Coffee Grinds: Every Texture Under the Sun
Knowing how to grind coffee is an important part of coffee making at home. Different varieties of coffee makers require coffee grounds of differing consistencies. Additionally, you can personalize the strength of your coffee by experimenting with grinding. Grinding coffee finer will taste strengthen the taste. Without a doubt, you will achieve the freshest tasting coffee if you grind it directly prior to brewing. Grinding coffee at home allows you to adjust the amount of coffee and the consistency of the grind to suit your personal tastes.
||Gravel, garden soil|
||French press coffee maker, Cold brewing, Vacuum coffee maker|
Coarsely ground coffee is used for French press coffee makers, vacuum coffee makers, and the cold brewing process. It is essential to use a burr grinder for course grinding. This is because the bluntness of a blade grinder will produce grounds coffee with uneven particles. The overly larger pieces will under-extract, producing weak tasteless coffee. At the same time, smaller pieces will over-extract which will make the coffee bitter.
||Small, grainy particles|
||Course sand, couscous|
||Drip coffee makers with flat bottom filters|
Drip coffee makers use medium ground coffee. Either a burr or blade coffee grinder will yield an appropriate medium grind. Medium grind coffee is about the same consistency as a sand, and should feel slightly grainy between your fingers.
||Stovetop espresso, Drip coffee makers with cone shaped filters|
For drip coffee makers with a cone cup, fine coffee grounds are needed. You can use a blade grinder to make fine coffee grounds, but a burr grinder will produce grounds with a much more consistent size. Finely ground coffee has the consistency of sugar. Looking at fine coffee grounds, you won't be able to distinguish individual particles with the naked eye. The grounds should feel slightly grainy in your fingers, like salt.
Very Fine or Turkish
||Fine and powdery|
||Baby powder, flour|
||Espresso machines, Turkish style coffee|
Espresso and Turkish coffee requires the absolute finest coffee grounds. Only burr grinders can grind coffee into a fine enough powder to be used with espresso machines. Coffee will be light and fluffy, the consistency of powdered sugar.
Unsure Which Grinder to Use
|There are two options when choosing a coffee grinder: Blade Grinder or Burr Grinder. Our extensive guide on coffee grinders goes over the finer details, but the difference comes down to price and necessity.
- Blade Grinder: A single blade spins, chopping up the coffee beans. Blade grinders typically cost between $10 - $50. Blade grinders should really only be used for making coffee on drip coffee machines or cone cups with filters. Anything more specialized requires the precision of a burr coffee grinder.
- Burr Grinder: Burr grinders grind coffee by rotating a toothed wheel along a stationary surface. The cheapest models of burr grinders start at $50, but good quality ones generally range from $150 to hundreds of dollars for commercial models. French presses, vacpots, and espresso machines need the precision of the burr grinder to prepare coffee grounds for brewing.