Grinding degree espresso vs. filter coffee

Coffee grinders
Updated on 24 Jul 2023
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How do you determine the grind for your coffee? It’s the question that can keep baristas busy as well as people who like to brew a pot of pleur for themselves or visitors at home. You will need to grind coffee beans for an espresso, for example, very differently than filter coffee. I did find out in all the years I’ve been making coffee that grinding is one of the most underrated aspects of coffee making, but it is crucial to flavor.

How to determine the right grind size

There are plenty of people who are willing to invest big money in a beautiful, expensive espresso machine. They have searched the Internet for beautiful machines and now there is a mighty coffee machine at home. Only problem is that making a cup of espresso is actually not at all as easy as it looked on the videos. I think the problem is the coffee grinder, the bean grinder.

Is regular pre-ground coffee not good enough?

Many people will just use the simple pre-ground coffee powder to brew a cup of black slush. However, in doing so, they have not thought about the word extraction. Let me explain briefly. The grind rate determines how fast the water soaks through the coffee. With a coarse grind, the water will quickly draw through the coffee and extract less flavor from the coffee grains. With a fine grind, the water pulls through slowly.

What effect does a bean grinder have on taste?

With under-extraction, if the water pulls through too quickly, you will soon find that an espresso has little flavor. With overextraction, the coffee is ground too finely, the water will extract more flavor from the coffee and it will take longer for the water to run through it. An espresso cup can then be filled with a very bitter and strong brew. Finding the middle ground is quite an art.

Getting handy with a bean grinder

This is precisely the theme on which the good baristas can be distinguished from the perfect baristas. A perfect barista has a sense of extraction and feels exactly which beans require which grind. So a cup of espresso will have exactly the right aromas and flavors, and filter coffee will also have the right flavors and aromas in a completely different way.

How to find the right grind as a hobbyist

However, you don’t have to be a professional to master bean grinding. You can also just buy a bean grinder and experiment a bit. Below we have a brief overview of the different types of coffee and the degree to which the beans should be ground.

  • Filter coffee – v=For filter coffee, it is good to keep a fairly coarse grind. This is because the water seeps through the filter slowly and has enough time to extract the flavors and aromas from the fairly coarse coffee grains.
  • Espresso – To make the perfect espresso, it is a good idea to use very fine coffee powder. This is because water is forced through it at high pressure and the time the water comes into contact with the coffee is quite short.

The different flavors in coffee

You may find that your bakkies pleur can go in two different directions. Either the coffee is too bitter, or the coffee is very sour. I once heard this rule of thumb: if the grind is coarse, the coffee will taste sour, and if the grind is fine, your cup will come out bitter. So you can influence coffee taste by grinding your own beans.

Invest in a good bean grinder

So I can really recommend investing in a bean grinder. It is one of the simplest ways to adjust the taste of your final filter coffee or espresso – just what you like. It is perhaps the key to making a good espresso that is the basis for all other coffee drinks, such as cappuccinos, latte macchiatos and so on.

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