How to Grind Coffee Beans

By: | Updated: April 13, 2021

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Grinding coffee beans to the right grind is probably the most important part if you want to experience the best coffee made all by yourself.

There are some tiny details that you must consider before you start grinding your beans. Whether you are new to coffee making or work as a true coffee expert, this post will guide you step by step on how to grind coffee beans.

The Ultimate Guide on how to Grind Coffee Beans

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So, the basic question we are going to address here what equipment is necessary for this purpose.

The first thing that you need to do is to get rid of that blade grinder because it’s no good. The grounds from this grinder will be a mixture of fine and course grounds. Hence, you will get a coffee that doesn’t provide you with the taste that you crave.

Now, let’s dig a little bit deeper and find out how to grind coffee beans for the best-tasting coffee!

How fine should you grind coffee beans?

The secret to making the best tasting coffee is coffee grounds.

Now there are different levels of fineness when we talk about coffee bean grounds. You can go for coarser grind or you can go for extra fine grounds.

Choosing the ground level relies heavily on the type of coffee you are making. We’ve prepared a brief overview for you in this table:

Grind LevelsBest For

Extra CoarseCowboy coffees and cold brew coffeesCoarseFrench press, toddy maker, vacuum coffee maker, and percolatorMedium-to-coarseClever dripper, Cafe solo brew, and ChemexMediumSiphone coffees, Aeropress, drip makers (with flat filters)Medium-to-fineAeropress, drip makers (with pour over cone filters)FineMoka, espresso pots (stove top) and some pour over cone filter drip makersSuperfineEspresso machinesTurkishTurkish/Greek coffees

Different brewing techniques and their required grind sizes

The grind sizes are all you need to know for brewing a great cup of coffee using different brew techniques.

You can also control your brew results with the grind levels as well as the brewing time in different methods. Therefore, some of the brewing techniques fall in more than one category of grind sizes.

  • Extra coarse grind features large chunks of coffee beans. The texture here is very similar to peppercorns (ground).
  • Coarse grind is chunky and it looks like potting soil because it has distinct particles. The texture is very similar to sea salt.
  • Medium-to-coarse grind will have a texture just like rough sand.
  • The Medium grind size has a texture resembling regular sand.
  • Medium-to-fine grind will look a lot finer than sand but it’s still not the espresso grind.
  • Fine grind is a lot smoother but it will feel like salt or sugar when you rub it with your fingers. It is the most common grind size for all those pre-ground coffees.
  • Superfine grind will not be as fine as flour or caster sugar but it will be pretty fine. However, you can still feel a bit grit in it.
  • Turkish grind will be a lot like flour or caster sugar.

Primary Types of Coffee Grind Sizes

Fine grind size

The fine grind coffee will have very little or no sheen. If you press it, the coffee grounds will hold on to your finger indentations.

When achieving fine grind you must use the short pulses. Your burr grinder will manually process all the surfaces of the coffee beans that you have poured into it.

Too much grinding will turn the process into battering. Fine grinding will result in clumpy coffee grounds.

All the moisture from roasting will blend down within the coffee. For this reason, the finely sized grounds don’t shine like the coarse size grinds.

Medium grind size

This size is pretty much the standard pre-ground coffee that you will find in any grocery store. This grind size has a sight cling which makes it the best grind for drip over coffee and vacuum coffee.

There are various methods to use medium grind coffee. For this reason, the medium grind size is the most common among coffee lovers.

Coarse grind size

The coarse grind size is the best grind for French press as well as percolators. This size has a low surface area as compared to the fine grind size. Therefore, you must steep it. Nevertheless, coarse grind sized coffee is also easy to filter out.

To get this size you can either use a manual or a burr grinder but make sure that you don’t use a burr grinder for this size otherwise prepare yourself for a terribly greasy cup of coffee.

Blade Grinding vs. Burr Grinding

Let’s get to know the two most common tools you can use to grind your coffee beans. One of them is blade grinder and the other one is burr grinder.

Coffee nerds are almost all the time in favor of burr grinder because it provides you with more consistency in the results. All coffee beans that you put in your burr grinder will have the same level of grind.

A blade grinder, on the other hand, produces inconsistent results. You will see that some of the coffee grounds are too fine and some of them will be a bit coarser. However, it will get you sorted out whether you are using a toddy maker, a drip machine or even a French press.

These grinders are functional in most cases excluding Turkish or Espresso coffee that need the fine grind levels or ever super fine. They also pulverize the coffee beans instead of grinding them.

Consequently, the extraction will not be complete or smooth. You might have to consider that the blade grinders are noisy and a bit messy too.

How to Grind Coffee with a Blade Grinder?

Blade grinders feature a top made of clear plastic and it covers the reservoir of coffee beans.

Its blade in the center is just like a propeller and it works like one too. You can pour the beans into this reservoir and then replace the top.

When you put some pressure on its top or on a button the blades will start to spin and pulverize the coffee.

