Brewing 101: How Do I Brew The Best Cup
When it comes to making the perfect cup of coffee, the grind size matters. Master your grinding to extract the best flavors from your specialty coffee - otherwise why spend the money! Get yourself a good quality grinder that keeps the beans cool while grinding and churns out a consistent even grind.
Most of us ask ourselves -
- Which Is The Best Coffee Grinder?
- How Do I Grind My Coffee At Home?
- What Is The Best Grind for Making My Coffee?
Let's Choose A Grinder
Blade vs Burr Grinder
There are two types of grinder popular for home use:
- Coffee Mill | aka Burr Grinder | - grinds coffee beans into a nice consistency using two burrs, or serrated discs.
- Bladed Grinder | more common | - works like a food processor or blender, using spinning blades to chop coffee into smaller particles. The result is an inconsistent grind.
Why Is Grind Size Important?
Coffee is complex with sour, sweet, and bitter notes, as well as different aromatic flavors. These tastes are extracted from the coffee at different rates. So, if you have inconsistent coffee grounds, you will extract more bitterness and acidity, making it hard to get a delicious cup of coffee.
Best Grind For Your Brewing Process
Let's get brewing our best cup. Adjusting grind size for your favorite brewing method is part of the fun of brewing at home. Here are a few basic guidelines on the different grinds and the best associated brewing methods. Don't forget to adjust the grind to your personal taste.
- DRIP GRIND
- Pour-Over Drippers & Siphon Brewers
A medium-fine grind is best for most cone-shaped pour-over coffee drippers (like Hario V60 & Kalita Wave) and for Siphoned brewers. The pour over, drip grind size can be a bit tricky - the grind not only affects the overall flavor, but also determines the brew time. The siphon is basically a cross between immersion and drip brewers.
- Chemex and Automatic Drip Coffee Machines
A medium-coarse grind is best for brewing on the auto-drip coffee machine. and Chemex coffee maker. The automatic drip machine, one of the most popular household coffee equipments, makes coffee convenient and quick.
Auto-drip coffee machines use two different type of filters - cone-shaped and flat-bottom. The filter's shape and compartment affects how long the water passes through the coffee. The cone-shape means less time, therefore a medium-fine grind is best. As for the flat-bottom filter, coffee will be immersed in water for longer, so to extract the best flavor, start with a medium grind.
- IMMERSION BREW GRIND [ COARSE ]
- French Press & Percolators
Coarse grind is similar to a sea salt-like consistency. Percolators and French Press brewers strike a chord with many traditionalists coffee drinkers who don’t fancy complicated coffee makers to make tasty coffee. Because percolators brew coffee at a high temperature and cycle the coffee multiple times, a coarse grind helps reduces the surface area of coffee exposed to hot water during the cycle and minimizes the acidity in your final cup.
- Cold Brew
Extra coarse grind similar to ground peppercorns. The Cold Brew method typically has the longest extraction time, therefore using an extra-coarse grind allows for extracting smooth and subtle flavors.
- ESPRESSO GRIND [ FINE ]
- Espresso Coffee Machine & Moka Pot
To make a tasty cup of espresso, grind the coffee very fine, almost to the point it could be considered a powder. When rubbed between the forefinger and thumb, the feeling of a pinch of espresso has been compared to that of powered sugar. Coffee that is very fine and consistent in size will extract flavors in a more uniform and predictable way. Check out our Moka Pot coffee brew guide for more.
- Turkish Coffee (Ibrik)
An extra-fine grind is needed for Turkish coffee – it should feel and look like flour. Grind as fine as possible, because this super-fine size helps extract a full bodied cup. When brewing a cup of Turkish coffee, coffee grounds are only in contact with really hot water for a short part of the brewing time - therefore having a real fine grind is crucial during extraction.
Tinker away and brew your best cup of coffee!