Coffee Grinding Guide

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How you grind your coffee beans 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 coffee 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 coffee grinding 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 discernible 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. Just remember that this is a rough coffee grinding guide and that all machines are a little different.

coffee grinding guide for beans

Roasted coffee beans awaiting the grinder

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