How to Grind Coffee
There’s a lot more to grinding coffee than just, well, grinding coffee. Today we’ll be taking a proper look at how to grind coffee and the differences between using burr grinders and blade grinders. We want you to enjoy grinding coffee. Properly ground coffee smells great and tastes even better.
Use The Right Grind for your Brewing Method
The first hiccup with grinding coffee properly is that you need to grind it in a way that matches your brewing method. The four main coffee grinds are coarse, medium, fine, and super-fine. Each one of these needs to be brewed differently in order to get the right flavor. Coarse coffee looks almost like soil; it’s chunky and has distinct particles. Medium blend coffee is closer to coarse sand, while fine coffee is even smoother. It feels closer to sugar than sand. Then there’s super fine coffee. It’s not as fine as powdered sugar, but it’s pretty close. There’s still some grit to it, though.
Match the Grind to Your Maker
The grind of the coffee can affect the taste of it. It’s important you also match the grind of the coffee to the maker you’ll be using. Here’s a look at the different brands and what coffee maker they work best with.
These work best with a French press coffee maker, a toddy maker, a vacuum coffee maker, or a percolator.
Medium grinds work best with auto drip makers, preferably one with a flat bottom filter. Medium/fine grinds are good for drip makers that have cone shaped filters.
These grinds are best for stove top espresso pots and drip makers that have cone shaped filters.
Super Fine Grinds
These are only really good for espresso machines and Turkish-coffee.
Now that you know about the different grinds, it’s time to look closer at how to grind coffee. There are many different coffee grinders on the market but they fall into two main categories; blade grinders and burr grinders.
Choosing Between Blade Grinders and Burr Grinders
If you’ve ever come across a coffee mill then don’t worry; that’s just another name for a blade grinder. Which of these two grinders is right for you could really be a question of budget, but we’ll be taking a closer look at the two different kinds of grinders to help you make the right choice.
The Good and Bad of Blade Grinders
Luckily a blade grinder will prove to be enough for those who make their coffee using a French press, toddy maker, or drip maker. A blade grinder is functional and works great with everything but a super-fine grind, such as the one needed for an espresso and Turkish-coffee. They are also easy to use and much cheaper than a burr grinder.
There are, obviously, some drawbacks. The first is that they tend to be messy and make a lot of noise. Do you want to be woken up by the loud sound of coffee grinding, or the sweet aroma of the coffee itself? The second drawback is that it pulverizes coffee more than it grinds it. The result is that the coffee is not smooth and it lacks consistency. The third and final main drawback is that it takes a little skill to master blade grinders.
Grinding Coffee with a Blade Grinder/Coffee Mill
Blade grinders commonly have clear plastic tops covering the coffee bean reservoir. The blade is basically a propeller. You open the reservoir, pour the beans in, and seal it back up. The grinder is operated by pressing a button or pushing down on the top. Blade grinders tend to be completely manual, with no built-in settings.
That’s why the biggest learning curve of blade grinders is knowing all about the different grinds yourself. You need to be able to time the grinding properly and assess what you’ve created with your eyes. It’s as simple as this; the longer you blend the finer the blend.
The Secret to Grinding Coffee with a Blade Grinder
Start out by using the right amount of coffee. The more coffee you use the stronger the blend. If you’re not sure then you should start out with tablespoons of coffee for every eight ounces of water and adjust according to your tastes.
You need to avoid over-grinding. Just grind the coffee in short burst of a few seconds to stop it from overheating. Keep hold of the top and give the grinder a little shake during each burst to keep the coffee mixed. That’s the secret to a smooth and consistent grind.
If you want a coarse grind then you should grind in bursts of a few seconds for a total of 10 seconds. A medium grind takes about 15 seconds in total, while a fine grind should take even longer. Take this as a base and experiment until you find what works for you. Pretty soon you’ll be able to make that perfect cup of coffee you’ve been dreaming of.
How to Grind Coffee Using Burr Grinders
The main advantages of using burr grinders for your coffee are versatility and precision.
Burr grinders offer plenty of versatility because they can accurately grind coffee for just about anything. These all purpose grinders can create anything from a coarse grind, all the way to a super fine espresso grind or even the much finer Turkish grind. They take all the doubt out of how to grind coffee and give you a perfect cup of coffee every time.
These grinders cost a little more but they give you precision each and every time. The coffee beans fall between two pre-set burrs that turn the beans into the grind that you want. They deliver a perfect blend every single time. There is still some experimentation involved in finding the right settings for you, but there’s no more guesswork about whether you’ve achieved that perfect grind or not.
By now you should know everything there is to know about how to grind coffee and how to choose between burr grinders and blade grinders. So get out there, find the right grinder for you, and enjoy that perfect cup of coffee!