Coffee Grind Chart: All You Need to Know for A Flavorful Cup of Coffee

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Coffee grind is probably the most overlooked ingredient in brewing coffee. Most people often pay more attention to their brewing machine, the water temperature, or the water to coffee ratio.

But even after making sure that all those mentioned details are checked, some still end up with a not so satisfying cup.

Why is this so? This situation is probably because they already failed from the wrong coffee grounds for the wrong type of brew.

The coffee grind can make or break your cup of joe. It may seem like a no big deal, but trust me, it makes all the difference. The coffee ground affects the overall taste of your coffee more than you know.

Different grinds fit for other brewing methods. Knowledge of which is which can massively improve how your homemade coffee tastes. To help you, we have prepared a coffee grind chart for your guidance.

This chart will introduce you to the different types of coffee grounds and which one works best with a specific kind of coffee or brewing method. But before we go into the details of the chart, let me first walk you through how coffee grounds affect your coffee taste.

Coffee grounds and coffee extraction

grind coffee

Extraction, essentially, is the process of dissolving or extracting the flavors from your coffee grounds in the brewing process. It would be best if you had a precise grind to maximize your coffee’s tastes in the extraction process.

Brewing your favorite cup of coffee could go wrong; either it is over-extracted or under-extracted, and this both mainly depends on the coffee grinds.

Over-extraction is the result when you have coffee grounds that are too fine. They dissolve faster, resulting in a dark, bitter, tasteless cup. An over-extracted coffee will not have any distinct rich flavor to it.

What you will get is a dull cup of coffee, which is not a good energy booster to start your day.

An under-extracted coffee, on the other hand, will taste salty, acidic, or sour. Under-extraction happens when you have coffee grinds that are too coarse. Your cup will lack that unique, flavorful taste of the coffee beans.

For your favorite cup of coffee, you can’t have over-extracted or under-extracted beans. You don’t want to start your day or finish your work with a dull or bitter coffee cup.

What you need then is that balanced extraction that will maximize your coffee grounds’ good qualities for a fantastic and satisfying cup. How do you achieve this? Knowing and familiarizing yourself with the coffee grind chart is essential.

The Grind Types

There are different grind types for the various coffee and brewing methods. Maybe you haven’t been paying attention to your coffee grounds thinking they are all the same and will give you the same coffee quality – this is where you are wrong. Different brewing methods will require different coffee grinds.

But virtually, the quicker the extraction process, the finer the grounds should be, and the longer the extraction process, the coarser the grounds will be.

  1. Extra coarse ground

It feels like broken shells and looks like ground peppercorns. These coffee grounds work best for cold brew coffee or cowboy coffee. Cold brew coffee, for example, takes a long time for extraction.

As mentioned, the longer the extraction time, the coarser the grounds should be.

  1. Coarse ground

It feels like  clay particles and looks like flaky sea salt. This type is ideal for when you are using a French Press to brew your coffee. It also is best for percolators and coffee cupping.

These methods of brewing take some time, although much shorter compared to cold brew.

  1. Medium coarse ground

If you are using Chemex, clever dripper, or café solo brewer, you need medium-coarse grounds to achieve that flavorful coffee you love. The extraction time of these brewing methods usually takes 2 minutes on average. This rough sand looking grounds is the definite fit for that timeframe.

  1. Medium ground

For the drip brewing methods, the medium grounds are what you need. You can see this on some pre-ground coffee packs. Medium grounds have a similar consistency with that of regular sand and are ideally used for drip pots.

  1. Pour over or medium fine grind

You must go for a medium-fine grind for those of you who love their pour-over coffee. This coarse size almost has the same consistency as a sand particle. This ground is ideal for siphon coffee machines, cone-shaped pour-over brews, and flat-bottom drip.

  1. Fine grounds

This type of ground is what usually comes in pre-ground coffee. It’s only a little more refined than table salt. Sufficient grounds are what you need to make the classic espresso shot that everybody loves. You can also use this for stovetop espresso or Moka pot coffee.

