A coffee grinder is an essential piece of equipment that determines the taste and strength of your brew. While pre-ground coffee may seem convenient, buying whole coffee beans and grinding them when ready to brew your coffee is more convenient. Furthermore, pre-ground coffee tends to lose flavor fast when it comes into contact with oxygen, moisture, or light. This article will discuss how to grind coffee beans with a grinder. Read on.
How to Grind Coffee Beans With a Grinder
The first step to grinding coffee beans is determining the coffee grinder to use. There are several types of coffee grinders available on the market. Each has its strengths and weaknesses. These coffee grinders include:
Blade Coffee grinder
Blade coffee grinders are great options for people who are just entering the coffee grinding world. Furthermore, these coffee grinders are inexpensive and easy to use. However, it’s difficult to achieve a consistent coffee grind using blade coffee grinders. Blade coffee grinders have a blade in the middle of the grinder that’s similar to that of a blender or food processor. The blade acts as a propeller and grinds the coffee beans to uneven sizes. Some of the drawbacks of using a blade coffee grinder include:
- Uneven coffee grounds may lead to bad-tasting coffee
- A bit messy and noisy
- You cannot control the grind sizes
- It’s not durable
- The coffee grind is heated
- Produces static charge as a result of the high speed
How to Grind Coffee Beans Using a Blade Coffee Grinder
Despite the blade coffee grinder drawbacks, there are some tips that you can use to maximize the grind consistency and flavor of your coffee. Usually, blade grinders have no settings. Therefore, while using this grinder, you need to be familiar with the different coffee grind sizes. Basically, the longer the grind, the finer the coffee grounds.
First and foremost, you need to determine how many coffee beans you need to grind. The general rule is two tablespoons of coffee grounds for six to eight ounces of water, depending on your preferences. Load your grinder with the coffee beans and use the short bursts that last for a few seconds to avoid burning your coffee. Additionally, ensure that you hold the top of the grinder and give it a shake during the short bursts for an even grind.
Adjust your grind depending on your brew method. You can rub the grind with your fingers to determine how fine or coarse your coffee grind is. For a coarse grind, grind your coffee beans between 8 to 10 seconds in short bursts. For a medium grind, grind your coffee beans between 10 to 15 seconds in short bursts. For a fine grind, grind the coffee beans a few seconds longer. Experimenting is the best way to get the grind sizes right. Equally important, grind your coffee beans when you’re ready to brew your coffee to get the full flavor of your coffee beans
2. Burr Coffee Grinder
Burr coffee grinders are the best when it comes to consistent grind sizes, quality, and overall uniformity. Burr coffee grinders are more expensive compared to blade coffee grinders. A burr coffee grinder has two revolving burrs that are used to grind the coffee beans. There are two main types of burr coffee grinders. These are flat and conical burr grinders. While both burr grinders produce consistent grind sizes, they have some differences that we’ll talk about so that you can choose the grinder that suits you. Additionally, you’ll have to choose between manual burr grinders and electric ones.
Conical Burr Grinders Vs Flat Burr grinders
Grind Consistency – Conical burr grinders produce uneven grind consistency compared to flat burr grinders. If you put the grind sizes under a microscope, you’ll notice different sizes of grounds with a conical burr grinder. However, this doesn’t have a huge impact on the overall taste of your coffee.
Heat Resistance – Conical burr grinders are naturally energy efficient and heat resistant compared to flat burr grinders.
Noise – Flat burr grinders are louder compared to conical burr grinders.
Control – Flat burr grinders offer you more control of the grind size unlike conical burr grinders
Generally, conical burr grinders are the best options for grinding coffee beans at home. On the other hand, flat burr grinders are the best options for commercial uses such as in cafes or coffee shops.
How to Grind Coffee Beans Using a Burr Grinder
- Set the burr grinder to the desired grind size
- Add the coffee beans to the grinder and secure the lid
- Turn on the coffee grinder and hold the lid down until the beans are grounded
- Stop the coffee grinder and open the lid
- Pour the coffee grounds into an airtight storage container or brew your coffee immediately to maximize flavors. As mentioned earlier, coffee grounds lose flavor fast when they come in contact with oxygen, light, or moisture
Types of Coffee Grinds
There are four main types of coffee grinds. They include:
- Coarse Grind
- Medium Grind
- Fine Grind
- Extra Fine Grind
The coffee grind to choose depends on your brewing method. Let’s discuss each type of grind and the ideal brewing method.
- Coarse Grind
A coarse grind consists of chunky and distinct particles. The grind size is similar to kosher salt. A coarse grind is ideal for French press, plunger pot, cold brew method, percolator, and a vacuum coffee maker.
- Medium Grind
A medium grind has a similar texture to table salt or coarse sand. This grind size is ideal for drip coffee makers with flat bottom filters.
- Fine Grind
A fine grind has a texture that’s more like sugar. This grind size is ideal for espresso coffee or drip coffee makers with cone bottom filters.
- Extra Fine Grind
The extra fine grind texture is similar to that of powder. The grind size is ideal for Turkish coffee.
How Long to Grind Coffee Beans?
The length of time to grind your coffee beans depends on your brewing method. For example, you’ll want to grind your coffee beans for 5 to 10 seconds for a coarse grind that’s ideal for a French press, 10 to 15 seconds for a medium grind that’s ideal for drip and pour over methods, and 30 seconds for a fine grind that’s ideal for espresso coffee.
Equally important, store your ground coffee properly if you don’t intend to brew coffee immediately to avoid loss of flavor. Store your ground coffee in an airtight container and a dark place far from light.
Tips for Grinding Coffee Beans at Home
- Keep your coffee grinder clean
- Never grind pre-flavored coffee beans
- Buy freshly roasted coffee beans to grind at home
- Grind your coffee beans before brewing to maximize flavor
- Shake the coffee grinder (especially the blade grinder) while grinding to achieve more consistent coffee grounds
- Use the correct grind size for your brewing equipment
Factors to Consider When Buying Coffee Grinders
- Burr grinders especially flat burr grinders produce more uniform grinds compared to blade grinders
- Blade grinders are cheaper than burr grinders but less precise
- Electric coffee grinders are more convenient compared to manual coffee grinders.
- The right grind size is essential for a flavored cup of joe
- The fresher the grounds, the more the flavor in your coffee
- If you don’t own a grinder, you can use blenders such as a Vitamix, Nutribullet, and magic bullet to grind your coffee beans.
When grinding your coffee beans, the first thing you’ll need to consider is the type of grinder. While blade grinders are cheaper and easy to use, burr grinders produce more consistent grinds and they are easy to control. Additionally, you have to consider your brewing equipment. Different brewers use different grind sizes. Last but not least, grind your coffee beans when you’re ready to brew your coffee. The fresher the grounds, the tastier your coffee.