More than half of Americans drink coffee every day.
Aside from being delicious, it increases your energy, enhances health, and can lower your risk for various diseases (like Alzheimer’s and Type 2 Diabetes). Most people don’t realize, however, that they can up their coffee game by grinding the beans themselves.
Keep reading to find out why you should grind your own coffee beans.
Why Do We Grind Coffee?
To drink coffee, you don’t necessarily have to grind the beans.
You can soak them in boiling water for at least an hour to create your brew. However, this takes a long time and doesn’t give you a quality end product.
This is because grinding breaks up each individual bean, exposing more surface area for the hot water to work with. The outside of a coffee bean has a thin, paper-like covering called the parchment. It protects the inside, sort of like a shell.
By grinding up coffee, the parchment is broken open to expose the goodness inside. This allows for a faster brew while exposing more flavors and smells.
Why Should You Grind Your Own Beans?
Most people buy pre-ground coffee. Perhaps it’s to save a minute in the morning. However, if you want the freshest coffee in the morning you must grind your own coffee beans.
The first and most notable benefit of doing it yourself is that it fills your kitchen with the most beautiful fragrances. You grind coffee in less than a minute but the smells linger for longer.
Aside from the serendipitous smells, fresh ground coffee is less likely to become contaminated by other smells or flavors in your kitchen. This is important, as you don’t want the coffee’s 850 volatile aromas and flavors competing with anything else.
Grinding your coffee right before you plan to roast them also prevents water and oxygen from degrading the beans. Coffee is water-soluble, meaning that when it comes in contact with water (including moisture in the air) it begins to degrade. The same goes for oxygen.
How to grind Your Own Coffee Beans?
Before picking out a coffee grinder, you’ll want to decide on what type of coffee you’d like to drink as well as the grind that best suits your brewing method. You can brew any type of coffee however you’d like. However, you shouldn’t grind your beans without knowing how you’ll brew them.
Types of Coffee
The basic choices of coffee are light, medium, and dark roasts.
Light roasts are the most caffeinated and taste more acidic than other roasts. They have the lowest roasting times and aren’t very oily.
Medium roasts are sometimes oily and have a bittersweet aftertaste. They are the middle ground between light and dark roasts.
Dark roasts are the least acidic while boasting the most bitter, full-bodied flavors. This option is great if you like dark, rich tastes.
No matter what roast you choose, look for coffees that are organic and single-origin. This will ensure that you get a consistent and high-quality product.
Types of Grinds
You may be familiar with grind options if you’ve ever used a store grinder. The types of grinds are various sizes of cuts. Each brewing method has a preferred cut to get the most out of the beans.
The basic types of grinds include:
- Extra fine
There are sometimes in-between settings that allow you to get cuts that are extra coarse, coarse-medium, and medium-fine. To decide which method is right for you, research the best size for the method you use to brew. For example, French pressed coffee is best with a coarse grind.
How to Grind Coffee
You should always follow the manufacturer’s instructions included with your grinder, regardless of whether it’s electronic or manual.
When you’re ready to get brewing, measure out the number of beans you want to use with a kitchen scale. This will help you achieve a consistent cup. To start, you may want to try out 1.6 grams of beans per ounce of coffee you want to make.
Then you can fill your grinder, plug it in, and simply press the button for the desired amount of time. If you choose a manual grinder, you’ll skip the electronic stuff and turn the knob to grind while counting.
Different grinds take different amounts of time. In general, coarse grinds are faster because there’s less cutting. Making coarse ground coffee can last up to 15 seconds.
Fine grinds take longer — but not by much. You’ll really only be grinding for up to 30 seconds. Again, read your manufacturer’s recommendations and do some research about your preferred method of brewing to make the perfect cup of joe.
Pro-Tips for the Avid Coffee Drinker
Ground coffee only keeps its freshness for a couple of hours. So, you should only grind up beans when you’re ready to brew them. When you aren’t making coffee, keep the bag sealed and in a dark pantry.
Some people recommend putting coffee in the refrigerator or freezer — don’t do this. It can become too moist due to temperature changes and you don’t want that.
If you’re a common coffee drinker, another pro-tip to keep in mind is your timing. You should aim to stop drinking coffee at least 4 to 6 hours before bedtime, as caffeine can affect your quality of sleep.
Create Your Perfect Cup
Making a cup of fresh ground coffee is well worth it. Choose your beans, find out what grinds are right for your method of brewing, and get to grinding.
Check out our coffee grinder reviews to find the perfect machine to make your perfect cup.