Best Way To Grind Coffee- For The Perfect Cup Of Coffee!

Best Way to Grind Coffee.

 

*This post may contain affiliate links. Please see our disclosure

*This post may contain affiliate links. Please see our disclosure

Many coffee drinkers focus on finding the best beans and best brewing methods to get that perfect cup of coffee. But not many look for the best way to grind coffee.  The grind matters! In fact, small changes in the grind of your beans can seriously affect your coffee’s flavor!

A great coffee grind depends on two factors; grind size and grind uniformity. And the best way to get the perfect grind is with a burr grinder, like the Baratza Encore Conical Grinder. It has the option for different grind sizes and can grind beans as uniformly as possible.

But why do size and uniformity matter? Why do burr grinders work so well? And what can you do if you can’t buy a grinder?

That’s what we’re going to spend the next few minutes talking about!

Let’s dive right in!


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Best way to grind coffee

Two Factors That Make The Best Grind

1. Grind Uniformity

When all your ground coffee particles are the same size and shape as each other, you have grind uniformity. And a uniform grind means you’ll have a uniform coffee extraction.

On the other hand, when your grind has different-sized particles (i.e. some are the size of sea salt and others are powdered like flour), you’ll have an inconsistent coffee extraction.

When your extraction is inconsistent, then even if you use the same beans, the same brewer, and the same water…your coffee can taste very different each time you make it…

…all because of an inconsistent grind.

Yeah, it’s that important!

The bad news is that no grinder can get a perfect grind with perfect uniformity. (There’s always some randomness in the result when you’re crushing stuff!)

But the good news is that some grinders (i.e. burr grinders) do a better job than others.

The best way to grind coffee has to take into account grind uniformity.

Best way to grind coffee

2. Choosing The Right Grind Size

Every coffee maker has something in common; they use water to extract coffee solubles from ground coffee. 

Coffee makers also have their differences! And it’s these differences that make different grind sizes necessary.

Espresso machines use pressure and steam to extract coffee. A drip brewer uses hot water and gravity. With a french press, the beans simply soak in water. 

If you don’t select the right grind size for the right coffee brewing method, your coffee could be either over-extracted (making it taste bitter and hollow) or under-extracted (making it taste sharp and sour).

So, the best way to grind coffee also depends on which method you use to brew your coffee.

Here’s a quick summary of which grind size is best for each coffee brewing method:

• Extra fine or Turkish grind: Best used for Turkish coffee, a.k.a. Arabic coffee, a.k.a. Greek coffee

Fine grind: Also called the espresso grind – this is best for espresso makers and stovetop espresso pots

Medium grind: Best used for drip coffee makers and pour over

Medium-coarse grind: Use for french press or vacuum coffee maker

Coarse grind: Best used for the cold brew method


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Best Way To Grind Coffee – Electric Burr Grinders

The best way to grind coffee is with a burr grinder. The main advantage with burr grinders is that they’ll grind your coffee uniformly. This results in an even extraction and a better-tasting cup of coffee.

There are some pricy models out there, but if you want a good burr grinder without breaking the bank, consider the Baratza Encore Conical Burr Coffee Grinder.

Baratza Encore Conical Burr coffee grinder image

Next Best Way To Grind Coffee – Blade Grinders

A second option is a blade grinder, like the Hamilton Beach Fresh Grind. This type of grinder uses a spinning blade to chop the coffee into small pieces.

The main advantages of electric blade grinders are that they’re cheap, easily available, and compact.

Even though it’s an effective tool to grind coffee beans, it doesn’t produce a uniform grind. Instead, the blades cut the coffee beans into randomly sized pieces, containing both coarse and fine grounds.

But at the end of the day, they work fine for most coffee drinkers.

Hamilton Beach Fresh grind image

Manual Burr Grinder

Manual burr grinders like the JavaPresse Manual Coffee Grinder are compact and easy-to-use. They can also crush your beans into whatever size coffee grind you want.

But, as the name implies, you will have to use a little muscle power!

Like the electric burr grinders, manual grinders are a great way to get a consistent grind, but there are some pros and cons that come with these little machines.

JavaPresse manual Coffee Grinder image

Pros

  • Can grind your beans fresh for each cup of coffee
  • Compact size is perfect for traveling or home use
  • They’re cheaper than the electric burr grinders
  • They produce a uniform grind
  • They’re silent

Cons

  • Can’t grind large amounts of coffee at one time
  • They require muscle power to grind your coffee

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How To Grind Coffee Without A Grinder?

You may find yourself in a situation where you want some coffee, but your grinder is broken, the power is out, or some other tragedy has occurred…

What can you do!?

