When it comes to coffee, we each have our favourite grind. This article explores the world of coffee grinds, with useful suggestions as to which are appropriate for which types of coffee brewers.
An extra coarse grind has the consistency of ground peppercorns and is used mostly for cold-brew coffee.
A coarse grind is ideal for brewing methods such as the French press, as it allows the water to have a large surface area to interact with. This means that the coarse grind also allows for rich flavour. A coarse grind should resemble sea salt.
A medium coarse ground allows full-flavour extraction and works well with full-immersion brewing. This is one of the most popular grinds to get, as it is relatively easy to work with. It should resemble rough sand.
A medium-fine grind is not as fine as an espresso grind but still has a very fine consistency, like that of sand. It is usually used in pour over cone brewing.
The fine grind is one of the most popular choices amongst both baristas and home brewers. It has the consistency of table salt and is used to make espresso.
A super fine grind is usually used to make Turkish coffees. It has the consistency of flour and can be difficult to work with.
Poorly Extracted Coffee
It is very important to pair the correct grind with the correct type of coffee you are making. Using a finely ground coffee in a French press will simply not work.
Under-extracted coffee happens when your grounds are too coarse for your method and not enough flavour was taken from them. Under-extracted coffee tastes sour and salty.
Over-extracted coffee happens when your grounds are too fine and too much flavour has been extracted from them. It becomes bitter, overpowering and unpleasant.
One of the biggest questions in the coffee industry revolves around pre-ground coffee and specifically whether it is a good thing. When you buy a bag of beans from a coffee shop, many baristas will offer to pre-grind the beans for you. Here are some factors to consider.
Pre-ground coffee will lose its aroma and flavour faster than whole coffee beans and is likely to go stale faster.
However, if you are a daily coffee drinker and you finish a bag within two weeks, this is unlikely to affect you.
Pre-Grind Half the Bag
If you’re worried about staleness, consider asking your barista to pre-grind half the bag. This will save you time and energy without compromising on freshness.
Generally, the grinds will stay fresh for two weeks after being ground.
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