  1. Super fine grounds

For Turkish coffee, you need to have super fine grounds. It’s has a similar consistency with that of flour or powder.

Those are the seven types of coffee grounds that you need to know to improve your brew. As we have noted, different brewing methods require another ground size because of their varying extraction time. Make sure to have the appropriate grounds to have that creamy and delicious cup of coffee you love.

Different types of grinder

A refreshing cup of coffee starts from a correctly grounded bean, and grounding your beans just before using it is much better than purchasing pre-grounded coffee. Yes, it is work, but it is for a tastier coffee. I would say it is worth it.

But before we move on to how to ground your beans to perfection, you have to know that different types of grinders are available and can help you in the process.

  1. Blade coffee grinder 

You might be familiar with this type. A blade grinder is the most common type of grinder that is available in the market. It can be found in almost every store. A blade grinder is designed with a spinning blade. It is what grinds the beans.

The advantage of this type is that it is widely available, you can easily find it in your local store for sure, and they are relatively inexpensive compared to a burr grinder, for example.

However, a blade grinder grinds the coffee to uneven particles. Some will be too large and other particles tiny. The non-uniform coffee ground can affect the overall taste of the coffee. Other particles will be over-extracted, while others may be under-extracted.

  1. Flat disk burr coffee grinder

It is much more efficient than a blade type grinder. It uses two fast-spinning disks to perfectly ground the coffee beans and is more precise and gives a more consistent grind than a blade grinder.

  1. Conical burr grinders

With this machine, you can quickly grind coffee from into fine particles or coarse ones. Conical grinders are what you can usually find being used in coffee shops. The conical disks grind the beans into uniform sizes.

However, this grinder is expensive, but it ensures a perfect grind.

  1. Hand grinders

Here we have the good old trustworthy hand grinder. Hand grinders can also give you an exact grind. What’s even better is that you can use it even when the power is out.

However, it takes a lot of work. Coffee beans are hard to grind manually. It takes much effort to have a small amount of ground every day.

So, which grinder should you get? We recommend that you get a burr coffee grinder. Although it is expensive compared to a blade and hand grinder, it gives more precise grinding in uniform sizes.

It is easier to operate, and you can set it to your desired ground type.

Investing in a high-quality burr grinder will make brewing much more comfortable with a guaranteed quality cup of coffee in every grind.

Freshly ground coffee and why it is the best 

Sure, pre-ground coffee is very convenient. If you are busy and don’t have time to do extra things just for a cup of coffee, pre-ground coffee is the usual way to go. But best believe, a freshly ground coffee gives you a more satisfying cup of joe, and here is why.

coffee grinds

Oxidization

The compounds within your coffee beans can change quickly through oxidization. Oxidization is the process by which compounds react with air molecules creating another different molecule. This oxidization process starts when once you grind your coffee beans.

If you wait too long before brewing it, the flavors and aromas in your grounded coffee will start to lessen. The longer the grounded beans stay unused, the lesser the flavor will be. But if you brew it immediately after grinding the beans, the taste will be much richer.

Moisture

Coffee beans have oils in the which are to be extracted in the brewing process for that flavor and aroma. The moisture in the air can dilute these oils, causing your beans to lose flavor. Once you grind your beans, the moisture area is greater, which will hasten the dilution process and cause your coffee to lose its richness.

Carbon Dioxide Depletion

When you grind your coffee, you also increase the surface area for greater carbon dioxide liberation. Carbon dioxide in coffee beans plays a vital role because it is the method of extracting the essential coffee oils into the coffee. But if you let your coffee grounds sit for a long time and with greater carbon dioxide liberation, the more flavors and essential oils are lost.

Contamination

Proper storage is essential. The odors floating around your kitchen can easily contaminate your ground coffee. When you buy pre-ground coffee, you have to store it properly where it is safe from any contaminants.

How to grind your coffee: Quick and Easy Steps

Grinding your coffee is very once you have everything you need – coffee beans and a coffee grinder. Remember to have it grind before using it to preserve all the rich flavors with freshly grounded coffee beans.

