Coffee Grind Sizes

Understanding Coffee Grind Sizes

Coffee is made by extracting taste (and caffeine) from coffee grinds, regardless of brew method. The more finely ground your coffee beans are, the more exposed surface area of the grounds is exposed, resulting in faster extraction. Because the water from an espresso machine passes through the grounds fast and under high pressure, coffee for espresso machines is finely ground.

The Difference of Freshly Ground Coffee

The main reason for this is that whole beans last longer than ground coffee. Whole roasted beans retain carbon dioxide, which prevents oxidation and staling, and can be stored at room temperature for up to two weeks. More of the surface area of the beans is exposed to oxygen after ground, causing the grounds to lose flavor. Because ground coffee only lasts a few days, it's better to buy it in little quantities.

 

Extra Coarse

As large as you can go on most popular conical burr grinders – similar to ground peppercorns.

Suits these brew methods:

  • Cold Brew


Coarse

If you brew with a French Press, you should know your coarse grind. It should look similar to sea salt.

Suits these brew methods:

  • French press coffee brewing
  • Percolators
  • Coffee cupping/tasting


Medium Coarse

Not quite medium but not quite coarse – similar looking to coarse/rough sand.

Suits these brew methods:

  • Chemex
  • Clever Dripper
  • Cafe solo brewer


Medium

The happy medium of grind sizes; a great starting point for testing your grounds. Similar to the consistency of regular sand.

Suits these brew methods:

  • Flat bottomed drip coffee makers
  • Cone-shaped pour-over coffee makers
  • The Aeropress (With 3+ minute brew time)
  • Siphon brewers


Medium Fine

If you love your pour over coffee like us, you will need a medium fine coffee grind size. It’s finer than sand, but not as fine as an espresso grind.

Suits these brew methods:

  • Cone-shaped pour-over brewers (e.g. Hario v60, Kalita wave, etc)
  • The Aeropress (with a 2-3 minute brew time)


Fine

The most common grind size you’ll come across. When you buy pre-ground coffee, it’s usually a fine grind size (unless otherwise stated). In terms of consistency, it’s a little finer than table salt.

Suits these brew methods:

  • Espresso Brewing (with or without a machine)
  • The Aeropress (with a 1-2 minute brew time)
  • Stovetop espresso


Extra Fine

You’ll rarely use an extra fine grind and you need a Turkish coffee grinder to achieve a fine and consistent grind like this. It’s similar to flour or powder in texture.

Suits these brew methods:

  • Ibrik (Turkish coffee)