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Learn How To Grind Coffee Yourself

Coffee Grounds 101

There are few other simple pleasures in life that comfort and reassure as much as a fresh cup of coffee. If you’re here, you probably already know that. But have you ever tried grinding your coffee at home? Many of us probably assume grinding coffee beans is a process reserved for cafes and restaurants. Whilst making the perfect cup of coffee is undoubtedly a skill that requires the right tools and a little practice, grinding coffee is a relatively easy practice.

Read on to find out how to grind your coffee at home from our rich and delicious whole coffee beans. And find out what different grind sizes mean with our coffee grinds size chart. After all, the taste profile of your coffee can change depending on the size of the grind.

Why Grind Your Own Coffee Beans?

Why Grind Your Own Coffee Beans

Grinding your own coffee beans elevates you to a pro, in our eyes. Grinding your beans shortly before brewing allows you to retain the maximum amount of the oils and gases that give coffee its amazing flavor and aroma. As you probably know, oxygen and moisture can impact coffee grounds over time. If you buy pre-ground coffee and don’t store it properly, it’s not going to taste so great. Whole beans are easier to store as the bean functions as a kind of protective layer.

The other great thing about grinding your own coffee beans is that you can carefully control the size of the coffee grinds. We won’t give too much away just yet, but grind size can affect taste if you don’t pair it well with your coffee-making device.

Read on to discover what you need to make your own coffee grounds, and enjoy our handy coffee grinds size chart!

What You Need To Make Your Coffee Grounds

1. Whole Coffee Beans

whole coffee beans

Let’s start with the coffee beans. To grind your own coffee, you’ll obviously need to start with some whole coffee beans. There are 4 different types of coffee beans, each with unique flavor profiles. You might be familiar with these now, you might not, but each has unique and delicious characteristics. Though you might not be able to decipher between these bean types, we try our best to explain these differences on Portfolio’s product page.

The main types of coffee beans are Arabica, Robusta, Liberica, and Excelsa. But that’s not the only decision you need to make - we sell a huge range of coffee beans from different countries. The only thing to remember is to make sure you buy the whole beans and not the pre-ground coffee! Otherwise, your foray into at-home coffee grinding will have to wait.

So, you’ve got the beans. What do you need to grind them?

2. A Coffee Grinder

Coffee Grinder

If you don’t have a coffee grinder already, you’ll need to get one. There are many different types of coffee grinders so I’m going to give a brief introduction, to help you find the one for you.

  • A Blade Grinder.


Usually, blade grinders are the cheapest kind of coffee grinder you can buy. They have - no surprise - a blade that spins, a bit like a food processor. The blade chops up your coffee beans into smaller and smaller pieces until they match your extraction method. The longer you let them grind, the finer they will be (our coffee grinds size chart will elaborate on this). Pretty simple! Blade grinders are compact so they won’t take up too much space in your kitchen. They’re also nice and easy to clean. The downside is they can be a bit noisy!

  • A Burr Grinder.

A Burr Grinder

Compared to a blade grinder, a burr grinder allows for more accuracy in how fine or coarse you want your coffee grounds. A burr grinder has a grinder wheel that crushes the whole coffee beans against a static surface. Choose your setting, and have your coffee beans ground to the perfect consistency. Why does it matter? Well, different consistencies of coffee grinds are better for different types of coffee-making devices, but more on that later! Basically, it’s a great choice if you’re a true coffee connoisseur.

Let’s dive a little deeper into burr grinders. There are two types of burr grinders: a wheel burr grinder or a conical burr grinder. Wheel burr grinders tend to be louder and a bit messier. Conical burr grinders are typically considered the best type of coffee grinder but they are also the most expensive. They operate at a slower speed than a wheel burr grinder, which means your coffee beans won’t have their taste impacted by heat. The wheel burr grinder, conversely, can become hot to the touch and whilst this can impact the taste of your coffee grounds, the difference is minimal.

If this is a bit too picky and complex for you, don’t worry, a blade grinder is cost-effective and will do the job just fine! Burr grinders are a bit more annoying to clean, but if top-quality coffee grounds are your vibe, it can be worth the effort.

  • A Manual Grinder.

Manual coffee Grinder

And now, something for the enthusiasts and traditionalists amongst us! A manual grinder requires you to turn a crank. Yep, some of us still like to do that. “But why?!” I hear you ask. You know when you go camping and wish you could enjoy the same quality of coffee that you do at home? Well, you can be the best barista in the wild too! We think manual grinders also look pretty cool. You can get them with cute vintage designs and there are loads of slimline options that are perfect for travelling with. The downside is it takes longer than an electric grinder. But hey, you’ll look like a coffee grinding pro!

