Updated: Jan 22
I’m back today with a Coffee Series post! Yay! Ok, so what am I going to be talking about? Well, we’ve covered the simple beginnings of coffee, about where it’s grown, and how roasting the beans affect its taste. Now, it’s time to talk about the way in which its ground.
It’s a whole lengthy essay, and I could go on and on, especially after I do a little more research, because there is so much that goes into why the grind of coffee is so important.
Let’s Start Basic
Firstly, the taste of your coffee depends on how coarsely or how finely you grind your roasted coffee beans. Too coarse, and not enough of the flavour is extracted. Too fine, and too much of the flavour is extracted. What this means is if you grind your beans too coarsely, you won’t get the rich flavour and aroma of good coffee. It’ll be bland and it’ll mostly just taste like water. If you grind it too finely, your coffee will be very, very bitter.
So, you need to set your grinder to the right settings so that you get the right grinds for your espresso machine, and you have the right weight of the grinds. The weight also matters, because if it’s too heavy, it won’t fit in the machine, and if it’s too light, you’ll get too much water, and not enough coffee extract.
Now, even though you don’t have an espresso machine, and you have a cafetière or French Press, or an AeroPress or you have the type of equipment that makes drip coffee (like a Chemex), the type of grinds you use still matters. Most cafetières take coarse grinds, AeroPress take fine to medium grinds and drip coffees take medium to coarse grinds. So, you need to know what type of equipment you have, and what kind of grounds you need. If not, your coffee will taste too bland or too bitter.
Espresso Machines Are Complicated
Ok, so French Presses, AeroPresses and Coffee Drips are easy to understand, you just let the coffee brew for a few minutes, and then pour the water into your mug, but espresso machines, and I mean those professional ones that you see in cafes and bars, they are much more complicated, especially because you’ll need to keep them maintained and cleaned every single time you use them.
I won’t talk about that here, because that’s a whole other story that needs explaining, and I don’t think any of you are interested in that anyway. So, let’s keep going with knowing how to make the right coffee.
Now, espresso machines take fine coffee. Be careful when you do this, because each espresso machine is different, and the slightest difference in how fine and how coarse your grinds are, the different your coffee tastes. So, if you do have an espresso machine, you’re going to need to experiment for a while, before you get the right grinds you want.
The Equipment Is Important
There’s also one more thing that has to be said about grinding coffee. The best type of grinder to use is a burr grinder. They’re those big bulky grinders you’ll find next to those espresso machines in that café. The reason why I say this is because when you use one of those, the grinds are much more uniform, than if you use a blade grinder.
Blade grinders don’t get that because you’re using one blade, and as the beans passes through that blade, it’s cut every which way. A burr grinder, especially a conical one, will ensure your beans are as finely chopped as you want them to be.
Not to mention, you can set a timer on them, so that they give you the perfect amount of grinds every time. Of course, like the espresso machine, these grinders are pretty high maintenance, and you’ll need to reset your settings every week or so, because the blades inside get tired, and shift a little, every time you use it.
Have A Go!
Ok, so I don’t literally mean have a go at your local café, but if you have the equipment at your disposal, don’t be afraid to use up your coffee stock. Buying bulk roasted coffee beans isn’t as expensive as you think, so go ahead and buy them, because you’re going to need to do as many experiments as you can, to make sure you have the perfect amount of grinds for your equipment.
Oh, and if you’re buying your coffee already ground, be sure you pick up the right type of grinds. Remember, each machine is different, so be sure you do your research and choose the right grinds for your equipment. Next time we’ll talk about how to pour your water, what the right temperature is and what the right pressure is for your coffee.
Well, that’s it from me today, I’ll see you all next time! For now, why don’t you let me know how your experiments went, or maybe check out some of my other blog posts. I’m sure there’s something there you’ll find interesting! See you guys next time!