Don’t worry we’ve got you covered! There are a few ways to grind your coffee without a coffee grinder.

Just keep in mind that these methods won’t produce that perfect grind, so it’s best to keep a JavaPresse or other manual coffee grinder on hand for emergencies!

Best way to grind coffee

Use A Mortar And Pestle

Your coffee bean can be effectively ground using mortar and pestle if you don’t have a coffee grinder available.

Fill the mortar with around 1/3 of its capacity and crush the beans slowly and carefully until you get the desired grind size.

It’s a little time consuming and demands labor. But you can produce fine as well as coarse grounds with this method, making it ideal for almost all types of brewing methods.


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Food Processor

A food processor can give you similar results as a blade grinder. But because it has a large circumference, you’ll have to add more beans for it to work properly.

You can save additional coffee grounds for the next serving.

Blender

A blender is probably the best way to grind coffee when you don’t have a coffee grinder. Although the coffee grounds obtained from a blender aren’t very consistent in size, you’ll be able to brew them just as well.

One thing to keep in mind is that the friction from blending may heat your beans. So you don’t want to use a blender for more than 30 seconds.

Rolling Pin

Using a rolling pin to grind coffee is another effective way to get the job done when you can’t use a grinder.

Place your coffee beans in a plastic bag, and place the bag on a flat surface.  Then use the rolling pin to slowly and roll over and crush the beans.

The grounds you will get will be coarse, making them perfect the brewing methods that require coarse grounds, like a French press.

Meat Tenderizer

Another alternative to a coffee grinder is a meat tenderizer. Yes, you can hammer your way to coffee grounds.

Put the beans inside a plastic bag, making sure to remove as much air as possible. Using the meat tenderizer, crush the beans with medium to low force.

Best way to grind coffee

Use A Knife To Grind Your Coffee

This method is somewhat similar to crushing garlic cloves with a knife.

Grind the coffee bean using the flat part of your knife. Place the chef’s knife flat on the coffee bean and use the heel of your hand to slowly crush and grind the bean. Large knives make a better tool for this job.

It can be an effective method for getting a medium ground coffee. But, it’s not for everyone; it would be a nice alternative to a coffee grinder if you have some experience in using a chef’s knife.

Use Pre-Ground Coffee

I know, I know…you came here because you want to know how to grind your own coffee.

But if you’ve gotten to the point where you have to use knives and hammers to grind your coffee beans. You might be better off just buying some pre-ground coffee!

Best Grind Size For Your Brewing Method

If your coffee grinds are too large for your brewing method, you’ll have a weak and under-extracted coffee.

On the other hand, if your grinds are too small, you’ll end up with a bitter, over-extracted coffee.

That’s why it’s important to know the ideal coffee grind for your brewing method. Let’s quickly talk about each one.

Best way to grind coffee

Best Brewing Method For Coarse Grind Coffee

Coarse ground coffee is best used in percolators, cold brew, or the French Press.

Course coffee looks “chunky” and it doesn’t allow a lot of coffee to be extracted, which makes it great for immersion brewing.

But if you used fine ground coffee with these brewing methods, the coffee will be over-extracted, resulting in a bitter-tasting cup of coffee.

Best Brewing Method For Medium Grind Coffee

Medium grind coffee is best used for pour-over coffee makers, drip coffee machines, or Aeropress.

Medium coffee is about the size of sea salt and allows a moderate amount of coffee flavors to be extracted.

If you use them in a French Press or cold brew, there’s a good chance you’d over-extract the coffee (and good luck filtering the grinds out!) But if you use it in a Moka pot, you’d under-extract the coffee.


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Best Brewing Method For Fine Grind Coffee

Fine grinds are best for espresso machines or Moka pots.

Fine ground coffee is the size of sugar, which means coffee can be extracted relatively quickly.

Because the brewing time in Moka pots and espresso machines is measured in seconds, you need to be able to extract coffee quickly from the grounds.

This is why fine ground coffee beans are a must for these brewing methods!

Best Brewing Method For Extra Fine Grind Coffee

Turkish coffee is the only type of coffee made with extra fine coffee grounds.

This grind has the size and consistency of flour. In fact, you’ll probably just have to buy pre-ground fine coffee from a specialty store, because very few coffee machines can get it this fine.

The Bottom Line

The best way to grind coffee is with a burr grinder. There are some high priced burr grinders out there, but there are also some moderately priced models that can get the job done too!

The most important thing is to get a grinder that can grind your coffee uniformly and to the size you need for your brewing method.

If you have a favorite way to grind coffee that we haven’t mentioned here, let us know in the comments below!

Cheers!

Idalmis Holmes

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