Coffee 101: Grind
So many frustrated coffee drinkers blame their brewing machine or the coffee they purchased, when it’s almost always problems with grind that lead to an imbalanced and unsatisfying brew. So, before you run out and expend your coffee budget for another brewer, we suggest you first invest in a quality home coffee grinder.
Coffee ground too coarsely will result in a brew that’s under-extracted and tastes thin, bitter and sour. Coffee that’s ground too finely will be over-extracted and taste woody, silty and bitter.
Grind and extraction time go hand in hand when brewing coffee. Fine grinds usually result in a longer brew and extraction time. For coarse grinds it is the opposite.
- EITHER: If the coffee grounds aren’t infused long enough, they don’t get fully saturated. As a result, they don’t release the full spectrum of coffee flavors, which results in a thin, acidic, and sour brew with distinct bitter highlights. This is called under-extraction.
- OR: If the coffee grounds are infused in hot water too long, they release — in addition to the full coffee flavor — the unpleasant taste sensations of the coffee bean’s fibrous content, which consists of woody, silty, oily, mineral and sometimes chemical off-flavors that are always bitter and sludgy. This is called over-extraction.
- BOTH: Some grinders are so inefficient that the final result includes particles that are both too fine and too coarse. The result: imagine a brew that has all the off-flavors of under-extraction AND over-extraction!
**A quick remedy: you can purchase coffee that’s ground by your coffee roaster or at your shop. Make sure their grinders are calibrated regularly or doing so is of no use.
For a fresh and perfectly extracted brew GRIND YOUR OWN! The most important step to quality home-brewed coffee burr or conical grinder. This way your grind is fresh and at the correct particle size. Avoid inexpensive blade grinders because the result is always coffee with a wide range in particle size (ruined!!)