Though purchasing whole coffee beans is the way to go if you want to heighten your morning experience, they don’t come without a setback or two. For one, you have to grind them yourself at home to get them into brewing condition. This can not only take up extra time, but can also prove difficult if you don’t know how to approach the process. Fortunately, we’re here to teach you the basics of coffee grinding and how to grind your favorite flavored whole bean coffee for the best possible result. Read on to learn everything you’ll need to know to succeed.
The Purpose of Grinding Coffee Beans
Before you get to grinding up your whole coffee beans, it’s important to understand why we need to grind them in the first place. During the brewing process, your coffee grinds infuse with water, expanding and releasing all the nutrients and flavors they have locked within. However, if you don’t first break the bean’s hard outer shell, this step is impossible. Grinding your coffee beans at home immediately before brewing is the best way to achieve a fresher, tastier, and, in some cases, even healthier cup. As such, you simply can’t create the morning pick-me-up you’re looking for without this step.
The Different Grinding Methods
It’s also important to note that there are several different techniques home coffee drinkers use to grind up their whole coffee beans. Depending on how fine you want them and how often you partake in this beverage, you may favor one of these options over others. Still, it’s important that you understand them and experiment with a few in order to find the process that works best for your needs. Here are some of the more popular coffee grinding methods.
Mortar and Pestle
If you’d like to try your hand at grinding your coffee beans manually, a mortar and pestle is a popular choice. This method allows you to achieve all types of grinds while maintaining your control over the applied pressure. Manual grinding also ensures that your grinds are more uniform, which is vital to creating the smooth drink you’re looking for. However, make sure to remember that you can only grind a small scoop of beans at a time. So, this method isn’t ideal when making larger batches of coffee.
On the other hand, a food processor can also do a great job if you’re looking for something a little more automatic. As simple as pouring your coffee beans into the chamber and hitting the pulse button, these machines can yield sufficiently ground coffee in as little as a few minutes. However, it’s a bit harder to grind the larger pieces of bean with this method, and you may need to shake the machine between pulses to achieve an even grind.
But if you want a consistent grind without the extra hassle, purchasing a designated coffee grinder is the best choice. Available in both blade and burr models, these appliances yield any type of grind you need. Blade grinders use a rotating blade to chop up coffee beans, while burr models use metal burrs to finely crush them. Both options work great for creating the right consistency, and some are also electric powered to ensure a consistent grind every time.
What To Know About Grind Size
Another essential part of understanding how to grind your favorite flavored whole bean coffee is to familiarize yourself with the importance of grind size. As mentioned previously, the brewing process uses water to extract the coffee’s flavor and nutrients, and the size of your gride has a lot to do with this. Larger, courser grinds limit the water’s interaction with the inner particles of coffee, resulting in a more bitter and acidic drink. Conversely, finer grinds maximize the surface area exposed to water and draw out a more natural flavor.
Tips for Getting the Perfect Grind
Now that you know where to start, it’s time to practice. Getting the hang of grinding your own coffee is an eye-opening experience that expands your range of opportunities. But first, here are a few essential tips to keep in mind so that you can make the most of each try.
Grind Beans in a Pulsing Frequency
When working with a coffee grinder or food processor, you’ll want to grind the beans in a strong pulsing pattern. This action draws the larger pieces of bean closer to the blades every time you stop, creating a more consistent grind for you to work with. Without these periodic stops, you could end up with an unevenly textured cup of brew.
Stop Periodically To Observe Grind Size
In addition to the pauses between pulses, you’ll also want to stop to test your grind. Doing so will allow you to better see exactly what type of grind you have. This way, you can decide whether you want it to be finer. Stopping frequently ensures that you don’t accidentally overgrind your coffee beans, which is very helpful to those who prefer a coarser size.
Change Your Grind Setting When Using Different Beans
Depending on the beans you use, you may want different levels of flavor or acidity. As such, it’s important to remember that you might need to change up your grind to suit those tastes. After all, not every bean contains the same characteristics, and some might taste better to you coarse rather than fine.
Clean and Maintain Grinder After Each Use
Make sure that you’re regularly cleaning your coffee grinder as well. Regardless of the method you use, coffee particles can build up between the blades, mixing in with other cups of coffee and leaving a strange taste in your mouth. Because of this, cleaning these appliances often is the key to avoiding cross-contamination and ensuring a fresh cup every time.
Stick With It and Stay Patient
Above all though, you’ll need to try new things and stick with the process. It may take a lot of experimentation to find the proper grind to suit your tastes. But staying persistent and learning from each attempt will get you closer to the mark.
For more information about how to grind and brew the best cup of coffee, reach out to us at Minnekahta Coffee. We’re passionate about the world of coffee, and believe that every drinker has what it takes to become a full-fledged connoisseur. Whether you’re looking for tips and advice or want to browse our selection of flavored coffees like our gourmet Arabica coffee, we’re just the resource you need.