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Coffee Grinding - The Basics

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Coffee Grinding - The Basics

Hands up all of those who are morning people? Hmm…not so many hands. Thought so. For that reason alone many people are satisfied with setting the timer on a drip coffee maker before bed. For coffee connoisseurs, well that's just downright frightening! There's nothing quite as eye-opening in the morning than taking that bit of extra time to grind and brew a truly fresh cup or pot of coffee.

Back in the day, we had one of those little plug-in coffee grinders, you know the kind with the sharp little blades – but here's the thing, they don't grind the coffee beans – they chop them. And they chop the beans into grounds of all shapes and sizes. When the grounds are a mix of different sizes, those various sizes extract their coffee deliciousness at different rates, resulting in a disappointing cup of coffee. To truly achieve nirvana in a cup, you need uniform grounds.

That takes us to grind size – and that's where that little ‘chopper' is now out of its league! We recommend a Burr grinder. Simply put, Burr grinders use two revolving abrasive surfaces to grind – not chop – the coffee beans. Depending on your brewing method of choice, it's all about getting the grind size right, which will allow the coffee roast you've chosen to reveal its nuances.

Back to the drip coffee maker for a second – depending on if it's a cone shape or a flat bottom filter – there's a different grind size recommended for each one. Optimum grind for cone filters is a medium-fine grind, whereas your flat bottom filter does its job best with a medium grind.

Here's a Grind Chart for Most Brewing Methods:

Grind Application
Extra coarse Cold brew coffee
Coarse French Press (if your grind is too fine, you'll notice a lot of sediment in the bottom of your cup)
Medium-coarse Chemex coffee maker
Medium Cone-shaped Pour-over Brewers, drip machine with flat bottom filter
Medium-fine Drip machine with cone filter, stove-top Moka pot (can handle a fine grind too), Aeropress
Fine Espresso machine

It's definitely a transition for the ‘I hate mornings' crowd, but once you get into the ritual of grinding those beautiful beans fresh every morning, there's no going back. Come see us at Espressotec for a ‘grind tour' and we can help get you started.


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