Ultimate Guide To Grinding Coffee – Unleash the Full Potential of Your Beans

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An essential step in the coffee brewing journey is grinding coffee beans. If the coffee grinder is rubbish, your coffee will never live up to its potential. Our Ultimate Guide to Grinding Coffee explores the critical factors that can elevate your coffee experience. 

Whether you’re a novice coffee enthusiast or a seasoned connoisseur, understanding the art and science behind grinding coffee is key to unlocking the full potential of your coffee beans, coffee brewing, and coffee tasting. 

Whether you’re seeking an upgrade, troubleshooting, or simply expanding your knowledge, our ultimate guide to grinding coffee is your go-to resource. By the end, you’ll be equipped with the expertise to make informed decisions and unleash the authentic flavors of your coffee beans.

Table of contents

The Importance of Coffee Grinding

Grinding coffee is a crucial step in the coffee brewing process that significantly impacts your cup’s final taste and aroma. You unlock the full potential of coffee’s flavors and aromatics by grinding the beans just before brewing. 

Whole coffee beans contain a wealth of complex compounds and oils that contribute to the rich taste and captivating fragrance we love in our coffee. However, these compounds are trapped inside the beans and only released when they come into contact with hot water. 

Grinding the beans exposes a larger surface area, allowing water to extract the flavors more efficiently and resulting in a more flavorful and aromatic cup of coffee.

Coffee Extraction

We grind coffee to get the best possible aromas and flavors during extraction. So let us briefly look at extraction before progressing further with details on grinding coffee.

The process of incubating water with ground coffee is called extraction and takes the form of a particular brewing technique such as French Press, Drip, or Espresso.

Several factors play a significant role in coffee extraction:

  • Water Temperature: The temperature of the water affects the rate of extraction. Generally, water temperature between 195°F and 205°F (90°C to 96°C) is considered ideal for coffee extraction. Hotter water can lead to over-extraction and bitterness, while cooler water may result in under-extraction and a bland, sour taste.
  • Brew Time: The brewing process duration determines the contact time between water and coffee grounds. Different brewing methods have specific recommended brew times to achieve optimal extraction. Controlling the brew time helps balance the flavors and avoid over-extraction or under-extraction.
  • Coffee-to-Water Ratio: The ratio of coffee grounds to water used in brewing is crucial. It affects the strength and intensity of the resulting brew. Finding the right balance ensures proper extraction without the coffee being too weak or too strong.
  • Grinding: The coarseness or fineness of the coffee grounds, and grind size, determines the surface area available for extraction. Finer grinds offer a larger surface area and faster extraction, while coarser grinds require more time to extract flavors. The grind size should be suitable for the brewing method for optimal extraction.
  • Agitation: Agitating the coffee grounds, like stirring or swirling, aid in distributing the water evenly and prevent channeling.

Coffee can be under-extracted or over-extracted.

Under extraction of coffee refers to a brewing process where not enough flavor has been extracted from the coffee grounds, resulting in an imbalanced and undesirable taste.

This occurs when the water has not had enough contact with the coffee grounds to extract the necessary oils and flavors.

Under-extracted coffee can taste sour, salty, thin, and dull, with sourness being the most identifiable flavor.

Over extraction of coffee refers to a brewing process where too much flavor has been extracted from the coffee grounds, resulting in an imbalanced and undesirable taste.

This occurs when the water has too much contact with the coffee grounds, extracting unfavorable flavors.

Over-extracted coffee can taste bitter, dry, or empty, lacking body.

To achieve a well-extracted coffee, factors such as water temperature, grind size, and brew time should be carefully considered and adjusted as needed

We will further explore coffee extraction in other posts, but we focus on coffee grinding in this post.

Why Grind Coffee?

Why grind coffee, and what do we want to achieve? We grind coffee to:

1. Increase the surface area of coffee

2. Achieve a consistent grind

3. Achieve a suitable grind size 

4. Avoid coffee fines

5. Decrease or eliminate coffee retention in the grinder

6. Avoid excessive heat

Increase the Surface Area of Coffee

We grind whole coffee beans because we want to increase the surface area of the coffee. A greater surface area allows for better extraction of flavors and aromas when we brew the coffee. 

The greater surface area means that hot water can come into contact with more coffee particles, which leads to greater extraction of the coffee chemicals responsible for flavor and aroma. This leads to a more flavorful and aromatic cup of coffee.

The surface area concept is similar to what you learned in high school chemistry class. The more finely divided the solid is, the faster the reaction happens. A powdered solid will react more quickly than if the same mass is present as a single lump. The powdered solid has a greater surface area than the single lump. 

The reaction in the case of coffee brewing and extraction is a dissolution reaction. That is, the chemical compounds of the ground coffee dissolve in hot water. 

Grinding Coffee Increases Surface Area


When you grind coffee beans, the surface area of the coffee bean increases, but the ground coffee’s weight and volume should equal the unground coffee beans. This is true, provided there is no retention of the ground coffee in the grinder and no ground coffee is lost through the air by static or a messy output chute on the grinder.

Consistent Grind

Grinding involves two steps: Crushing and fragmentation (cutting or fine grinding) to produce coffee particles.

Ideally, a consistent grind means that the coffee particles are all the same size. However, it is impossible to have the same size, and coffee particles vary in size, number, and shape. 

Coffee extraction will be less for large and more for small coffee particles, giving incomplete and varied extraction. Hence it is better to have consistent grinding to provide a relatively small range of particle sizes. 

A consistent grind usually means that coffee particles come within a suitable size range. A ‘suitable’ range depends on the type of roasted coffee beans (e.g., light, medium, and dark roast) and the coffee brewing technique (e.g., French Press, Drip, Espresso).

It is difficult to control the shape of the particles because even with the best grinding methods, fracturing a coffee bean into differently shaped particles is unpredictable.

It is possible to partially control the size and number of particles by adjusting the grinding mechanism to produce more or fewer particles. We use standard terms such as course, medium grind, and fine grind when describing the size and number of coffee particles. The coarser the grid, the fewer coffee particles; the finer the grind, the greater the particles.  

A consistent grind helps to avoid over-extraction or under-extraction, resulting in a balanced and flavorful cup. Along with consistency, achieving a suitable particle size distribution is also crucial. We will learn more about grind size and coffee particle distribution in the next section.

Achieving a consistent grind depends on the coffee grinder’s grinding mechanism. Different grinding mechanisms have different abilities and achieve different results.

There are at least four grinding mechanisms used for coffee grinders: burr, chopping, pounding, and rolling, and we’ll briefly discuss these later in this post.

Grind Size

Coffee grind size is crucial because it directly affects the extraction process during brewing and ultimately determines the flavor profile of the coffee. 

The grind size refers to the particle size of the coffee grounds, which can vary widely. 

You measure grind size in microns (see later), but grind size is often described as coarse, medium, fine, or very fine. However, each grind is composed of a range of coffee particle sizes. 

A suitable grind size is essential for extracting the desired flavors and balancing the extraction process. 

In general, you extract less of the coffee compounds when using course grinds, so more time is needed for extraction. You extract more coffee compounds when using fine grinds, and less time is required for extraction. 

Different brewing methods require different grind sizes to optimize the extraction and achieve the desired flavor profile. 

Espresso brewing typically requires a very fine grind to create the necessary resistance for proper extraction in a short time (typically 20 to 30 seconds). 

In contrast, a brewing method like French press requires a coarse grind to allow for a longer extraction time (4 to 8 minutes) and to prevent fine particles from seeping through the mesh filter.

By selecting the appropriate grind size for a specific brewing method, you can optimize the extraction process and produce a well-balanced, flavorful, and enjoyable coffee.

Often people talk about the particle distribution achieved by grinding coffee. This is usually shown by a particle distribution diagram or chart below.

Particle size is in microns on the x-axis and the volume fraction (%) on the y-axis. A micron is a unit of length equal to one millionth of a meter, also known as a micrometer (µm). 

The volume fraction represents the proportion of the total volume of the mixture occupied by particles of a specific size.

Coffee Particle Size Distribution
Source: Moroney and others 2019

As you can see from the graph, there is a wide distribution of coffee particle sizes. Coffee particle size can range from 1 to 1500 microns (µm) or more.

There appear to be at least two peaks in the graph. There is a narrow peak at the right for both fine and coarse grinds, which means the coffee particles are similar in size (but not the same; otherwise, there would be just one line and not a curve). There is a broader peak at the left for both grinds, meaning the coffee particles are of different sizes. This distribution is often known as unimodal or bimodal, which we discuss later.

