If you love coffee, there's nothing like grinding it yourself from fresh beans. The aroma and flavor of home-ground beans is better than the pre-ground version every time. Now that you're ready to upgrade, it's important to figure out what grind level matches your coffee maker. Once you know whether your coffee needs to be coarsely ground, finely ground or somewhere in between, you can pick the right grinder to use the job. And just in case you ever find yourself stuck with a pile of beans and no grinder in sight, it's a good idea to have some hacks up your sleeve so you can get coffee into your system ASAP.
Part One of Three:
Matching Your Grind Level to Your Coffee MakerEdit
1Use a very coarse grind for cold-brewed coffee. If you have a Toddy Brewer or you simply want to try your hand at making cold-brewed, you need a very coarse grind. Coarsely-ground coffee bits are about the same size as black pepper corns. Use a light hand with your grinder to achieve this grind.
2Use a coarse grind for French press pots. If you have a fancy French press, you want the beans to be ground coarsely so they resemble cracked peppercorns or potting soil. The larger pieces of bean will create a cleaner cup of coffee, whereas a finer grind would result in a muddier final pour.
- If you have a Chemex or cafe solo brewer, grind it coarsely and give it just one extra pulse. Chemex and cafe solo brewers require a medium coarse grind.
3Use a medium grind for drip pots. This is the most popular type of coffee maker, so chances are you'll need to grind your beans to medium at one point or another. Use this grind for both cone or flat-bottomed filters. A medium grind is the texture of sand.
- If you have a pour over cone, a vacuum pot or a siphon dripper, use a medium-find grind.
4Use a fine grind for Espresso and Turkish coffee. If you're making special coffee, you'll need a special grind. A fine or extra-fine grind is the texture of flour. This can only be achieved with a burr grinder.Advertisement
Part Two of Three:
Using Your GrinderEdit
1Pick out a grinder that matches your coffee maker. You've determined what grind level you need for your coffee maker, so make sure your grinder is up to the job. There are three main types of grinders to choose from, and they're each great for different grind levels:
- A blade grinder is perfect for very coarse, medium coarse, coarse, or medium grinds. This is the most common type of grinder since it works well for drip coffee makers, French presses and cold brew makers alike. The beans are put into the top of the grinder, and when you put the lid on and press it down, it activates a blade that chops up the beans.
- A burr grinder is necessary to achieve medium fine, fine and very finely ground coffee. Blade grinders simply can't cut it that finely. If you're making Turkish coffee or Espresso, you need a burr grinder for it to come out right. Burr grinders are more expensive than blade grinders, but you can set them to any level of grind. Get this grinder if precision is important to you.
- Finally, you can use a hand grinder if you like to do things the old-fashioned way. You load the beans in a canister and pump a handle that causes the blades inside to churn. This type of grinder is fun to use, but it won't give you as precise a grind as the electric grinders.
2Plan to grind coffee just before you brew it. You might be tempted to grind up enough to last the week, and while this might be convenient (and keep your partner happy, since the noise of a grinder isn't the prettiest sound to wake up to every morning), your coffee will taste better if you use freshly ground beans. You bought whole beans and you have a grinder, so you might as well get the most out of your coffee every day.
3Measure out your beans. Measure out about two tablespoons of coffee beans per cup. This differs slightly according to taste, but it's the generally rule for making coffee. If you like your coffee strong, use about two tablespoons of beans per six ounces; if you're a fan of slightly watery coffee, use two tablespoons of beans per eight ounces.
- Your individual grinder and coffee maker will also play a part in the strength of your coffee. Experiment to figure out exactly what amount of beans to use for your particular setup to come up with coffee that tastes sublime.
- Place the beans in the grinder according to the manufacturer's instructions. Most grinders have a canister near the top of the machine with a lid you remove and replace.
4Grind the coffee. Operate the grinder according to the manufacturer's instructions. If you have a burr grinder, all you need to do is set the grinder so that it performs the proper grind. If you have a blade grinder, push down on the top or press the button to pulse the beans until they reach the proper grind. And if you're using a hand grinder, pump the handle until the beans are ground.
- With a blade grinder, you'll need to lift the grinder and shake it up a little between pulses. This ensures the beans get properly ground.
- It might take a few tries before you figure out how to use your grinder to get the exact grind you want.
Part Three of Three:
Grinding Coffee Without a GrinderEdit
1Use a blender. Put your beans in the blender and use the pulse setting to grind them as finely as you can. You probably won't be able to achieve a finer grind than a medium to medium coarse grind, but this will be fine if you have a drip maker or a French press.
2Try a mortar and pestle. Place the beans in the mortar and grind them with the pestle, as you would grind peppercorns and other spices. Keep going until you've ground them to the level you need. It will take some elbow grease, but eventually you'll have enough to make delicious coffee.
3Use a hammer. If you're really desperate, place the coffee beans between two sheets of waxed paper on a sturdy surface that won't get damaged by a hammer. Use a hammer to smash the beans until you've pulverized them to a grind suitable for your coffee maker.Advertisement
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- Burr mills provide uniform size of ground particles assures full aroma brew.
- Make sure the coffee you are grinding will be used within the next 2-3 days.
- Most regular stores with households products carry coffee grinders mentioned above.
- You can also find old fashioned hand-crank coffee mills on the Internet.
Things You'll NeedEdit
- Burr grinder
- Blade grinder
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