Grinding whole bean coffee fresh before each use is essential to brewing the best possible cup of coffee. No matter the brewing method you’re using – espresso, v60, drip brew, French Press – the first step is always grinding your coffee freshly before each brew.
There are two different types of grinders: Blade Grinders and Burr Grinders. Blade grinders are cheaper and easier to clean and maintain than burr grinders, but they don’t provide consistent grinds. You’ll also often notice a burnt taste due to the blade friction during the grind. There are two types of burr grinders: Flat wheel and Conical. Flat wheel burr grinders crush the beans with the use of a semi-concave stationary wheel leaving your grind consistent and minus any burnt taste. Conical burr grinders use a cone shaped device to grind the beans, leaving your grind also consistent. The conical burr grinders are also easier to maintain than the flat wheel burr grinders as they have less risk of jams and are relatively easier to clean.
The size of the grind needed for the brew varies depending on the brew type. For instance, espresso requires a very fine grind, and French Press requires a very coarse grind. In general, the rule here is longer brew times require thicker grinds and shorter brew times need finer grinds.
Espresso Machine: Fine grind
French Press: Large/Coarse grind
Drip Brew: Medium grind
Vacuum: Medium to Coarse grind
If you’re curious as to what these grind consistencies look like, take a look below:
If you’ve ground too much, there are a few guidelines to follow for storage of the coffee. For optimal taste, it’s best to use your fresh ground coffee within 24 hours. Use an airtight container and store coffee grounds right on your counter. Avoid storing in cabinets or dark hot or cool places.