Measuring coffee particles as a unit of length instead of a unit of surface area seems peculiar. However, it’s easier to measure length than surface area, so this unit is standard when describing coffee particle size.

Fine grind sizes, used for espresso, usually have a narrow range of particle sizes compared with coarse grinds. This gives better extraction and can result in a balanced flavor.

Coarser grind sizes, used for French press, have a broader range of particle sizes than fine grinds. This results in a more complex extraction, with different flavors extracted from various particle sizes. However, it is more difficult to achieve consistency because some coffee particles may be under-extracted and others over-extracted.

coffee grind characteristics particle size and number

Note: Particle numbers and sizes are estimates and vary depending on the mechanism used for grinding coffee.

Finding the right grind size involves experimenting and adjusting based on the specific coffee beans, brewing equipment, and personal taste preferences. 

Selecting a suitable grind size is about finding the balance that allows for optimal extraction, avoiding under-extraction (resulting in weak and sour flavors) or over-extraction (resulting in bitter and astringent flavors). 

Selecting a suitable grind size is also essential to produce grinds for a specific brewing method such as Drip, Pour-over, and Espresso.

Ultimately, achieving a suitable grind size is key to unlocking the flavors and aromas of the coffee beans and brewing a delicious cup of coffee.

Unimodel or Bimodel?

When grinding coffee beans, the goal is to achieve a consistent particle size distribution. Ideally, you want all the coffee grounds to be as close in size as possible to ensure even extraction during brewing. However, in practice, achieving a perfectly uniform particle size is challenging.

The concept of bimodal and unimodal particle size distributions comes into play here. These terms come from statistics, where a “mode” is the most common value in a data set.

A unimodal distribution means that most coffee particles fall within a relatively narrow range of sizes. On the other hand, a bimodal distribution means that the coffee particles are divided into two distinct groups, resulting in two peaks in the distribution curve, each representing a different particle size range.

The correlation between grind size and particle size distribution refers to the relationship between the coarseness or fineness of the grind and the resulting distribution pattern. Generally, as the grind size becomes coarser, the particle size distribution tends to become more unimodal, with a narrower range of particle sizes. Conversely, as the grind size becomes finer, the distribution becomes more bimodal, with distinct peaks representing different particle size ranges.

Grinder design and burr type influence the coffee particle size distribution. Different grinders may produce different distribution patterns even when set to the same grind size due to variations in burr geometry, cutting dynamics, and other factors.

It is important to achieve an optimal particle size distribution because it affects the extraction process. If the particle sizes are too varied, some grounds may be over-extracted, leading to bitterness, while others may be under-extracted, resulting in a weak or sour taste. By aiming for a more uniform particle size distribution, you can increase the consistency and quality of your brewed coffee.

It’s worth noting that we don’t yet know the precise relationship between grind size and particle size distribution. While general trends and observations exist, the coffee community is still exploring and researching to better understand these complex dynamics.


Coffee Particle Distribution Graph

Analysing extraction uniformity from porous coffee beds using mathematical modelling and computational fluid dynamics approaches

Coffee Grind Characteristics
Influence of particle size distribution on espresso extraction via packed bed compression

Farm to Consumer: Factors Affecting the Organoleptic Characteristics of Coffee. II: Postharvest Processing Factors

Avoid Coffee Fines

Coffee fines refer to tiny particles or dust-like particles created during grinding. 

The word ‘fine’ here differs slightly from the usual adjective ‘fine’ to describe the grinding process. 

In this case, fines result from coffee beans ground into tiny particles unsuitable for any coffee brewing and extraction technique except for Turkish and Arabic coffee. 

In contrast, when we use the term ‘fine’ to describe a particular grind size, we are interested in using smaller coffee particles suitable for a brewing technique such as espresso.

You cannot altogether remove these fines, but excessive fines can have a negative impact on the quality of the brewed coffee.

It is essential to avoid coffee fines for a few reasons:

Over-Extraction: Fines extract more quickly and easily than coarser grounds. When brewing coffee, if a high concentration of fines is present, they can over-extract, leading to an imbalanced and bitter taste. This can detract from the desired flavors and nuances of the coffee.

Uneven Extraction: Fines can cause an uneven extraction process. Due to their smaller size, they can create channels within the coffee bed, allowing water to flow more quickly through those areas. This results in uneven extraction, with some areas of the coffee bed being over-extracted and others under-extracted.

Clogging and Clumping: Coffee fines can also contribute to clogging and clumping issues in brewing equipment, particularly in devices with small openings or filters. Fines can accumulate and create blockages, affecting water flow and potentially leading to brew inconsistencies or equipment damage.

To reduce the number of coffee fines during grinding, you can follow these tips:

  • Use sharper grinder burrs: Sharp burrs produce a more consistent grind and fewer fines [1].
  • Ensure grinder burrs are correctly aligned: Proper alignment of the burrs helps to minimize fines [1].
  • Grind coarser: Grinding coarser can reduce the number of fines produced [1].
  • Use larger grinder burrs: Larger burrs produce fewer fines [1].
  • Roast lighter: Lighter roasts produce fewer fines [1].
  • Use a high-quality burr grinder: Consistency is crucial when evaluating grinders, and a high-quality burr grinder can help reduce fines [2].
  • Ross Droplet Technique (RDT): Adding a few drops of water to your beans immediately before grinding can help reduce static and clumping, possibly contributing to fines [3].

By following these tips, you can minimize the coffee fines produced during the grinding process, leading to a better-tasting cup of coffee.


  1. Creation Commercial Coffee Equipment: Fines: Fine for espresso, not so fine for filter by Scott Rao – Creation Commercial Coffee Equipment
  2. Seattle Coffee Gear: What are Coffee Fines? | Seattle Coffee Gear
  3. Clive Coffee: Reducing Static in your Grinder – Clive Coffee

Decrease Coffee Retention in the Grinder

Another important aspect of coffee grinding is reducing retention or residual coffee in the grinder. 

Retention refers to the amount of coffee stuck inside the grinder after each use. It’s crucial to minimize retention because leftover coffee can become stale and affect the freshness of subsequent grinds. 

By reducing retention, we ensure that each batch of ground coffee is fresh and doesn’t mix with the previous batch. We also ensure that the ground coffee we get from the grinder equals what we put into the grinder. 

This is important when carefully weighing coffee to achieve a particular coffee-to-water brew ratio for a brewing technique.

Avoid Excessive Heat

When grinding coffee, it is crucial to avoid excessive heat for a few reasons. 

  • First, excessive heat can lead to the degradation of the coffee’s flavor compounds. Coffee beans contain volatile aromatic compounds that contribute to the aroma and taste of the brewed coffee. 
  • High temperatures during grinding can cause these delicate compounds to evaporate, resulting in a loss of flavor and aroma.
  • Excessive heat can have a negative impact on the oils present in the coffee beans. Coffee beans contain natural oils that contribute to the richness and body of the brewed coffee. When exposed to high temperatures, these oils can become rancid and give the coffee a burnt or unpleasant taste.
  • Excessive heat can also affect the overall quality of the coffee grounds. It can cause the grounds to clump, leading to uneven extraction during brewing. This can result in an imbalanced and inconsistent flavor profile in the cup.

It’s essential to use a grinder that generates minimal heat during the grinding process to preserve the delicate flavors, oils, and overall quality of the coffee.

Burr grinders, which crush the beans between two rotating burrs, generate less heat than blade grinders, which use rapid spinning blades. A grinder that minimizes heat production can ensure a more flavorful and enjoyable coffee experience.

Components of a Coffee Grinder

The main components in most coffee grinders are as follows.


The hopper is the compartment at the top of the grinder where the whole coffee beans are stored before grinding.

Bean Gate

The bean gate is a small gate that controls the flow of beans from the hopper into the grinding area.

Grinding Blades/Burrs

The grinding blades and burrs are the components that actually grind the coffee beans. They can be adjusted to achieve different grind sizes. There are mainly two types of grinders – blade grinders and burr grinders. Blade grinders have a blade similar to that of a blender and slice the beans. Burr grinders crush the beans between a moving grinding wheel and a non-moving surface.

Grind Adjustment Wheel

This component allows you to adjust the distance between the grinding blades, which in turn controls the size of the coffee grounds.

Coffee Tunnel/Chute

After the beans are ground, they pass through this tunnel or chute into the dosing chamber or directly into the portafilter, depending on the grinder.

