Which Grind Do You Need?
Different types of brewing methods call for different grind sizes. Failing to grind the coffee to the correct size will ultimately yield poor results, ending with hot bean water that nobody cares to drink. Keep in mind that when you brew coffee, you extract all the rich flavor and oils from the beans into the water. It is this exact process that makes your cup of coffee a simple delight.
Birds and Beans, Bird Friendly® Coffee can be shipped whole bean, for those that like to really customize their coffee experience. Luckily, for those that don’t have a grinder at home, Birds and Beans Coffee also offers Medium, Fine, and Coarse grinds to suit whichever brewing method you prefer. For our Kingbird, Espresso roast we also offer an Extra Fine grind.
Before we dive into the basics of grinding and brewing methods, let's learn how to differentiate between grind sizes.
Coarse: Coarse grind is more like chunky pieces of coffee beans, with a texture and size similar to kosher salt.
Medium: A great place to start when testing your grounds. Similar to the consistency of regular sand.
Fine: Smoother and less jagged than a coarse grind, its size resembles table salt.
Extra Fine: Even finer than granular sugar, it’s not always achievable with all coffee grinders.
Turkish (not available at Birds & Beans): This grind is essentially a coffee powder, with a weight and texture similar to flour.
Now that you know what defines each grind, it’s important to know which grind is suited for each brewing method. Not all brewing methods use the same grind. Some need a more coarse consistency for best results, while others need to be like a fine powder. Below are common brewing styles and the ground size that each need.
Medium grind yields the best results for this brewing method. It gives enough resistance when pressed, extracting all the flavors from the grounds without leaving it bitter.
Keep in mind that if you have to press hard, your grind is too fine. On the other hand, if you encounter some resistance while pressing, you should opt for a finer grind. The best option for a French press brew is a coarse grind.
A medium to medium grind is the perfect choice when it comes to Chemex brew. This shape allows the water to sit in the grounds and brew before slowly dripping through the filter. If the grounds are too thick, the water will quickly pass through, creating a weak and sour coffee.
The type of grind you will need for drip coffee will depend on the type of drip vessel you have. If using a flat bottom, go with a medium grind to avoid over-extraction. With cone-shaped pots, however, a better choice would be a medium-fine grind.
It’s best to try a medium-fine grind, somewhere between an espresso and pour-over grind.
To increase pressure and extract more flavor and caffeine, use a fine grind. If you notice your coffee getting too bitter, try switching to a medium-fine grind.
THE CLEVER DRIPPER
This is a brewing method that has elements from both pour-over and immersion brewing. A medium grind will most likely yield the best results.
THE KALITA WAVE
This method requires a medium-fine grind, but you can use a finer grind for stronger coffee.
The key point with espresso is to create as much pressure as possible to quickly extract the flavor and caffeine. Using a fine grind is an important part of this method.
For Turkish coffee, you’ll want to use a Turkish grind, which is a very fine power, almost flour-like consistency. Make sure to use Arabica beans, as Robusta beans tend to make the coffee over-extracted.
After reading all of this info, you're pretty much almost a Bird Friendly® barista! With good coffee brewing, the secret is really all in the details. Finding the grind to match your method will always make for the best-tasting coffee. All Birds and Beans roasts are Organic, Fair Trade, shade-grown and Smithsonian certified Bird Friendly®, so our coffee plants have time to produce more flavorful and complex cherries, which get turned into our delicious coffee beans.
Find your favorite roast and grind and subscribe to a regular coffee delivery today!