Many coffee drinkers make the mistake of buying pre-ground coffee, thinking it’s essentially easiest. The truth of the matter is, grinders are often cheap, it only adds one short step to your brewing process, and it makes a WORLD of difference in the taste. When you buy pre-ground coffee, the flavor you seek is lost in the air with the evaporation of coffee’s essential oils. Not to mention that horrible stale taste you can get. Grinding is easy, you just need to know the basics of what grind types to use when, and the difference between coffee grinders.
Let’s start with looking at the different types of home grinders. You’ll find 2 types of blades are common in grinders: bade and burr. Blade grinders are easier to clean and maintain in this category, but they are often inconsistent in the grinds they present and can sometimes give off a burnt taste to the coffee due to the friction they create while grinding. Burr grinders, separated into two types: flat wheel and conical, are slightly more expensive, but can be worth it in their grinding method. Conical burr grinders use a cone shaped device to grind the beans, are relatively easy to clean and maintain, and the grind they leave is consistent and devoid of a burnt taste. Flat wheel burr grinders crush the beans, leaving the grind consistent and minus the burnt taste, however they can be harder to clean and maintain.
Conical Burr Grinder
When it comes to the size of your grinds, it all depends on the type of drink and brew method you plan to use. A general rule to keep in mind here is: the longer the brew time, the thicker the grinds needed. Here’s a quick reference on some popular brew methods, and the grind size they require.
Espresso Machine: Fine grind
French Press: Large/Coarse grind
Drip Brew: Medium grind
Vacuum: Medium to Coarse grind
Here’s what your grind should look like in each size category:
Storing your ground coffee properly is also essential to maintaining that ‘fresh ground taste’. It’s best to use fresh ground coffee within 24 hours, but it’s not always the case where you’ll use all your ground coffee within a day. In case you have to store some of your ground coffee (for up to a week without it losing too much taste), make sure you place it in an air tight container away from the elements. The perfect spot? Simply your kitchen counter.