Coffee Grind Size Chart | Ultimate guide to All coffee drinks

To make a perfect cup of coffee at home, you need a perfectly sized coffee ground. Because when it comes to coffee grounds, SIZE MATTERS!

I have seen most people doing it wrong. And you can’t enjoy the real flavors of coffee if you choose the wrong grind size.

Depending on the type of brewing method you use, there is different preferred grind size, and if you are like me, who switch types of coffee drinks regularly depending on the mood, you might end up mixing the grind sizes.

But Don’t Worry! You don’t have to remember them all. In this article, I will discuss seven different types of coffee grounds thoroughly, and in the end, there is a coffee grind size chart that you can download. 

But first, let’s dive into why grind size matters and how it can affect your coffee taste.

Coffee Grind sizes
Coffee Grind sizes

Why does grind size matter, and how does it affect the taste of your coffee drink?

Even if you buy the best and most fresh coffee beans, you will still get a bad cup of coffee if you use the wrong grind size.

While, as mentioned earlier, grind size is subjective to the type of coffee drink. Nevertheless, you will generally get an under-extracted cup of coffee if you use too coarse coffee grounds and an over-extracted cup of coffee if you use too fine coffee grounds.

While extraction of coffee flavors also depends on many other factors like the steeping time and water temperature. But the size of coffee grounds is the most prominent factor because the exposed surface area increases as the size of grounds decreases. And as the surface area increases, the flavors get extracted readily (also the bitter flavors)

Under extracted coffee

You will get an under-extracted cup of coffee if you use too coarse coffee grounds. The flavor of under-extracted coffee will be too acidic or sour and taste watery.

Over Extracted coffee

You will get an over-extracted cup of coffee if you use too fine coffee grounds. There will be too much bitterness in the cup of over-extracted coffee, which is certainly not desirable

It’s important to aim for a balanced extraction, so all of the tasting notes can come out, producing a sweet, well-rounded, and mildly acidic cup of coffee.

7 Popular coffee grind sizes

There are seven popular grind sizes ranging from Extreme fine to Extreme coarse, and I must say if you master them, you can brew every type of coffee drink at your home with the perfect taste.

Now let’s dive into the details of 7 popular grind sizes, what they look like, and what grind size is best for what brewing method.

Extreme fine

Extreme fine coffee grounds look like flour or powder. These grounds are exclusively used for Turkish coffee; if you haven’t heard of Turkish coffee before, you probably might not have also seen these grounds.

There are no filters involved in the Turkish brewing method, and all the grounds either dissolve entirely into the drink or settle at the bottom. That’s why extreme fine grounds are used so they can easily settle at the bottom and do not make your drink muddy.

Extreme fine grounds
Extreme fine grounds

Fine

Fine coffee grounds are the most popular grind size; the reason is they are used in the most popular brewing methods i-e Espresso. It is also known as Espresso grind for a reason. 

The texture of fine grounds is like powdered sugar or a little finer than table salt.

Fine grounds are suitable for brewing processes that use pressurized water and short brewing time i-e, Espresso, Moka Pot, and Aero press (limit the brew time to 60-90 seconds) 

Fine coffee grounds
Fine coffee grounds

Medium fine

Medium-fine coffee grounds are most suitable for brewing pour-over style coffee. 

The texture of medium-fine grounds is compared to table salt and is a little finer than the sand.

Medium Fine grounds are for pour-over coffee lovers who want their coffee to be a little bitter and richer than normal. This grind size is perfect for cone-shaped brewers like Hario V60 and Kalita Wave and also for Aeropress.

Medium Fine Grounds
Medium Fine Grounds

Medium

Medium fine grounds look like fine sand and lie exactly between Extreme coarse and Extreme Fine.

Like Medium Fine grounds, Fine grounds are also perfect for Pour-over coffee and cone-shaped brewers like Hario V60, Kalita Wave, and AeroPress (increase the brew time up to 3 to 4 minutes). It is also the most suitable grind size for Drip coffee machines. 

For pour-over coffee, you can use all three Medium fine, Medium, and Medium coarse grounds. It solely depends on your test. As you make the grind finer, your pour-over coffee will become more bitter and stronger. As you move towards coarse, your drink will become smoother and acidic. 

Medium Coffee Grounds
Medium Coffee Grounds

Medium Coarse 

Medium coarse coffee grounds have an appearance similar to rough or coarse sound. 

Medium Coarse can be used for French Press if you want it stronger, but it can make your drink a little muddy

This grind size is perfect for Chemex, Clever dripper, and café solo brewer. The brewing style of these methods is similar to French Press but with the addition of a filter.

Medium Coarse grounds
Medium Coarse grounds

Coarse

Coarse Grind is also known as French Press grind, with an appearance similar to sea salt. 

