Coffee Grind Size Explained – Why Grind Coffee Beans On Your Own?

Funnily enough you have to prove your love for coffee, and one way to do that is to understand all about grind size. You can just eliminate the trouble of grinding your coffee beans at home and buy the best readymade ground coffee there is. But then what about those who want to go all the way?

Well, for them, and if you’re anything like me (a crazy coffee connoisseur), then you too are going to want to know all factors that affect the taste, aroma, flavor, and quality of your freshly prepared brew. And one of those factors is grind size indeed.

Why Grind Coffee Beans On Your Own?

How fresh your coffee grounds are before brewing is a matter of urgent importance if you’re a genuine, dedicated coffee connoisseur.

Whatever the roast type and no matter where the beans have come from, if you want your coffee to taste flavorful, it’s best to grind those beans right before you brew. Although make sure they’re freshly roasted too!

You might already know that oxygen, moisture, and heat deteriorate the freshness of coffee beans and grounds (Source). Thus, the more recently they’ve been roasted and ground, the better the flavor, aroma, and quality retention. It’s as simple as that!

A freshly roasted batch begins to regress within 1–2 weeks. As for freshly ground coffee, it will start losing its bold, aromatic flavor in less than 15 minutes once ground.

Even in the case of freshly roasted gourmet coffee beans, if you don’t grind them soon, you should be okay with your brew tasting bland.

I also encourage grinding coffee beans at home so you can experiment with more than just one brewing method or grind size. But you have to bear in mind that since brewing techniques differ, the grind size used for them is also not the same. Hence, the need to adjust grind size based on the brewing method you choose or coffee equipment you own.

And it goes without saying that using a coffee grinder is the most efficient way to grind beans on your own. Although there are various manual methods as well for grinding coffee beans, so you don’t necessarily need a coffee grinder.

Why Coffee Grind Consistency Matters? Why Freshly Ground Coffee Also Matters?

No two ways about why grinding coffee the right way is a crucial part of the brewing process (likewise, coffee measurements also matter).

It Affects Flavor

All you ought to know is that accurate grind consistency paves the way for thorough, proper coffee flavor extraction. This means inconsistency will lead to under- or over-extraction, thus the flavor of your coffee gets compromised.

It Affects Texture

Ever had bitter or silty coffee that looks overly textured or cloudy? If yes, the culprit was the wrong grind size or grind size inconsistency. Inconsistency, in most scenarios, is brought about by metal filters, unlike paper and cloth filters. The former allows too-fine coffee grounds to seep through its perforations.

On the other hand, paper and cloth filters feature much tighter weaves, therefore coffee grounds cannot come through even if they are very fine.

In that case, here’s the standard coffee grind size chart!

GRIND SIZECoarseMedium CoarseMediumFineExtra Fine
TEXTURELike sea salt crystalsLike rough sand (between coarse and medium)Like coarse beach sand or flaky sea saltLike granulated sugarLike powdered sugar or all-purpose flour
BREWING METHODBest for French Press, percolator, and cold brewBest for Chemex and SiphonBest for pour-over and drip coffee makersBest for AeroPress, espresso machines, and Moka potsBest for Turkish coffee

Different Types of Coffee Grinds – What They Are and Why It’s All So Important?

Different textures will obviously produce different results. One type or size of coffee grounds doesn’t brew the same way as another type or size. Brewing methods differ, and coffee grind size differs too (now what came first is exactly like the “which came first: the chicken or the egg” conundrum).

So anyway, here are the most common coffee grind sizes coffee enthusiasts all over the world drool over!

Also, I’ve not included whole bean coffee here because whole bean is the fresh, un-ground version of coffee, which is what you need for grinding coffee on your own at home.

Extra Coarse Coffee Grind

Slightly ground only, extra coarse coffee grounds have a really rough texture where you can still discern the original bean shape.

Cold brews are often prepared using extra coarse grounds.

Coarse Coffee Grind

Immersion-style brewing methods demand a coarse grind size as this particular technique involves greater contact of coffee with water during the brewing process.

The texture/size here should be granular and gritty, much the same as crystals of sea salt.

Check out the best coarse ground coffee brands for immersion brewing (French Press, percolator, and cold brew)

Medium Coarse Coffee Grind

The texture is rough-sand-like; it’s the middleground between coarse and medium.

You need this exact grind size for the Chemex coffee maker.

Medium Coffee Grind

By far, this is the most favorite, hence the most common grind size. It’s widely spotted and sold at grocery stores, supermarkets, and your local coffee shops.

Medium or auto-drip grounds are the best for automatic at-home brewing machines.

As for the texture of medium grind, it’s more like flaky sea salt or smoother beach sand.

Medium-Fine Coffee Grind

Medium-fine as in the classic salt-type grind size, which works like a charm with cone-filtered coffee makers. Think of smooth-textured medium coffee grounds, but just a little more refined or smoother than that.

Fine Coffee Grind

The texture and size of granulated sugar seem like the most accurate way for describing the fine grind size. It’s used for brewing methods that include pressure extraction i.e. espresso coffee machines.

Extra-Fine Coffee Grind

Also known as the Turkish grind, extra-fine coffee has a very powdery consistency. This kind of extra-fine texture can be compared to cocoa powder or all-purpose flour. And it’s the most fitting for making Turkish coffee.

The EndNote

To be honest, this isn’t a very tedious or time-consuming process once you get the hang of it. Grinding coffee beans the right way is a matter of learning just a few simple skills. Just make sure you use/create the proper grind size based on your choice of brewing method.

As for how often should you grind coffee to keep it fresh, remember that coffee grounds’ orginal, aromatic, and bold flavor will deteriorate around 15 minutes post-grinding. That’s why so many of us coffee fanatics grind just a few minutes before brewing!

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