How Fine Should You Grind Coffee: Latest Coffee Grind Size Chart Of 2023

10 min read JUL 26, 2023

You bought the best coffee grinder, the latest coffee maker, and world-class coffee beans. But somehow, you still fail at brewing great coffee at home. The most likely reason for this could be the grind size. Of course, there are plenty of pre-ground coffee options out there. But nothing beats the aroma and flavor of a cup of coffee made with freshly ground beans. If you agree, you might want to read till the end of this write-up.

Today, we’ll take a comprehensive look at coffee grind sizes, grinding processes for different brewing methods, the importance of grind size, and more. So, stick around.

Why Consider Grinding Coffee Beans At Home?

The answer to this question is simple- freshness is king when it comes to brewing a flavorful cup of coffee. Moreover, whole coffee beans generally have a longer shelf life than their pre-ground counterparts. This is because whole coffee beans contain more carbon dioxide than the latter, which prevents oxidation and stalling. Another reason is once the beans are ground, they gradually lose flavor as they’re already exposed to oxygen.

A common misconception among coffee enthusiasts is that buying pre-ground coffee from top brands or coffee-famous lands guarantees them the best-tasting coffee drinks. However, this is far from the truth. The bottom line is - the fresher the coffee beans; the finer will be the flavor. Hence, it all boils down to how recently you’ve ground the beans, irrespective of their country of origin, brand, or roast.

To enjoy the best flavor, we recommend grinding your coffee beans right before brewing them. Remember, coffee beans will start losing their flavor about 15 minutes after grinding.

Here’s another big reason you’d want to grind your coffee beans at home- you may not find the required grind size at the store or in your favorite brand. There are as many as seven different grind sizes (listed below), and each grind size is suitable for different brewing methods like French press, AeroPress, pour-over, espresso, etc.

And unfortunately, most brands or stores may not offer all seven grind sizes. You’ll mostly find pre-ground beans in just three standard sizes - Fine, Medium, and Coarse. Hence, the best way to get the exact grind size for your brew is to grind the beans yourself at home.

Pros And Cons Of Grinding Coffee Beans At Home


  • Fresh and tastes best in terms of flavor.
  • Allows you to experiment with different grind sizes.
  • You have the ultimate control over how your coffee tastes.


  • You’ll have to spend some time getting the perfect grind.
  • You’ll need a coffee grinder.

Importance Of Coffee Grind Size- Why Does Grind Size Matter?

Well, when it comes to coffee grounds, size does matter. It can either make or break your entire coffee experience. Regardless of how premium your coffee beans are, if you get the wrong grind size, the result in a cup will not be flavorful.
Irrespective of the brewing technique, coffee-making is all about water seeping through the grounds to extract flavor. And how fast or slowly the water passes through the grounds depends on its size, which ultimately affects the resulting drink’s flavor and texture. The point here is that grinding coffee into tiny particles increases its surface area, which allows water to pull all the flavor from the beans.

For example, a coarse grind is ideal for an immersion brewing method, where water usually interacts with the coffee beans for 4 minutes. It will allow the water to extract the coffee flavor slowly, typically used for cold brews. On the other hand, fine ground is required for making espresso in an espresso machine since water passes through within just 30 seconds, resulting in a rich taste.


If you want to get the best flavor from your coffee beans, the key is to find the sweet spot and stay in the middle of extraction. Extraction refers to the process of water passing through the grounds during which they pick up the bean’s flavors and caffeine. Too coarse could lead to under-extraction; too fine and it could result in over-extraction.

Under-extraction is when water passing through the beans fails to pick up enough flavor, resulting in a weak and bland flavor. Such drinks also tend to taste sour, salty, and acidic. It mostly happens when the grind size is too coarse for the brewing method, but it can also happen if you use the wrong water temperature or filter.

Over-extraction is when the water extracts too much flavor from the grounds. It typically happens when the beans are extra finely ground. This kind of coffee tastes overwhelming and is extremely bitter.


The grind size of your beans also affects the texture of the brewed drink. For example, when you use a metal filter like a percolator or French press, extra finely ground beans can pass through the filter along with the water. It can result in an overly textured drink.

Paper or cloth filters, on the other hand, have tighter weaves. Hence, they’re ideal for brewing finely ground beans. It’s just that the brewing time will be longer.

7 Different Types Of Coffee Grinds

Believe it or not, coffee grind size goes beyond your regular Fine, Medium, and Coarse. Scroll down to find out the rest:

Extra Coarse Grind

An extra coarse grind is the largest grind setting on most burr grinders. They still retain parts of the whole beans’ shape and look similar to ground peppercorns. Featuring a very rough texture, the extra coarse grind is suitable for cowboy-style coffee and cold brew. 

Coarse Grind

French press is one of the most popular brewing methods, so you might already know this grind size. Yes, the coarse grind is mostly associated with a French Press. They have large, even chunks, similar to sea salt. They are also used for percolators and coffee cupping. 

Medium-Coarse Grind

As the name suggests, this size lies in the middle of medium and coarse ground coffee. It has a texture similar to coarse sand and suits Clever Dripper, Café Solo Brewer, and Chemex brew methods.

