to clean and maintain my coffee grinder

Experiment

Each brewing device and each coffee will require fine tuning on the grinder. Experiment and tweak according to taste.

The more times you brew, your palate will develop and you’ll soon be making micro adjustments like a world championship barista.

Try out our differentbrew guides with different grind sizes but most of all, enjoy yourcoffee.






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