The Last Coffee Grind Size Chart You’ll Ever Need

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a paper containing a coffee grind chart

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Click the button below, print it off, and your grinding problems will be solved.

Your grounds are your most valuable and overlooked tool, until today. I’m going to share with you where you have been going wrong, and everything else there is to know about grinding coffee. By the time you have finished reading this post, you’ll be brewing the best coffee of your life.

First we’re going to take a quick look at the different grind sizes, when you should use each, and with which settings you can achieve them with your coffee grinder.

The Relationship Between Coffee Grounds, and Over/Under Extracted Coffee

Do not skip this section.

What you’re about to read is critical knowledge for brewing coffee. It’s time to understand coffee extraction, and in doing so, you’ll be able to avoid under and over-extraction.

Both are bad news for your coffee and bad news for you. Avoiding this is actually the whole reason we use different grind sizes for different coffee makers.

Your goal in choosing a grind size: extract the perfect amount of flavor from your coffee. Too little and you’ve under-extracted it, too much and you’ve over extracted it.

  • Your grounds are too coarse = Under extraction. This is when you have not extracted enough flavor out of your ground coffee
  • Your grounds are too fine = Over extracted. This is when you have extracted too much flavor out of your coffee - and it becomes overpowering and unpleasant

What does poorly extracted coffee taste like?

UNDER EXTRACTED

  • Sour
  • Acidic
  • Salty

OVER EXTRACTED

  • Bitter
  • Hollow - A lack any notable coffee bean flavors
how grinding coffee incorrectly results in either under vs over extracted coffee

For a really in-depth journey of how over or under extracted coffee will taste, read this guide (2).

....So you’ve made a coffee, and to your disgust it tastes like it’s been poorly extracted. You don’t want it to happen again, wasting more precious coffee, but you have no idea where you went wrong.

We’ve got you! You need to tweak either the brew time, your water temperature or your grind size, based on how it tastes:

FLAVOR

BREW TIME

WATER TEMP

GRIND

Sour

Increase

Decrease

Finer

Bitter

Decrease

Hotter

Coarser

I made a handy coffee grind chart for you:  >>> GET IT BY CLICKING HERE  use it to dial in your grinds fast, and improve your coffee instantly.

Blade vs Burr Grinders

Before you read any further: if you’ve been using a blade grinder for your coffee beans, you’ve been making the most common coffee grinding mistake that exists. Do NOT grind your coffee beans with a blade grinder. Doing so is WORSE than buying pre-ground coffee.

Yes, worse. Why?

First of all, the key to brewing a great cup of coffee is consistency, and if your little grinds are not all the same size, some will be over extracted, some will be under extracted, and the result will be, well... shit coffee.

Shake your blade grinder around all you want, you’re never going to get them 100% consistent. 

grounds made with blade grinders and vs the ones made with conical burr grinder

Here's what you can expect your coffee grounds to look like when using blade grinders vs burr grinders.

Aside from a clear lack of consistency, blade coffee grinders have another pitfall: they can only work by spinning extremely fast, which causes heat and friction. This heat and friction, as you guessed, is bad news. This means your coffee is already heating up so it won’t taste as fresh and the end result will be overcooked.

Now, compare all that nonsense to a burr grinder, which use uniform pressure and rotation to essentially ‘crush’ beans into a perfect consistency. They can achieve this at low speeds, meaning no added heat, and maintain a precise and consistent uniform grind. 

Too sum it up

  • Opt for a burr grinder (a conical burr grinder, to be particular) over blade
  • Blade coffee grinders cannot achieve enough consistency, and the heat will overcook your coffee
  • Buying pre ground, while not ideal, is a better option than using a blade grinder

Have you thrown your blade grinder away or given it to a friend with less coffee principles? Get yourself one of these, from our list of the best rated burr grinders. More of the nomadic type? Check out these hand grinders here.

Brewing for espresso? It's even more critical that your grinds are uniform/consistent.
If you use something like a blade grinder, here's what is likely to happen, and don’t say we didn’t warn you:

under extracted coffee grinds and over extracted coffee grinds stuck in a portafilter

All the Coffee Grind Size Numbers You’ll Ever Need

The following seven grind sizes are all you’ll need to brew great cups of joe with a range of different coffee brewing methods. 