Dosing Chamber

In some grinders, this is where the ground coffee falls after being processed. From here, it can be dispensed into a portafilter or a container.

Manual Doser

This is a mechanism that helps control the amount of coffee that gets dispensed from the dosing chamber.

Portafilter Stand

This is the place where you put your group handle (portafilter) to catch the coffee grounds.

Remember, not all grinders will have all of these components, especially simpler or more compact models. For instance, some grinders dispense grounds directly into a portafilter or another container, bypassing the need for a dosing chamber and manual doser.

Coffee Grinder Workflow

Workflow refers to the series of steps or processes that you go through to grind your coffee beans and prepare your coffee. This can include everything from measuring and weighing your coffee beans, adjusting the grind size, grinding the beans, and cleaning the grinder afterward.

We’ve previously included workflow in the ‘Ease of Use’ criteria in the 12 criteria for assessing coffee grinders because the ease of use of a coffee grinder is an essential part of the workflow.

However, a workflow can encompass many other aspects of coffee grinder design, build, and features.

For example, a coffee grinder’s build and physical characteristics can affect the workflow in the following ways:

  1. Hopper Size: The size of the hopper determines how many coffee beans can be loaded into the grinder at once. A larger hopper means you can grind more beans at once, reducing the need for refilling if you’re making coffee for several people or brewing large batches.
  2. Grind Settings: The number and range of grind settings can affect how easily and precisely you can achieve the desired grind size. More settings allow for greater precision and versatility for different brewing methods.
  3. Grind Speed: The grinder’s speed can affect how quickly you can grind your beans. However, a faster speed can also generate more heat, potentially affecting the coffee’s flavor.
  4. Ease of Cleaning: Grinders with parts that are easy to remove and clean can make the cleaning process quicker and more efficient, which is an important part of the workflow.
  5. Noise Level: While not directly affecting the physical process, a quieter grinder can make the overall experience more pleasant, especially if you’re grinding coffee early in the morning or in a shared space.
  6. Size and Weight: The overall size and weight of the grinder can affect where you can store it and how easily you can move it around. Smaller, lighter grinders are easier to store and move, but they might also have a smaller capacity or fewer features.
  7. Durability: A grinder made from high-quality, durable materials can withstand regular use without breaking down, ensuring a consistent and reliable workflow.
  8. Ease of Use: Features like clear markings, digital displays, or intuitive controls can make a grinder easier to use, improving the workflow.
  9. Static Cling: Some grinders are prone to static cling, which can cause coffee grounds to stick to the grinder and create a mess. Grinders with anti-static materials or designs can help reduce this issue.
  10. Retention: Some grinders retain a small amount of coffee grounds after grinding. This can affect the freshness of the coffee and requires the user to purge the system before grinding a new batch of coffee.

These are just a few of many factors that can impact the workflow efficiency, convenience, and overall experience of using a coffee grinder.

General Types of Coffee Grinder Machines

Coffee grinder machines can be broadly categorized into two main types: manual and automatic (electric). Each type offers distinct features and benefits, catering to different preferences and needs.

Manual Coffee Grinders

Manual coffee grinders are operated by hand and do not require electricity. They typically consist of a handle, a grinding mechanism (such as burrs or blades), and a container to collect the ground coffee. 

Manual grinders offer several advantages. They are portable and lightweight, making them ideal for travelers, campers, or those who prefer to grind coffee on the go. 

Additionally, manual grinders allow for precise control over the grinding process. By adjusting the grind size manually, users can achieve consistent results tailored to their preferred brewing method. 

Some coffee enthusiasts appreciate the tactile experience and slower pace that manual grinding offers, as it allows them to connect more intimately with the coffee-making process.

Pros and Cons of Manual Coffee Grinders


  • 1. User-friendly: Manual grinders are simple, with no complex settings or buttons to worry about.
  • 2. Durability: They are typically made of high-quality materials like stainless steel or ceramic, ensuring a long-lasting product.
  • 3. Portability: Manual grinders are lightweight and easy to carry around, making them ideal for travel or camping.
  • 4. Quiet operation: They produce less noise than electric grinders, allowing for a more peaceful coffee-making experience.
  • 5. Control: Manual grinders offer greater control over grind size, which can lead to better-tasting coffee.
  • 6. Affordability: They are generally less expensive than electric grinders.


  • 1. Effort: Manual grinders require more physical effort to grind the coffee beans
  • 2. Time-consuming: They take longer to grind coffee beans than electric grinders
  • 3. Limited capacity: Manual grinders are best suited for small amounts of coffee, making them less ideal for large batches

Automatic Electric Coffee Grinders

As the name suggests, automatic grinders are electrically powered and feature motor-driven mechanisms. 

Automatic coffee grinders are designed for convenience and efficiency. With the push of a button or the adjustment of settings, automatic grinders swiftly and consistently grind coffee beans to the desired fineness. 

They often come with various grind size options, allowing users to select the appropriate setting for their preferred brewing method. 

Automatic grinders are favored by those who value speed, convenience, and consistency. They are particularly suitable for home use, offices, and commercial settings where a higher volume of coffee needs to be ground quickly and consistently.

Whether you choose a manual or automatic grinder depends on your preferences, brewing routine, and the level of control and convenience you desire. Both types offer the ability to achieve a consistent grind size, which is crucial for unlocking the full flavor potential of your coffee beans.

Whether you use a manual or automatic coffee grinder, they use one of the following grinding mechanisms: burr, chopping, pounding, and roller.

We will look at these grinding mechanisms more closely later in this post.

Pros and Cons of Electric Coffee Grinders


  • 1. Convenience: Electric grinders are easy to use, requiring only the press of a button to grind coffee beans.
  • 2. Speed: They can produce consistent grounds quickly, making them ideal for busy individuals.
  • 3. Adjustable settings: Many electric models come with adjustable settings, allowing users to control the fineness or coarseness of the grind.
  • 4. Larger capacity: Electric grinders can grind larger quantities of beans, making them suitable for households with multiple coffee drinkers or hosting guests.


  • 1. Cost: Electric grinders can be more expensive than manual grinders, especially for models with advanced features and larger capacities.
  • 2. Noise: Electric grinders produce more noise due to the motor and grinding mechanism, which can be disruptive.
  • 3. Less portable: Electric grinders are generally bulkier and require a power source, making them less suitable for travel or outdoor use.
  • 4. Potential heat generation: Electric grinders can generate heat during the grinding process, which may affect the flavor of the coffee.

Burr Coffee Grinding

Burr coffee grinding uses two abrasive surfaces, or burrs, to crush, cut and grind coffee beans. The burrs are made of various materials, such as stainless steel or ceramic.

The burrs are the central components in both commercial and home coffee grinders. They come in different types, such as conical, flat, or block, each with its specific geometry and design. 

While there is much more to explore about burrs, we will focus on providing general information in this post. Stay tuned for future posts where we will delve deeper into the intricacies of burr grinders.

IMAGE of conical and flat burrs

Conical Burr Grinders

A conical burr consists of two burrs, one stationary (often called the ring) and the other a rotating conical burr. The conical burr sits within the stationary burr.

conical burrs in situ
conical burr parts
Source: Depositphotos

The conical shape of the burrs allows for a more gradual and precise grinding process. The coffee beans are crushed and ground between the sharp edges of the burrs. You can adjust the gap between the burrs to control the grind size.

Conical burrs are known for producing a consistent grind size, crucial for extracting optimal flavor from the coffee. This consistency ensures that all the coffee particles are exposed to water evenly during brewing, leading to a more balanced and flavorful cup of coffee. 

The usual rotation speed of a conical burr coffee grinding machine varies depending on the specific grinder model and manufacturer. 

Generally, conical burr grinders have a lower rotation speed than flat burr grinders. Conical burr grinders may rotate at about 500 revolutions per minute (RPM) [1]. 

Some high-end conical burr grinders may have adjustable RPM settings, allowing users to optimize the grinding speed for different types of coffee [2]. 

It is important to note that the rotation speed can affect the heat generation, noise, and static during the grinding process, which can influence the quality and taste of the coffee [3].

