Coffee Ground Sizes & How They Affect Taste

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Making great coffee is not only determined by the brewing process, but also by the type of ground beans that are used. Different types of coffee use different ground sizes.

To get the perfect grind, you have to use the perfect grinding tool. Failure to get it right will result in an awful tasting coffee, even if you do everything manually to brew it perfectly.

This is because too much flavor will be lost, or not enough flavor will be extracted. If the ground coffee is under-extracted, the coffee will turn out weak and lack flavor.

If too much is extracted, the coffee will either be too bitter, or not have a distinctively smooth coffee taste. Some of the common grind sizes for different types of coffee are included below.

Coffee Grinds and Grounds Sizes:

1. Coarse Grinds

Coarse ground coffee is best for French press and percolator coffee types. They have large particles that are similar to sea salt, which is why the two have often been compared.

This category also consists of extra coarse grinds and medium coarse grind. The very coarse grind is ideal for cowboy coffee or cold brewed coffee, while the medium coarse is great for a drip machine. The former has larger particles than sea salt, while the latter can be compared to rough sand.

2. Medium Grind

With particles the size of dry sand, this ground coffee is the easiest to use. It doesn’t create a mess when being scooped, making it easier to place in a filter.

This makes it the perfect choice for those learning to brew coffee for the first time. It is most ideal for drip and vacuum coffees.

This type of grind is subdivided into the medium fine grind that has smaller coffee sizes. This size is still bigger than the finely ground, and can be used to make Aeropress coffee.

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3. Fine Grind

Mainly used to make espresso and Moka pot coffees, this grind has particles that are finer than table salt. It is the most common grind that requires attention when grinding.

Due to the size, grinding this coffee should be done in small amounts to ensure consistency. It should be closely monitored, so that the grinding isn’t overdone.

Very fine grinds fall under this category, and is used to make Turkish coffee. The size of this grind is comparable to the size of wheat flour. It produces some of the strongest coffee one can drink.

Coffee Grinding Tools

While some grinding machines use blades, others use burrs. The latter group is the most recommended, since it is easier to control, and it brings out the best grinds.

Burr grinders ensure uniformity in the grind, bringing forth consistent coffee. Even though they are more expensive than blade grinders, they are worth investing in.


Always use the correct grind for the desired type of coffee. For instance, never use medium coarse grounds or extremely coarse grounds to make French Press coffee. Stick to coarsely ground coffee to get the best taste.

For espresso coffee, use fine grounds to avoid awful tasting coffee. Using extra fine grounds will prevent water from seeping through, while coarse/medium grounds will allow too much water to pass through without picking up any flavors.