Choose your beans

Choose good- high-quality beans for a guaranteed tasty coffee. The quality of the beans is everything. We highly recommend going for organic beans for safer and excellent quality.

Load beans into your grinder

We highly recommend using a burr grinder rather than a blade grinder. A burr grinder gives consistent grind with uniform-sized particles

Grind the beans

After loading, it is time to grind. Follow the instructions given on how to use your grinder.

Burr grinders have different settings you can choose from to decide which type of grind you want. You can experiment on your machine and try to see which grind works best for your type of coffee.

Mistakes to avoid when grinding coffee beans

Poor quality coffee beans

You have to be mindful of the quality of your coffee beans. The beans ultimately determine the quality of the coffee you will get. If you have over-roasted beans, this will give you a coffee with a strong and bitter taste.

Also, make sure to get organic coffee beans. They are much safer and are much pure compared to over processed ones.

Don’t grind your coffee too early

The purpose of investing in a grinder is to have freshly grounded beans when you make your regular coffee. Ground your beans only when you have your brewing water ready. When you ground it too early, the coffee grounds will start to lose flavor because of oxidation.

You must ground your beans just before using it to get the best cup.

Grinding too much or too little

You have to estimate the right amount that you need for your coffee. Grinding too much can cause wastage, and grinding too little will not give you your daily dose of caffeine.

FAQs

How do I know I’m using the right grind size?

The grind size chart will serve as your guide in preparing your coffee. Just look at the brewing method and grind size that fits for each. You can also experiment on the precise size that best suits you and your brewing method.

It will take some time and practice. You have all the liberty to tweak and change your ingredients and settings according to your preference.

How do I keep ground coffee fresh?

You can’t do much to keep your ground coffee fresh. Once it interacts with air, it loses some of its compounds. But if you want, you can keep it in an airtight container away from light and heat. Still, even with proper storage, your coffee ground can lose some of its flavors over time.

How quickly does ground coffee lose freshness?

The commonly subscribed view is that ground coffee can last up to 1 week before losing its freshness. But coffee enthusiasts claim otherwise. Coffee enthusiasts claim that a ground coffee only maintains its optimal freshness for 30 minutes, so you have to brew it immediately.

As soon as the coffee ground comes in contact with the air, the oxidation process starts. All the compounds in your ground will change very quickly. Your coffee ground will begin losing its essential oils and flavors.

Manual or automatic grinder?

Both a manual and an automatic grinder have their advantages and disadvantages. A manual grinder for one is very affordable and takes less space. It doesn’t need any electricity, so that you can use it even during a power outage.

However, grinding can be quite an exercise if you are preparing for multiple coffees.

On the other hand, an automatic grinder can make multiple coffees for a large crowd without much work. It is less hassle and offers much better precision in grinding with over 40 settings available. However, an automatic grinder costs a lot compared to an automatic one.

It also relies on electricity and takes much more space for set-up. Overall, you can choose the one that fits both your needs and your budget. You can also go ahead and compare the different grinders available.  Anyway, more manufacturers have made their products accessible by offering them at affordable prices.

coffee grind charts

Final thoughts

If you have read this far, surely what you will get from this is that the little things matter. Paying attention to details such as having the right coffee grind size can massively improve the way you make your coffee. With the coffee grind chart in mind, you can easily make your sweet and creamy cup.

You don’t need to spend money on coffee shops. Make your own at home.

But there is no “precise size.” The coffee grind size chart is just a guide, an estimation of what size works best with the brewing method. But still, you don’t have to stick to it all the time.

You can play around and experiment on the grind sizes to see which best suits your taste. Continue grinding and enjoy discovering new flavors!

References

  • https://food52.com/blog/13479-worth-it-or-not-worth-it-freshly-ground-coffee-beans
Cuppabean
Charles is the author and managing editor of Cuppabean.com. A self-admitted coffee addict, he drinks 2-4 cups of coffee a day to get his fix. In the morning, you'll often find him brewing his freshly grounded arabica coffee beans on his french press coffee. Read more about the site here.
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