How to Grind Coffee BeansGrinding coffee beans is essential if you are after a seriously good cup of coffee. You should grind the coffee only just before brewing it so that you keep most of the aroma in. You will need either a blade coffee grinder or a burr coffee grinder. Well, you could actually grind the beans with a hammer, but I would not recommend that.
How fine should you grind the coffee?
Each brewing method requires a different grind ("grind" is a term used to describe how fine or coarse the ground coffee is). When coffee comes to contact with water only for a short period of time, you'll need the ground coffee to be very fine. On the other hand, if the coffee is in contact with water for a long time you'll need coarsely ground coffee.
It is important that you choose the grind that is appropriate for the coffee maker that you are using. Use the following table only as a starting point. You'll need to experiment a bit to get the best results.
|Which grind should you use?|
|Cold Brew Coffee Maker||Coarse|
|Vacuum Coffee Maker||Coarse|
|Drip Coffee Maker||Medium to Fine|
|Espresso Machine||Extra fine|
|Ibrik (Turkish Coffee)||Powder|
What happens when you grind the coffee beans too coarsely?If the coffee particles are too big, there is not enough surface area that can come into contact with water. So you are going to end up with under-extracted coffee: weak, thin and sometimes rather sour.
What happens when you grind the coffee beans too finely?There are several problems with coffee that is too fine:
- Over-extracted coffee - your coffee will be too bitter.
- Sediment - some of the fine grains of coffee will go through the coffee filter and end up in your cup. There will not be much problem with this if you are using a paper filter. If you have any other type of filter then you will find some sludge at the bottom of your cup.
- Clogged filter - what happes if the coffee grains are too fine and they cannot get through the filter? Yes, they may actually clog the filter up so that water cannot get through it. That's an experience that you want to avoid - it is messy!
Further ReadingBlade Coffee Grinders
Burr Coffee Grinders
Manual Coffee Grinders