The Daily Grind: How You Should be Grinding Coffee (But Probably Aren’t)
Nothing hits the spot like a cup of freshly ground coffee. If done just prior to brewing, you can truly bring out the aroma and fresh flavor. There is more that goes into properly ground coffee than you may expect. Grind Type First, you should select the type of grind based on the way in which you brew your coffee. Use as fine a grind as possible for your brewing method, without making it too fine. For example, using a very fine grind on a dip coffee maker can clog the filter, but doing so on a French press actually gets the coffee through the filter. Your brewing method will also determine the length of time that it takes to grind the coffee. Grinders Next, comes the star of the process––the grinder, itself. Though there are many kinds of grinders to choose from, using a conical burr grinder yields the best results. The conical type of burr grinder is the best to use, as the quality of coffee beans produced is considered to be much higher. This is because it smashes the beans over a larger surface area, and since it takes longer, you can prevent heat build-up. The grinder crushes the beans between two plates, one that is stationary and one that is moving. The positioning on the burr allows you to achieve a more consistent grind, as that regulates the ground size. Because the beans are crushed, not sliced, there is no burnt taste or flavor loss. As you can learn here, "coffee roasters and commercial coffee companies use burr grinders, and they are available in all sizes from large commercial grinders to countertop models. While you could get away with using a blade grinder for brewing coffee in a drip machine using paper filters, you should use a burr grinder if you are brewing coffee with a French press, or using a permanent filter." However, coffee consumers who use coffee grinders at home most commonly have blade grinders. These use blades that rapidly chop the coffee beans into grounds. Unfortunately, this frequently causes uneven coffee grounds and overheating, which in turn, results in an unevenly flavored cup of coffee. If you do have to use a blade grinder, here are a couple recommendations. First, you should ideally grind your coffee right before you pour the water or brew. If you want to use the ground coffee later, be sure to use a sealed container and store it in a cool place. Now that you know that the way in which you grind your coffee can either enhance or deteriorate the rich flavors and aromas, go forth and get grinding! Try some new grinding techniques, and follow these guidelines, and you are on the way to a more refined cup of hot coffee.