There are a number of factors that can affect the taste of your coffee, but did you know that the size of your coffee grounds is one of them?
Grinding coffee beans is more than just taking a handful of whole beans, throwing them into a coffee grinder, and turning it on until the beans are ground down into a fine powder. Different types of grinds can bring out different flavors in the coffee. It can make your coffee too bitter or too sour depending on how your grinds come out.
While most people focus on getting great whole beans, grown in the right soil, with the right roast, not everyone is aware of the fact that your coffee grinder could be holding you back.
Why The Size of Your Coffee Grinds Matters
The simple reason as to why the size of your coffee grounds matters has to do with the surface area of those grounds.
Coffee, in the most general sense, is made by pushing water through coffee grounds and into your cup. And while there are many different types of coffee and different methods of preparing coffee, the general idea is the same.
The flavor in your coffee comes from many factors including how much of the water comes in contact with the coffee grounds and for how long. If you have larger coffee grounds then the water is going to flow through the spaces around the coarser grinds and not spend as much time absorbing the flavor, whereas having very fine grinds will cause the water to take longer to seep through.
While there are various coffee drinks and applications that encompass different types of grinds, the key is to be consistent.
You don’t want to use different sized coffee grinds when making a cup of coffee because it will create an imbalance in your cup. The coarser grinds will let the water pass through quickly while the finer ones will trap the water for a longer period of time. This can lead to bitterness or sourness in your cup.
Having a good coffee grinder can help ensure that your coffee grinds are the perfect size for the type of coffee you’re looking to make. Check out our guide on how to choose the perfect coffee grinder!
What are the Different Coffee Grind Sizes and What are they Used For?
Coffee bean grinds come in a variety of different shapes and fineness. Let’s look at the different types of coffee grinds and what types of drinks they are typically used for.
1. Coarse Grind
A coarse grind means that the grinds kind of resemble very small pebbles. This grind will allow the water to pass through the grinds more quickly than a fine grind, thus providing a less bold taste.
This grind is preferable for coffee made in a French press or a cold brew because these methods require more surface area on the beans to extract that extra flavor. The coarser grinds are also easier to filter out so they don’t end up in your cup.
2. Medium/Medium Fine Grind
This grind will resemble sand or table salt in appearance. It’s fine, but so powdery that you can’t pick out the individual grains of the coffee.
This type of grind is perfect for drip coffee makers and pour over methods. The grind is right in the middle of coarse and fine and is a great middle ground for most cups of coffee.
3. Fine/Super Fine Grind
Grinding your coffee beans down to a fine/super fine level will be sort of light and airy, kind of resembling powdered sugar. This type of grind will not let the water seep through it quickly and will allow for bolder, more pronounced flavor.
This type of grind is perfect for espresso, whether that’s a stove top espresso pot or an espresso machine. Since espresso is made by using a lot of pressure to push the water through the coffee grinds, the fine grind will allow that water to grab a lot of flavor as it’s pushed through.
4. Turkish Grind
A Turkish grind is about as fine as you can grind down the coffee beans and is traditionally only used in Turkish style coffee. This type of coffee is brewed by boiling finely ground coffee beans and not filtering it at all.
The grind of your coffee beans should be taken seriously if you’re looking for the perfect cup of coffee. As we stated above, each type of coffee has a specific type of grind that will work best to enhance the flavor in your cup. Using the wrong grind of your coffee beans can result in bitter or sour tasting coffee and could be the reason why you think you don’t like coffee!
There are many things that go into creating that perfect cup of coffee. From the growing of the coffee beans, to the roasting, and all the way down to the grinding of the beans. If you’re looking for an amazing cup of coffee make sure you’re paying attention to every part of the process.