How to Ensure You're Grinding Your Coffee Beans Right
It’s All in the Grind – How to Ensure You’re Grinding Your Coffee Beans Right
Brewing coffee is an art. It requires that temperatures, pressures, and ratios are all carefully balanced and monitored throughout the process of whichever preparation method you’ve chosen for your coffee. But the perfect brew depends on one getting thing right at the very beginning – the grind.
Grinding whole bean coffee means breaking down roasted beans into a coarse or fine texture. This releases all the delicious acids, oils, and solids locked up inside. As soon as the water hits the ground coffee, these flavours and aromas are allowed to mix, giving us the ideal cup of coffee we all love.
This article looks at the most popular coffee grinds and how different grinders can completely transform your premium coffee experience.
It’s Called Extraction
When water mixes with premium ground coffee beans, a process occurs where the flavour compounds blend with the liquid. This is called extraction. During this process, these flavour compounds will always extract into the water in a specific order: First, the fats mix into the liquid and then the acids, and sugars, before finally the plant fibres blend in. Smaller grinds also don’t need the higher temperatures that course grinds do, preventing over-extraction and a bitter cup.
This means that very fine coffee grinds allow you to extract all of the flavour compounds quickly, while courser grinds give us time to stop the extraction process before too much of the later compounds like sugars or plant fibres are allowed to blend into the water.
Course, Medium or Fine?
But before you dive in and get grinding, it’s important to understand the difference between whole bean coffee and ground coffee. Let’s look at some of the different grinds and which brewing methods work best for coarser and finer grinds.
- Coarse Grind – The beans have only just been broken down into a rough, chunky consistency, usually similar to small gravel. This grind is best for French Press and Cold Brew methods, as this requires maximum time for extraction to occur.
- Medium- Course Grind – A little less chunky, with a few finer particles. Use this grind for a pour-over method.
- Medium Grind – Similar in consistency sea salt, this is a popular, balanced grind, producing a brew with a more delicate texture. Great for Machine Drip and Siphon techniques.
- Fine Grind – At about the consistency of processed table salt, this coffee has been ground into a fine texture, allowing extraction to happen faster–Ideal for high-pressure methods such as Espresso.
- Extra Fine Grind – Grinding premium coffee beans to this extreme is reserved for methods that have the shortest brew times. It has a thin, sandy texture, similar to powdered or icing sugar, allowing maximum extraction and flavour. Think Turkish Coffee!
There are two main types of coffee grinders – the blade grinder and the burr grinder. Whether manual or electric-powered, both grinders use different methods to break up whole bean coffee beans:
- Blade Grinders
These grinders chop the beans into smaller bits by spinning a metal blade at high speed. As the blade hits the beans, they progressively break up into finer particles. Blade grinders are great for attaining a finer grind.
- Burr Grinders
These less common grinders squeeze the beans into finer particles by slowly applying pressure to them. A moving wheel or “burr” slowly rolls over the beans on a flat surface, breaking them up into pieces. They are more expensive than blade grinders, though preferred by premium coffee drinkers.
Burr grinders are known for producing a consistent grind, rich in taste and aromas, while blade grinders are great for achieving finer grinds quickly and easily.
Many people prefer buying premium coffee beans instead of pre-ground coffee for one simple reason – they’re fresher. Organic beans are carefully harvested, stored and processed to lock in that farm freshness. Coffee lovers will tell you that nothing beats the smell of fresh-ground premium coffee beans coming out of the grinder.
Once you’ve ground your coffee beans up, they immediately begin to lose their magical flavour and aromas. As their water content drops, the oils and fats that give organic whole bean coffee such authentic flavour start to break down.
So instead of relying on pre-ground coffee lacking that rich freshness, always try to ensure that you’re getting organic whole bean coffee like Orosi’s s premium selection of fine beans.