Learn how to grind your coffee correctly

Learn how to grind your coffee correctly

Grinding your coffee beans correctly is a key component to achieving the perfect cup of coffee. That's because it has a huge impact on how your coffee ends up tasting. A correct grind can help to balance acidity, bitterness and sweetness, creating a more satisfying coffee experience.

When we talk about grinding the coffee beans and how this is best done, it's mainly about the degree of grinding, also called the grinding degree.

To ensure even and good grinding at exactly the grind level you want, you need a good grinder that allows you to adjust the grind level all the way from fine-grained "espresso grind" to coarse-grained "boil grind".

Exploring the right grind is essential to the potential of coffee beans, and it gives you as a coffee drinker the opportunity to customize the taste to your personal preference.

What is grind degree?

In order to understand what the grind degree has to do with the end result, we first need to understand the concept of "extraction".

To extract means to draw out, and in this case we're talking about extracting flavor and aroma from the coffee beans. The amount of flavor and aroma the water manages to extract from the beans depends on two things: The degree of grinding and how long the water is in contact with the coffee, also known as the contact time, before it drips further into the flask. The finer the coffee is ground, the shorter the time it takes for the water to penetrate the coffee grains and extract the desired flavors.

The degree of grind you should use depends on the preparation method to be used.

Coffee grind level

Grind is about how fine or coarse coffee powder the coffee grinder makes from the beans. This is normally divided into five different levels and also determines the contact time.

Espresso ground
Use: espresso machines and single-cup machines
Contact time: 1 minute

Extra finely ground
Use: Single cup machines, fully automatic machines and Aeropress
Contact time: 1-4 minutes

Filter ground
Use: Coffee makers and some fully automatic machines
Contact time: 4-6 minutes

Press pot malt
Use: Press scanner
Contact time: 5-7 minutes

Coarse/boiled malt
Use: Large coffee machines and boiling on kettle
Contact time: 6-8 minutes

Extraction level of the coffee

For the sake of simplicity, we divide coffee extraction into three levels:

The water has not been able to extract enough flavors and aromas on its way down the flask. The coffee tastes acidic and light, and in some cases may appear lighter than normal. Assuming the contact time is correct, the coffee is ground too coarsely.

Rightly extracted:
The coffee tastes rich and good. A good combination of grind and contact time.

The water has added too much flavor and aroma. The coffee tastes strong and bitter. Assuming the contact time is correct, the coffee is ground too finely.

In other words, the relationship between the degree of grinding and the contact time is crucial for the extraction and thus also the taste. If you can't adjust the contact time on your coffee maker, you can adjust the flavor by changing the grind instead, and vice versa.

Previous Next