If you know how to perfectly grind your coffee beans, you’re one step closer to making that perfect cup of coffee, which is holy grail to coffee addicts all over the world.
You can buy the highest quality brand of coffee, have the perfect roast, premium filters, and the best espresso machine, but you can still ruin your coffee if you do not know how to perfectly grind your coffee.
Before you get to know the perfect method of grinding, let’s talk about why it is important to grind your coffee and why you shouldn’t even think about buying pre-ground coffee.
The key to making the perfect coffee is to fully extract the flavors and oils which are sealed inside your coffee beans.
Traditionally, people used to boil roasted beans to make coffee; which took a lot of time, but the final product would be a high-caffeine and a very bitter cup of coffee. Then, coffee makers came up with the idea of grinding the beans.
This not only reduces the time required, but it also lets water extract efficiently and wholly, the flavor ingredients and oils sealed within the beans.
Now, let’s talk some more about why it is not a good idea to buy pre-ground coffee.
Once the coffee beans have been ground, the oils are all out and can be very easily contaminated if not used right away. Also, coffee beans lose 60% of their aroma in just 15 minutes after contact with air, due to oxidation.
Moisture of the atmosphere also dilutes the oil and affects the flavors adversely. So using pre-ground coffee gives you reduced flavor and aroma and basically, kills your coffee experience.
Don’t settle for less when you can buy a grinder at a very affordable price and grind your coffee beans right before you brew.
Tips for Grinding Coffee
Knowing how to perfectly grind your coffee is very easy if you make sure you follow these basic rules of coffee grinding.
- Grind the beans right before brewing. As discussed before, ground coffee loses the aroma and flavors quickly if not brewed right away.
- Selecting the right Coffee Grinder. There are two types of coffee grinders available in the market. Blade grinders and burr grinders. Blade grinders are cheaper but are not so useful with the finer grinds.
- Choosing the right Grind Size. The ideal grind size of your coffee beans depends mainly on the method of brewing and type of coffee you’re going to use. The aim is not to grind your coffee beans as fine as you can. Different coffee makers use different brewing methods and you have to find the right grind size for your brewing method, which will be discussed later in the article.
- Cleanliness of your Grinder. Keeping your grinder clean at all times goes a long way in improving the lifetime and grinding ability of the machine. Make sure you rinse it after every grinding to get rid of stuck ground coffee.
Selecting the Right Coffee Grinder
There are two types of coffee grinders available in the market.
They have a simple blade that chops the coffee beans until they turn into fine grains.
These grinders are cheap, easy to use and clean. They are faster than their counterpart.
However, grinding is inconsistent and uneven and some bits might be very fine as compared to others.
Blade grinders also heat the beans while grinding which gives the final coffee a burnt sort of flavor.
Burr grinders use a grinding wheel instead of a blade and crush the beans by wheel’s rotation instead of chopping and cutting them.
It is possible to adjust the burr position, depending on the fineness of the grind required. They grind evenly and the fineness is consistent throughout.
Burr grinders do not overheat the coffee. However, they are louder and slower and more expensive compared to blade grinders.
Burr grinders are far more suited for perfectly grinding your coffee beans, however, blade grinders are a cheaper alternative.
Types of Coffee Grinding
Since choosing the perfect grinder is out of the way, let’s talk about what the right grind size is for your coffee needs. There are five grind sizes. Namely; Coarse, Medium, Fine, Extra fine and Turkish. Following are the different ways you can grind your coffee.
It’s like chunky pieces of coffee like small pebbles. Coarse grind, as evident by the name, is used to grind the coffee beans into small chunks.
Running your coffee beans through a blade grinder for a couple of moments can give you the required coarse grind. This grind works best with these brewing methods: Vacuum coffee pot, Percolator, Plunger Pot and French Press.
It is much finer than coarse grind but still not fine enough. It has a flaky texture, like that of coarse sand.
It can be achieved by both blade and burr grinders. It works best with drip coffee makers that have flat bottom filters such as espresso machines of Bloomfield and BUNN etc.
A fine grind has a very smooth texture, finer than table salt.
Blade grinders cannot give even and fine grind, burr grinders are much better suited for the task.
They are ideal for coffee machines such as moka pots, espresso machines having pressurized porta filters and drip coffee makers that have cone shaped filters such as Cusinart and KRUPS.
Extra Fine Grind
As evident by the name, they are a tad bit finer and have a very smooth and soft texture. The grind is still not powdery, but more on the grainy side.
Only possible to achieve with burr grinders, this type of grind is ideal if you are using normal espresso machines or Aeropress to brew your coffee.
Turkish grind is the finest grind possible. It has a powdery texture, without any grains. It can be compared to flour.
Burr grinders, if used correctly, can give the Turkish grind.
This grind is ideal for brewing Turkish coffee or Ibik.
Following these guidelines is sure to help you in perfectly grinding your coffee.