Example of a Good Conical Burr Coffee Grinder

Breville Smart Grinder Pro Coffee Bean Grinder, Brushed Stainless Steel, BCG820BSS


See our review of the best 6 coffee grinders for 2023


  1. Espresso Coffee Guide: Burr Coffee Grinders – Espresso & Coffee Guide
  2. Barista Hustle: Coffee Grinder RPM – Barista Hustle
  3. Whole Latte Love: High Speed vs Low-Speed Grinders – Whole Latte Love

The slower rotation speed of conical burrs helps to reduce heat generated during grinding, preserving the flavors and aromas of the coffee beans. 

This conical burr is often favored for its ability to produce a range of grind sizes, making it suitable for various brewing methods such as drip brewing, pour-over, and espresso.

Pros and Cons of Conical Burr Grinders


  • 1. Versatility: Conical burr grinders are known for their versatility and ability to perform well across a wide range of grind sizes. They can handle fine and coarse grinding settings, making them suitable for various brewing methods.
  • 2. Retention of flavor: Conical burrs often preserve the flavor and aroma of coffee beans due to their slower grinding speed and gentle grinding action, resulting in a more flavorful and aromatic cup of coffee. Conical burrs can produce a coffee with more body and depth but less acidity.
  • 3. Reduced heat: Conical burr grinders generate less heat during the grinding process than high-speed blade grinders. This helps prevent the beans from being exposed to excessive heat, which can lead to flavor degradation.
  • 4. Lower noise level: The design and operation of conical burr grinders typically produce less noise compared to other grinder types, making them more suitable for home use where a quieter environment is desired.
  • 5. Less clogging: Conical burr grinders have a lower tendency to clog or jam, thanks to the wider spaces between the burrs, allowing the coffee grounds to flow more freely and preventing blockages.


  • 1. Potential for inconsistent grind: While conical burr grinders are generally reliable, some models may produce less consistent grind sizes than flat burr grinders, particularly at the finest settings. This can affect the extraction and taste of the coffee.
  • 2. Limited control over fine adjustments: Some conical burr grinders may have limited precision in fine grind adjustments, making it challenging to dial in the perfect grind size for specific brewing methods like espresso.
  • 3. More complex cleaning: Conical burr grinders can be more challenging to clean and maintain than other grinders. The design of the burrs and grinding chamber may require extra effort to remove residue and oils, which can impact the grinder’s performance over time.
  • 4. Price range: Higher-end conical burr grinders can be pretty expensive, especially those designed for professional or commercial use. This may pose a budget constraint for some coffee enthusiasts.
  • 5. Size and space requirements: Conical burr grinders tend to be larger and require more counter space than smaller, compact grinders. Choosing a grinder could be a consideration if you have limited kitchen space.


Conical burr grinders are highly regarded by coffee enthusiasts for their ability to deliver a consistent grind, enhance flavor extraction, and provide versatility in adjusting the grind size for different brewing methods.

Conical grinders are believed to produce a coffee with more body and depth but less acidity.

Flat Burr Coffee Grinders

A flat burr consists of two flat discs, typically made of metal, positioned parallel. These discs have sharp edges and are responsible for grinding the coffee beans into consistent particle sizes.

When coffee beans are fed into the grinder, they are pulled between the two flat burrs, which rotate at a controlled speed. As the beans pass through the narrow gap between the discs, they are crushed and ground into smaller particles. 

The size of the grind is determined by the distance between the burrs, which can be adjusted according to the desired fineness or coarseness of the coffee grounds.

Flat burrs are known for producing a uniform grind size, which is essential for optimal coffee extraction. Consistent particle size helps ensure even flavor extraction during brewing, leading to a well-balanced and flavorful cup of coffee. 

Flat burr grinders are often favored for their ability to preserve the delicate aromas and nuances of the coffee beans.

The usual rotation speed of a flat burr coffee grinding machine varies depending on the specific grinder model and manufacturer. 

Flat burr grinders typically have higher rotation speeds compared to conical burr grinders. Some flat burr grinders have adjustable RPM settings, allowing users to optimize the grinding speed for different types of coffee [1]. 

For example, the Molar Z grinder has a user-adjustable range of 60-400 RPM, with recommended settings of 150 RPM or above for brewing and 200 RPM or above for espressos [2]. 

Another example is the UDG G64 Variable RPM grinder, which has a speed range of 900 RPM to 2400 RPM, with 250 RPM increments per step [1]. 

Example of a Good Flat Burr Coffee Grinder

Fellow Gen 2 Ode Brew Grinder - Burr Coffee Grinder Electric - Coffee Bean Grinder with 31 Settings for Drip, French Press & Cold Brew - Small Footprint Electric Grinder - Matte Black


See our review of the best 6 coffee grinders for 2023


  1. Urban Dosing Grounds: G64 Variable RPM 64mm Single Dose Flat Burr Grinder SSP optional – UDG
  2. Molar Grinder: Molar Coffee Grinder | Molar Grinder | 台湾

Pros and Cons of Flat Burr Coffee Grinders


  • 1. Consistent grind: Flat burr grinders are known for providing a more uniform grind size, which can result in better extraction and flavor consistency in coffee brewing.
  • 2. Clarity in taste: Flat burrs are often associated with producing coffee with more clarity and distinct flavor notes, particularly in methods like pour-over and drip brewing.
  • 3. Less heat: Compared to some other grinder types, flat burr grinders tend to generate less heat during the grinding process, which can help preserve the delicate flavors of the coffee beans.
  • 4. Suitable for medium to fine grind settings: Flat burr grinders produce consistent grounds for brewing methods that require medium to fine grind settings, such as espresso.
  • 5. Wide range of options: There are numerous flat burr grinder models available on the market, offering a variety of features, sizes, and price points, making it easier to find one that fits your specific needs and budget.


  • 1. Potentially more retention: Some flat burr grinders may have a higher tendency to retain coffee grounds within the grinding chamber, which can affect the consistency of subsequent grind sizes and necessitate additional purging or cleaning.
  • 2. Limited adjustment range: While flat burr grinders generally offer a wide range of grind size settings, they may not be as versatile as other grinder types, such as stepless grinders, which allow for more precise adjustments.
  • 3. Possible grind consistency issues at coarser settings: Flat burr grinders may struggle to achieve consistently uniform coarse grinds, making them less suitable for brewing methods like a French press or cold brew that require larger particles.
  • 4. Higher cost: Compared to blade grinders or some entry-level burr grinders, flat burr grinders tend to be more expensive due to their precision engineering and construction.
  • 5. Maintenance and cleaning: Flat burr grinders require regular cleaning to prevent the buildup of coffee oils and residue, which can affect the grinder’s performance and taste. This maintenance process can be more involved and time-consuming than other grinders.


Flat burr coffee grinders offer several benefits for home use, including consistent grind size, resulting in a balanced and uniform extraction, essential for a great-tasting cup of coffee. They are known for their precision and consistency, providing a high grind size control. 

Flat burr grinders are also suitable for various brewing methods, including espresso and drip coffee. Flat burr grinders produce a cleaner, crisper taste, bringing out more acidity in the coffee.

However, flat burr grinders may generate more heat during the grinding process than conical burr grinders, potentially affecting the coffee’s flavor. 

Despite this, flat burr grinders remain popular among coffee enthusiasts for their ability to produce uniform grinds and a high-quality coffee experience.

Hybrid Burr Coffee Grinders

Hybrid burr grinders combine elements of both conical and flat burr grinding systems. These hybrid systems incorporate features from both types of burrs to achieve specific grinding characteristics, such as faster grinding, generating less heat, lower power requirements, and increased burr life [1].

A hybrid burr system can offer improved taste by maximizing the polishing surface of the flat burr, which essentially increases its size compared to a mixed breaker/polishing flat burr [1]. However, hybrid designs may also have drawbacks, such as higher burr costs and increased alignment challenges.

Two examples of hybrid burr coffee grinders are the Grindie Solo and the Hedone Honne Hybrid Grinder., Tom Poland has written an excellent and comprehensive review of the Hedone Honne Grinder and has a YouTube Video exploring and commenting on the grinder see below.

22 08 14 Hedone Honne First Looks


  1. A little ditty about DRM Srl hybrid burr type
  2. With a Hybrid Burr System and Advanced Features, Grindie Goes Solo

Pros and Cons of Hybrid Burr Coffee Grinders


  • Fast grinding
  • Generates less heat
  • Lower power requirements
  • Increased burr life
  • Maximizes the polishing surface of the flat burr
  • Some people feel that it improves the taste of coffee


  • Higher burr cost
  • More challenging to align the burrs

Block Burr Coffee Grinders

A block burr coffee grinder, also known as a false burr grinder, is a less consistent and precise type than conical or flat burr grinders [1]. 

