The Essential Guide To The Perfect Coffee Grind Size Chart

10 min read FEB 10, 2023

Home baristas often feel frustrated when they invest in top-of-the-line coffee grinders yet still find themselves with a cup of mediocre java. But don't despair; the solution to making exceptional brewed coffee may be simpler than you think! All it takes is one minor adjustment, and your brew can go from average to amazing. Keep reading for tips on determining the best grind size for your coffee and getting the most out of each cup. 

The highest quality coffee is brewed with Perfect Grounds.

Crafting the perfect cup of coffee starts with freshly ground beans. Grinding is a crucial step that should never be overlooked, as it can make all the difference in flavor and quality!

Brewing the perfect cup of coffee can be difficult, but it doesn't have to be! With this post, you'll learn all about grinding your beans and discover why your grounds are one of the most important tools for crafting amazing coffee.

Let's start by exploring the different grind sizes, what each should be used for, and which settings can yield them in your grinder. It goes without saying that finding the best coffee grinder to fulfill your requirements is essential. Once you have the right machine and settings dialed in, you'll be able to enjoy a perfect cup of coffee every time.

How Coffee Grinding Impacts Your Cup - Over/Under Extraction

Understanding extraction is essential if you want the best coffee experience possible. Even with high-quality beans and a great coffee maker, your cup of joe will be subpar without comprehending how extraction works. Master this skill and say goodbye to bitter under-extracted, or sour over-extracted flavors.

To ensure delicious coffee every time, we grind our beans to the perfect size specific to each type of brewing device. Otherwise, you'll end up with a bitter-tasting cup, leaving you dissatisfied. It's best to avoid that scenario altogether!

The ideal grind size for your coffee is the one that allows you to unlock its full flavor. If it's too fine, then you will not be able to extract all of the taste from it, while if your grind is too coarse, you'll end up with an overly extracted brew.

- If your grounds are too coarse, you're likely experiencing a phenomenon called "under extraction," meaning that the flavor of your coffee is not fully realized.

    - If your grounds are too finely ground, this indicates over-extraction. This will cause the coffee to be overly concentrated and robust in flavor – making it unpalatable and unenjoyable. 

      How Does Poorly Extracted Coffee Taste?

      Bad coffee is often caused by incorrect extraction - either too little or too much.

      - When under-extracted, the result can be Acidic, sour, and salty.

      - When over-extracted, it may have a bitter taste with hollow notes that mask any interesting flavors from the beans themselves.

      Three key factors can make or break your home brewing experience - brew time, water temperature, and grind size. With some fine-tuning, you'll soon have delicious cups of coffee every time!














      Blade Vs. Burr Grinders

      Blade Vs. Burr Grinders

      If you've been using a blade grinder to grind your coffee beans, then you're making the most common mistake in grinding. Don't do it! Not only is it an inferior way of preparing your ground coffee, but it's even worse than simply buying pre-ground coffee.

      First of all, the key to brewing a great cup of coffee is consistency, and if your little grinds are not all the same size, some will be over-extracted, some will be under-extracted, and the result will not be very good.

      To make a fresh, delicious cup of coffee each time, consistency is essential. After all, if your grounds are unevenly sized, some will become over-extracted while others remain under-extracted and thus resulting in an inferior brew that can simply be described as "not good."

      On the surface, blade coffee grinders may seem like a convenient solution. However, they are notoriously inconsistent and can spell disaster for your cup of coffee. The high-speed spinning generates heat, which cooks the beans before grinding them. This causes an unpleasant overcooked flavor to be released from the beans.

      Burr grinders are a great way to ensure your coffee beans have a perfect consistency. With low speeds and uniform pressure, these grinders don't generate any extra heat as they crush each bean precisely and consistently into just the right texture!

      To sum it all up

      If you're serious about brewing great coffee, a conical burr grinder is essential. Not only does it produce uniform grounds more effectively than blade grinders, but when making espresso, the consistency of your grounds is even more important for excellent extraction. If using a blade grinder, however, there are some hacks to make them work better - just beware that they may still not deliver results as good as those achievable with an appropriate burr grinder! 

      What Are The Most Popular Coffee Grind Sizes?

      From French press to espresso, the following seven grind sizes are all you need to whip up delicious coffee beverages. With these options in your arsenal, top-class brewing cups of coffee have never been easier!

      Different coffee makers require different kinds of grinds, so it's important to know what works best for each method. From extra coarse (Cold Brew Coffee and Cowboy Coffee) all the way through fine (Espresso and Moka Pot), many options are available when choosing a perfect blend for any brew style. Get creative with flavors, aromas, and textures until you find that unique flavor combination just right for you.

      Extra Coarse Grind (Cold Brew Grind)

      Perfect for slow and low brewing, the extra coarse grind is the coarsest option you can get with most conical burr grinders. It's similar to ground peppercorns in size and thus making it ideal for cold brew coffee or cowboy-style coffee! Use this ground level with the Filtron or Toddy Brewer to make the perfect cold brew.

      Coarse Grind (French Press Grind)

      If you are a fan of French Press brewing, then having the perfect coarse ground coffee is essential. The grounds should resemble something close to sea salt in texture and size – this grind works best with percolators, cupping/tasting experiences, or any other French press brew methods. For the best results, invest in a grinder that can offer you a precise level of coarseness. This will ensure your coffee has a smooth and delicious flavor.

