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Your Guide To Coffee Grind Size

Your Guide To Coffee Grind Size

The size of your coffee grinds makes such a difference in the flavour of your coffee. While the grind size is only one factor contributing to your coffee flavour, it is probably the most difficult to get right. 

The size of your coffee grinds influences the extraction and brewing of coffee. Different size grinds work best for other brewing methods and equipment. Here is some helpful knowledge on coffee grinds that can help you create the perfect cup of coffee at home.

Why Does The Size of My Coffee Grinds Matter?

The size of coffee grinds matters, as it impacts the coffee brew, flavour, and extraction. The size of the grinds affects their surface area in a group handle or filter. Since coffee does not dissolve like sugar, it needs the help of water to extract the flavours. 

The more water interacts with coffee, the more extraction occurs. Therefore, the finer you grind coffee beans, the more the surface area is increased, which results in a faster extraction.

Does Poorly Extracted Coffee Taste Different? 

Poorly extracted coffee tastes sharp or sour because the water does not have enough opportunity to break down and balance the sugars with acids from the beginning of the extraction process.

You can tell if coffee is poorly extracted if it tastes overly bitter and hollow. On the other hand, coffee can also be poorly extracted if it is over-extracted. Over-extracted coffee will taste overwhelmingly sweet and acidic. 

Type of Coffee Grinders

You will need a coffee grinder if you plan on grinding coffee beans at home. There are three types of grinders: manual, blade, and burr. Depending on what you are looking for in a coffee grinder, there is an option for everyone based on budget and preferences.

Manual Grinder

A manual grinder is a handheld coffee grinder that you operate manually by turning a crank. Manual grinders are portable, quiet, do not need power, and create consistent coffee grounds. The main downside of a manual grinder is that it can be challenging to clean. 

Blade Grinder

A blade grinder is usually the most expensive coffee grinder. Blade grinders work by using a blade to cut the beans in a propeller motion. Blade grinders are known to deliver inconsistent coffee grinds.

Burr Grinder

A burr grinder crushes ground coffee beans against a static grinder wheel. The position of the burr sets the size of the grinds. While the Burr grinder is usually the most expensive coffee grinder, it creates very consistent grinds in a short amount of time. 

Types of Coffee Grinds and Which Extraction is Best

There are multiple sizes and types of coffee grinds. The brewing method used for one coffee grind might not work well with another brewing method. These are some of the most common coffee grind types and the best extraction methods.

Extra Coarse Grind

Extra coarse coffee beans are only partially ground and are usually used on the largest coffee grind setting on a burr grinder. They have a rough texture, and you can generally see the shape of the original bean. Extra coarse grinds are best suited for cold brew or cowboy style coffee

Medium Grind

A medium grind is one of the most common grind sizes for pre-ground coffee beans, and the texture is exceptionally smooth. A medium grind is excellent for syphon brewers or drip coffee makers.

Extra Fine Grind

The extra fine ground has the same consistency as flour or powder. You mainly use extra fine grind to make Turkish coffee.

Fine Grind

Fine-grind beans, like the Primo Colombian Mountain Decaf, are very smooth and almost have the same feel as powder. A fine grind is easy to find in pre-ground coffee bags and is often labelled as an espresso grind, great for use with a moka pot. 

Medium Coarse Grind

Medium coarse beans have a rough texture similar to sand. A medium-coarse grind is best used in specialty brewers, like the Chemex or Cafe Solo. 

Medium Fine Grind

Medium Fine beans have a texture that feels smoother than sand. This grind is best used in vacuum brewers or cone-shaped pour-overs. 

Coarse Grind

Coarse coffee beans have a similar texture to sea salt but with larger chunks. A coarse grind is best used for coffee cupping, percolators or French press. 

Final Thoughts

While it can be challenging to get your coffee grind size consistent, there is no standard for grinding and brewing coffee. The first few times you grind your coffee beans might turn out differently than you expect. Eventually, you will get the extraction exactly how you want it. 

With patience and understanding of the types of coffee grinds, you will create the best cup of coffee in no time. Learn everything there is to know about coffee grind size and ground coffee!
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