How To Grind Coffee To Make The Perfect Cup

If you’re looking to get serious about your coffee game at home, one of the first investments you should consider purchasing is a quality grinder. But, from blade grinders and burr grinders to the fervent guy-at-the-club-grinder, it can be easy to get tangled in a web of internet search results.

To get your taste buds to thank you for your morning coffee, buy a flat or conical burr grinder. These are clean and precise and will help any home barista get the most out of their coffee experience because what you’ve always heard is true: size matters. Well, grind size does.

Think about it.

How long does it take to make a cup of coffee? An espresso shot takes about thirty seconds; a pour-over takes about three and a half minutes; a drip brewer might take five minutes, and a Keurig is so fast it makes you wonder what kind of evil sorcery is oiled in its gears. In each of these methods, the flavor of the bean is extracted during the time in which the hot water and the grounds intermingle. So, to ensure the two components have enough time to get it on, it is important to have the correct grind size.

Still confused? Imagine rocks and sand.

Put a collection of rocks in a cup, and pour water into it. The liquid will race to the bottom, barely dampening the contents. Fill another cup with sand, do the same, and the water will strain to pass through, moseying like a cherry-picking dawdler. Now consider how this concept applies to coffee. If the grind is too coarse, the water will hurry past, and it won't have the time to extract the ideal, tongue-turning complexity from the natural bean. If the grind is too fine, not only will you end up waiting longer than necessary for your caffeine fix, but the coffee will overshoot its robust potential, and the nuance of the cup will get muddied. The differing results are known as over- and under-extraction.

Over-extracted coffee can taste bitter, dull, or savorless, having an obscured aroma. Under-extracted coffee is sour, watery, or flat with a hasty finish. An ideal cup is sweet, ripe, and aromatic. It will have you ditching the cream and sugar quicker than a lactose intolerant granola mom.

Every method, grinder, and coffee is, of course, unique and each calls for different particulars. The size of the grind will depend firstly on the brewing method. French Press, for example, calls for the beans to be ground coarsely while a Hario v60 needs them to be pretty fine. Find a brew guide to help you get started, and then tamper with the elements to perfect your cup.

Because every person deserves a life-altering cup of coffee, invest in a burr grinder. Experiment, develop your palate and remember: the process can be just as fun as the end product. After all, the wonder of coffee is that, like the water and the grounds, it is a profound intermingling of humans and a fascinating product of nature that is full of possibility.