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The Last Coffee Grind Size Chart You’ll Ever Need

Most “coffee lovers” fail at brewing great coffee before they even begin.

They fail because they know little-to-nothing about grinding coffee. Are you one of these failures?

The backbone of great coffee = the perfect coffee grounds. Don’t look at your grinds as just another part of making coffee; see them as an invaluable tool for controlling your brew and hence, cup of coffee.

Your grounds are your most valuable and overlooked tool, until today. You’re 3 minutes away from knowing everything there is to know about grinding coffee. This means you’ll be once step closer to brewing the best coffee of your life.

Let’s take a quick look at the different grind sizes, when you should use each, and with which settings you can achieve them with your burr grinder.

We've also made a handy grind size chart for you  (get it by clicking here) which we'll explain later!

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 great coffee.

It’s time to understand coffee extraction - and in doing so, you’ll be able to avoid under-extraction and over-extraction. These are bad things (if you like coffee, that is).

The whole reason we use different grind sizes for different coffee brewers is to avoid over, or under extracting our coffee.

Your goal in choosing a grind size: extract the perfect amount of flavour from your coffee.

Too little and you’ve under-extracted it, too much and you’ve over extracted it.

  • Under extraction is when you have not extracted enough flavour out of your ground coffee (your grounds are too coarse)
  • Over extracted is when you have extracted too much flavour out of your coffee - and the it becomes overpowering and unpleasant. (your grounds are too fine). Sort of like over extracted tea - too much flavour.

QUESTION: WHAT DOES POORLY EXTRACTED COFFEE TASTE LIKE ?

Under Extracted:

  • Sour
  • Acidic
  • Salty

Over Extracted:

  • Bitter
  • Hollow - A lack of any notable coffee bean flavours

For a really in-depth journey of how over or under extracted coffee will taste, read this guide by the Barista Hustle.

....So you’ve made a coffee, and to your disgust it tastes like it’s been poorly extracted. But you're confused. You have no idea why or how you went wrong.

What can you do about it for next time?

Do as a crackhead would do: tweak.

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


A Quick Note on Blade vs Burr Grinders

Before you read any further: if you’ve been using a blade grinder to grind 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.

Why?

First of all - the key to brewing great 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 little blade grinder around all you want. You look dumb as all hell, and you’ll never really get them consistent. 

Here's what you can expect as results from a burr vs blade grinder

Aside from a clear lack of consistency, blade 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. Your coffee may taste a little scorched and less fresh than if grinded in a burr grinder.

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

Too long, didn’t read?​

  • Use a burr grinder, not a blade grinder
  • Blade 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

Brewing for espresso? It's even more critical that your grinds are uniform/consistent. If you use something like a blade grinder, here's whats likely to happen:


All the Coffee Grind Size Numbers You’ll ever Need

The following 7 grind sizes are all you’ll need to brew great coffee with a range of different brew methods.

Keep in mind that you can NOT just choose one grind size and use it for anything; some grinds are best suited for certain coffee makers. We’ve noted all of that, below.

Yes - you’ll notice some brew 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 brew methods.

GRIND SIZE

BREW METHOD

Extra coarse

Cold Brew Coffee, Cowboy Coffee

Coarse

French press, percolator, coffee cupping

Medium-coarse

Chemex, clever dripper, cafe solo brewer

Medium

Cone shaped pour over brewers, flat bottom drip 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, Aeropress (with 1 minute brew time)

Extra Fine

Turkish coffee

#1 - Extra Coarse Grind

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

Suites these brew methods:

  • Cold brew coffee brewing (e.g. using your Filtron or Toddy Brewer)
  • Cowboy coffee

#2 - Coarse Grind

If you brew french press coffee, you should know your coarse grind. A coarse grind looks similar to sea salt.

Suites these brew methods:

  • French press
  • Percolators
  • Coffee cupping/tasting

#3 - Medium-Coarse Grind

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

Suites these brew methods:

  • Chemex
  • Clever dripper
  • Cafe solo brewer

#4 - Medium Grind

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

Suites these brew methods:

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

#5 - Medium-Fine Grind

If you love your pour over coffee drippers like us, the medium-fine grind will be your staple grind size. It’s looks finer than sand, but not as fine as an espresso grind.

Suites 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

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.

