Grinding Coffee

How you grind your coffee is the first step in influencing the final brew. Some machines will brew better if you make sure to grind your beans to the optimal size in the first place. Cheaper grinders don't always have coarseness settings, so you will have to experiment to establish how long to let your machine grind to achieve the right degree of coarseness (or fineness, depending on your point of view). Terms can be open to interpretation (just how fine is extra fine?) These comparisons might help you gauge your grind a little better:
  • Coarse - Very distinct particles of coffee. Like heavy-grained kosher salt. Downright chunky.
  • Medium - Gritty, like coarse sand.
  • Fine - Smoother to the touch, a little finer than granular sugar or table salt.
  • Extra fine - Finer than sugar, but not quite powdered. Grains should still be discernible to the touch.
  • Turkish - Powdered, like flour. Most inexpensive (blade) grinders will be unable to grind this finely.
The table below will tell you which grind to choose to suit your particular coffee-brewing method.

Brewing/Coffee Making Methods


Drip (flat bottom)
Drip(cone filter)
Plunger Pot/French Press
Perculator Course
Espresso Macine
Extra Fine
Mocha Pot/Espresso Stove Top
Siphon/Vacuum Pot
Medium to Courrse
Ibrik (Turkish Coffee)
Extra Extra Fine


Blade or Burr Grinder?

Grinding your own coffee beans is a fairly easy way to ensure freshness in your cup of coffee. Grinders can be inexpensive, and in some coffee makers or espresso machines, they are a built- in feature. There are basically two different kinds of grinders: blade or burr. 


Blade Grinders

Most inexpensive grinders use a metal blade which chops up the beans by cutting them up. You control the fineness of the grind by how long you let the grinder run. Unfortunately, the resulting coffee grounds can be uneven in size, leading to inconsistent brew quality. Another shortcoming of this type of grinder, is that when you are looking for a fine grind, you will have to leave the beans in the grinder for a longer period of time, resulting in significant heat being generated by the blades. This can give your final coffee a burned taste. These are fine grinders for basic use, but that's about it. 


 Burr Grinders

Burr grinders crush the beans between a moving grinding wheel and a non-moving surface. The positioning on the burr is what regulates the size of the ground beans. This allows for a more consistent grind. In the Burr category, there are two different types. Wheel Burr - The less expensive of the two burr grinders. The wheel spins very fast, and these grinders can be noisy. Higher speed rotation make these grinders more messy as well. Conical Burr - The best grinders you can get are conical burr grinders. The burr spins more slowly than the wheel model, which makes them quieter and less messy. You can use a conical burr grinder for oily or flavoured coffees. It's not likely to clog as is the case with other kinds of grinders. While these are the best type of grinder, you will pay a higher price for the


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published