Find Your Grind: What Grind Do I need?
So you really, really love coffee but there's a way to make your favorite cup even more flavorful. Upgrade your home coffee bar by grinding your beans just before brewing and we promise, you're going to notice a big difference in flavor.Read on to find the grind you should be using at home.
Why grind fresh?
Whole bean, roasted coffee contain flavor oils that you taste when you drink, but when the beans are ground and hit oxygen, those flavors start to diminish. The goal is to keep coffee in it's whole bean state as long as possible and grind immediately before brewing.
The way you grind your coffee matters because if it's too fine, when you brew your coffee, the water can't properly permeate the grinds and can cause your brew basket to overfill and run over the top of your brewer. If it's too coarse, the water will run through the grinds too quickly and you'll have a weak cup of coffee.
Different coffee grinds
Let's go over the different grinds that are commonly used in the coffee world.
- Coarse- extra chunky grind that has a similar texture to kosher salt. Use coarse when you're using an immersion method like French press or cold brew.
- Auto drip - Auto drip is the most common grind you'll find. It's a medium grind and is the grind that most home brewers will use. Auto drip is a good place to start if you are sure what grind to use
- Fine is a medium-fine grind for espresso brewers, resembling granulated sugar.
- Very Fine is ground so finely that it resembles powdered sugar
So we've told you about the different grinds we use, now we'll tell you what grinds go with some of the more common brewing methods.
- French Press, cold brew and percolator are methods you would use coarse coffee with. Because the grinds are soaked in the water for a longer time (called immersion brewing) you get a delicious cup of joe and the larger pieces of coffee are easier to strain out than the finer grinds.
- Automatic drip machines are the most common brewing machines used and they use auto drip grind.
- Those brewing espresso would use finely ground coffee. If you end up with an over extracted cup (meaning the coffee and water were in contact too long, producing a bitter or sour cup) then grind a little coarser on your next brew. Keep experimenting until you get the perfect taste profile for you.
- Very fine grounds are reserved for those brewing coffee in a Turkish pot called a cezve. Using very fine ground in other methods may result in a bitter cup.
What Grinder Should I Buy?
There are a few types of grinders you can look into if you're interested in getting started with grinding your beans at home.
- Hand Grinders- These hand crank machines aren't as commonly used now that blade and burr grinders are easier to find.
- Blade grinders are commonly available and do a decent job, but can be hard to get the right grind. They are a decent starter grinder due to its affordability.
- Burr Grinders have two two abrasive burrs that sit inside the grinder. The beans are caught between the two burrs and are ground down when the burrs turn. While better at producing uniform grinds, the burrs can be difficult to clean.
- Conical burr grinders crush the beans between two burrs for coffee beans that are bursting with flavor. The burrs are conical shaped and rest inside each other so when the coffee is ground, it falls in a vertical path. This type is easier to clean.