Because you can operate them manually, there are no settings required. Therefore, you have to observe different grind levels and of course, you can only do that if you are familiar with them.

For finer grinds, you will have to continue with the grinding process. The rule of thumb here is to use a couple of tablespoons for water that measures to be 6 to 8 ounces. You can make the adjustments accordingly.

In simple words, you will need a couple of tablespoons of coffee beans for a cup.

Don’t press and hold the button for too long because it will rip the coffee beans. You should do it in short bursts. It will prevent you from overheating the grounds.

Shake the grinder during the short bursts. This way you will allow the grinds to shake well during the grinding process and make the results more consistent.

  • For coarse grind, a total of 8 to 10 seconds with a few seconds of each burst will do the job.
  • For medium grind, a total of 10 to 15 seconds with a few seconds of each burst will be great.
  • And for a fine grind, a total of 15 to 20 seconds with a few seconds of each burst will work well.

With practice, you will only improve and will eventually get it right!

How to Grind Coffee with a Burr Grinder?

Burr grinders are far more versatile and precise when you compare them with blade grinders. These grinders will enable you to make precise grinds without any issues. Burr grinders feature a couple of toothed discs and the coffee beans fall between them.

You can preset the discs according to the fineness of the grounds that you require based on the brewing method of your choice. Therefore, you will be able to get the perfect results according to your needs.

Different manufacturers have different modes and their settings vary. So you need to experiment a little bit in this case as well.

You will have to make an adjustment to the recommended settings as per your taste. You can use a burr grinder for any type of coffee method ranging from Turkish to espresso to French press.

Hence, a burr grinder is truly your all-purpose grinder. You don’t have to worry about how to adequately grid coffee for your perfect cup.

Match Your Grinds to the Brewing Methods

If you want to use a French press or a percolator then you need to coarse grind your coffee beans for the best flavor.

Similarly, if you use espresso machines then you must grind your coffee beans super fine for the best taste. The grind levels are extremely important if you want to have a cup of coffee as good as anything that you pay for.

The major concern for you here is that inconsistent grinds result in under or over extraction. Due to this, your coffee will either taste sour or bitter. Under extraction cause the coffee to taste sour while over-extraction causes your coffee to taste bitter. 

For your convenience we’ve looked at a couple of grinders that should help you grind your beans to the perfect size:

Coffee Grinder Reviews

Comparison Chart

SHARDOR Coffee Grinder Electric, Coffee Bean Grinder Electric, Nut Grinder with 1 Removable Stainless Steel Bowl, Black
Manual Coffee Grinder with Ceramic Burrs, Hand Coffee Mill with Two Glass Jars(11oz each), Brush and 2 Tablespoon Scoop
Cuisinart DBM-8 Supreme Grind Automatic Burr Mill

1.    Electric Coffee Grinder by Shardor

You will get consistent coffee grounds in no time. There is a nice looking sealing ring along with safety and steady lock to prevent any splashing of the powder. The best part is that this coffee grinder is approved by ETL.

You just need to press its lid for various times for grinding. The result will be any sized grounds ranging from fine to coarse just the way you like it. With the help of its removable bowl, you can easily transfer the grounds and clean it afterward.

The max capacity is 70 grams. Why does this matter? You can easily make four to twelve cups of coffee without any issue. There is a top quality blade made of stainless steel and it works pretty well with the 200W motor.

Your purchase will also include a 2-in-1 brush with a spoon and all this is covered under a 1-year warranty. Just keep in mind not to use the machine for more than 40 seconds continuously.

You will also get a user manual to consult if you have any concerns associated with the usage of this coffee grinder.

Pros

  • The design and construction of this coffee grinder are user-friendly.
  • You can grind your coffee beans to various sizes ranging from fine to coarse.
  • With its maximum capacity of 70 grams, you can easily make 4-12 cups of coffee.
  • Shardor has used stainless steel in the construction of this coffee grinder’s blade. And it proves to be a food combined with the 200W motor that is present inside the grinder.
  • It comes with a safety lock that prevents any splashing of powder.
  • The grinder is ETL certified and it comes with a 1-year warranty.

Cons

  • It is not the best option if you want coarse grind size coffee.

2.    Burr Coffee Grinder by Triple Tree

One of the best features of this burr grinder from Triple Tree is its price. It comes at a very affordable price and you don’t have to compromise on any quality features either. The stainless steel handle is pretty long and allows you to save your energy when grinding.

That’s not all. . . It has a ceramic burr. Why it is important? This ceramic burr will not overheat your coffee grounds and for this reason, you will not feel the scorched tastes in your cup. It also allows you to use your burr mill for a longer period of time while preserving the flavor.

Triple Tree has used silicon in the construction of the lid. The scoop and the brush allow you to enjoy your brew wherever and whenever you want. The burr is very easy to clean and wash too.

Furthermore, its adjustable nut control allows you to get any sized grinds according to your preferences. You can disassemble all the parts of your burr mill and wash them as many times as you like. You will find the tow glass jars very convenient particularly if you travel a lot.