You can not just choose one grind size and use it for anything; some grinds are best suited for certain coffee makers.

Yes, you’ll notice some coffee brewing methods falls under more than one grind size category, this is because you can control the outcome of your brew with your grind size + brewing time for certain brewing methods.

GRIND SIZE

BREWING METHOD

Extra coarse

Cold Brew Coffee, Cowboy Coffee

Coarse

French Press, Percolator, Coffee Cupping

Medium-coarse

Chemex coffee maker, Clever Dripper, Cafe Solo Brewer

Medium

Cone-shaped Pour-over Brewers, Flat Bottom Drip Coffee Machines, Siphon Coffee, Aeropress (with 3+ minute brew time)

Medium-fine

Cone-shaped Pour-over Brewers, Aeropress (with 2-3 minute brew time)

Fine

Espresso, Moka Pot (Stovetop Espresso Maker), Aeropress (with 1 minute brew time)

Extra Fine

Turkish coffee

#1 - Extra Coarse Grind

extra coarse ground

As large as you can go on most popular conical burr grinders - similar to ground peppercorns.

Suits these brew methods:

#2 - Coarse Grind

coarse coffee grounds

If you brew with a French Press, you should know your coarse grind. It should look similar to sea salt.

Suits these brew methods:

#3 - Medium-Coarse Grind

medium coarse grind coffee

Not quite medium but not quite coarse - similar looking to coarse/rough sand.

Suits these brew methods:

  • Chemex
  • Clever Dripper
  • Cafe solo brewer

#4 - Medium Grind

medium grind coffee

The happy medium of grind sizes; a great starting point for testing your grounds. Similar to the consistency of regular sand.

Suits these brew methods:

  • Flat bottomed drip coffee makers
  • Cone-shaped pour-over coffee makers
  • The Aeropress (With 3+ minute brew time)
  • Siphon brewers

#5 - Medium-Fine Grind

medium fine coffee grind

If you love your pour over coffee like us, you will need a medium fine coffee grind size. It’s finer than sand, but not as fine as an espresso grind.

Suits these brew methods:

  • Cone-shaped pour-over brewers (e.g. Hario v60, Kalita wave, etc)
  • The Aeropress (with a 2-3 minute brew time)

#6 - Fine Grind

fine grind coffee on a flat surface - also known as espresso grind

The most common grind size you’ll come across. When you buy pre-ground coffee, it’s usually a fine grind size (unless otherwise stated). In terms of consistency, it’s a little finer than table salt.

Suits these brew methods:

#7 - Extra Fine / Turkish Coffee Grind

extra fine grind of coffee - best for turkish coffee

You’ll rarely use an extra fine grind and you need a Turkish coffee grinder to achieve a fine and consistent grind like this. It’s similar to flour or powder in texture.

Suits these brew methods:

The Coffee Grind Chart: Comparing Each Grind's Size

Don’t trust your eyeballs (not yet, anyway).

They won’t be great at judging a medium fine coffee grind from a medium coffee grind. So we created a simple yet effective coffee grind chart to help you differentiate one grind size from another.

Print it off and use it right now to find out which grind you’re dealing with. Simply enter your email below so we know where to send it:

coffee grind chart download example

 >>> CLICK HERE GET GRIND CHART <<< 


Got a Popular Burr Coffee Grinder? Here’s the Setting You Should Use

Well, look at that. We’ve gone ahead and made your life easier by putting together a coffee grind chart of our setting recommendations. Remember: due to calibration, no two coffee grinders are exactly the same. (3)

The perfect grinder does not exist. However, there are many fantastic machines on the market offering a wide range of capabilities.” - Perfect Daily Grind

Compare your results with the grind images above.

