Coffee Grinding Guide

Which Grind Is Best for Your Coffee Maker?

Coffee grinder
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How you grind your coffee is the first step influencing the final brew. Some machines will brew better if you make sure to grind your beans to the optimal size in the first place.

Cheaper grinders don't always have coarseness settings, so you will have to experiment a little to establish how long to let your machine grind to achieve the right coarseness (or fineness, depending on your point of view).

The terms can be open to interpretation (just how fine is extra fine?) These comparisons might help you gauge your grind a little better:

  • Coarse - Very distinct particles of coffee. Like heavy-grained kosher salt. Downright chunky.
  • Medium - Gritty, like coarse sand.
  • Fine - Smoother to the touch, a little finer than granular sugar or table salt.
  • Extra fine - Finer than sugar, but not quite powdered. Grains should still be discernable to the touch.
  • Turkish - Powdered, like flour. Most inexpensive (blade) grinders will be unable to grind this finely.

The table below will tell you which grind to choose to suit your particular coffee-brewing method.

Grinding Chart

Drip coffee makers
(flat bottomed filters)
Drip coffee makers
(cone filters)
Plunger pot / French press Coarse
Percolator Coarse
Espresso machines
(pump or steam)
Extra fine
Espresso moka pots Fine
Vacuum coffee pot Coarse
Ibrik Turkish