      Medium-Coarse Grind

      Enjoy the perfect balance between medium and coarse with a medium-coarse grind. This type of coffee is similar to rough sand in texture, making it ideal for brewing up delicious cups through Chemex, Clever Dripper, or Cafe solo brewer methods. Because of its medium-coarse grind, it can imbue the perfect balance of flavor and body in a cup.

      Medium Grind

      The medium is a great place to start for coffee aficionados looking for the perfect grind size. It has an optimal consistency that works universally with flat-bottom drip makers, cone-shaped pour-over brewers, siphon styles, and Aeropress when brew times exceed three minutes. Medium grind size is just right because it is not too fine and coarse, making it ideal for achieving a well-balanced cup of coffee.

      Medium-Fine Grind (Pour Over Grind)

      If you're a fan of pour-over coffee, you'll need to grind your beans into medium-fine particles. This size is finer than sand but not as fine as espresso grounds. It is perfect for cone-shaped brewers like Hario v60 and Kalita wave or Aeropress (with a 2-3 minute brew time).

      Fine Grind (Espresso Grind)

      Fine grind coffee, also known as an espresso grind, is the most popular and widely used type of ground bean. It has a slightly finer consistency than table salt and can be used to make delicious beverages with methods such as Espresso brewing (with or without machines), Aeropress extraction (for 1-2 minutes), or Stovetop Expressos!

      Extra Fine (Turkish Coffee Grind)

      For a truly authentic coffee experience, you need an extra-fine grind of beans - the kind achieved only with a Turkish Coffee grinder. The texture is similar to that of flour or powder, and it's perfect for brewing up Ibrik (Turkish) Coffee. With its bold, rich flavor and fragrant aroma, this is a surefire way to impress your guests.

      Final Thoughts

      Paying attention to the details of your coffee, such as grinding beans for freshness and flavor, can improve the quality of your cup. Now that you have been enlightened about how important it is to grind just right, all you need now are a great grinder and some high-quality beans, and you'll be able to see results in no time. 

      Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

      What is the recommended French Press grind size?

      Brewing a perfect cup of French press coffee requires more than just adding grounds and water. Finding the right grind size is essential for getting that ideal flavor, with coarse being best suited to regular brewing methods, while medium can be used if you don't stir or plunge. If your grinds are too fine, it will be hard to plunge. Conversely, plunging will happen too fast if they're over-coarse! Learning how to make great French press coffee is easy, and you must follow some simple tips and tricks!

      Which coffee grind size should I use for espresso?

      Brewing espresso requires a very specific grind size, as anything too coarse or fine can result in an unpleasant taste. Different machines have varying settings for 'fine,' so it's important to experiment and find the right one for you. To ensure optimal flavor from your coffee, dialing in the correct grinder setting is essential!

      How fine should a pour-over grind be?

      Fine-tuning your coffee grind can be the difference between a sour and bitter cup of joe. Adjust it based on your preference. If you find that the flavor is too acidic, try using a finer grind size or extending brewing time slightly. Opt for coarser grounds with shorter steeps for an overly strong taste to get just right!

      What is the ideal grain size to use with Chemex?

      Achieving the perfect Chemex brew requires a medium-coarse grind comparable to sea salt - not too fine and coarse. Although its aesthetic design is beautiful, this brewing method can be difficult to master if you don't know how to use the control it provides. Additionally, remember to soak and rinse your filter before beginning! With these tips in mind, any coffee lover should have no trouble crafting their ideal cup of joe with ease using a Chemex brewer.

      What type of grinder works best when making Aeropress coffee?

      The Aeropress is special in that there's no single ideal grind size for it. Rather, the user controls their final brew by adjusting the grind size and extraction time. You can find the perfect cup to suit your needs with some experimentation!

      Is there an optimum cold brew grind consistency?

      Cold brew coffee is a refreshing and delicious treat, but it can take up to 30 hours of steeping time. To get the best results, use an extra coarse grind size and alter your steep times depending on how fine or coarse you'd like your flavor profile to be. If you are looking for that Stumptown-level kickass cold brew taste, then experiment with different combinations of grind sizes and steeping times while keeping everything else constant - make sure to record all findings!

      What is the best coffee grinder for camping trips?

      To make your traveling experience smoother, we highly recommend picking up a small and compact hand grinder. And if you plan camping while abroad, don't forget to pair your portable grinder with an equally travel-friendly coffee maker!

      Does finely ground coffee create a stronger beverage than coarser grounds?

      Brewing with fine ground coffee won't necessarily produce a stronger flavor, but it could become more bitter - which is definitely not desirable. Follow our helpful coffee grind chart to ensure you don't make any mistakes! Additionally, an accurate brew ratio should be employed for optimal results.

      Can I crush my beans in my blender instead of using a traditional grinder machine?

      If you don't have access to a coffee grinder, using a blender can be an alternative option. However, the grounds created by blades are often inconsistent in size and texture and can lead to a less-than-desirable cup of coffee.

      Do I need to Grind my coffee beans every day?

      Freshly ground coffee beans are necessary to unlock your cup's full flavor. But it takes only seconds and is well worth the effort! So, yes, you should grind your beans daily. This ensures that you get the most out of your coffee and prevents any flavor loss due to oxidation.

      Check out Lifeboost Coffee Medium Roast.

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