Pros

  • This burr machine boasts a long grinding handle that will make your grinding process effortless.
  • The burr of this grinder is made of ceramic and it will not overheat your coffee grounds and scorch their flavor.
  • There is a silicone lid that has a very smooth touch and it is very convenient for you to add your beans.
  • You can easily disassemble your burr grinder into small parts and can do all the washing you want.
  • The adjustability of the nut control allows you to grind your coffee beans into different sizes.

Cons

  • This burr grinder doesn’t come with a warranty.

3.    Burr Mill by Cuisinart

The burr mill from Cuisinart has a unique construction. Its grind chamber (removable) can easily hold coffee grounds for 32 cups. There is an 8-ounce bean hopper present as well. Your purchase will include a cleaning brush and a scoop.

The best part? Its electric timer can shut off automatically when the machine completes the grind cycle.

There is a grind selector featuring 18 different positions and a slide dial for 4 to 18 cups as well. The chamber is made of BPA-free material and there is a heavy duty motor used under the hood.

Pros

  • The burr mill comes with a removable chamber that can hold coffee grounds for 32 cups.
  • Your purchase will include a cleaning brush as well as a scoop.
  • Its electric timer can shut off itself automatically after the completion of the grinding cycle.
  • The motor of this burr mill is heavy duty and the material used in the development of the chamber is BPA-free.

Cons

  • It tends to produce coffee dust in all grind sizes.

Buyer’s Guide

First of all, you need to sort of what type of coffee grinder you should choose to grind your coffee beans. There are three different types of coffee grinders.

the best coffee maker with grinder

Coffee grinder types

Burr grinders

The burr grinders feature a couple of toothed discs through which the coffee beans travel and get converted into grounds. These grinders offer consistency for different grind levels and sizes.

Blade grinders

Blade grinders require more of your skills because there is a spinning blade that grinds the coffee beans. You can easily mess up with the grind sizes with this grinder.

Therefore, using blade grinders for grinding coffee beans can be a bit irksome task and may end up with a flavor that you don’t like.

Manual grinders

These grinders are best for people on the go. They have a small size and will only provide you with enough coffee grounds to make a couple of cups quickly.

Things to consider before you buy

Consistency

This is the most important feature and your coffee grinder must be able to provide you with consistent grinds to eradicate acidity or bitterness of the coffee.

Adjustability of the number of coffee grounds

With this feature, you will be able to adjust the number of coffee grounds quickly. It becomes even more useful when you going to make a variety of pots (cup sized). This will also come in handy when you are working with double vs. single espressos.

Your grinder must provide you with easy controls to make adjustments to its grind sizes. You can easily go from fine to coarse whenever you need it.

Capacity and size

Portability and easy storage are critical particularly if you move a lot. In addition to that, your grinder must be able to store enough coffee for one batch to meet your requirements.

Cleaning

Another important feature of a coffee grinder is that it should be very easy to clean. The previous residue can easily mess up the flavors of the new batch of coffee.

Furthermore, your grinder must not make a mess of your counter table.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which type of coffee grind is best for which coffee type?

You can use the following grind levels/sizes to get a full taste in various types of coffee:

  • The best grind for drip over coffee is medium, medium-to-coarse and medium-to-fine.
    Fine and medium-to-fine is the best grind for pour over coffee.
  • The best grind for French press is a coarse
  • The best grind for espresso is fine as well as super fine grind.

Is it a better option to grind coffee beans on your own?

If you want to enjoy the best-flavored coffee then it is recommended that you buy your own coffee beans and grind them at home.

However, the type of grinder will have an influence on the final flavor of your coffee. You can use a blade grinder or a burr grinder, but the later will provide you the most flavorful coffee of all.

What’s the best grinder for coffee that I can use while camping?

Just go for a more travel-friendly grinder to serve you during camping. A manual coffee grinder is the best option to make one or two cups at a time. Due to low capacity, this is a real space saver.

Can I grind my coffee beans without a grinder?

Yes, you can grind your coffee beans if you don’t have a grinder. Instead, you can use a blender for this purpose.

You can also use your mortar and pestle to grind your coffee beans but this will take more time. Furthermore, you can hammer your beans or use a rolling pin to grind your beans with ease.

Be sure to use the meat tenderizing hammer and also place your coffee beans in a good quality plastic bag.

What happens if you grind coffee too fine or too coarse?

If you have ground your coffee a bit too fine then the flavor of this coffee will be too weak. On the other hand, if you have ground your coffee a bit too coarse then upon brewing it will get over-extracted.

The flavor of this coffee will become bitter. It’s quite surprising that even such minor changes can dramatically alter the taste of your coffee.

Does grinding coffee beans with different methods make a difference?

Grinding coffee using different methods will definitely make a lot of difference. Blade grinders will not provide you with the consistency in coffee grounds. You will have to do a lot of practice to get your favorite taste.

However, this is not the case with burr grinders because these grinders are very consistent in their results.

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by Brett