What Type of Coffee Grind is Right for Me?

The Differences Explained.

Have you ever had to work out which type of “ground coffee” is the right one for you? With so many types of coffee machine and equipment available and a whole range of different coffee grinds to choose from, this handy document will hopefully clear up some of the confusion.

Here we’ll try to explain the differences between the different types of coffee grounds, including some of the favourites; cafetière, coarse and finely ground coffee. We’ll also explain how these can be used in different types of coffee equipment such as bean to cup coffee machines and a wide array of personal and home-use equipment.

Some of the different types of grinds you’ll often see available are;

Cafetière ground coffee

This grind almost says what it does on the tin! Best for using in cafetières, this type of grind is coarse as it allows for better extraction of the coffee while brewing. Too finely ground, and the coffee will be over-extracted, which can lead to a bitter aftertaste. If your coffee is too coarse, the coffee will be under-extracted, and you will have tasteless hot water as a result. 

*Top Tip – When plunging your cafetière, you should have a decent amount of resistance but still be able to push down with relative ease. Too fine, the plunger will be very hard to move, too coarse, and the plunger will drop straight down. 

Best Equipment – Cafetière.

Fine grind

This grind allows for more of the coffee beans surface area to be exposed, resulting in a deeper, fuller flavour from your coffee. As it is also known, the Espresso Grind is what this grind is used for most often. Espresso is the heart and soul of a coffee, and the extra surface area allows for that all-important extraction. Fine grind or espresso grind is the most common type and can be used in all kinds of espresso equipment. It is also great for the Aeropress with a 1-2 minute brew time. 

Best Equipment – Aeropress (1-2 mins), espresso machine, stovetop espresso maker.

Coarse grind

This grind is also known as the French Press Grind, is just what you need if you use a french-press type of percolator. A coarse grind is also used in “cupping” – a term used when coffee tasters and testers profile the characteristics and flavour notes of coffees. This type of grind needs patience. With larger grounds, it takes longer for the hot water to seep all the way through. The result, though, is a bottomless rich coffee packed full of flavour. A coarse grind is best used if you have a percolator as it retains its flavour perfectly without becoming bitter.

*Top Tip – If you are grinding the coffee yourself, the coffee grounds should look as big and similar in style to rock salt!

Best Equipment – French press, percolator.

Turkish grind

This grind is the master of all grinds. Turkey is so famous for its coffee that it has a type of grind named after it. Turkish ground coffee is like powder, and significantly finer than any average coffee grinder can handle. Turkish coffee is ground using a “Turkish Mill” or a standard hand mill. The coffee has to be fine and powdery, and once the hard work of grinding is done, you will be treated to one of the worlds best ways to enjoy coffee.

*Top Fact – Turkish coffee was invented as a drink during the 16th century and is as popular today as it was 500 years ago!

Best Equipment – You have to use a Turkish mill or a hand mill and then brew your coffee in a pot called an Ibrik.

Medium grind

This grind combines a large surface area with less brewing time being needed. Having the consistency of wet sand, it is perfect for “drip coffee equipment”. People tend to also use a medium coffee grind for “pour-over coffee” and the machine V-60 as it allows for the perfect balance between extraction and flow rate. 

Top Tip – Only fill two-thirds full of coffee grounds. Any less than that, and there won’t be enough coffee to restrict the flow. Any more and your dripper may overflow. A good ratio guide is 60-70 grams of coffee per litre of water.

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