You wake up, and think coffee. You get to the kitchen and fill up the automatic drip coffee maker, and scoop in your normal pre-ground coffee. Your anxiety is going away thinking of your reward in just a few minutes.
You drink your coffee black, and are okay with the mediocre taste you're used to until today! You're reading this guide to help your daily reward of coffee to be flavorful, robust, and delightful. You finally want a grinder and this guide will help you understand the importance of having a grinder and grinding just before brewing AND point you in the direction of getting just the right one for your needs:
1. Grind fresh coffee. Grinding your coffee will make the most difference in your cup. Firstly, having your own grinder opens up your ability to grind at different grind sizes and brew multiple brewing styles. Grind size matters! Understanding what grind size for what brewing method will ultimately maximize the body, taste, and enjoyment of your coffee. Having bitter or sour coffee can be easily fixed by adjusting your grind size to prevent under or over extraction.
"Grind size matters!"
Most importantly, when purchasing whole beans and grinding yourself, you can enjoy your coffee longer. Exposing coffee beans to oxygen begins to oxidize them; deteriorating and breaking them down. Compounding this process would to have smaller particles (i.e. pre-ground coffee). Exposing coffee grounds to oxygen will become stale in 7 minutes! So if buying pre-ground is your only option keep the grounds sealed in the valve sealed bag provided when purchasing.
2. Grind size is key. Inconsistent grinding leads to inconsistent brewing. Basically, there are two main types of grinders Blade and Burr:
Normally blade grinders are cheaper compared to conical or flat burr grinders and there's definitely a reason for that! Either grinder is better than not having a grinder so we can start there. But to perfect your brew and have the best results, think of investing into a burr grinder. Blade grinders chop whole coffee beans up into grounds that are majorly uneven with less consistency than burr grinders giving you less control for brewing different brewing methods. Burr grinders are prone to more even of a grind with more uniformity in the grind particle size. This allows the water to evenly extract and dissolve all of the grounds and give you the best, and most consistent results. Having uneven (different sized) grounds will affect the extraction of your coffee, taste, and aroma.
"Inconsistent grinding leads to inconsistent brewing."
Throughout my journey in coffee, I have ultimately realized investing in an excellent burr grinder is recommended more often than any other piece of coffee equipment—even a brewing system! That is how important the grinder is in the process of brewing your coffee.
Grind fresh, grind consistent, and experiment with different brewing methods using different coffees. Trying new things and being open with your world of coffee will teach you a lot in regards to what's right, what's wrong and how to get that perfect cup. Check out some affordable grinder recommendations in another blog of mine, and of course contact me (Jade) for more suggestions, or questions you may have. Always happy to help!
Grind Size Chart
On the left you have sesame seeds, in the middle you have an acceptable grind size for the given brewing method used, and on the right you have table salt. These help demonstrate the correct grind sizes to be used.
(Keep in mind, this information is a starting point. Experiment with all variables of the brewing process to find what overall is best suited for you.)