Grind Size Matters

Posted by Sarah Thomas on

Brewing the perfect cup of coffee takes a lot of things, including some love, coffee beans (of course), and attention. And believe it or not, even attention to the grind size of your coffee beans. You can have the best beans, perfect temperature water, premium coffee filters, and an amazing coffee maker, but an imperfect grind size can throw off your whole coffee game.

Grind size is one of the most important parts of your brewing process and can greatly change the taste of your coffee. While there are different grind sizes for different brewing methods, the reason behind grinding is to break down the roasted coffee beans to expose the interior of the bean and allow the right amount of oils and flavors to be extracted.

Grind size affects your coffee in a few different ways, but to put it simply, it comes down to contact time and flow rate. Contact time is the amount of time that the coffee grounds are in contact with water and the flow rate is the speed at which water flows through the coffee grounds. If the brewing method requires a longer contact time, like a french press, then it requires a coarser grind. But if the contact method is short, like an espresso machine, then it should be a fine grind. Depending on what brewing method you use, can change which grind size you need. Finding the perfect balance is important, if a grind is too fine with a long contact time, it can result in an over-extracted brew and a bitter cup of coffee.

So which grind size is right for you?
With so many brewing options, it’s important to choose the right grind size for your brewing method. Click here to download an easy to read info graphic, or read below!

Turkish Coffee calls for an extra fine grind size
Espresso has a short contact time and requires an extra fine grind size
AeroPress, similar to a French Press, calls for a medium to fine grind depending on steep time
Siphon Brewers, one of the ~coolest~ ways to brew, use pressure to force water into the chamber holding the coffee grounds. Once its steeped, heat is removed and creates a vacuum in the lower chamber which pulls the water through a filter. Recommended grind size is medium-fine grind.
Pour-over brewers come in varying different sizes, but most pour-overs require a medium-fine grind. Shop pour-overs here!
The Moka Pot or Stovetop Espresso has a long contact time and calls for a medium grind
Single Cup Coffee Makers such as a Keurig requires a medium-fine grind size similar to table salt. Brew in an eco-friendly way with reusable Keurig cups!
Drip coffee is one of the more popular methods and a medium-coarse grind is recommended. Shop drip coffee makers here!
The French Press is a long steeping method and calls for a coarse grind. Our personal favorite, shop French Press here!

Ultimately, these grind sizes are recommendations and can change depending on your preferences and differences in brewers. The process of grinding coffee beans may take some trial and error to find what’s perfect for you and your brewer.

If you think your coffee is a bit weak, opt for a finer grind size next time. If your coffee is slightly bitter, try a slightly coarser grind.

Which is your favorite way to brew? Let us know in the comments below!


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