Brewing coffee well depends upon a few major factors. One of the most overlooked factors is the grind of coffee. Depending on how you are going to brew coffee, the grind will have to be changed in order to maximise results. For a regular drip cup of coffee, you will need a medium-fine grind. For espresso, a very fine grind is necessary. For French Press, an incredible coarse grind is needed. The finer the beans the more surface area is available for brewing. Grinding coarse usually leads to a more bitter brew, however, it usually is faster since the water does have to travel through a compressed space. A finer grind allows for a more even extraction, which is why it is needed for espresso, pour overs, and other drip coffee methods.
Grinding your coffee right before you brew is also a great help to enhancing your coffee’s freshness and taste. Buying whole beans and only grinding before you brew coffee, no matter the method helps keep the coffee stored better and allows for the coffee to be ground specifically for each brew method right before you brew.
There are also two types of grinders; blade grinders are the most common and also the cheaper of the two types of grinders. While cheaper, blade grinders produce a choppy grind that lacks precision and can negatively affect the flavor of your coffee. The grind is choppy due to blade grinders being just straight metal pieces, whirling in a circular motion. Blade grinders tend to make coffee bitter and produce an overall less satisfactory brew. The other type of grinder is a burr grinder. Burr grinders are conical, metal pieces that spin rapidly together to finely mince every part of the coffee beans, unlike a blade grinder. Burr grinders are more expensive and while not hard to find are more ideal for someone committed to working on their craft coffee. More beginner burr grinders are still relatively inexpensive but will definitely be more than a blade grinder. Burr grinders are easily adjustable and result in your coffee being more precise in taste and flavor.
Of course, coffee can still be bought pre-ground and still taste fine, but it definitely will be invaluable to invest in a grinder to make your coffee taste even better at home!
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