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Grinding the Coffee Gears: What Grind is for Me?

¡Halo! Welcome, if you’re on this article it’s either because you’re looking to buy some coffee but don’t know what grind to request or just curious. Regardless of the reason, let’s talk about what grinds the coffee gears:

Let’s start off with there’s probably an immeasurable amount of ways to achieve the same result: coffee. Regardless of the method there’s a few easy patterns to look for that I’ve learned through my own brewing journey. We’ll look at brewing on its own in a different blog. Right now let’s focus on what grind to get:

It’s a fair question, especially if you’re new to the world of grinding or if you own an auto brewer/single serve brewer like a nespresso or keurig. (Side note: No shame in that, we’re anti Coffee elitism here. Enjoy coffee in whatever form makes it: easier, more accessible, enjoyable, etc.)

Here’s a basic tidbit of information on some of the more common grinds and where they are best utilized for brewing:

Whole Bean: without a doubt this is the best way to maintain your coffee. Reason being is whole beans, when stored correctly have a much slower oxidation, degassing, and therefore longer freshness shelf-life (well dive into freshness and proper storable another time…). Not only that you have full flexibility in brewing with whole because you can grind your coffee to whatever brewing method you’re wanting to do.

Coarse: When I say coarse think in a sense “chunky”. If you’re using a manual grinder coarse ground will result in lots of different size grounds. On an automatic grinder it’ll be even, but the size of the grounds is very visible, like little confetti squares. Coarse coffees are best utilized for immersion style brews. Immersion brews basically means that the coffee grounds and water are mixed together and they are allowed to sit together for a longer period of time for extraction. Think: traditional Café de Olla, French Press (Cafetiére as it’s know in France) or Cold Brew. The separation of the grounds and water happens at the end of the extraction (brewing) period.

Medium-Coarse or Medium: These sit in a pretty wide range hence the vague category. These types of grinds are best for drip brewing methods. Now this includes a wide range and style of drip brewing. You can have manual drip brewing like traditional Thai coffees that use a small funnel contraption that brews directly into a mug. It can also be the pour over/Chemex process that’s growing in popularity ( Café colado as I know it). This category also includes your automatic brewers like your percolator and keurig (*I don’t include Nespresso in this category, since I see it as more of an automatic espresso-style machine).

Fine, Espresso, Turkish: These are all a category of really fine grinds. Similar in texture and appearance to regular table sugar. These grinds are meant for fast brewing methods, like traditional espresso machines, moka pots (known in some parts of Latin America Greca).

If nothing else just follow this rule and it’ll work MOST most of the time:

  • if you are brewing coffee by mixing the grounds and water, go coarse. Give the water more surface area of grounds to extract more flavor, also this will decrease the amount of grounds (or as we chapines call it: pusunque) that end up in your cup when you strain.

  • If you’re brewing vi a method tha

t pours that strains the coffee as it’s brewing go for a more mid grind. The idea is to have it coarse enough to let water move through the coffee bed, but not so fine that the water cannot strain through as easily. In this case your coffee & filer act like a pasta strainer.

  • If you’re doing a pressure style brew like espresso or greca. Go fine. You want the grounds to be packed enough to make the water to, in a sense, struggle a little bit to get through.

So there you have it! A quick guide on grinds and when to use them, so if you’re ordering a bag or two you’ll have a better idea of what grind will fit your brewing needs.

You can, and I encourage you to reach out via chat or email if you have questions relating to grinding! I want each of you to enjoy our coffees to the fullest! 🤍☕️

¡Ey vos, hechemonos una tacita más!

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