Source: Prima Coffee Equipment

Block burrs are technically still burrs, but they produce more fine grinds and lack the uniformity of grind size achieved with conical or flat burr grinders [2]. They have a single burr that cuts like a blade grinder.

These grinders are not recommended for optimal coffee grinding, as they can negatively impact the taste and quality of the coffee due to the inconsistent grind size [1]. 

It is advisable to use conical or flat burr grinders for a better coffee grinding experience.


  1. Prima Coffee: Learn: What’s the Deal With False Burrs? – Prima Coffee Equipment
  2. EnjoyJava: Burr Grinder vs Blade Grinder (Compared) Types of Coffee Grinders – EnjoyJava

Pros and Cons of Block Burr Coffee Grinders


  • Generally cheaper than conical or flat burr grinders [1]
  • Can effectively grind coffee beans


  • Cannot provide a completely consistent or even grind, which can negatively impact the taste and quality of the coffee [3]
  • Less precise and consistent compared to conical or flat burr grinders [2]
  • Produce a higher amount of fine grinds and lack the uniformity of grind size achieved with conical or flat burr grinders [3]


Block burr coffee grinders are generally more affordable than other grinders but lack the precision and consistency of conical or flat burr grinders. This can lead to a less enjoyable coffee experience due to the inconsistent grind size. A conical or flat burr grinder is recommended for a better coffee grinding experience.


  1. 6 Best Coffee Grinder Reviews of 2023 – My Virtual Coffee House
  2. Manual VS Electric Coffee Grinders – JavaPresse
  3. Learn: What’s the Deal With False Burrs? – Prima Coffee Equipment

Chopping (Blade) Coffee Grinders

The chopping coffee grinding method (more commonly knowns as blade grinders) involves rotating blades at high speed to chop the coffee beans into smaller particles. 

This method can be executed using a blade grinder for coffee and spices or a general-use home blender [1]. 

It is cheaper to chop coffee beans with this method than burr grinders, but it produces particles of varying sizes, which is not ideal for consistent extraction and flavor [2].

The main reason people use the chopping method is its affordability and accessibility. Blade grinders and home blenders are generally more affordable and widely available than burr grinders [3]. However, the inconsistent particle size produced by chopping can lead to uneven extraction and an inferior cup of coffee [4].

The fineness of the coffee grind can be roughly controlled by how long the grinder runs [5]. Some popular blade grinders include the Krups Precision Grinder [6] and the Hamilton Precision Grinder. 

Blade grinders are not recommended for those seeking a consistent and high-quality coffee experience, as they produce inconsistent grind sizes [3]. Instead, burr grinders are preferred for coffee enthusiasts, as they provide a more uniform and precise grind size [6] [3].

Example of A Good Blade Coffee Grinder

Hamilton Beach Fresh Grind Electric Coffee Grinder for Beans, Spices and More, Stainless Steel Blades, Removable Chamber, Makes up to 12 Cups, Black



  1. The Soda Station: Grinding Coffee Beans the Right Way – The Soda Station
  2. Coffee Dictionary: How Coffee Grind Size Affects Coffee Extraction and Taste – Coffee Dictionary
  3. JavaPresse: Why Your Grinder Is The Most Important Piece of Coffee Gear
  4. The Coffee Brewers: Methods for Grinding Coffee and the Coffee Grinders that Use Them
  5. Perfect Daily Grind: Why Grind Coffee Fresh Every Time? Burr or Blade?
  6. New York Magazine: 14 Best Coffee Grinders 2023 | The Strategist – New York Magazine

Pros and Cons of Chopping (Blade) Grinders


  • 1. Inexpensive: Blade grinders are generally more affordable than burr grinders, making them an attractive option for those on a tight budget [1][2].
  • 2. Small footprint: Blade grinders have a compact design, taking up less space in your kitchen [1].
  • 3. Suitable for flavored coffees: Blade grinders can be used for grinding flavored coffee beans without worrying about contaminating the grinder with intense flavors [1].
  • 4. Fast grinding: Blade grinders offer enough power for faster coffee grinding [3].


  • 1. Inconsistent grind size: Blade grinders chop coffee beans randomly, resulting in unevenly sized particles, which can lead to uneven flavor extraction [4][5][6].
  • 2. Limited control over grind size: Blade grinders give you very little control over the particle size in your grind, making it difficult to achieve the ideal consistency for different brewing methods [4][6].
  • 3. Heat generation: Grinding coffee beans for a more extended period in a blade grinder can generate significant heat, altering the final taste of your coffee and removing the beans’ freshness [5][3].
  • 4. Not suitable for espresso: Blade grinders produce a coarser grind than burr grinders, making them unsuitable for espresso, which requires a fine and consistent grind [7].


Blade coffee grinders are an affordable and compact option for grinding coffee beans. However, they have some significant drawbacks, such as inconsistent grind size and limited control over the grind size, which can negatively impact the flavor of your coffee. If you’re looking for a higher-quality grind and more control over your coffee brewing process, a burr grinder might be a better choice [8].


  1. Coffee Confidential: The Blade Coffee Grinder Guide: Use the Blade Grinder with Confidence – Coffee Confidential
  2. Beverage Factory: Coffee Grinder Buying Guide: Blade and Burr | BeverageFactory.com
  3. Dial Up the Coffee: Burr Grinder vs. Blade Grinder: Which Is Better? – Dial Up the Coffee
  4. Coffee Hit: Why Are Blade Grinders Bad? – Coffee Hit
  5. The Spruce Eats: What’s the Difference Between Blade and Burr Coffee Grinders? – The Spruce Eats
  6. Coffee Break Lovers: Are Blade Grinders Really That Bad? – Coffee Break Lovers
  7. Know Your Grinder: Review: Best Blade Grinders – Know Your Grinder
  8. JavaPresse: Blades Vs. Burrs: What Is the Best Type of Coffee Grinder? – JavaPresse

Pounding Coffee Grinders

The pounding coffee grinding method is a traditional technique used to produce extremely fine coffee particles, particularly for Turkish coffee. 

The mortar and pestle crush and grind the coffee beans until the desired fine powder is achieved [4]. This method requires manual effort and can be time-consuming, but it produces a unique and authentic coffee experience.

The pounding method is used because it produces a very fine and consistent grind, which is essential for Turkish coffee. 

This is because the coffee grounds are not filtered out during brewing, and a fine grind efficiently extracts flavors and oils from the coffee beans [2]. The pounding method also helps to release the coffee oils more effectively, resulting in a richer and smoother taste [3].

While electric grinders are capable of producing a fine grind suitable for Turkish coffee, they may not achieve the same fineness and consistency as the traditional pounding method [5]. 

However, if you prefer an electric grinder, you can look for one with a wide range of grind settings and a high level of gear reduction to slow down the grinding speed while producing enough torque to prevent clogging [1].


  1. The Coffee Brewers: Methods for Grinding Coffee and the Coffee Grinders that Use Them
  2. The Soda Station: Grinding Coffee Beans the Right Way – The Soda Station
  3. Coffee Dictionary: How Coffee Grind Size Affects Coffee Extraction and Taste – Coffee Dictionary
  4. EnjoyJava: How to Grind Coffee Beans Without a Grinder (7 Easy Methods) – EnjoyJava
  5. Home Grounds: The Best Turkish Coffee Grinders – Home Grounds

Pros and Cons of pounding coffee grinding


  • 1. Control over grind size: A mortar and pestle allow you to control the grind size of your coffee beans, which can be adjusted according to your brewing method [1][2].
  • 2. No heat generation: Unlike electric grinders, a mortar, and pestle does not generate heat during the grinding process, which helps preserve the flavor of the coffee beans [3].
  • 3. Versatility: A mortar and pestle can be used for grinding coffee beans, spices, nuts, and seeds [4].
  • 4. No electricity required: This manual method does not require electricity, making it an eco-friendly option for use during power outages or in off-grid situations [5].
  • 5. Aesthetic appeal: A mortar and pestle can be an attractive addition to your kitchen, with various materials and designs available [1].


  • 1. Time-consuming: Grinding coffee beans with a mortar and pestle can be a slow and labor-intensive process, especially if you need to grind a large quantity [5].
  • 2. Inconsistency: A consistent grind size with a mortar and pestle can be challenging, which may result in uneven extraction and flavor [6].
  • 3. Physical effort: Using a mortar and pestle requires physical effort, which may not be suitable for everyone, particularly those with limited strength or mobility [5].
  • 4. Limited capacity: A mortar and pestle typically have a smaller capacity than electric grinders, making it less suitable for grinding large quantities of coffee beans [1].
  • 5. Cleaning a mortar and pestle can be more difficult than cleaning an electric grinder, mainly if it is made of porous materials like wood or stone [1].


