Getting Your Grind on!!!

Getting the grind on!!!


The easiest way to mess up a good coffee is getting the grind wrong. Terms used for getting the grind wrong, is over or under extracted coffee.  If the grind is too coarse the water will just flow right over the coffee grind and would not be in contact with the water long enough. The same goes for an overly fine grind. The water will be in contact with the coffee too long.


What are the tell-tale signs of a grind that is too coarse?

Sour, acidic, salty coffee



Tell-tale signs of a grind that is too fine.

Bitter, hollow, tasteless.




Where does one start to get this right?

The short answer is to fiddle around. Get a bag of coffee beans and play around with the grind.


Just a few pointers.

 Try and keep your water temperature constant for every brew, preferably not boiling water. I normally boil the water while I grind my coffee and prepare my brewing device, this gives the water time to cool down to my preferred temperature without me having to measure water temperature.


Keep your brewing times constant. Allow the coffee to be in contact with the water for the right amount of time for your brewing device.


Take notes of the grind size.

The following guideline might be helpful.

I normally try and find a suitable easy to find ingredient in my kitchen to judge my grind size.

For example:

A fine grind would have a similar size to table salt. If the coffee smells burned after grinding, you might be grinding it a bit too fine.

I use this for my Mocha Pot (Bialetti), AERO Press, Espresso machine.


A medium grind would have a similar size to white sugar.

I use this for my plunger, pour over, and AeroPress

*You will see here that I use two different grind sizes for my AeroPress. Some coffees just taste a bit better with a fine or medium grind. My Brewing time also varies between the two different grinds.


A course grind looks like coffee beans that has “bean” stepped on.


I use this for my cold brew.


This is just a rough description and a lot of fiddling is still needed to get this right.


Now that we have a rough guide to help us with our grinding, consistency is key. Keep your grinds to these sizes until you find the grind you like. After that fiddle around with this specific grind.


If you have the time, try and make a cup of every grind size and cup them against each other.

Download the coffee taster wheel and try and distinguish the flavours you pick up. I normally stick to the first two rings on the wheel as after that I feel I’m taking home brewing a bit too serious. If, however I do pick up one of the outer ring flavours, I’m over the moon and real chuffed with myself.

My favourite flavours are in the fruity, sweet and nutty/cocoa belt. The type of roast plays a big part in the flavour extraction as well as the origin of your coffee.


If at first your coffee just tastes like coffee, its okay. At first, I also thought the whole flavour profile is bogus. Until I tasted my first blueberry flavoured coffee and I knew its because of the perfect balance of origin, roasting, grinding and brewing. This is that little chuffed with yourself moment I mentioned earlier.  Try and smell your coffee and try and pick up certain aroma’s, slurp your coffee and allow it to sit in your mouth before you gulp it down. Concentrate on the taste it leaves in your mouth and the development of flavour after a few minutes.  Not the easiest thing to do first thing in the morning, I would recommend these types of experiments over lunch time. When you are more relaxed and have had your first coffee fix of the day.  

Download a coffee tasters flavour wheel.




This is probably the biggest tip I wish I received earlier in my search for a great cup of coffee at home.  But this knowledge has helped me a lot over the last few months as I had to figure out why a coffee, I had the previous day and loved turned out to be average the next day.


So, in short.


Consistency is key.

Water temperature constant.

Grind size constant.

Extraction time constant.

Using coffee from a roaster who constantly roasts at the same profile.

Chances are your coffee will be constantly good.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published