Coffee Grinder Basics and Analysis

Coffee Grinder Basics and Analysis

A good cup of coffee starts with good quality beans and a great roast but must follow through to proper grinding and brewing. We wish every household could have a White Oak concierge to grind and brew their coffee for them, but our accountants say that’s not possible. So instead, we are happy to present you with the tools to brew the best cup of coffee all by yourself! And of course, follow up learning about that perfect grind with our instructions on different brew methods.

Why Grind Size is Important

Grind size directly affects the extraction of your coffee. Extraction is a fancy term of the rate at which the coffee compounds are dissolved into water. That’s why quick brewing, such as espresso, requires a fine grind: to create more surface area for the water to grab onto and pull compounds from. The opposite is true as well: cold brew requires a very coarse grind to limit surface area and slow the extraction rate over the hours-long brew time.

Basics of Grinding for your Brew

Every brew method requires a different grind size. So if you like to change up your brews on a regular basis, we encourage you to invest in a grinder so that you can achieve the best cup of coffee no matter how you get there. We will discuss our grinds in terms of particle size, which is measured in microns. Our fancy machine can literally measure the diameter of one single ground particle, and we have captured this data for your benefit. Here is a table of desirable grind sizes according to brew method:

Brew Method

Particle Size (μm)

Coarseness

Espresso & Moka Pot

450

Very Fine

Reusable k-cup

600

Medium-fine

V60 & pourovers

750

Medium

Electric Drip

750

Medium

Chemex

850

Medium-coarse

French Press

900

Coarse

Cold Brew

1000

Very Coarse

 

Household Grinder Analysis

Here we have analyzed four common home grinders to help you dial in the best grind size on your machine. This is not a comparison, and we would recommend any of these grinders depending on your specific needs!

Grinder

Benefits

Fine

Medium

Coarse

Capresso Infinity Conical Burr Grinder

Most straightforward option for the no-nonsense brewer

Minimum fine setting

Mid medium setting

Mid coarse setting

OXO BREW Conical Burr Grinder

 

Measures in seconds for the experienced home barista

#3 setting

#6 setting

“medium” setting

Krups Auto-dose Grinder with Scale

Measures in weight or cups for the perfectionist

Minimum setting

#14 setting

“drip” setting

Cuisinart Blade Grinder

Most affordable option for the newbie

1 pulse held for 20 seconds

4 pulses, held for 3 seconds each

3 pulses, held for 2 seconds each

  

 

Read more

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