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Grinding Your Own Coffee: Size DOES Matter

25 July 2018
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You can have the highest quality coffee, the perfect roast and a great coffee machine, but still make bad coffee. Why? It’s all about the coffee grind size.

But fear not – you can still make barista-quality coffee at home. The secret is simple: it starts with good quality beans that have been consistently ground to the correct size.

The Goal

The whole reason we use different grind sizes is to avoid over or under extracting coffee. Too coarse a grind and you may end up with under-extracted coffee that is sour, acidic and salty.

Too fine and your coffee could be over-extracted, resulting in a bitter, hollow and tasteless drink. (Not sure what these descriptions mean? Read our coffee taste wheel!)

An infographic showing the difference between a coarse and fine coffee grind.

It’s simple science. Coffee is essentially a reaction when water touches coffee grounds. A finer grind can reduce the flow rate of the water, increasing the contact time, and vice versa. If the contact time is too high, it will result in an over-extracted brew, which can be bitter.

Struggling with a bitter cup of coffee? Here’s why and how to fix it.

Aside from the size of the grind, consistency also matters. If some grinds are larger than some others, then the coffee will be extracted at different rates, preventing you from making that perfect cup. Consistency and grind size can really be the difference between one of the best cups you’ve had and an undrinkable mess.

An infographic showing how water flows through ground coffee

Let’s Get Granular

So, how do you know what grind size to use? Here’s a handy guide. Save it to your phone, share it with all your friends. You’ll never need another guide!

An infographic showing the recommended coffee grind size for various coffee equipment

By getting the size and consistency of the grind right, you can up your coffee game and enjoy a delicious cup – not just once, but every single time!

Learn more about what makes a perfect cup of coffee.