Using a mortar and pestle for coffee grinding can provide a more controlled and heat-free grinding process, but it may be time-consuming and require more physical effort. If you value the traditional method and don’t mind doing extra work, a mortar and pestle can be suitable for grinding coffee beans. However, if you prefer convenience and consistency, an electric grinder might be a better choice [5][4].


  1. Ellementry: Mortar & Pestle vs Grinder: What’s better – Ellementry
  2. Republica Organic: How to grind your coffee – Republica Organic
  3. The Commons Cafe: The Pros And Cons Of Grinding Coffee Beans In Bulk And Tips For Making The Right Decision – TheCommonsCafe
  4. Cookly Magazine: Mortar and Pestle vs. Spice Grinder – Cookly Magazine
  5. Full Coffee Roast: Mortar And Pestle Vs. Electric Coffee Grinder: What Are The Differences?
  6. Manchester Coffee Co.: Grinding Coffee at Home – Manchester Coffee Co.

Roller Coffee Grinders

The roller grinding method (also known as roller mills) is used primarily by commercial and industrial-scale coffee producers due to its size and cost [1][2]. 

Source: Probat

This method involves grinding the coffee beans between pairs of corrugated rollers, usually in three stages [3]. Roller grinders are known for producing a more even grind size distribution and generating less heat compared to other grinding methods [4][1][2]. 

Heat generation is an essential factor to consider when grinding coffee, as excessive heat can degrade the quality of the coffee flavor [5]. Roller grinders and conical burr grinders are known to preserve the coffee aroma better due to their lower heat generation [5]. 

In terms of grind size consistency, roller grinders are superior to other methods, such as burr-grinding, chopping, and pounding [4][1][2]. A consistent grind size is highly desirable for optimal coffee flavor and extraction [2]. 

Roller grinders are primarily used by commercial and industrial-scale coffee producers.

Example of a Good Roller Grinder

The Probat is an excellent example of a roller coffee grinder

PROBAT roll grinders


  1. The Soda Station: Grinding Coffee Beans the Right Way – The Soda Station
  2. Wikipedia: Coffee preparation – Wikipedia
  3. Barista Hustle: Regrinding – Barista Hustle
  4. Coffee Dictionary: How Coffee Grind Size Affects Coffee Extraction and Taste – Coffee Dictionary
  5. The Coffee Brewers: Methods for Grinding Coffee and the Coffee Grinders that Use Them
  6. Perfect Daily Grind: Coffee Grind Size & How It Affects Consistency & Flavor
  7. Loving Labor Coffee: How to Grind Coffee Beans – Loving Labor Coffee

Pros and Cons of Roller Grinding


  • 1. Even grind: Roller mills produce a very even grind, essential for extracting optimum flavors and oils from coffee beans [2].
  • 2. Minimal heat: The most sophisticated roller mills can grind coffee without significantly heating the grounds, preserving the coffee’s taste and aroma [1].
  • 3. Narrow particle size distribution: Roller mills can produce very narrow particle size distributions with minimal fines, which is ideal for grinding coffee [1].
  • 4. High volume: Roller mills can grind huge volumes of coffee, typically measured in kg/hr, making them essential for industrial applications [1].


  • 1. Expensive: Roller mills are expensive, making them unsuitable for cafes or small roasteries [1].
  • 2. Large and complex: Roller mills are too large and complex to be used in most home or small-scale settings [1].


Roller grinders (also known as roller mills) produce very even grinds, which is crucial for extracting optimum flavors and oils from coffee beans [2]. The grind size produced by roller mills can be adjusted by changing the roll position [3]. However, due to the high cost and size of roller mills, they are not commonly used in the home or small-scale settings, and specific grind sizes and consistency may vary depending on the particular roller mill model and settings [1][2].


  1. Barista Hustle: Bench-top Roller Mill? – Barista Hustle
  2. Café del Volcán: How to Choose a Coffee Grinder – Café del Volcán
  3. RMS Roller-Grinder: Does a Roller Mill have more Advantages than a Hammer Mill? Read this! – RMS Roller-Grinder
  4. PROBAT AG: Roll Grinders – PROBAT AG

Other Methods of Grinding Coffee

There are several other methods for grinding coffee beans, and some of them are pretty weird: 

  • Blender or Food Processor: These appliances can grind coffee beans by pulsing them in short bursts. Make sure to slightly tilt the blender or processor from side to side while grinding to ensure a more even grind [1].
  • Hammer: Place the coffee beans in a sealable bag, press the air out, and seal it. Then, gently hammer the beans to crush them. Adjust the force and duration to achieve the desired grind size [2].
  • Hand Mincer: A hand mincer can also grind coffee beans. Feed the beans into the mincer and turn the handle to crush them [2].
  • Rolling Pin: Put the coffee beans in a sealable bag and press the air out. Seal the bag and place it on a counter or cutting board. Use the rolling pin to apply force on the beans and roll back and forth until you reach the desired grind size [3].
  • Knife: Place the coffee beans on a cutting board and use the flat side of a butcher knife to crush them. Apply gentle force first and gradually increase it to achieve the desired grind size [4].
  • Spice Grinder: A spice grinder is an example of a blade (cutting) grinder and can be used to grind coffee beans in small batches. Clean the grinder thoroughly before and after use to avoid mixing flavors [5].
  • Magic Bullet or NutriBullet: These small blenders can grind coffee beans. Use the pulse technique and tilt the blender slightly from side to side while grinding for a more consistent grind [3].

These methods will not produce the same consistency as a dedicated coffee grinder, especially for very fine grinds required for espresso. However, they can be suitable for brewing methods such as cowboy coffee or cold brew [3].


  1. Home Grounds: How to Grind Coffee Beans Without a Grinder: 6 Simple Ways (with your hands)
  2. Proline Range Hoods: 6 Ways to Grind Coffee Beans Without a Grinder (Anyone Can Do It!)
  3. Bean Poet: 13 EASY Ways to Grind Coffee Beans Without a Grinder
  4. Alternative Brewing: How to Grind Coffee without a Grinder – Alternative Brewing
  5. EnjoyJava: How to Grind Coffee Beans Without a Grinder (7 Easy Methods) – EnjoyJava

Factors Affecting ground coffee

You have spent time and money on your new ‘U-Beaut’ coffee grinder. You must now be mindful of how you treat your freshly ground coffee. The following factors impact your freshly ground coffee beans.

*’U-Beaut’ is Australian slang for ‘You Little Beauty!’ meaning excellent, amazing, wonderful, or outstanding.

Brew Immediately After Grinding

If you want to capture all the flavors of your coffee beans, then you should grind your coffee immediately before brewing.

Important volatile chemicals that add to coffee’s aroma, flavor, and taste disperse into the air as early as 1 to 12 min after grinding. 

The moral is don’t wait around. Grind it, then brew it.

Don’t Let Ground Coffee Absorb Water

Ground coffee is more hygroscopic than whole coffee beans. This means that it absorbs water from the air. The added water not only affects the taste but also clumps the coffee. The clumps hinder the effective flow of water during brewing.

Consequently, you should use your ground coffee immediately or store it appropriately.

Storing Ground Coffee

Storing ground coffee in the refrigerator is not recommended. 

The refrigerator environment is humid and moist, which can cause the coffee to absorb moisture and become stale or moldy [1][2]. 

Instead, it is best to store ground coffee in an airtight container in a cool, dry place, away from light, heat, and moisture [3]. 

The pantry or a cabinet is ideal for storing coffee, as these areas usually stay consistently cool and are hidden from light [3]. Avoid storing coffee near heat sources like ovens, stoves, or microwaves, as heat can cause the coffee to become stale [3].


  1. The Commons Cafe: Should You Refrigerate Coffee Grinds? Pros and Cons of Storing Coffee Grinds in the Fridge – The Commons Cafe
  2. Boat Basin Cafe: Should You Refrigerate Coffee Grounds? – Boat Basin Cafe
  3. Above Average Coffee: How to Store Ground Coffee: The Ultimate Guide – Above Average Coffee

Common Problems Encountered with Coffee Grinders

Uneven Grind Size Distribution

One common problem with coffee grinders is achieving an uneven grind size. This can occur for various reasons, such as misaligned burrs, dull burrs, or inconsistent bean feeding. When the grind size is inconsistent, it can lead to extraction issues and affect the taste of your coffee.