Medium Grind

Typically used for drip coffee, the medium grind is the most common size in pre-ground options. It’s a great starting point for new homebrewers. This size is also suitable for cone-shaped pour-over coffee makers, Siphon brewers, and AeroPress. Note, if you use a medium grind for AeroPress, increase the brewing time to a little over three minutes.

Medium- Fine Grind

This is another grind size suitable for cone-shaped pour-overs and AeroPress (2-3 minutes brewing time). It obviously lies between medium and fine grind size. It appears a little coarser than an espresso grind but finer than sand.

Fine Grind

Everybody’s go-to espresso grind is also known as the fine grind. It’s another easily available option in pre-ground packets, usually sold as “espresso grind.” Appearance-wise, it has a smooth texture; in the middle of table salt and powder. Apart from making espresso, you can use this size in an AeroPress but with a much shorter brewing time of about 2 minutes.

Extra- Fine Grind

Extra-fine grind is not as common as the others. Also known as Turkish grind, you can use this size for making a strong cup of Turkish coffee. The grind resembles flour or powdered sugar. Note most grinders don’t come with an extra-fine grind setting, so you might need to purchase a special Turkish coffee grinder.

Best Grind Size For Brewing Methods – Coffee Grind Size Chart

Choosing the right grind size can be confusing. But this general rule of thumb can simplify things for you: if your brewing method allows the water to interact with the grounds longer, opt for larger grounds, and if the water is to pass through the grounds quickly, go for finer grounds.

  • Longer Brewing Methods like cold brew and French press require coarse grind to avoid over-extraction. While the latter involves around 4 minutes of brewing time, cold brew takes as much as 12-18 hours.
  • Next, you have the middle-of-the-road brewing methods like drip pots and pour-overs. Such methods usually require medium-fine grind sizes.
  • Quicker Brewing Methods like Moka pots or espresso machines take just seconds to push water through the grounds. Hence, they’ll need finely ground beans.

Types Of Grinders

There are many ways to grind coffee beans without a grinder. There’s the blender, food processor, mortar and pestle, and so on. But nothing beats the precision of a grinder. The only way to get a perfect, uncompromised grind size is by using a well-built grinder.

There are two primary types of coffee grinders – Burr and Blade. Each comes with its own set of pros and cons. Blade grinders are more budget-friendly but aren’t as precise as burr grinders.

In a blade grinder, it’s all about the grinding time. The longer you grind, the finer the size, and vice versa. When it comes to burr grinders, they have pre-set size settings, making them more precise and hassle-free. They are further available in two types- manual and electric.

Final Thoughts – What’s The Best Coffee Grind Size

There’s no one answer to- what’s the best coffee grind size as it ultimately depends on the brewing method. For instance, if you’re going for an espresso, the best coffee grind size will be a fine grind, while the French press method’s go-to size is coarse.

We hope our comprehensive guide on coffee grind size has helped you gain the confidence to grind your coffee beans at home. Just remember a few pointers:

  • The longer the water sits with the ground, the more flavors it extracts.
  • For longer brewing methods, the coarse grind is ideal.
  • For quicker brewing methods, fine grind is the way to go.
  • Investing in a burr grinder for newbies will be worth it, as it comes with pre-set size settings.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should you grind coffee beans to keep them fresh?

The answer is simple- grind your beans every time you brew coffee. That’s because ground coffee gradually loses flavor after 15 minutes. Hence, the only way to enjoy a fresh cup of coffee is to grind the beans right before brewing.

What’s the best grind size for French Press?

The best grind size for French Press is coarse. Since the coffee grounds are brewed for 4 minutes, anything finer than coarse could produce an overly bitter flavor.

What grind size is ideal for Chemex?

Chemex is a manual pour-over coffeemaker. Hence, its suitable coffee grind size is medium-coarse.

What kind of grind size is ideal for cold brew?

The brewing time for a cold brew lasts up to 18 hours. That means it requires the largest size, i.e., extra coarse grind.

How does grind size affect coffee?

The grind size can drastically affect the texture and flavor of coffee. Extra coarse grounds can result in less flavorful coffee, while too finely ground size can make your coffee bitter.

What kind of grind size is required for brewing espresso?

Espresso uses the most common grind size, finely-ground beans. That’s because the espresso machine forces water to pass through the grounds quickly, in about 30 seconds.

What’s the perfect grind size for AeroPress?

AeroPress is a versatile brewing method and can use different grind sizes. It all depends on the brewing time.

  • Fine grind: 1-2 minutes
  • Medium-fine grind: 2-3 minutes
  • Medium grind: Over 3 minutes

Which grind size is perfect for a Moka pot?

The perfect grind size for a Moka pot is a fine grind, similar to espresso.

What is the best coffee grind ratio?

The coffee grind ratio can vary depending on the brewing method. However, most people consider the “Golden Ratio” as the best coffee grind ratio. It is 1-2 tbsp of ground coffee for every 6 oz of water.

Which grind size works best for making pour-over coffee?

Medium and medium-fine grind sizes are considered best for making pour-over coffee.

What coffee grind size is optimal for drip coffee?

For making drip coffee, you might want to opt for a medium grind size.

Check out Lifeboost Coffee Medium Roast.


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