Grind Science - Our Tips & Tricks

GRIND SIZE - EXPLAINED

Are you grinding your coffee at home, brewing, and then thinking ‘Wow, this cup of joe does NOT taste like the flavor notes on this bag?’ Or maybe you've been thinking about switching over to whole bean coffee to control freshness but you're not sure how to get your grinds right. Nothing is worse than a cup of coffee that tastes flat, hollow and like brown water. So, we get your pain if this is happening to you. Our number one tip for turning that boring cup of coffee into something magical is to control the grind size. Grind size is arguably the most important factor in the brewing process. And while coffee grinding might seem straight forward, it’s actually pretty darn tricky. Here are our top tips for getting the most flavor out of your brew:

GRIND SCIENCE

Grinding coffee beans increases their surface area. A fine grind has more surface area – this results in a longer extraction and brew time. A coarse grind will have less extraction and a shorter brew time. This is because when your water comes in contact with the grinds the contact time is dependent on the size of the coffee particles.

When your coffee tastes like you just ate unripe fruit, your grind size is too coarse so you need to adjust to a finer setting. Is your coffee harsh and bitter? Adjust to a coarser grind. Get comfortable with this process because you will have to occasionally tweak your grind settings!

PEAK FRESHNESS

Freshly roasted coffee is important when it comes to brewing a high-quality cup. Freshly ground coffee is even more important. Once coffee is ground, it immediately begins to oxidize which ages your coffee. We recommend you grind your coffee 15-20 minutes before you brew.

GRIND SIZE IN PHOTOS

Who else is confused by sea salt / table salt / sand references in relation to grind size? Let’s make this a bit simpler with some photos.

COARSE

Brew Method: French Press, Cold Brew.

MEDIUM FINE

Brew Method: Hario V60, Kalita Wave, and other cone shaped brewing gear

MEDIUM

Brew Method: Drip brewers

FINE

Brew Method: Espresso

WHAT GRINDER TO USE

Obviously you don’t have to buy whole bean coffee from us since we can grind your coffee for your particular brew method. However, for freshness sake, we suggest you invest in a grinder. You are going to get a much more dimensional cup of coffee if you grind it yourself. We personally like hand grinders the most because they are cheaper and portable. Going camping or on vacation take your grinder! The negative to a hand grinder is that it requires a bit of sweat equity. The Hario Skerton Grinder is a perfect option if you are looking to go this route. If you are not a morning person and the idea of using a hand crank for your morning cup sounds like a joke, we would go with a Baratza grinder. They are reliable, high-quality, and have a rockstar customer support staff.

GRIND INCONSITENCY

No matter how good your grinder is you will have some inconsistency with your coffee grounds. This doesn’t mean to give up altogether, it just means you’ll have to occasionally tweak your grind settings to get a quality extraction. We often use a sieve like the Kruve. The Kruve comes in different sizes to filter out grinds that are inconsistent with the type of brewing method you’ll be doing. If you are in pursuit of a perfect brew, this is the tool for you. Some recent barista champions have been Kruve-ing so you would be in elite company if you switched over.

HAVE FUN

Lastly, enjoy the process. Exploring brew methods and perfecting your cup of coffee is exciting and rewarding. Experiment with different variables to achieve the brew you are looking for. And if you have any questions, comments, or want to chat, call or email us:

209-576-1120 | info@claytoncoffee.com!


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