Uneven grind size affects the extraction process. Smaller particles extract faster, resulting in over-extraction, while larger particles extract slower, leading to under-extraction. This inconsistency in extraction can make your coffee taste imbalanced or lack the desired flavor profiles.

Tips to Achieve Uniform Grind Size

To achieve a more uniform grind size, there are several steps you can take. Ensure that your grinder’s burrs are properly aligned and sharp.

Calibrate your grinder according to the desired grind size. Consistently feed the beans into the grinder to promote an even distribution of particles.

These steps will help you achieve a more consistent grind size and improve the quality of your brewed coffee.

Overheating of Coffee Beans

Another common problem is the overheating of coffee beans during the grinding process.

Prolonged grinding generates heat, which can negatively affect your coffee’s flavor. Overheating occurs when the beans are exposed to high temperatures for an extended period.

When coffee beans overheat, their delicate flavors and aromas can be compromised. The excessive heat can result in a loss of subtle notes and lead to a more bitter or burnt taste in the brewed coffee.

Preventive Measures to Avoid Overheating

To prevent overheating, it is important to adopt certain preventive measures. Avoid grinding the beans for too long continuously. Instead, grind in short bursts, allowing the grinder and beans to cool between sessions. This prevents excessive heat buildup and helps preserve the flavorful characteristics of the coffee beans.

Static Electricity and Coffee Grounds Clumping

Static electricity buildup is common when grinding coffee beans, causing the grounds to clump together. Low humidity levels and certain grinder designs contribute to the development of static electricity.

Techniques to Reduce Static Electricity

To minimize static electricity, there are a few techniques you can try.

Lightly misting the coffee beans with water before grinding can introduce moisture and reduce static buildup. This is the RDT method explained below in the FAQs.

Antistatic devices or adding a small amount of water to the grinder’s hopper can also help minimize clumping and ensure a more even grind.

Jamming and Clogging Issues

Jamming and clogging can occur in coffee grinders, causing disruptions and frustrations. Common causes of jamming include using oily or sticky beans, grinding at a very fine setting, or insufficient cleaning and maintenance.

Troubleshooting and Maintenance Tips

To troubleshoot and prevent jamming issues, it is essential to use dry beans and avoid grinding immediately after roasting when the beans are stickier.

Regularly clean your grinder, removing any coffee particles or oils that can contribute to clogging. Proper maintenance and cleanliness will ensure smooth operation and minimize the risk of jamming.

By understanding these common problems and following the provided tips and techniques, you can overcome challenges and enhance your coffee-grinding experience. Achieving a consistent and delicious brew becomes easier when you address these issues and optimize your grinder’s performance.

See also How to Fix a Jammed Coffee Grinder.

Cleaning and Maintenance Tips for Coffee Grinders

Keeping your coffee grinder clean is essential for maintaining its performance and ensuring the quality of your coffee.

Over time, residue, oils, and coffee particles can accumulate in the grinder, affecting the flavor of your brew and potentially causing operational issues. Regular cleaning helps prevent these problems and keeps your grinder in optimal condition.

Step-by-Step Guide to Cleaning a Coffee Grinder

1. Disassemble the Grinder

Unplug the grinder before starting the cleaning process and allow it to cool down. Carefully remove any removable parts, such as the hopper, burrs, or blades, as specified in your grinder’s manual. Take note of the order and orientation of the parts for easy reassembly later.

2. Remove Residue and Oils

Remove any visible coffee residue and oils from the grinder’s interior and exterior surfaces using a small brush or a soft, dry cloth. Pay attention to hard-to-reach areas, such as crevices and corners, where buildup may occur. Be thorough but avoid using water or cleaning solutions at this stage.

3. Clean the Burrs or Blades

If your grinder has burrs, carefully brush off any remaining coffee particles from the burrs and the grinding chamber. Wipe the blades with a damp cloth for blade grinders, being cautious not to cut yourself. Avoid submerging the burrs or blades in water, as it can damage the grinder.

4. Reassemble and Test

Once you have cleaned all the components, reassemble the grinder following the reverse order of disassembly. Ensure that each part is securely in place and properly aligned. Plug in the grinder and run it briefly without coffee to ensure smooth and normal operation.

Frequency of Cleaning and Maintenance Recommendations

The frequency of cleaning and maintenance depends on your grinder’s usage and the type of beans you grind. As a general guideline, cleaning your grinder thoroughly at least once a month for home use is recommended. However, if you use oily or flavored beans, it may be necessary to clean it more frequently to prevent buildup.

Additional Tips for Maintaining Optimal Grinder Performance

Some additional tips include:

  • Avoid grinding oily or flavored beans, which can leave a sticky residue and clog the grinder.
  • Use high-quality, fresh beans for grinding, as stale or low-quality beans can affect the grinder’s performance.
  • Store your coffee beans properly in an airtight container to maintain their freshness and minimize exposure to moisture and odors.
  • Regularly check the burrs or blades for signs of wear or damage. If needed, replace them according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
  • Consider investing in a grinder cleaning brush or specialized products for coffee grinders to facilitate the cleaning process.

Following these cleaning and maintenance tips ensures that your coffee grinder consistently produces delicious and flavorful coffee. Remember, a well-maintained grinder leads to a more enjoyable brewing experience.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What brewing methods are best suited for conical burr grinders?

Conical burr grinders are versatile and well-suited for various brewing methods, including pour-over, espresso, French press, Aeropress, and drip coffee. They provide consistent grind sizes, essential for extracting the best flavors from your coffee beans [1][2].

For pour-over, Aeropress, and drip coffee, you’ll want a grinder that delivers consistent grinds at a medium-fine grind size [1]. Some popular conical burr grinders for these brewing methods include the Baratza Virtuoso+ Coffee Grinder, OXO Brew Conical Burr Coffee Grinder, and Baratza Encore Conical Burr Coffee Grinder [3][4]. Manual grinders with conical burrs, such as the JIAN YA NA Manual Coffee Grinder, can also be suitable for these brewing methods [5].

You’ll need a grinder to produce a fine grind size for espresso. Conical burr grinders like the Baratza Virtuoso+ and Breville Smart Grinder Pro are suitable for espresso brewing[3]. However, it’s essential to note that some conical burr grinders may not be ideal for espresso due to their grind size limitations [5].

You’ll need a grinder for the French press to produce a coarse grind size. Conical burr grinders like the Baratza Encore and OXO Brew Conical Burr Coffee Grinder suit this brewing method [4].

Conical burr grinders are versatile and can accommodate various brewing methods, including pour-over, espresso, French press, Aeropress, and drip coffee. To ensure the best results, choose a grinder that offers adjustable grind settings and delivers consistent grind sizes for your preferred brewing method [1][3][2].


  1. French Press Coffee: Coffee Grinders best for AeroPress, Pourover, Drip, V60 | FrenchPressCoffee.com
  2. Coffee Chronicler: The 9 Best Burr Coffee Grinders of 2023 | No BS* Guide & Reviews – Coffee Chronicler
  3. Serious Eats: We Tested 14 Coffee Grinders—Here Are the Best Ones – Serious Eats
  4. The New York Times: The 4 Best Coffee Grinders of 2023 | Reviews by Wirecutter – The New York Times
  5. New York Magazine: 14 Best Coffee Grinders 2023 | The Strategist – New York Magazine

What brewing methods are best suited for flat burr grinders?

Flat burr grinders are well-suited for various brewing methods because they produce a consistent and even grind size. This uniformity in grind size helps extract the full flavor of the coffee beans, resulting in a balanced and flavorful cup of coffee. Some brewing methods that work well with flat burr grinders include:

1. Espresso: Flat burr grinders are often used in coffee grinders designed explicitly for espresso, as they can produce a very fine and consistent grind necessary for brewing espresso [1]. 

2. Drip: Flat burr grinders can also be used for drip coffee, producing a consistent and even grind size well-suited for this brewing method [1].

Flat burr grinders are a good choice for a wide range of coffee brewing methods. However, the specific performance of flat burrs can vary depending on the quality of the burrs and the design of the grinder [1]. Some recommended flat burr grinders include the Baratza Virtuoso+ Coffee Grinder, Baratza Encore Conical Burr Coffee Grinder, OXO Brew Conical Burr Coffee Grinder, and Krups Precision Grinder [2][3][4][5]. Keep in mind that the quality of the grinder plays a significant role in the results you can achieve with different brewing methods. Therefore, investing in a high-quality burr grinder, such as the Baratza Encore, is essential for taking your coffee routine to the next level [3].


