If you can easily buy pre-ground coffee, why would you want to grind your own? That’s easy – coffee beans, once ground, will start to lose their flavor over time while whole beans will retain their flavor until they are ground. This flavor loss is a result of the of the oils within the beans, that give your coffee that flavor you love, scattering into the air and leaving your coffee stale. Convinced you need to start grinding your own now? Great! Let’s move on to how you can obtain the best grind.
First, let’s take a look at the different types of grinders. There are two different types: Blade Grinders and Burr Grinders. Blade grinders, although easier to clean and maintain than burr grinders, don’t provide consistent grinds. The blades can even give off a burnt taste in your coffee due to the blade friction – no good. Burr grinders feature two types: Flat wheel and Conical. Flat wheel burr grinders crush the beans with the use of a semi-concave stationary wheel leaving your grind consistent and minus any burnt taste. Conical burr grinders use a cone shaped device to grind the beans, leaving your grind once consistent. The conical burr grinders are also easier to maintain than the flat wheel burr grinders as they have less risk of jams and are relatively easier to clean. Best grinder type goes to: conical burr grinders!
Moving on to the size of your grinds. In general, the rule here is longer brew times require thicker grinds and shorter brew times need finer grinds. Take a look below for a quick reference on popular brew methods and the grind types they require:
Espresso Machine: Fine grind
French Press: Large/Coarse grind
Drip Brew: Medium grind
Vacuum: Medium to Coarse grind
If you’re curious as to what these grind consistencies look like, take a look below:
Now, how long can you store your extra ground coffee and what are the best methods? For optimal taste, it’s best to use your fresh ground coffee within 24 hours. However, you can grind larger amounts of coffee and store for up to a week without it losing its freshness. A question often asked is if coffee should be stored in the freezer to make it last longer and retain freshness. The answer is yes and no. Whole beans can be stored in the freezer to ensure longevity, however storing ground coffee in the freezer is not generally advised as freezing and then thawing the ground coffee could damage the essential oils . Although, there is some controversy on freezer storage. The overall preferred method is simply storing your fresh ground coffee in an air tight container on your kitchen counter.