Rise & Grind. That’s what I love to do every day! The amazing aroma that escapes when I grind those coffee beans just can’t be beat. All that lovely aroma is one reason why I recommend grinding right before brewing. Not only does it delight the senses with a preview of what’s to come, but it ensures you will get a better tasting cup too! Purchasing coffee that was ground weeks or months ago greatly reduces a pleasurable experience that could be a part of your daily coffee brewing ritual.
Grinding my own coffee right before brewing also allows me the opportunity to customize my daily cup. Some days I adore the simple elegance of brewing with my Chemex, while other days I like to be entertained by my Siphon brewer. Mostly, I like to experiment and change it up to fit my mood (or let’s be honest, some days I hit the snooze one too many times and just need a fast cup of coffee without the entertainment). Regardless, grinding my own coffee allows me to get the right grind size for my brewing method so I can enjoy a delicious cup of coffee.
There are two basic grinders for home use: a blade grinder and a burr grinder. A blade grinder is similar to a food processor or a knife. It chops the beans and produces a very uneven grind. A burr grinder crushes the beans and provides a very consistent grind no matter what size of grind you need. You can find good quality burr grinders for around $50. It is worth the investment!
The basic principle to keep in mind when selecting your grind size is your brewing method: the longer the contact time between the water and coffee grounds, the larger the grind size. If your grind size is too large you will under-extract and your coffee will have too little flavor and may be sour, acidic or salty. If you grind is too fine for your brewing method, you will over-extract and your coffee may be bitter or even flat and tasteless.
If you primarily use one brewing method, it won’t take much time or effort for you to figure out. But there is always room to experiment and see how changing the grind size impacts the taste in your cup!
Here is a basic guide to get you started:
Cold Brew, Cowboy Coffee = Very Coarse
French Press, Percolator, Coffee Cupping = Coarse
Chemex = Medium to Coarse
Auto Drip, Siphon, Pour overs = Medium
Aeropress = Medium to Fine
Espresso, Moka Pot = Fine
Turkish Coffee = Extra Fine
So, how did your coffee taste? Still searching for perfection? Try experimenting with the size of your grind, increasing or decreasing your brewing time, or changing the temperature of your brewing water. Each of the variables will impact the taste of your coffee, so I recommend adjusting one variable at a time until you find your perfect cup of coffee!