Photo by Mike Kenneally.

I have measured out my life with coffee spoons.” T. S. Eliot.

Grinding Your Own Coffee

If you are a coffee lover, you might have wondered if grinding your own coffee beans is worth the hassle. The answer is yes, and here are some reasons why.

  • Grinding your own coffee gives you more control over the flavor and strength of your brew. You can choose the grind size that suits your preference and brewing method, from coarse to fine. Different grind sizes extract different amounts of oils and aromatics from the beans, affecting the taste and aroma of your coffee.
  • Grinding your own coffee preserves the freshness and quality of your beans. Coffee beans start to lose their freshness and flavor as soon as they are roasted, and this process accelerates when they are ground. Pre-ground coffee can become stale and oxidized over time, losing its original characteristics. By grinding your own coffee, you can enjoy the full potential of your beans and experience their true flavor and aroma.

  • Grinding your own coffee can save you money and reduce waste. Buying whole beans is usually cheaper than buying pre-ground coffee, and you can grind only what you need for each brew. This way, you can avoid wasting coffee that might go stale or unused. You can also reuse the coffee grounds for other purposes, such as composting, gardening, or beauty treatments.

Choosing the Right Grind Size

Choosing the right grind size for your coffee depends on several factors, such as the type of coffee maker you use, the brewing time, the extraction rate, and your personal taste preference. Here are some general guidelines to help you choose the right grind size for your coffee:

  • Extra coarse grind: This is the largest grind size, similar to peppercorns or coarse sea salt. It is suitable for cold brew or cowboy coffee, which require a long steeping time and a low extraction rate.

  • Coarse grind: This is slightly smaller than the extra coarse grind, similar to kosher salt or bread crumbs. It is suitable for French press, percolator, or plunger, which require a short steeping time and a medium extraction rate.

  • Medium-coarse grind: This is between the coarse and medium grind, similar to rough sand or coarse sugar. It is suitable for Chemex, Clever Dripper, or Cafe Solo, which require a medium steeping time and a medium-high extraction rate.

  • Medium grind: This is the most common grind size, similar to table salt or regular sand. It is suitable for drip coffee makers, pour-over, or siphon, which require a short to medium brewing time and a high extraction rate.

  • Medium-fine grind: This is slightly smaller than the medium grind, similar to fine sand or granulated sugar. It is suitable for AeroPress, Moka pot, or vacuum pot, which require a short brewing time and a high extraction rate.

  • Fine grind: This is the smallest grind size, similar to powdered sugar or flour. It is suitable for espresso machines, which require a very short brewing time and a very high extraction rate.

To find the best grind size for your coffee, you may need to experiment with different settings and adjust them according to your taste. If your coffee tastes too weak, sour, or salty, you may need a finer grind size to increase the extraction. If your coffee tastes too strong, bitter, or burnt, you may need a coarser grind size to decrease the extraction. You can also use a scale and a timer to measure the amount of coffee and water you use and the brewing time you need for each method.

To Sum Up

Craft coffee is more than just a beverage, it is a passion and a lifestyle for many people. It involves careful selection of beans, roasting methods, brewing techniques, and tasting practices. It also reflects the culture and history of the places where it is grown and consumed. By learning more about craft coffee, you can appreciate its nuances, flavors, and aromas, and enjoy a richer and more satisfying cup of coffee. Whether you are a novice or an expert, there is always something new to discover and explore in the world of craft coffee.

*The views and opinions expressed on this website are solely those of the original authors and contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of Spotter Up Magazine, the administrative staff, and/or any/all contributors to this site.

By Eugene Nielsen

Eugene Nielsen owns and runs a private intelligence and security consulting firm. He has a BA degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara in Political Science. His byline has appeared on over 1,500 articles published in major national and international journals and magazines. He was on Contributing Staff of SWAT Magazine for over 20 years.

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