Coarse Grind is well suited for French Press as they can easily be filtered out with the Metal strainer of the French Press coffee maker.

Coarse grounds are also used for Coffee cupping by Baristas. Cupping is the act of tasting, evaluating, and comparing coffees based on their flavor, quality, and potential.

Coarse coffee grounds
Coarse coffee grounds

  

Extreme coarse

The texture of extreme grounds is similar to peppercorns, and you can easily get them by adjusting the grind settings of your burr grinder to the maximum.

Extreme coarse grind size is perfect for brewing the Cold brew method because of the long immersion time. Otherwise, it will become too bitter if we use fine grounds.

Cowboy coffee brewing style also Extreme coarse grounds.

Extra Coarse Coffee Grounds
Extreme Coarse Coffee Grounds

Coffee Grind Size Chart for all the coffee brewing methods

Hmm! you are not good at remembering things? Simply download this Coffee Grind Size Chart and keep it with you!

Just give it a look whenever you want to brew a different coffee drink.

Coffee grind size chart
Coffee grind size chart

There is a simple rule when deciding on a grind size for any type of coffee drink.

Coffee drinks like Cold brew and French Press are immersion-type brewing methods in which coffee and water stay in contact for a long time. To prevent over-extraction we use coarse grounds.

Espresso and Moka pot uses pressurized water or steam during the process which contacts with water for only a few seconds. To prevent under extraction we use fine grounds for these methods.

In the middle, there are drip coffee and pour-over brewing method in which hot water extract flavors from the coffee grounds for a few minutes. So for these methods, medium grounds are the best.

Why you should grind your own beans?

You might be thinking, why invest so much time and money in buying a coffee grinder when you can easily purchase pre-ground coffee from a local store.

Well! The simple answer is “Maximum Freshness”. If you want your cup of coffee to be fresh and full of flavors, then you should grind your beans right before brewing coffee.

According to coffee experts, freshly roasted coffee beans maximize in flavors within two weeks of roasting, and after that, the flavors start degrading.

Pre-ground coffee degrades more quickly than whole bean coffee because of an enlarged exposed area. Pre-ground coffee losses flavor even if stored properly in an airtight container.

And the best thing is if you own a coffee grinder, you can grind beans to any setting according to your taste. And you can also enjoy different brewing styles according to your mood.

In the end, it all comes to Freshness. If you can not compromise on the taste and Freshness of your cup of coffee, then it will not be fair to compromise on buying pre-ground coffee.

What type of coffee grinder is better?

Until now, we have discussed everything you want to know about coffee grind types. So, let’s now discuss what type of coffee grinder will be best to get those grounds.

Blade vs burr Coffee grinder

There are two types of coffee grinders Blade and Burr. Blade grinders are present in almost every kitchen, and they work well for other purposes such as crushing spices, but when it comes to grinding coffee beans, they are total crap.

In a blade grinder, there are two blades at the bottom of the chamber that spins rapidly and grinds anything that comes in contact with them. 

In this grinding process, heat is produced, which speeds up the oxidation rate of coffee grinders, resulting in a loss of flavor in the coffee grounds.

Coffee beans at the bottom of the blade grinder get hit by the blade continuously, becoming finer and finer, and those at the top get hit occasionally and remain coarse.

We know that consistency is the key when it comes to coffee grounds, but with a blade grinder, we get coffee grounds of all sizes, from extra fine to extra coarse, and sometimes there is also a whole coffee bean present among the grounds. You can’t control the grind size while using blade grinders.

As discussed above, different grind sizes extract flavors and oils at a different rates. So, we get an unbalanced cup of coffee with inconsistent flavors, whatever brewing method you use.

On the other hand, burr grinders use two burrs in a grinding area to crush the coffee beans. Burr grinders are perfect for grinding coffee beans.

Burrs are made of stainless steel material which precisely crushes the coffee beans. Due to the slow process, very little heat is produced, which is also a plus point.

Another advantage of burr grinders is that you can adjust the space between the burrs so that you can get coffee grounds of the desired size.

Manual vs electric coffee grinder

So now that I have convinced you to buy a burr grinder, the question is whether to get an electric burr grinder or a manual burr grinder.

Well! Both the manual and electric burr grinders work fine. It is just a matter of preference or convenience, how much budget you want to spend on a grinder, and whether or not you are willing to spend time and energy in grinding coffee beans.

The design of manual burr grinders is very simple, and I must say they are more long-lasting than electric grinders.

If you are a travel enthusiast and coffee is an essential part of your travel gear, then a manual grinder will be the best option for you.

Also, manual grinders cost way less than electric coffee grinders. You can easily get a good manual coffee grinder in a price range of 15 to 30 dollars. On the other hand, electric coffee grinders are expensive, and you can get a good one in the range of 70 to 100 dollars.

