There’s a science and an art to almost every aspect of brewing the perfect cup of coffee. The proper grind is key for getting a rich and flavorful brew that’s exactly to your liking. If you’ve ever been uncertain about how to grind beans at home, read on—we’ve got you covered.
Why a Fresh Grind is Key
First, let’s talk about why grinding your coffee right before you drink it is the best choice. Simple: it’s fresher and more flavorful. Once the beans are ground, more air can get into the grinds, allowing the coffee to oxidize and go stale quickly. Stumptown Coffee recommends grinding your beans no more than 15 minutes in advance of brewing. Grinding your coffee beans only a few minutes before your start to brew only takes a little bit of effort, and the rewards are well worth an extra step.
How Grind Affects Extraction and Flavor
So why does how course or fine your coffee grounds are affect the flavor? It has to do with the extraction, or the amount of water the coffee particles are exposed to. Basically, the finer the coffee, the more water contacts the surface and the more flavor is extracted. Too much time and contact, however, can make the coffee bitter and chalky. Too little, and it’ll taste acidic and sour. Getting the right grind is the key to perfect extraction, every time.
Grind Types for Each Brew Method
Different brew methods produce coffee with different notes and flavors. You’ll need the right grind for your brew method, so make sure you’re grinding coffee to suit your tools! Let’s take a look at the different types of grinds you should make if you have a:
1. French press, cold brew, percolator
Grind Type: Coarse (large granules)
2. Drip coffee makers, vacuum brewers
Grind Type: Medium (sugar/salt consistancy)
3. Drip coffee makers, pour over brewers, stovetop espresso makers
Grind Type: Fine (mealy powder)
4. Espresso machines
Grind Type: Super Fine
The Right Grinder
Don’t want to spend a lot of money on a coffee grinder? No worries! There are lots of different options for every budget. You can spend (almost) as little or as much as you want on a grinder. The most common grinder types are:
The most precise and balanced type of grinder, burr grinders produce a nice, even grind for perfect coffee.
Cheap and small, blade grinders are powerful and popular, but not very precise. Particles are chopped unevenly, which affects overall coffee flavor.
More labor intensive, but producing a nice even grind, manual grinders are cranked by hand. Fine for one cup, but coffee for a crowd can get difficult!
Don’t Have a Grinder? Try These Techniques (as a Last Resort)
Got whole beans? Need coffee now? If you haven’t taken the leap and purchased a grinder yet, there are some impromptu ways to grind coffee at home as a last resort. Keep in mind you won’t be able to get your beans ground very finely without the help of a dedicated coffee grinder, however. Some substitute methods include:
- Morter and Pestle
- Hammer or rolling pin
- Food processor
Of course, if you’re still looking for the perfect coffee grinder, you can always purchase pre-ground beans (but you’ll know you’re missing out at least a little!).
World Cup Coffee’s Fresh Roasted Beans
Whether you’re stopping by our cafes, considering office coffee delivery, or buying our fresh beans for grinding at home, be sure to try our different blends to find your perfect roast and bean!