There is nothing as fulfilling as grinding your coffee beans at home. You get the freedom to choose your favorite coffee beans, grind them on demand, and brew them your preferred way. And that’s where a coffee grinder comes in.
A coffee grinder lets you make fresh ground coffee and gives you a lot of customization when it comes to grinding size. However, it’s not easy deciding on the ideal grind size for different brewing methods.
This guide covers everything you should know about grinding coffee beans at home, including the benefits and the different types of coffee grinders.
With that out of the way, let’s get grinding.
Benefits Of Grinding Coffee Beans At Home
If you want to make the best cup of coffee, grind your coffee beans just before brewing to prevent the loss of flavors and aromas. While the quality of aromas and flavors start starts depreciating immediately after roasting, the process is accelerated when ground coffee is exposed to air, heat, and moisture.
That’s why it is recommended to use coffee beans within two weeks after roasting and only roast small quantities just before brewing.
The other major benefit of grinding coffee beans at home is the ability to customize the grind size, letting you test different brewing methods. Of course, make sure you are using high-quality coffee beans.
The Different Types of Grinders
There are different types of coffee grinders on the market. They differ in how they grind, features, and price.
1. Manual Coffee Grinders
Many people love manual coffee grinders, despite them requiring manual cranking to grind the beans. They allow some bit of customization of grind size and don’t require electricity, making them travel-friendly.
Unlike electric models, manual grinders are quieter but only ideal when grinding coffee beans to make just one or two cups of coffee.
- Travel friendly
- A great way to exercise your arms
- Grind size settings
- Takes time and energy
2. Blade Grinders
These are electric grinders that have a blade at the bottom that works like a propeller to grind coffee beans. They are also budget-friendly and can grind a larger amount of beans in a few minutes. Because of the blade design, these grinders have a problem with inconsistent grind sizes and also get really hot.
- Easy to use
- Fast operation
- Gets hot
- Inconsistent grind size
3. Burr Grinders
Burr grinders feature two ceramic or stainless steel burrs that spin in opposite directions. They are called burr grinders because of the rough edges and ridges on the grinders. Burr grinders are either conical or flat, depending on how the burrs are positioned.
Unlike blade grinders, burr grinders don’t get hot and produce consistent grind size.
- Don’t get hot
- Consistent grind size
- Multiple grind options
- Better quality
- Flat burr grinders are a bit loud
- Usually big in size
Proper Grinding For Different Coffee Brewing Methods
There are a dozen ways to brew coffee including and the choice depends on how you love your cup of coffee.
The main difference among these methods is the grind size. Some brewing methods require coarse grounds, while others require medium or fine grind size.
The reason why grind size is key is because it determines the extraction rate, brew time, and flow rate during brewing.
If the grind size is too fine and the brew time is very long, there is a likelihood of over-extraction leading to bitter coffee. If the grind size is coarse and the brew time is short, there may be under extraction resulting in sour coffee.
The advantage of having a coffee grinder with multiple grind settings is that it allows you to adjust the grind sizes by just changing the settings.
Below are the most popular brewing methods and the ideal grind size.
1. French Press – Coarse
Also referred to as immersion brewing, fresh press involves leaving coffee in water for some time then filtering out the grounds. You will then plunge down the mesh to separates the grounds from the coffee.
The perfect grind size for the french press is coarse. A coarse grind size prevents clogging of the metal mesh filter during the filtering process.
2. Espresso – Super Fine
Espresso involves passing pressured water through compacted super fine ground coffee to create balanced yet concentrated shots. Because the whole process takes less than one minute, the ideal grind size is super fine to fasten extraction.
3. Cold Brew Coffee – Coarse
Cold brewing involves leaving coffee in water for 10 to 12 hours. The result is a unique tasting cup of coffee that is not bitter or acidic. The best thing is that you can prepare a large amount of cold brew and store it in the fridge for up to two weeks.
The appropriate grind size for cold brew is coarse.
4. Turkish Coffee – Super Fine
To prepare the perfect cup of Turkish coffee, you will need an insanely fine grind size. This requires a powerful grinder but you can also use a manual grinder. The secret of this stove-top brewing method is super fine grind size.
5. Moka Pot- Fine to Medium
Moka pot is another stovetop brewing method, just like Turkish coffee. The pot has a water chamber at the bottom and a coffee basket with tiny holes. The hot water heats the coffee in the basket to form steam that rises and is collected from a spout. The ideal grind size for Moka pot is fine to medium-fine grind size.
6. Pour Over – Fine
Pour-over brewing process utilizes a cone-shaped device with a filter. The ground coffee is put on the filter, and hot water is poured over and drains from the bottom.
The ideal grind for pour-over is fine. Fine ground size creates some resistance holding the water a little bit to allow the water to absorb the flavors.
If the ground size is too coarse, water will not have enough time to extract the aromas,, while if it’s superfine it will take forever for the water to drain resulting in bitter coffee.
7. Aeropress – Medium to Fine
Aeropress brewing is a travel-friendly manual way of making coffee. The process requires an Aeropress coffee maker with filters, hot water in a kettle, and a stirring stick. The ideal grind size for Aeropress is medium to fine.
A coffee grinder is the most important coffee gear you can own. It allows you to buy freshly roasted coffee beans and roast them at home. It also allows you to grind the perfect grind size for different brewing methods. This is not possible when you are using a food processor, blender, and other manual grinding methods. However, you must use it properly to reap these benefits. I hope this guide has answered all your questions on how to grind coffee beans at home.
Frequently Asked Questions on How To Grind Coffee Beans
The proper way to grind coffee beans is using a grinder. Coffee grinders are divided into manual, burr, and blade types. Amongst the three, the best type is the burr type, as it produces consistent grind size, however, it’s the most expensive.
Yes, if you don’t have a coffee grinder, you can use a blender to grind coffee beans. However, a blender isn’t made for coffee beans. You risk damaging it. Also, the grind size will be inconsistent, and it may get hot.
Yes. Different brewing methods require specific grind sizes. For instance, Turkish coffee requires super fine ground while cold brew requires coarse ground. You will only get the perfect cup under any of these methods if the coffee beans are ground appropriately.