The downside of manual grinders is that you don’t have many options for the grind settings. Indeed, the grind settings of the seven famous grind sizes I mentioned above are available, but it’s less than electric grinders, which offer 30 to 40 grind settings.

When it comes to convenience, then undoubtedly electric ones win the race. Electric Burr grinders are highly convenient and offer up to 40 grind settings. You just have to put the coffee beans in the hopper and adjust the grind settings, and your grounds will be ready in a few minutes.

Grind Settings for popular coffee grinders

For making your life easier, we have added the grind settings of the seven most popular grinders.

The grind settings for every grinder is different, that’s because every brand manufacture grinders according to their design.

If you have one of these grinders, just copy the grind settings from this table and grind your beans to prepare a delicious and flavorful cup of coffee.

Coffee Drinks Bratza Encore OXO Brew Conical Burr Grinder Eureka Mignon Burr Grinder Cuisinart Professional Burr Mill Krups Burr Grinder Capresso infinity Burr rinder Hario Skerton Pro Manual Grinder
Turkish 1 – 3 1 fine 1 1 1 4 clicks
Espresso Shots 4 – 9 1 – 3 fine 2 – 4 2 – 4 2 – 4 4 clicks
Aeropress 4 – 23 1 – 8 fine – medium 2 – 10 2 – 10 2 – 9 4 – 9 clicks
Hario v60 11 – 16 4 – 6 medium 5 – 7 5 – 7 4 – 6 4 – 6 clicks
Moka pot 4 – 16 1 – 6 fine – medium 2 – 7 2 – 7 2 – 6 4 – 6 clicks
Drip coffee machine 17 – 23 6 – 8 medium 8 – 10 7 – 10 7 – 9 7 – 9 clicks
Pour-over Coffee 11 – 29 4 – 11 medium 5 – 13 5 – 12 4 – 12 4 – 12 clicks
Chemex 24 – 29 9 – 11 medium 11 – 13 10 – 12 10 – 12 10 – 12 clicks
French press 31 – 36 11 – 13 coarse 14 – 16 13 – 15 12 – 14 12 – 14 clicks
Cold-brew 31 – 40 11 – 15 coarse 14 – 18 13 – 17 12 – 16 12 – 16 clicks
Cowboy Coffee 37 – 40 14 – 15 coarse 17 – 18 16 – 17 15 – 16 15 – 16 clicks
Grind Settings for popular coffee grinders

Yeah, I know; various grind settings for each type of coffee drink are listed on the table. That’s because they lie in the same range, and there will be only a little difference in the size of the grounds.

Faqs

How long can you store ground coffee?

It’s always a best practice to grind coffee beans just before brewing a cup of coffee. The oxidation process starts as soon as you grind the coffee beans. If you want the full flavors in your cup of coffee, try to brew in ten to twenty minutes of brewing.
It’s not like your coffee grounds will become completely useless after twenty minutes. In fact, if you are not very taste conscious, you will not notice any difference even after a day or two. But if you are too serious about the freshness of a cup of joe, then try to consume grounds as early as you grind them.

Can I ask my roasters to grind the coffee beans?

Yeah, you can ask your roaster to grind coffee beans for you. But the coffee grounds will surely degrade in flavor as you have to store them for a while because you can’t go to the roaster whenever you want a cup of coffee.
But you can take other measures which can help preserve the flavors to some extent, like storing coffee grounds in an airtight container, storing them in a dark and dry place, and trying to finish them as soon as possible.

Can I grind coffee beans in a blender?

Yeah, you can grind the coffee beans in a blender. I mean, you can do everything you want. But if you are a serious coffee drinker, you should never do that.
Blender works just like blade grinders; they come in various sizes and shapes, but the working principle is the same, and as discussed above, blade grinders are the worst for grinding coffee beans. 
I think buying pre-ground coffee is better than grinding coffee beans in a blender or blade grinders. 
You will get inconsistent grounds if you use a blender and inconsistent grounds result in an unbalanced and flavorless cup of coffee.

Is the finer the grind, the stronger the coffee?

Yeah, using finer grounds will make your coffee stronger, but bitter flavors also dominate while using finer grounds. And an overly bitter cup of coffee is certainly not desirable.
The grind size is not the only factor that makes the coffee stronger; many other factors affect the robustness of coffee, like the type of roast, region of coffee beans, brewing style, and steeping time.
Stick to our coffee grind size chart, and you will never face a problem with the size of coffee grounds.

Do I Need to Grind My Coffee Beans Fresh Every time?

Ideally yes! You have to grind coffee beans every time just before brewing a cup of coffee.
But if you are not too serious about the freshness of your cup of coffee, you can store the grounds in an airtight container and place them in a dry and dark place.