Grinding Coffee

Grinding Coffee
Freshly ground coffee is just as important as freshly roasted coffee in making sure your coffee drinking experience is the best. It's ideal to grind your coffee just prior to brewing, but not everyone has the ability or desire to grind their own. At GourmetCoffees.com we grind your coffee right after roasting and just before packaging to ship to your door.

Here are some tips to choosing your grind or grinding your own.

Coarseness
Whether you are grinding your own or you have us grind for you, there are varying levels of grind used for different types of brewing. The size of the grind, or coarseness, determines how much of the coffee comes in contact with the water and how much flavor is extracted. Here are the types of grind associated with the brew methods.

Grind or Coarseness What to Order Method of Brewing
Fine Espresso Grind Espresso Machine
Medium Drip Grind Drip Brewer
Medium Coarse Whole - Grind your own Vacuum/Metal Filter
Coarse French Press Grind French Press


Single-Serve Brewers
A quick note on the type of grind for single-serve brewers. Typically, a medium grind is what you want for your Keurig-type brewer, however, if you notice that the screen is getting clogged, the water runs over the side of the filter, or you have sediment in your coffee cup, it might be better to use a French press grind. The larger grind will keep the screen from being clogged and give you a better cup of coffee.

Grinder
There are two types of grinders you can purchase for home grindingóblade grinders and burr grinders. The easiest to find and least expensive of these is the blade grinder.

Technically, a blade grinder works more like a blender with similar blades. With a blade grinder you will not have much control over the grind. The blades will do more chopping rather than grinding. You will need to guess how long to grind the beans to get the size grind you are looking for. The grind will not be consistent with some coarse pieces mixed with some very fine pieces. Blade grinders also transfer heat to the beans as they are being ground which starts to extract aroma and taste before the coffee even makes it to the coffeemaker. In addition, if you grind for too long, you may find the coffee develops a burned taste.

Some tips for using a blade grinder to get the best grind for your coffee: - Grind in short pulses - Shake the grinder a little while grinding - Grind more beans than you normally would - Brew for a little shorter time

The burr grinder is what is used in coffee shops and at coffee roasters. These machines have a type of cone or tube that moves and crushes the beans against an immobile surface. Burr grinders have a dial which regulates the size of the grind, making it consistent each time. As the beans are crushed rather than chopped, there is not much increase in heat meaning less chance of loss of flavor or burned taste. Once the coffee is ground, it falls through the grinder pieces into a holding cup, so it isnít ground over and over like in a blade grinder. You can find burr grinders in different sizes from the large machines in coffee shops to smaller countertop machines for home use. A burr grinder is best used when your coffee brewing process is French press, permanent filter, or espresso. A blade grinder is fine when your brew method is drip with a paper filter.