Coffee Grinds Size Chart

Coffee Grinds Size Chart

Now that you’ve got your coffee beans and your coffee grinder, you’ll want to decide how coarse or fine you want your coffee grounds to be. When you understand how different consistencies of coffee grinds work, you’ll have the perfect cup every time. And if you’re going to go to all the effort of grinding coffee at home, you might as well do it right! Here’s an overview of grind sizes and what they mean:

  • Extra coarse coffee grounds are perfect for cold brew coffee. This is because cold brews are brewed at a low temperature over a longer period of time than hot coffees.
  • Coarse grounds are ideal for use with a French Press or percolator. It should have the consistency of sea salt. Again, this is because these methods involve steeping the coffee in water for a longer time than the methods below.
  • Medium-coarse coffee grounds look similar to coarse sand and are great for use with specialty brewers such as the Chemex.
  • Medium coffee grinds have the texture of regular sand. This is a great choice for using with an Aeropress, a cone-shaped pour-over coffee maker, or a flat-bottomed drip coffee maker.
  • Medium-fine coffee grounds are a great choice for making pour-over coffee. Pour-over coffee requires a filter and a pour-over brewer. You simply pour water over a coffee bed, and it filters through, filling your cup with delicious coffee. It’s simple and it’s effective.
  • Fine coffee grounds are the grind of choice for espresso. Most pre-ground coffees are fine-ground. It’s a bit finer than table salt, and it’s great for brewing espressos with an espresso machine, Aeropress, or stovetop espresso pot.
  • Extra-fine coffee grinds are what you’ll need to make Turkish coffee. It’s so fine that it has a consistency like flour. Turkish coffee is made in a pot called an ibrik and it can be sweetened with sugar and flavored with aromatic spices such as cardamom. It’s sometimes simply called a Turkish grind.

We hope our coffee grinds size chart has been useful! Remember - it will probably take some trial and error till you get comfortable with your grinder of choice. Patience is a virtue! It will be worth it.

Coffee Grinds Size Chart - More Top Tips

Coffee Grinds Size Chart - More Top Tips

In case we haven’t made all of this clear enough, here are a few top tips to make sure you get it right with the consistency of grounds for coffee!

To summarize: the longer the coffee is in contact with water, the coarser the coffee grinds should be. Use a fine grind for a cold brew and your coffee will end up overly strong and bitter. Using too coarse a grind for a method such as using an espresso machine will result in a coffee that is too weak. Simple science, really!

You can control the size of your coffee grounds using a Blade, Burr, or manual grinder. But as we’ve said, the Burr grinder allows for the most control as it has many settings and you can be super specific about the size of grind you want. A blade grinder is perfect for a coarser grind, and burr grinders are usually required to achieve a fine grind. So choose a grinder that is best suited to your preferred method of coffee-making!

If your coffee grounds are too fine, like powdered sugar, they won’t do well with your espresso machine. They might even choke up the machine, so be careful.

If your coffee ends up incredibly sour, then you’ve used coffee grounds that are too coarse. If it’s super bitter, you’ve used too fine a grind. Simple!

Grinding Coffee Without A Grinder

Grinding Coffee Without Grinder

Making grounds for coffee if you don’t have a grinder is not ideal, but it’s possible. If you’re after a coarse grind, try blending your coffee beans in a blender. If you’ve got the time and energy, try making coffee grounds using a mortar and pestle. You’ll only really be able to grind enough for one cup at a time, but it’s better than nothing! In fact, a mortar and pestle are how people used to do it, and some traditional coffee ceremonies around the world still use this method. In the 15th Century, grain mills were invented, and in the 17th Century, the first official coffee grinder came along – phew!

Really really desperate for your coffee fix and have neither of these tools to hand…? Check your toolbox for a hammer. Yup. We don’t especially recommend this, but you could always pop your beans in a plastic bag and give it a bash with a hammer, mallet, or similar tool. It depends on how desperate you are to make coffee grinds!

Top Tips For The Perfect Coffee Grounds Every Time

Top Tips For The Perfect Coffee Grounds Every Time

  • Try and grind your coffee as close to the time of brewing as you can. This will ensure the best flavor possible. If you do make your grounds for coffee in advance, make sure you store them in an airtight container until you use them.
  • Don’t grind too much or too little. If you make too many coffee grounds, you won’t use it all. This means you’ll have to store it and, as above, it won’t taste quite as good. If you grind too little, well, you’ll need to grind another batch! That’s more frustrating than anything. It takes a bit of practice but you’ll soon get to know how much you should grind per cup of coffee.
  • Always clean your coffee grinder properly! It can be annoying, but make sure you get any leftover coffee grounds out of every little corner. Any leftover, old coffee grinds will mix with the freshly ground coffee and tarnish the taste. You want grounds for coffee that are as pure as possible!

Coffee Grounds: The Final Sip

Coffee Grounds The Final Sip

Thank you for joining us on this exploration of how to make grounds for coffee the professional way! Never again will you have to suffer through a lousy cup of coffee – or even a mediocre one. Whilst grinding coffee beans (generally) requires investing in a coffee grinder, we think it’s worth it for the quality of the cup you get. Look at it as a lifetime investment, and you’ll definitely get your money’s worth.

It takes a bit more effort, so it might not be ideal for those mornings when you’re rushing out to work. But you can’t beat a cup of freshly ground coffee on a leisurely weekend morning. Imagine how impressed your friends and family will be when you crank on the grinder and give them the best coffee of their life!

A big part of what making the perfect coffee grounds comes down to is experimentation. Don’t be afraid to get it wrong. Try different sizes of coffee grinds, and see what works best with your coffee machine or device. Play around with different types and quantities of whole coffee beans. It won’t be long before you’ve hit the jackpot!

Now choose your coffee and get grinding!

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