BREW TYPE

Baratza

Encore

Baratza

Virtuoso

Capresso

Infinity

Cuisinart

Supreme

Grind

Bodum

Bistro

Mr Coffee Burr Grinder

Aeropress

#5 - 20

#5 - 20

Fine #1 - Medium #4

#3 - 15

Anywhere from espresso to drip

#1 - 13

Bee House

#14

#13

Fine #4 - Medium #1

#4 - 6

Drip icon - 2.5

#3

Chemex

#21

#20

Medium #2- Coarse #1

#8 - 10

Chemex icon + 1

#5 - 10

Clever Dripper

#14

#14

Fine #4 - Medium #1

#4 - 6

Drip icon - 2.5

#3

Cold Brew

#22 - 40

#22 - 40

Coarse #1 - #4

#18

Not ideal for cold brew, but you can try the french press

Not ideal for cold brew, but you can try the french press

Cone filter drip machines

#15

#15 - 30

Medium #1 - Coarse #1

#10 - 15

Chemex icon + 1

#8 - 10

Espresso

#5

#5

#5 - 7

#1

Espresso Icon (far left)

#1 - for better results, adjust your grinder

Flat filter drip machines

#20 - 25

#20 - 25

Medium #2

#10 - 13

Chemex icon - 1

#10 - 12

French Press

#30

#30

Coarse #1

#16

French press icon (far right)

#18

Hario V60

#14

#13

Fine #4 - Medium #1

#4 - 6

Drip icon - 2.5

#3

Kalita Wave

#14

#13

Fine #4 - Medium #1

#4 - 6

Drip icon - 2.5

#3

Moka Pot

#12

#12

Fine #2 - Medium #1

#2 - 5

Espresso icon + 1

#2 - 4

Siphon

#13

#13

Fine #3 - Medium #1

#4 - 10

Drip icon - 2

#5

Soft Brew

#15 - 30

#15 - 30

Medium #1 - Coarse #1

#12 - 16

Drip icon - 1

#4 - 6

Turkish Brew

#1

#1

Extra Fine #1

Not ideal for Turkish coffee

Not ideal for Turkish 

Not ideal for Turkish coffee

Vietnamese Phin

#30 - 40

#30 - 40

Coarse #1 - #4

#17

French press icon (far right)

#18

Walkure

#20 - 30

#20 - 30

Coarse #1 - #4

#17

Drip icon + 2.5

#12 - 14

Woodneck

#14

#14

Fine #4 - medium #1

#4 - 6

Drip icon + 2.5

#3

Final Thoughts

Yep - you’re a coffee grinding expert now.

When you pay attention to the little things - the little things being your grounds of coffee in this case - you reap the rewards of great darn coffee.

If you liked this article, download your personal grind chart, and do us a favor? Share it with your friends on social media? Gracias.

Coffee Grinding FAQs

Need to know what size grind is right for your coffee maker, fast? We’ve answered the most common grinder-FAQ’s below.

What's the ideal French Press grind size?

Use a coarse grind for your French Press coffee. Do not make the common mistake of going medium or medium fine, unless you like over-steeped (bitter) coffee and a silt-y taste in your mouth.

It’s amazing how easy it is to use the wrong grind size for your press pot, and that’s why so many people do. Once you start using the right grind however, your french press will receive a new lease of life, and you’ll never go back.

The french press grind size litmus test: you’ll have a hard time plunging if your grinds are too fine, and plunging will happen to fast if your grinds are too coarse.

There’s more to brewing a good french press coffee than simply throwing in coffee grounds + water and plunging. The little things make a big difference. Learn how to brew French press coffee the right way here.

What's the right size coffee grind for espresso?

Use a fine grind when brewing with an espresso machine, and nothing else.

For this brewing method, you’ll get immediate and very obvious feedback on whether you have chosen the right grind size via your taste buds. If you don’t get it right, you’ll brew something that tastes like dirt.

We use a fine grind because espresso machines use pressure (measured in ‘bars’) to brew; meaning hot water is forced through your grounds. Too fine, and it won’t get through, too coarse, and it will gush through.

The not-so-obvious truth is that the ‘fine’ setting on one grinder may not be exactly the same as ‘fine’ on another, so you grind setting may vary.

What’s the right pour over grind size?

Start with a medium-fine grind, and adjust it based on your preferences.

For example, if your brew turns out sour (under extracted), use a finer grind next time, and/or increase your brew time slightly. If your brew ends up bitter (over extracted), use a coarser grind next time and/or decrease your brew time.

  • Hario V60: Medium-fine
  • Kalita Wave: Medium-fine
  • Chemex: Medium-coarse
  • Kone filter: Medium-fine
  • Bee house: Medium-fine
  • Clever dripper: Medium to Coarse (the coarser you go, the shorter your brew time)
  • Woodneck: fine, to medium
  • Walkure: Coarse
  • Melitta ready set joe: Medium-fine

What’s the ideal Chemex grind size?

