To make a drink from roasted coffee beans, you need to grind them, otherwise the coffee simply won't brew. When we grind the beans, the surface area of the coffee in contact with water increases many times, due to this, the water has time to extract all the necessary substances from the beans in a relatively short time.
Why freshly ground coffee tastes better
You can order ground coffee from us, but we always recommend you grind the coffee yourself, just before preparing the drink. The fact is that coffee contains a lot of essential oils that create a unique bouquet of taste and aroma. On contact with oxygen, they evaporate, the coffee fizzles out, and its taste becomes less expressive.
With ground coffee, this happens even faster: if coffee in beans can “live” in an opened pack for several weeks (of course, provided that you close it tightly each time), then the ground coffee will become much less aromatic in a few hours. In addition, ground coffee quickly oxidizes, and ten days after opening the pack, unpleasant rancid tints may appear in its taste.
Ideally, there should be no more than 15 minutes between grinding the coffee and making the drink. If you need to grind coffee in advance, store it in an airtight container and use it as soon as possible.
Why does the grind have many gradations
The size of the ground coffee particles (also called fractions) affects the extraction of coffee, that is, the rate at which various substances will be extracted from the coffee bean into the beverage. The finer the grind, the faster the extraction will take place. But this is not always good: if there are too many dissolved substances in the cup, the drink may be too strong, bitter and leave a drying aftertaste. Therefore, fine grinding is used for those brewing methods where coffee is in contact with water for a short time - for example, espresso or some aeropress recipes. Coarse grinding is more suitable for immersion methods, when the coffee remains immersed in water for a while - a French press, brewing in a cup, immersion funnels, coldbrews.
The size of the grind also affects the rate at which water flows through the layer of ground coffee in brewing methods such as espresso, pourover or drip coffee maker (in a geyser coffee maker, the process is directed in the opposite direction: hot water under steam pressure rises through the coffee layer). If the grind is too fine, the coffee will flow too slowly, as the coffee layer will retard its movement, and as a result, the coffee will be overextracted. There is more space between the larger particles, so the coffee flows faster. However, increasing the grind can go to the other extreme: water may not have time to extract enough substances, and the coffee will be underextracted: pungent and sour, not sweet enough and unsaturated. Therefore, it is so important to choose the correct grind for these brewing methods.
What is the complexity of the selection of grinding
The difficulty is that there are no uniform grinding standards: different grinders have different markings and the same numeric designations will not necessarily correspond to the same size of fractions. Some grinders do not have numeric scales at all. The terms “fine,” “medium,” and “coarse,” with which we usually describe the grind in recipes and recommendations, are very subjective, and accurate measurements in microns are impractical: no one will use them when brewing at home or in a coffee shop.
You can often find a comparison of grinding particles with what can be found in the kitchen: with salt - large or small, sugar, flour. Of course, this is all rather arbitrary, but it can give a rough idea of how correctly ground coffee should look and feel tactile.
Basically, the only way to find the right grind is to brew, taste and measure the result. If the drink is underextracted, try decreasing the grind, if overextracted, increasing it. The extraction level is also influenced by temperature, brewing time and mixing intensity - changing these parameters will help you get closer to the ideal taste.
The importance of even grinding
The grinding must not only be suitable, but also uniform - so that all of its particles are approximately the same size. If you fry, for example, potatoes, you cut them into equal-sized pieces, otherwise the small ones will have time to burn before the large ones are fried. So it is with coffee: if some particles are large, while others are very small, the drink will turn out to be unbalanced and simply tasteless. Therefore, it is important to select a grinder that grinds evenly.
The Knife Grinder is essentially a coffee blender with rotating knives that chop up the coffee beans. The only way to get a more or less uniform grinding with it is to grind the coffee to the lowest possible fractions. This type of grinding can be used for a Turk, but for other cooking methods, it is better to choose a grinder.
In a burr coffee grinder, coffee is ground between ceramic or steel burrs, so that the grinding is more even. In addition, it can be adjusted to a suitable degree of grind by adjusting the distance between the burrs. For espresso, it is better, if possible, to choose a special electric coffee grinder, which grinds the coffee very finely and evenly. If you are brewing large quantities of coffee in a drip coffee maker, or if you frequently brew coffee using a variety of methods, it is wise to purchase an electric grinder that can be easily customized for different brewing methods. And if you only brew two or three cups of coffee a day and are in no rush, pay attention to manual burr grinders: they do not take up much space, do not require an electrical connection, and you can take them with you wherever you go to enjoy freshly ground coffee.