We’ve discussed in another blog post that brewing technique can make a world of difference in the way you enjoy your coffee. In that post, we discussed five important components that shape the way your coffee will taste:
- Bean freshness
- Storage and handling
- Brewing time and water temperature
- Water to coffee ratio
- Grind size
This post will discuss grind size – and why it matters – in more depth.
Many coffee conversations revolve around aroma, flavor and extraction or how to extract flavor from your coffee beans in the best conditions possible.
When it comes to extraction, bean freshness, brewing time and water temperature will matter a lot in determining your cup of coffee’s final flavor, which may range from watery to muddy, or sour to bitter.
Grind size is just as important. The size of your coffee grounds influences the way water will make contact with your coffee grind’s surface area.
When the grind is coarse, water will pass more quickly through your coffee, leading to less extraction. So if the coffee grounds are too coarse, you may under-extract your coffee, which may taste watery, acidic, or some say even salty.
When the grind is fine, water will pass more slowly through more closely packed coffee, leading to more extraction. If your grind is overly fine, you might over-extract coffee, which in turn may taste muddy, bitter, or burnt.
The Right Kind of Grind
Through in-depth experimentation, coffee experts now tend to share plenty of coffee grind charts that match the brewing technique you’re using with the right kind of grind. Want to know what they are and what it looks like? Here’s that info for you.
Extra Coarse: Extra coarse coffee grinds look like small coffee chips the size of peppercorns. An extra coarse grind is ideal for long steeping methods, such as a cold brew.
Coarse: Coarse coffee grinds are chunky, sort of like kosher salt, which comes in large flakes. Coarse grinds are perfect for French Press coffee.
Medium or Medium-Fine: Medium or medium-fine coffee grounds have a texture that feels somewhere in between regular sand and sea salt. Use a medium or medium-fine grind for pour-overs such as V60s, or coffee drip machines.
Fine: A fine grind feels like the texture of table salt. It is the classic grind size for espresso machines or the Italian moka pot, which brews your coffee over the stove.
Extra Fine: An extra fine grind feels like fine, powdery sand (think Boracay sand) or like powdered sugar for baking. This very find coffee grind is ideal for making Turkish Coffee or very strong espresso.
You might’ve noticed that we didn’t mention the AeroPress, which can accommodate different kinds of coffee grounds. We’ll have to discuss that another time! If you’ve been reading our blog, All Things Coffee, you might know we’ve already discussed manual hand-crafted coffee methods at home using the French Press, the Hario V60, the AeroPress, and cold brewing in this blog post.
To get the right kind of grind to match your gear, we highly recommend getting a manual hand mill or a burr grinder. If you want more info or recommendations from us, message us on our website, or send a PM through our Curated.PH Facebook page. We look forward to hearing from you!