Grinding your Coffee Beans in 4 Easy Steps
One of the pleasurable moments is to taste a cup of freshly-brewed coffee at home straight from your coffee grinders. However, if you buy pre-ground coffee, it loses its aroma and flavor very quickly once the package is open due to exposure of oxygen. So to produce that great cup of coffee, it is important to start by grinding the coffee beans just before brewing.
Step 1: Measure up the coffee beans
Most people use one tablespoon of coffee per 6 ounces (177ml) of water. But if you like stronger coffee, experiment and adjust the measurement.
Step 2: Choose the best coffee grinder
There are basically 3 kinds of coffee grinder out in the market- the burr grinder, blade grinder and hand grinder. For a complete guide on the types of coffee grinders, please go here. Here’s a brief summary on which type of coffee grinder to use when grinding your coffee.
Perhaps the best way to grind the coffee beans is the conical burr coffee grinder. Though it is a little pricy but gives you a consistent and even grind. The burr grinder allows you to adjust the setting of the grinding from coarse to fine.
- Blade coffee Grinder
The blade grinder is more commonly used and less expensive. Blade grinders are best used for a fine grind, although it is very important to get a high-quality blade grinder or else this might damage the aroma and flavor of the coffee beans. It is important to note that the blade grinder uses high-speed metal blades which often destroys the aroma of the coffee during the spinning and chopping the beans.
This is probably the one grinder that requires the most skill because good control of the speed of rotation and the force applied is crucial to achieving that correct coffee grind. The best part about the hand grinder is that there is really no heat or temperature involved (as compared to the electric burr grinder), so the aroma and consistency of the coffee grind is preserved without damaging the flavor.
Step 3: Determine the grind size for the perfect coffee brewing method.
This is often the most crucial thing to note before brewing your coffee as different grind sizes make different types of coffee. The following table will help determine what grind size you need based on what brewing method that you intend to use.
|Grind Size||Brewing Method|
|Coarse||French press/ Percolator|
|Medium||Drip coffee machine with flat bottom filters|
|Fine||Drip coffee machine with cone shaped filters|
|Extra-fine||Espresso machine/Moka pots|
Step 4: Grind your coffee beans
When using a burr grinder, first pour the coffee beans in on the top of the grinder. Close the cover. Adjust the grind setting to either fine, medium or coarse grinding. Then set how much coffee to grind in ounces and press start. The ground coffee will distribute from the bottom of the grinder. Once the coffee beans are the grind, take the ground coffee out from the grinder and immediately to the coffee machine and start brewing for that perfect ‘fresh’ coffee!
For the blade grinder, pour the coffee beans into the grinder, close the cover on top and press down the grind. For the best even result, grind the coffee with a few short bursts. The blade grinder is best for brewing coffee using paper filter coffee machine. Do not overload or over grind your coffee beans. If you do, it might lead to uneven grinding and bitter coffee. Be careful not to overheat your blade grinder because the can destroy the aroma and flavor of the coffee, giving it a burnt taste.
Probably the most vintage way of making coffee, the hand-grinder requires you to put it some effort yourself in grinding the coffee – but nothing really tastes better than coffee specially ground by your own hands. First, empty the coffee beans into the hand-grinder (not too much at a time, otherwise it’s more difficult to achieve consistency).
Start grinding your coffee beans in a clockwise direction – although occasionally you may want to change direction to anti-clockwise in a few short bursts to push away residual coffee that’s “stuck” around your blades moving in the same direction. Remember, control here is key so you don’t want to use too much force or high spin rotation – just spin it until the coffee beans are evenly ground.
Once it’s done, empty the coffee grinder halfway through to inspect the coffee grind – then continue on grinding with the lower-half. This achieves maximum consistency throughout the grind and preserves the freshness of the coffee.