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Guide – Grinding coffee beans

How should coffee be ground? Good question. Knowing how to grind coffee is an absolutely essential and indispensable part of coffee brewing. Maybe you buy the coffee ground, but are considering whether to start grinding your beans. This is a really good idea, as there is a lot to pick up to optimize the taste of the cup, and it is also easy to ruin your coffee with an inappropriate grind. It may also be that you are already grinding your coffee yourself, but sometimes there is little doubt about how to grind the coffee optimally. That is why we have gathered some tips and tricks for you who are looking for a good guide for grinding coffee beans .

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Grind the coffee fresh!

Let’s start with the fundamentals. To get the most out of your coffee, it is essential that the coffee is completely freshly ground. We recommend that it does not take longer than 15 minutes from grinding to brewing. This is because as soon as the coffee is ground, the coffee beans break up into a lot of small pieces, thereby increasing the bean’s number of surfaces that come in contact with oxygen. In fact, a coffee bean turns into about 490,000 pieces when ground for espresso brewing. It also means that a whole lot of aromas are released, which were otherwise inside the prayer – This is also why it smells so much and so nice when you grind coffee.

The biggest villain in this scenario is oxygen, which also causes your bike to rust and your fruit to become soft and brown. You can compare the coffee to an apple – if the apple is cut into pieces, it will turn brown and bad faster. The consequence of oxidation in coffee is that it loses its sweet and full-bodied nuances and aromas, which are replaced by one of flat and earthy taste. Therefore, it is important that you keep the coffee as beans until it is to be used for brewing.

Know your degree of grinding

In short, the degree of grinding is an expression of how finely or coarsely ground the coffee is – that is, how large pieces the coffee beans have been broken down into. This is because it determines how large a surface of the coffee comes into contact with water. This is called “extraction”. Small coffee pieces will have a faster extraction due to a greater contact with water, where coarser and larger coffee pieces will have a slower extraction time. We would rather hit a point where the coffee is neither under- nor over-extracted. Under-extracted coffee is too coarsely ground or brewed too quickly and will have sour, vinegar-like notes and lack depth and fullness. Over-extracted coffee that is brewed too slowly or too finely ground will have bitter and dry notes that may taste a bit like chalk.

It is therefore important that you work with the degree of grinding in relation to the brewing method you use. If we break it down into a scale from 1 to 10, where 1 is like wheat flour and 10 is like coconut, you will grind something like this:

Espresso: 2-3

Aeropress: 3-4

Filter coffee: 5-6

Chemex: 7-8

Piston jug: 8-10

That said, you can also take advantage of the degree of grinding to highlight flavor notes. For example, if you want a more acidic coffee, you can set your grinder to grind a little coarser than usual. If you need a good grinder at home, we can recommend Wilfa coffee grinder.

Most coffee grinders can be set based on the above scale. But it is not always that setting 5 on one grinder is the same on another. Coffee grinders are very different. Here, Wilfa’s CGWS130B offers a super ease of use, as the grinding degrees are not described with numbers, but with brewing designations. That is, if you brew on AeroPress , you simply put the coffee on AeroPress. Of course, there may be personal preferences within the degree of grinding – and we generally recommend trying it out – but here the Wilfa coffee grinder also offers a lot of freedom.

NOTE: If you brew espresso coffee, be aware that the Wilfa grinder is not an espresso grinder. In general, it is almost impossible to find a machine that can grind coffee to filter and to epresso. Therefore, you need to go out and invest in an espresso grinder. We do not sell them, but both at home and in the office we are happy with the Eureka brand and their coffee grinder.

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Coffee grinder vs. coffee grinder

Now you may be in doubt about which grinder to choose. There are hundreds of coffee grinders in price ranges from DKK 100 to DKK 20,000. Some are electric and some are by hand. Overall, there are three types: coffee grinders, coffee grinders and espresso grinders.

  • Coffee grinders look a bit like a mini blender that has a bowl for the beans with a leaf at the bottom that blends the coffee beans. The advantage of these is that they are typically small, compact and cheaper than a coffee grinder. However, they have the disadvantage that they are not good at getting an even degree of grinding. Ie. that the chopped pieces of coffee beans will be of different sizes and lack monotony. If you read the section on extraction above, you know that different sizes of coffee pieces give different extractions. Therefore, an uneven degree of grinding poses a problem as some of the coffee pieces will be over-extracted and others will be under-extracted. If you have a coffee grinder and are not yet ready to invest in a coffee grinder, then a little tip is to shake the grinder while grinding, as if it were a cocktail shaker, to make the grinding as smooth as possible.
  • Coffee grinders, such as Wilfa , are typically slightly larger and have two containers: one for beans at the top and one for the ground coffee at the bottom. In the middle are two knives, through which the coffee comes through and is crushed. You can then set how close these knives should be to each other – the closer, the finer. The advantage here is that the coffee will have a much more even degree of grinding, and you therefore have a better chance of ensuring that you get the same result every time. In addition, it is easy to adjust the degree of grinding to different brewing methods. However, coffee grinders are typically a bit more expensive and larger, but clearly the best solution.
  • The last type is an espresso grinder, and it’s really just a coffee grinder that is suitable for making espresso coffee. Espresso must be ground very finely, and there are many coffee grinders that do not have a wide enough spectrum to be able to grind for both stamp coffee and espresso. Therefore, if you primarily brew espresso, then it can be an advantage to get a grinder specifically suitable for grinding the coffee finely. It is also important to be able to adjust very precisely, as the degree of grinding is absolutely central for one’s espresso to have a correct maturity of approximately 25 seconds.

It is also possible to get a coffee grinder, which is operated by hand with a handle that you turn around yourself. It’s smart if you want freshly ground coffee on the camping trip or other places without access to electricity. However, it can cause a little sweat on the forehead, especially if you need to brew coffee for more than yourself.

But hey, no one has said it should be easy to brew good coffee.

Experiment with your grinder

If you have seen our brewing guides, you have probably noticed that we always recommend a certain degree of grinding depending on which brewing method you use. We say, among other things, that the coffee for a Chemex must be ground relatively coarsely, which most of all is a recommendation and not a requirement. You can experiment with different degrees of grinding yourself and try to highlight deeper notes by grinding finer or more acidic notes by grinding coarser.

When we taste a new coffee, we always try to drink it with the same brewing method, but at 2-3 variations of degree of grinding to see what potential the coffee has on the different settings.

So try it out and see what you like best.

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