Use a medium-coarse grind (leaning more towards the coarse side), similar to the consistency of sea salt.

The Chemex coffee maker is beautiful, yet unforgiving. The good news is that you get to maintain lots of control over your brew. The bad news is that this brewing method is hard to get right if you don’t know what to do with this control.

Using the right grind size for the Chemex, is critical. Oh, and make sure you wet and rinse that filter beforehand.

What’s the ideal Aeropress grind size?

There is no ideal Aeropress grind size. The beauty of the Aeropress, is that you can alter the final brew by playing around with the grind size and brew time (among other things).

Here’s a guide for grind sizes and your Aeropress. Remember to experiment, and record your results:

  • Brew for a minute (or less) using a fine grind
  • Brew for 3 minutes + with a medium grind
  • Brew for 3-4 minutes with a coarse grind
  • Brew for 4-5 minutes with a coarse grind

What’s the best cold brew grind size?

Make sure your cold brew batch tastes pleasant by using an extra coarse grind. An ice-cool cold brew coffee is refreshing and full of strange yet pleasant flavors. Unless you use the wrong grind size, that is. Make this mistake and it’s surprisingly full of shitty flavors. Pretty painful considering you just invested 16-30 hours into it.

Here’s the thing that most people miss: you can use a finer or coarser grind if you alter the steep time. In general: the longer you steep, the coarser your grind. But never go finer than medium.

If you want to make kickass cold brew, as in, on the same level as Stumptown-level-cold brew-kickass, here’s our advice: experiment. Note down your grind size and your steep time, while leaving everything else the same.

How does it taste? Now do it again, but increase the steep time. How does it taste now? Record your findings. Don’t have time to experiment? Bruer has a cool case study you can learn from (4).

What’s the ideal Moka Pot grind size?

Use a fine grind for your Moka pot (otherwise known as the stovetop espresso maker, although this name seems unsuitable, in our opinion.)

They are both Italian, and they both use a fine grind size - that’s about it in terms of similarities that the Moka pot shares with the espresso machine. Don’t be one of those fools who claims that both leave you with a similar tasting brew.

We just told you to use a fine grind, but others suggest a drip grind (medium-fine). Experiment. Start with a fine grind, and if your brew is over extracted (bitter, sharp), move up to a medium-fine grind. Every moka pot or stovetop espresso maker is different, and there are hundreds of models out there, so grind sizes in this case, are not perfectly universal.

What's the best coffee grinder for camping?

We suggest you pick a travel-friendly grinder - a small, handheld, portable grinder. Since you’ll need a camping friendly coffee maker to go with your portable grinder, we suggest you take a look at this guide on how to make coffee while camping.

Is fine ground coffee stronger?

Finer ground coffee doesn’t automatically equal a stronger taste, but it could make it more bitter which is a strong and prominent flavor. Stick to our handy coffee grind chart above and you can’t go wrong.

Can I grind my coffee beans in a blender?

If you don’t have a grinder to hand then you can use a blender to grind your coffee beans. This will use a blade to create an uneven array of coffee grounds from fine to coarse… if that’s the case then you’re better off with pre-ground coffee.

Do I need to grind my coffee beans fresh each day?

For maximum flavor and a fresh taste, you do need to grind your coffee beans each day. The good part? This takes no time at all and is worth every second, so there’s really no excuses. 


References

  1. Bicknell, B. (2018, September 25). Grinding at home. Retrieved from https://www.fivesenses.com.au/blog/grinding-at-home/
  2. DIY Extraction Tasting. (2017, January 30).  Retrieved from https://baristahustle.com/blog/diy-extraction-tasting/
  3. Rossi, R. N. (2017, December 15). A Brewer's Guide to Choosing a Good Coffee Grinder. Retrieved from https://www.perfectdailygrind.com/2017/12/brewers-guide-choosing-good-coffee-grinder/
  4. Herz, G. (2013, December 10). Cold Bruer: Experiments With Grind Size. Retrieved from https://www.bruer.co/blogs/news/12222337-cold-bruer-experiments-with-grind-size
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  • Alex
  • August 26, 2019
Alex
 

Alex is the Founder and Editor of Homegrounds.co. He is passionate about brewing amazing coffee at home, and teaching others to do the same.

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