How to Grind Your Way to a Better Cup of Coffee

Every cup of coffee, whether good or bad, begins with the grinding of a bean. And whether it was done by an industrial machine before being packaged and shipped to a store, or you did it yourself with a hand-grinder before brewing a pot of French press coffee, grinding is an essential step on the path to a satisfying sip.

As with all aspects of coffee, grinding is both an art and a science, but you don’t need to be an expert to begin experimenting on your own. Here is an overview of the fundamentals in the form of four tips to remember.

Size of Coffee Grind for Each Brewing Method
Matching the grind size with your preferred brewing method is crucial when preparing coffee. Typically, the grind size for a home espresso machine will be quite fine, almost powder-like, so that the coffee is adequately flavored as the machine rapidly pushes water through it. Because the coffee will be steeped in water for several minutes with a French press, the grind size will be quite coarse. (The video above will assist you in determining the appropriate coffee grind size for your brewing method.)

If you purchase pre-ground coffee, pay attention to the grind size. Pre-ground coffee sold in U.S. grocery stores is typically ground to a consistency suitable for a filter-equipped drip coffee maker. If you utilize one of these devices, you will be fine. If you are using a French press, a Moka pot, or a small home espresso machine, this all-purpose grind will not be optimal. If your store offers it, it is preferable to grind the beans to the desired consistency there.

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