Coffee Basics: Grind

A guide to understanding coffee grinds

By Chris Ali


February 5, 2024

Brew Coach

The secret to a perfect cup lies in the details, and one crucial factor is the grind size of your coffee beans. In this guide, we'll break down the basics of coffee grind sizes and help you unlock the full flavor potential of your favorite brew.

Why Does Grind Size Matter?

The grind size of your coffee beans plays a pivotal role in the brewing process. Different brewing methods require specific grind sizes to extract the right flavors. Think of it as a puzzle – each piece (grind size) fits perfectly into a specific spot (brewing method), creating a harmonious and delicious result.

Common Coffee Grind Sizes:

Coarse Grind

  • Texture: Similar to breadcrumbs or coarse sea salt
  • Ideal for: French press, cold brew
  • Why: The large particles prevent over-extraction and yield a bold, rich flavor

Medium-Coarse Grind:

  • Texture: Resembles rough sand
  • Ideal for: Chemex, pour-over
  • Why: Balances extraction time and flavor, producing a well-rounded cup

Medium Grind:

  • Texture: Similar to regular table salt
  • Ideal for: Drip coffee, Aeropress
  • Why: Versatile for various brewing methods, offering a balanced extraction

Medium-Fine Grind:

  • Texture: Finer than granulated sugar
  • Ideal for: Espresso, Aeropress, Moka Pot
  • Why: Allows for a quicker extraction, producing a concentrated and flavorful shot

Fine Grind:

  • Texture: Similar to powdered sugar
  • Ideal for: Espresso
  • Why: Maximizes surface area for rapid extraction, resulting in a strong and intense flavor

How to Choose the Right Grind Size

Consider Your Brewing Method: Different methods require different grind sizes, so match your grind to your preferred brewing style.

Experiment: Fine-tune your grind size based on personal taste. Adjust and observe the changes in flavor to find your perfect balance.

Invest in a Good Grinder: For optimal results, invest in a quality burr grinder that allows for precise control over grind size.

Starting with fresh coffee is best and if possible, grind your coffee just before brewing.

Cheers to better mornings and better coffee!



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