How to Grind Coffee

by KonaCoffeeBuzz

Improving how you grind your coffee is the easiest and most effective way to improve the quality of morning cup of coffee. We will take you step by step through the coffee grinding

Coffee is a unique beverage in that how you prepare your coffee can make a huge difference in flavor. Whereas wine is essentially a finished product that you uncork (although the type of glass and foods your pair it with can affect flavor), how your coffee tastes depends on your preparation methods. And the most important way to improve your cup of coffee is to understand how to grind coffee.
Here we will compare the types of grinders, from conical burr grinders, flat burr grinders, and blade grinders. We will also list how long you should grind your coffee for most brewing methods, like the French Press, Percolator and Drip Machines. I hope this guide helps you better understand coffee brewing methods and you can apply this to making your morning cup a little more tasty.

Characteristics of Good Coffee Grinds

Coffee grinds from a blade grinder. how to grind coffee


You can tell just by looking at coffee grinds whether they are top quality. In this accompanying picture, you can see that the coffee grinds produced by a blade grinder are uneven: there are giant pieces of beans that are still intact, and also little tiny particles no bigger than a speck of dust. Neither of these particles will give you much flavor in your cup. 


These are the characteristics of good coffee grinds

Uniform Size - if all the coffee grinds are the same size, that means there will be even flavor extraction. Burr Grinders are better able to produce even coffee grinds. 

No Heat - Heat is very damaging to the very sensitive flavor producing particles in coffee. Avoid grinders that produce a lot of heat when grinding up your coffee. 

Freshness - That wonderful smell when you grind up fresh coffee beans is actually flavor rapidly escaping. Make sure you grind your beans just before brewing your coffee. Once exposed to air coffee rapidly loses its flavor. This is why whole bean is always superior to pre-ground coffee. 


How Do You Grind Coffee?

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3 Major Types of Coffee Grinders:



For even more tips on grinding coffee, visit this website:


When you looking to buy coffee grinders, there are three major types: 

Blade Grinders - These are the cheapest (and understandably most popular coffee grinders. They have blades that chop up the coffee beans. These types of grinders destroy coffee flavor in two ways: they create both large and small coffee particles (which creates uneven flavor extraction) and it rapidly generates heat. 


Flat Burr Grinders - The next step up is Burr Grinders, which features two 'burrs', or flat plates, that pulverize the coffee beans. Pulverization is a better method because it creates uniform-sized coffee grinds, and also generates very little heat. 

However the flat burr grinders aren't perfect, and sometimes whole coffee beans can escape being pulverized by the flat burrs. 


Conical Burr Grinders - The best type of burr grinders are conical burr grinders. Instead of two flat plates, there is a flat plate and a cone-shaped plate. The increase in surface area means that the coffee grinds are spread out and pulverized more evenly. No coffee bean can escape unscathed when it comes to conical burr grinders. 


Best Conical Burr Coffee Grinders

The Top-Rated Burr Grinders
Baratza Encore Conical Burr Coffee Grinder

485 Features: -Burrs: Manufactured in Europe, the Encore's 40 mm conical burrs will grind for many styles of coffee. Conical burr grinders are exceptional at producing consisten...

$199.00  $129.00

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Capresso 560 Infinity Conical Burr Grinder, Brushed Silver, 8.5-Ounce

Capresso - Infinity Conical Burr Grinder Elegant, timeless and user friendly design For maximum aroma and flavor retention nothing beats the Infinity Conical Burr Grinder series...

Only $93.67

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Espressione Professional Conical Burr Coffee Grinder, Black/Silver

Espressione's commercial quality grinder stands out from the rest with its powerful grinding conical mechanism and precision controlled engineering. Large 8.5 ounce hopper and 1...

$150.00  $79.99

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Cuisinart CBM-18N Programmable Conical Burr Mill

The perfect grind will be yours every time with this elegant brushed stainless programmable conical burr mill. The easy to read LCD display shows time, fineness and number of cu...

Only $185.00

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Conical Burr Grinders on eBay

The Best Places to Find Great Prices.

Capresso Jura Infinity Black 560.01 Conical Burr Coffee Grinder

Time left: 4 days, 22 hours
Fixed price: $93.49  Buy It Now

Galleany Manual Ceramic Coffee Grinder - Best Adjustable Conic...

Time left: 1 week, 6 days
Fixed price: $10.79  Buy It Now

Cuisinart CBM18 Programmable Conical Burr Mill - CBM-18

Time left: 1 month
Fixed price: $90.00  Buy It Now

Grinding TImes for a Blade Grinder

Most blade grinders are manual, with no guide on how long you should be grinding your coffee for. When in such situations, this is a handy guide of grinding times for each particular brewing method: 


Coarse Grind (for French Press or Percolator): 8-10 seconds. 


Medium Grind (for drip Coffee Makers) - 10-15 seconds


Fine Grind (espresso machines) - 15-20 seconds


Very Fine Grind (for Turkish coffee) - 25-30 seconds



Blade Grinders on Amazon

KRUPS 203-42 Electric Spice and Coffee Grinder with Stainless Steel Blades, Black

Your in the coffee zone with this grider%2E The One Touch Coffee Grinder is all you will need to grind up your fresh beans right in your own kitchen%2C and have that perfect cup...

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Proctor Silex E160BY Fresh Grind Coffee Grinder, White

This Proctor Silex Fresh Grind Stainless Steel Coffee Grinder features a unique internal cord wrap, a safety on/off button, stainless steel blades and a compact Euro-Style desig...

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Hamilton Beach 80365 Custom Grind Hands-Free Coffee Grinder, Platinum

Hamilton Beach one touch coffee bean grinder . Hands free operation with five different automatic coffee flavor settings. Grinder chamber makes up to 12 -cups of coffee beans at...

View on Amazon

See the Different Coffee Grinders in Action!

Updated: 01/28/2013, KonaCoffeeBuzz
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KonaCoffeeBuzz on 01/29/2013

Hi frugalrvers! As a former barista I have some ideas: every Starbucks has a water filtration system. Since coffee is 99.5% water, this can make a huge difference. Plus the coffee machines heat the water to just below boiling, which makes for maximum flavor extraction. Most coffee makers at home don't heat up the water enough to get the most flavor out of your coffee.
I think I have some ideas for a new Wizzley page. Thanks!!

katiem2 on 01/29/2013

I grind coffee everyday. I've got a better idea as to how I might get a better cup of coffee. Thanks for the tips on grinding coffee. :)K

frugalrvers on 01/29/2013

Welcome to Wizzley! This is a great first article...I truly had no idea about how grinders impact flavor and the various types that are out there. I have a question - I don't go to coffee shops very often, like Starbucks, but when I do it tastes so much better than if I bought some of their coffee to take home (on a limited budget, so doesn't happen often). What is their "secret?" Is it in the grinding?

sheilamarie on 01/29/2013

Well, I've learned something from your article about how to grind coffee. I'm actually more of a tea drinker, but it's hard to beat a really good cup of coffee.

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