Suites these brew methods:

  • Espresso
  • The Aeropress (with a 1-2 minute brew time)
  • Stovetop espresso maker

#7 - Super Fine / Turkish Grind

You’ll rarely use a super-fine grind, and you’ll most likely need a specialized grinder to achieve this consistency. It’s the same consistency as flour or powder.

Suites these brew methods:

  • Ibrik (turkish coffee)

Here: Have a Coffee Grind Size Comparison Chart

Don’t trust your eyeballs (especially in the beginning)

They won’t be great at judging a medium fine grind from a medium grind. So we created a simple yet effective grind chart to help you learn figure out 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:

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

Well look at that. We’ve gone ahead and made your life easier by putting together the following grind setting recommendations.

Remember: due to calibration, no 2 grinders are exactly the same. Compare your results with the grind images above.

Brew Type

Baratza Encore

Baratza Virtuoso

Capresso Infiniti

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

#15-30

#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

Not ideal for turkish

Not ideal for turkish

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


Coffee Grinding FAQ’s

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

#1 - What's the Ideal French Press Grind Size?

It’s amazing how many people go through life using a press pot with the wrong grind size. Once you start using the right grind however, your french press will receive a new lease on life.

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

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 than simply throwing in coffee grounds + waterand plunging. The little things make a big difference. Learn how to brew a french press the right way here.

#2 - What's the Right Size Coffee Grind for Espresso?

When you use an espresso machine, you’ll get immediate and very obvious feedback on whether you have chosen the right grind size via your tastebuds. If you don’t get it right, you’ll brew something that tastes like pure and utter dirt.

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

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.

#3 - What’s the Right Pour Over Grind Size?

When we say pour-over we are talking about cone shaped pour over coffee drippers such as these - the most popular being the Hario v60 and the Kalita Wave.

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.

Find out more by visiting our beginner's guide to pour over coffee, but here are the quick answers for each type of brewer in the meantime:

  • 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 more coarse you go, the shorter your brew time)
  • Woodneck: fine, to medium
  • Walkure: Coarse
  • Melitta ready set joe: Medium-fine

#4 - What’s the Ideal Chemex Grind Size?

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 it’s 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.

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

Make sure you wet and rinse that filter beforehand.

#5 - What’s the Ideal Aeropress Grind Size?

The Aeropress is the most popular coffee maker of our time (informed speculation), yet most people still are not quite sure of the right grind size when using an Aeropress. Do you?

The answer is: there is no answer. 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, thanks to the Aeropress fanatics at Kaffeologic. 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

#6 - What’s the Best Cold Brew Grind Size?

An ice-cool cold brew coffee is refreshing and full of strange yet pleasant flavours.

Unless you use the wrong grind size. Make this mistake and it’s surprisingly full of shitty flavours. And it will hurt even more considering you just invested 16-30 hours into it.

Make sure your cold brew batch tastes pleasant by using an extra coarse grind.

But 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. Of course, don’t go finer than medium.

If you want to make kickass cold brew, as in, on the same level as stumptown-level-coldbrew-kickass, here’s out advice: experiment.

Note down you grind size, 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 here.

#7 - What’s the Ideal Moka Pot Grind Size?

Ah, ye old Moka pot. Otherwise known as the stovetop espresso maker. The latter name being an unsuitable one, 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. A Moka pot brew does NOT compare to and espresso shot.

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 is different, and there are hundreds of models out there, so grind sizes in this case, are not perfectly universal.

#8 - What's the Best Coffee Grinder for Camping?

So you’re heading into the sticks, but your significant other says you can’t bring you favourite machine burr grinder. It’s overkill, they say.

What do you do?

You could dump his (or her) arse. If that’s a little extreme, just pick a more travel-friendly grinder.

We suggest a hand burr grinder, such as one of these.

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.


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 favour? Share it with your friends on the social medias? Gracias.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 4 comments
Søren og Wahlgren - April 24, 2017

On the Bodum Bistro, is +1 one step finer or coarser?

Thanks for a great chart!

Reply
John - May 21, 2017

The section of the article that provides recommended settings for popular grinders is no longer available. Please fix. Thanks.

Reply
John A Tornatore-Pili - May 30, 2017

Do you think you could add the Breville Smart Grinder Pro to your suggested grind settings chart?

Reply
Mike - June 15, 2017

I read alot about the coffee processes. This article gave alot, where previously I had to read several articles.

Bookmarking this page…

Reply

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