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Best Practises For Grinding Your Coffee At Home

…coffee to make you smile

Blades v Burrs?
Why grind at home?
What kind of coffee do you want?

There is a lot to get your head around if you’re a novice grinder at home, but one thing most baristas and all folk in the coffee industry agree on is that grinding at home is infinitely better than buying ready-ground.

This is because of oxidation, a natural process that begins as soon as you open up each bag of roasted beans and expose it to the air.

So essentially, grinding your beans is best done at the last possible moment if you want the best flavour.

Tips for home grinding

The website “I need coffee“ has some useful tips on grinding:

  1. Keep the grinder clean.
  2. Never grind pre-flavoured beans.
  3. Grind just prior to brewing.
  4. To achieve a more consistent grind gently shake the apparatus while grinding.
  5. Use the correct size for your equipment. 

You will have to get used to how your own grinder works best because timing can be critical.

The seven main grind levels and their uses:

Grind LevelBest Used For
Extra Coarse grindfor cold brewing methods
Coarse Coffee Grindis most commonly used for French Press coffee
Medium-Coarse Coffee Grindis used in speciality devices
Medium Coffee Grindis used in Drip brewing methods
Medium-Fine Coffee Grindused for Pour over Cones, Vacuum Pots, and Siphon Brewers
Fine Coffee grindused for espresso
Extra Fine Coffee Grindis used for Turkish coffee

But you need to experiment to find what works for you using your own equipment. It’s a labour of love, really!

How to get started with home grinding

The blogger “The Girl in the Café.com” has some tips for novices:

Start with one recipe first. Then only experiment with your grind size for your first few 5 or so coffee brews. You will hit a sweet spot.

When making a single cup, once you have hit your optimum volume weight (250g-280g) (8.8 – 9.8 oz), try to aim for your hot water to finish draining at around 3 minutes.

She says you can start playing around with dosage (the amount of coffee beans in) and yield (the end weight of your cup of coffee) after you have a better understanding of how to grind your coffee and adds that you should make sure you regularly clean your grinders.

The great debate: Blades v Burrs

Only it doesn’t seem to be really! The consensus among professionals comes down heavily on the side of Burrs.

What’s the difference between blades and burrs?

According to “Sigma Coffee”, blade grinders are “essentially food processors, there is no control. The motor spins blunt blades around, smashing the coffee purely by force.”

Burrs are a set of serrated plates, either conical or flat, and are engineered to slowly feed the beans to a very small area where the beans are processed in turn. The gap between the burrs can be adjusted to allow for controllability of the resulting grind size.

So with Burrs, you have more control over your grind size and can therefore have more control in grinding for the type of coffee you want (see list above).

According to one top barista, “The top models are all burr grinders because they’re more consistent and less aggressive with your coffee beans.”

There you have it! Not much debate there.

All speciality coffees from Christopher Montrose Coffee are available in beans, and if you haven’t invested in a grinder yet, you can order the coffee pre-ground. Just select your preference before you add the coffee to your shopping basket.

…coffee to make you smile
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+44 (0)20 3627 0969 [email protected]
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