The best way to produce a good quality brew is to make it yourself every day. Know how fine to grind coffee beans to have an impact on the resultant drink.
Brewing coffee involves suspending the ground beans in hot water so the oils contained within are extracted to produce the drink. The surface area of bean in the water is crucial to this process, as it exposes more of the bean to the water and allows brewing to happen quicker. The amount to which a bean has been ground will affect how long it needs to be brewed before it is ready, the amount of flavour that can be extracted, and how well water can flow through the filter.
The more ground the coffee is, the more surface area it has. Extraction rate increases with a higher surface area, the contact time (amount of time the bean needs to be in the water) is reduced- but if the bean is ground too fine, the flow of water may be limited and result in an increased contact time.
While it may, therefore, seem preferential to have a much finer grind, if it is too fine, or the contact time is too high, you risk over extracting the bean and will get a coffee that tastes bitter. Conversely, if the contact time is too short, or the bean isn’t ground enough, you will under extract the bean and get a weak tasting drink.
The different types of descriptions for the grind of the coffee beans are as follows:
The grind has a major effect on the texture and flavour of the resulting coffee, so to achieve certain results you will need to pay close attention to the consistency required. As a guide, the following types of coffee need the bean to be ground in the following way:
There isn’t too much difference with the ability of various grinders to achieve the desired result, but you will need to experiment with the particular one you have. Hand powered grinders give you more precise control over how much of a grind you get, and are often popular because they are a more traditional way of doing it. Electric grinders are, of course, much easier to use and most come with suggested settings that will get a grind quite close to what you are looking for.
Coffee is such a varied drink that the way you prepare it has a massive effect on the resultant flavour and taste. The fineness of the grind affects the amount that can be extracted from the bean while brewing, and the amount of time it takes to do so. This means that different grinds are needed depending on the way you will be preparing the drink.
If you are wondering how fine to grind coffee, usually you would need to go for a Medium or Medium Fine for a traditional cup of coffee, but if you are making a French Press you’ll need something much coarser. Choose the ground coffee that suits your taste buds and make sure that it is exactly the consistency and quality that you want.