Understanding the Basics of Coffee Grinds

Three spoons with ground coffee, coffee beans placed beside

Making coffee at home can (and should!) be a great experience. We take pride in providing you with specialty beans that align with your values so that you can take pride in brewing and enjoying every sip.

Here’s some coffee knowledge to help you create the most delicious cup of coffee at home.

How Does the Size of My Coffee Grounds Affect the Taste?

The grind size you use ultimately impacts the coffees taste once it comes into contact with water. How fine or how coarse the beans are ground affects how fast the water will pass through them, determining the strength of your coffee. 

Coarse Ground

If your beans are ground coarsely, the water will move quickly between the pieces, extracting only some of the flavour. To get a full balance of flavour, it’s best to brew these grounds for a bit longer so more of the flavour is extracted. That’s why, for example, a French Press can take four minutes to get the perfect brew.

Fine Ground

Finely ground beans mean the coffee grinds are, well, fine, and packed more closely. Water can take longer to pass through all the grounds and, as a result, extract more of the flavour. That’s why when you’re brewing an espresso, you only need a fraction of the time you’d use with a French Press to get the full flavour of your coffee.

Why Not Always Use a Fine Grind to Extract More Flavour if It Takes Less Time?

Although fine ground beans will extract quite a bit of flavour, this isn’t ideal when it comes to making certain brews. Different coffee brewing systems require different types of coffee grinds, and it also comes down to personal taste!

There’s more to it, but if you find your coffee is too sour or watery, you’ll need to grind your beans finer. If it’s bitter or extremely acidic, you’ll need to grind your beans coarser.

How Should I Grind My Beans?

Here are some general guidelines for choosing the best grind, primarily depending on your brew method. However, your personal preferences will win out in the end. Use these guidelines and adjust the fineness or coarseness of your coffee grinds as your taste buds dictate.

Coarse Grind. This larger coffee grind is best for brew methods that involve immersion in water, like a French Press. 

Medium-Coarse Grind. This slightly smoother but still fairly large coffee grind is ideal to use with most pour-over brewers, like a Chemex.

Medium Grind. This sandy-textured coffee grind is one of the most popular grinds, perfect for drip brewing coffee makers and aeropress.

Medium-Fine Grind. This grind is like silky sand, but doesn’t stick together and is another excellent choice for most pour-over brewers. That’s why we make this the grind size for all of our ground coffee.

Fine Grind. This silky grind is finer than table salt. A fine grind is the perfect choice for espresso machines because it packs together well.

Check out Level Ground's Coffee Collection here.

Happy Grinding!


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