Whilst some people might be more than happy to drink instant coffee or pre-ground coffee, if you are serious about your coffee then you will want to look into buying a coffee grinder.
Grinding coffee is a simple process, but just like any skill, it can take a few times to achieve the perfect result.
This article attempts to guide you so you can learn more about how to grind coffee beans yourself.
Why is freshly ground coffee better?
If you are looking to achieve a great-tasting cup of coffee it is always considered better to purchase the actual coffee beans rather than purchasing ground coffee from the shops.
This is because pre-ground coffee from a packet runs the risk of degrading faster thus becoming stale quicker over time, whereas coffee beans tend to last longer due to still having its protective shell reducing the oxidizing effect.
By manually grinding the beans yourself before making a brew ensures a fresh cup every time.
Grinding the beans yourself also offers more control over the coarseness which can massively impact the flavour of your coffee.
Choosing your coffee grind consistency
One common question when it comes to grinding coffee is just how fine to grind the coffee beans. There are a variety of different grinds that you can aim for. Coarse is when you leave the largest granules of coffee left at the end of the grind. You will often aim for coarse if you are using a cafétiere or a percolator to make your coffee.
A medium grind will feel just like granulated sugar and you will want to opt for this if you have a drip coffee machine, such as a V60 dripper. That said, you can also use this grind for other brewing methods, but it is not suitable if you want to make an espresso.
You can also choose to have a fine grind on your coffee beans. This is the ideal grind for espressos and has a real powdery consistency. This coffee grind is not just ideal for espresso makers but is great for flip drips and filter brews too.
To summarise :
- Coarse Ground Coffee: A grind commonly used for French press coffee and is also the best grind for percolators. It is often the same consistency as heavy grained Kosher salt.
- Medium Ground Coffee: Great as drip coffee. It is also considered the standard grind consistency for what is found in supermarkets.
- Fine Ground Coffee: This type of grind is similar to that of powdered sugar and is needed for making a shot of espresso or for Moka pot coffee.
Choosing your grinder: The different types
Before grinding your coffee, you will also need to decide which type of grinder to use. There are many different types of coffee grinders that are available, here are a few we listed down below:
Often associated with the high-speed whirring noise. They are often the cheapest grinders that you can buy and are readily available in many high street stores.
The thing to remember about these particular types of grinders is that whilst they will work, they do not always offer the most precise method and you can find that they hack up and slice the beans rather than creating a fine grind that is ideal for your coffee.
The second option is a burr grinder. These types of grinders can be more expensive to buy, however, they are more consistent. Burr grinders use two spinning disk that will essentially smash the coffee beans into a precise and uniformed grind. Burr grinders also offer you the flexibility to adjust the grind from coarse to fine so that it best suits your preferred method of brewing coffee.
They are ideal for grinding your own coffee at home, however, one thing that you will want to keep in mind is that these grinders can become very hot during use and if you leave your beans in there too long then you can find that you burn the beans and ruin their flavour.
Hand / Manual Coffee Grinders
If you are opting for more of a traditional approach on how to grind coffee, then another option you may want to consider is a manual coffee grinder. These grinders come in all shapes and sizes and although they can be hard work, manual grinders offer a cost-effective way on grinding coffee beans yourself.
One element you will want to consider with manual coffee grinders is that when buying one, do ensure it comes with a good quality grip.
How to grind coffee beans
Once you have chosen your coffee equipment and the grind size, try to plan around grinding your coffee just before you decide to brew it. This ensures that your coffee will be fresh and taste better.
Once you are ready to start brewing, the grind can begin! Simply load up your coffee grinder with about two tablespoons of coffee beans per cup (this also depends on how strong you want your coffee!).
Place the beans in your grinder and follow your manufacturer’s instructions.
Note - If you are using a blade grinder, then don't forget to lift the coffee grinder to give it a little shake between pulses, this will free up the beans while they are still in the machine.
Whether you want to use an electric grinder (which believe us is considerably easier) or perhaps go for something that is a little more manual, either way we can promise you that grinding your own coffee is both satisfying and absolutely worthwhile!
Now you know more about how to grind coffee beans, now it's up to you to decide how fine you will want your ground coffee to be.