Coffee Grinding Guide

Whether you are grinding fresh at home or purchasing pre-ground coffee from us here at Fireheart, we’re here to help you get the best out of your brew.

In this guide we will cover three points: the basics of coffee grinding, selecting the best pre-ground option in our online shop to match your brewing method and how to grind fresh at home.

Part One – The Basics

What exactly happens when we grind coffee? Simply put, we’re breaking up the beans into smaller pieces (we’ll be referring to these pieces as particles in this guide), but more importantly, we are increasing the overall surface area of the coffee, which helps us extract all those delicious flavours. What do we mean by extraction? Coffee extraction is using water to dissolve all that deliciousness from the coffee into our cup, leaving the spent grounds behind. In other words, when we brew, we extract.

Part Two – Grind Size

Grind size is how big or small the coffee particles are. This is super important when it comes to brewing great coffee. Getting the right particle size for your chosen brewing method will maximise extraction, in turn giving you more flavour in the cup. Let’s use a V60 for our example brew. If our coffee particles are too large, water will flow through the bed very quickly, leading to what we call an under-extraction. If our coffee particles are too small, water will flow through the bed too slowly (or not at all), leading to what we call over-extraction. An under-extracted brew would typically taste thin, watery, and sometimes a little sour. An over-extracted brew will taste papery, woody, and sometimes a little bitter.

So how do I know which grind option is right for me? Easy. Checkout our brew guides for our recommended grind choice for your desired brewing method.

Part Three – Grinding Fresh at Home

Here at Fireheart we always recommend to grind fresh every time you brew. Investing in a small hand or electric coffee grinder can really elevate your home brewing ritual to barista-level flavour. Grinding fresh just makes life more delicious!

Ground coffee allows for a quick brewing time and is highly available, whereas whole bean coffee has better flavour, a longer shelf life at six weeks and is more adaptable for different brew methods

A coarse grind is best suited for cafetiere and clever dripper. A medium grind is best suited for V60, drop and chemex. A fine grind is best suited for home espresso machines and aeropress.

Ok, I’ve got a grinder now what? Here comes the fun part, you will need to adjust and test your grinder to make sure it is giving you the optimal grind size for your brewing method. The images below are references to different grind sizes. You can also check out our brew guides here. If you have any questions about getting the best out of your coffee grinder please feel free to drop us an email and we can help you out.