Grinding coffee is such a joy! The enticing aromas signal the commencement of your morning ritual, a multi-sensory experience that ends with a satiating brew. But how can you perfectly execute the grind of one of our delicious coffee blends with your home coffee grinder?
Today, we explain and guide you to the perfect grind setting.
How To Get Your Grind Correct
The grind of a coffee has a direct and significant impact on the taste of your brew. Always remember that every coffee is a bit different. Factors such as roast level will affect how your coffee brews at any given grind setting.
Grind Versus Brewing Method
These general guidelines will get you started on your journey of tasty experimentation.
Vac-Pot/Siphon Coffee Maker
Auto Drip Makers (flat bottom filter)
Medium To Fine Grind
Pour Over/Filter Coffee (Cone Filter)
Turkish Coffee (Ibrik/Cezve)
Grinding For Espresso
When grinding coffee for espresso, your main concern should be ensuring that it takes 25-35 seconds to pull a 40-60ml double shot. There are many factors that will influence how long your shot takes. These can be anything from the temperature and pressure of the water, the age of your beans and even the weather! However, the main ones you need to worry about are the amount of coffee in the basket, how evenly you have tamped the coffee, and how coarse or fine it is ground.
You can tell if you’re using the correct amount by looking at your coffee grounds after pulling a shot: If there is a puddle of water sitting on top, your dose is too low; if the used coffee is packed in really tightly and has dry patches on the surface, you’ve used a bit too much. Make sure you use the same amount of coffee every time you make a coffee, as this will make it easier to troubleshoot problems with your grind.
Your tamping technique is another variable that you should practice and learn to be as consistent as possible with the weight and evenness. If your tamp is not level, the water will extract the goodies from your coffee unevenly and give you a bitter brew that lacks sweetness.
If you get these two techniques nailed, you can simply adjust your grind to lengthen or shorten the time it takes to pull your shot. This is timed from the moment you activate the brew valve, NOT from when you see the coffee start to pour from the spout. To slow down your shot: make the grind finer. To speed it up, make the grind coarser.
Pull your shot too fast and it will be bitter; too slow and your coffee will taste tart and sour. Hitting that 25-35 second window will give you the most sweetness and balanced flavour.
Grinding For Filter
Your grind setting for pour over or filter coffee will be roughly the particle size of table salt.
Just like with espresso, keep your dose consistent! Weigh your beans before grinding and weigh your water before brewing. The correct ratio is somewhat subjective, but most people prefer a ratio between 15:1 and 18:1 (i.e. 15 - 18 grams of water for every gram of coffee used).
The time it takes to pour all of your brewing water through your grinds will tell you if your grind setting is correct. Again, how long it should take is down to personal preference and will differ from bean to bean, but you should aim for between 3 - 5 minutes from when the water hits the coffee to when the last drip drains through.
Grinding For French Press
As with both espresso and pour over, consistency is key. Weigh your beans and your water, aiming for a ratio of between 15:1 and 18:1 (water to coffee). Keep your brew time the same each time ‒ again, 3 - 5 minutes is a good place to start. It’s a little harder to gauge if you’ve nailed it, but generally speaking, a grind that is too coarse will be weak and lack sweetness, whereas too fine a grind will be more bitter.
Your Grind is Only as Good as Your Gear!
It’s important to take great care when selecting your home coffee grinder. Some (most) would say that this piece of equipment is just as, if not more, important than the machine.
The first thing to note is whether the grinder has burrs or blades. Blade grinders will do terrible things to your coffee, pulverizing it into uneven-sized chunks instead of slicing it delicately into beautiful ribbons of an even consistency, like a good sharp set of burrs does!
There are many different options when it comes to burr shape and size, and much of the difference comes down to personal preference. But know that any burr grinder will be significantly better than one with blender-type blades.