Interest in great-tasting coffee has surged over the last couple of decades. As it has, people have sought out the tools and techniques to make that perfect cup, hoping to turn their bitter viscous morning pick-me-up into a delicious indulgence.
Great coffee depends upon many factors, the first being the beans themselves. We at Cremazen offer high-quality beans selected from the best growing regions. We roast them with care.
But it's still possible to make a substandard cup with them. And that would be a shame.
So how can you make sure to get the most out of these special beans?
Grinding and Extraction
You don't have to be a chemist to have an intuitive grasp of why we grind coffee. Just imagine pouring boiling water over beans. The beans would just sit there in the bottom of the pot with clear hot water all around. Hot, tasteless water.
You need to crack the bean to infuse that water with the dark, wonderful taste of coffee. The larger the surface area you expose to the water, the more the flavors hidden within get out into the water and the more caffeine hits your bloodstream.
So just pulverize the coffee and let everything out, right? Get all of the flavor. Sadly, things aren't that simple. Once you've extracted all the delicious flavors from the bean, less pleasant flavors will seep out. The coffee will become bitter and overpowering.
Time and Size
The key to really great coffee is to match the size of the grind with the method of preparation. Generally, the longer you steep the coffee the larger the grind needs to be. French press gives its best results with larger grinds and espresso with smaller ones.
The exception to this is Turkish/Greek/Russian coffee. With those, you want your coffee ground to powder and boiled along with the water.
Guide to Grinds
At Cremazen, we recommend you grind your own beans right before brewing, using a burr grinder. This yields the freshest flavor. But we also live in the real world, where jobs and kids tend to get in the way of treating your daily coffee with the deliberation and serenity of a Japanese tea ceremony. So we offer some grind options to make it just a little easier to get to your first cup of the day.
French Press grind is a coarse grind, something like the size kosher sea salt. You're fully immersing the coffee in water for 3-5 minutes, so the particles can't be too small.
Chemex grind is a medium grind, like say table salt. The water takes 3-5 minutes to pass through the paper filter. Since it's passing through, the grind doesn't need to be as coarse as the French Press
Drip grind is a medium fine grind, like fine sand. Like with the Chemex, the water passes through the grounds, but it only does so for about half the time, 2-3 minutes.
Espresso grind is a fine grind, closer to powdered sugar. The high-pressure steam takes around 30 seconds to pass through.
The Most Important Thing...
Is don't believe everything you read on the Internet. Not even this guide! It's a great starting point, but you'll enjoy your coffee even more if you fine tune the beans you chose, your brewing technique and grind to your particular taste. The cool coffee kids call this "surfing the grind". Experiment a bit and develop your palate; see how changing the grind affects the taste.
Face it: you're going to drink a lot of coffee. Why not make it a lot of really great coffee?
- Choosing the Right Grind
- Choosing the Right Coffee Grinder - I Need Coffee
- Coffee Grind Chart - I Need Coffee
- How to Grind Coffee - Learn About Coffee Grinding
- How to Grind Coffee: The Only Guide You'll Ever Need - Kona Coffee Buzz
- coffeechemistry.com - Grinding Fundamentals
- coffeechemistry.com - The Chemistry of Organic Acids: Part 1
- Choose wisely: 4 grind sizes for brewing AeroPress coffee — Kaffeologie
- Coffee preparation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
- Coffee brewing - SCAA
- The Basics *