  1. Espresso Outlet: Flat Burr Grinders – Espresso Outlet
  2. Serious Eats: We Tested 14 Coffee Grinders—Here Are the Best Ones – Serious Eats
  3. Bon Appétit: The Best Coffee Grinders for Pour-Over, Espresso, and More – Bon Appétit
  4. The New York Times: The 4 Best Coffee Grinders of 2023 | Reviews by Wirecutter – The New York Times
  5. New York Magazine: 14 Best Coffee Grinders 2023 | The Strategist – New York Magazine

What grind for Which Coffee Brewing Method?

Here is a quick guide to the grind size and type of coffee grinder most suitable for each method:

  • Espresso: Fine grind. A good grinder for espresso would be the Baratza Virtuoso+ Coffee Grinder or the Breville Smart Grinder Pro [1].
  • Drip Coffee: Medium grind. The OXO Brew Conical Burr Coffee Grinder is a suitable option for drip coffee [1].
  • Pour Over: Medium-fine grind [2]. The Baratza Encore Conical Burr Coffee Grinder is a less expensive option for pour-over [1].
  • French Press: Coarse grind [2]. Low-speed burr grinders, such as conical burr grinders, are recommended for French Press [3].
  • Cold Brew: Extra coarse grind [2]. A burr grinder would also be suitable for cold brew [4].
  • Siphon Coffee Maker: Medium grind [5]. A conical burr grinder would work well for siphon coffee brewing [3].
  • Moka Pot: Fine to medium-fine grind[6]. A consistent grinder like the Baratza Virtuoso+ Coffee Grinder or the Breville Smart Grinder Pro would be suitable [1].
  • Percolator: Coarse grind [7]. A conical burr grinder is recommended for percolator coffee [3].
  • AeroPress: Medium-fine to medium-coarse grind, depending on the brewing variation[8]. A grinder like the Baratza Virtuoso+ Coffee Grinder or the Breville Smart Grinder Pro would work well [1].
  • Cowboy Coffee: Coarse grind, similar to the size of breadcrumbs[9]. A burr grinder would also be suitable for cowboy coffee [4].

A burr grinder (either conical or flat) is recommended for most brewing methods due to its flexibility and quality [3]. Some popular burr grinders include the Baratza Virtuoso+ Coffee Grinder, Breville Smart Grinder Pro, Baratza Encore Conical Burr Coffee Grinder, and OXO Brew Conical Burr Coffee Grinder [1].


  1. Serious Eats: We Tested 14 Coffee Grinders—Here Are the Best Ones – Serious Eats
  2. Home Grounds: The Ultimate Coffee Grind Size Chart – Home Grounds
  3. Whole Latte Love: Beginners Guide to Coffee Grinders
  4. JavaPresse: 6 Types of Coffee Grinders (+ How To Pick The Right One)
  5. The Commons Cafe: How To Choose The Right Grind For Siphon Coffee Brewing
  6. JavaPresse: The Ultimate Guide to Moka Pot Coffee
  7. Nomad Coffee Club: Coffee Grind Size Chart – Nomad Coffee Club
  8. Counter Culture Coffee: Guide to the AeroPress – Counter Culture Coffee
  9. Sprudge: Cowboy Coffee: A Guide To Brewing Coffee Without A Coffee Maker – Sprudge

How does the consistency of grind size affect the taste of coffee?

The consistency of grind size plays a crucial role in determining the taste of coffee. Grind size affects the extraction process, influencing each cup of coffee’s overall flavor and quality [1]. The extraction rate is determined by the surface area of the coffee grounds, and different brewing methods require different grind sizes for optimal extraction [2].

If the grind size is too coarse, the coffee will be under-extracted, resulting in a bland, sour, and underdeveloped taste [2]. On the other hand, if the grind size is too fine, the coffee will be over-extracted, leading to a bitter and overly strong taste [2]. To achieve the right balance, it’s essential to match the grind size with the brewing method:

  • Extra Coarse Grind: Used for cold brew, which requires the longest brewing time [3].
  • Coarse Grind: Suitable for French press, percolator, and cold brew [2].
  • Medium-Coarse Grind: Ideal for pour-over drip and immersion drip coffee makers [2].
  • Medium Grind: Recommended for automatic drip brewers and single-serve pour-overs [4].
  • Fine Grind: Used for espresso, which requires a quick extraction process [2].
  • Extra Fine Grind: Suitable for Turkish coffee with the finest grind consistency [2].

If the ground coffee contains a mixture of larger and smaller grinds, these particles will extract at different rates, leading to unpredictable extraction rates and muddled flavors [5]. To ensure a consistent grind size, use a high-quality grinder and adjust the settings according to the brewing method [6].


  1. Higher Grounds Trading: How Does Grind Size Affect Coffee Flavor? – Higher Grounds Trading
  2. Coffee Dictionary: How Coffee Grind Size Affects Coffee Extraction and Taste – Coffee Dictionary
  3. Larry’s Coffee: Why Coffee Grind Size Matters – Larry’s Coffee
  4. Trade Coffee: The Complete Guide to Coffee Grind Size – The Counter
  5. Perfect Daily Grind: Coffee Grind Size & How It Affects Consistency & Flavor
  6. Home Grounds: The Ultimate Coffee Grind Size Chart – Home Grounds

How does the grind size affect the taste of coffee?

The grind size of coffee beans significantly affects the taste of the brewed coffee. This is because the grind size impacts the extraction process, influencing each cup of coffee’s overall flavor and quality [1]. The extraction process depends on the total contact time between the brewing water and ground coffee. Generally, coarser grind sizes require longer extraction times as the particles of ground coffee have a smaller surface area [2].

If your coffee tastes watery and acidic, it may be due to coarsely grinding your beans. In this case, you should try a finer grind to fix the issue [3]. On the other hand, if your coffee tastes overly bitter, it may be because you are grinding too finely. A coarser grind may improve your brew in this situation [3].

Different brewing methods require different grind sizes. For example, a coarse grind is best for a French press brewer, preventing over-extraction and excessive siltiness [4]. Cold brew also works best with a coarse grind[4]. For pour-over coffee, a medium-coarse grind is recommended[5]. Espresso requires a very fine grind size for proper extraction [2].

Experimenting with different grind sizes is essential to find the one that best suits your taste preferences and brewing method. Remember that the less the water is in contact with the coffee grind, the finer the grind should be [5]. Adjusting the grind size can unlock a range of new flavors and aromas in your coffee, enhancing your overall coffee experience [2].


  1. Higher Grounds Trading: How Does Grind Size Affect Coffee Flavor? – Higher Grounds Trading
  2. Perfect Daily Grind: The Relationship Between Grind Size and Coffee Extraction – Perfect Daily Grind
  3. MasterClass: Coffee Grind Size Chart: How Grind Size Affects Coffee Flavor – MasterClass
  4. Coffee Affection: Coffee Grind Size Chart 2023: How Fine Should You Grind? – Coffee Affection
  5. GROSCHE: Coffee Grind Chart- Which Grind for Different Coffee Makers – GROSCHE

What is the Ross Droplet Technique (RDT)?

The Ross Droplet Technique (RDT) is named after David Ross, who pioneered the idea in 2005 [5]. The technique involves applying a small amount of water to coffee beans before grinding to reduce static buildup in the grinder, leading to less retention and a cleaner grinding process.

This added moisture helps to reduce the grinder’s static buildup, which lowers the retention amount and prevents coffee grounds from sticking to the grinder and flying all over the counter [1][2].

To perform the Ross Droplet Technique, use a fine mist spray bottle to lightly spray water onto the coffee beans before grinding [3][4]. Alternatively, dip a spoon, stick, or even your finger in water and stir the beans momentarily before grinding [2]. Using the RDT, you can minimize the mess created by static electricity and enjoy a more consistent grind for your coffee [1][2].


  1. The Basic Barista: What is RDT? ‘Ross Droplet Technique’ – Basic Barista
  2. Clive Coffee: Reducing Static in your Grinder – Clive Coffee
  3. LifeStyle Lab: Ross Droplet Technique – LifeStyle Lab
  4. Florin Coffee: Ross Droplet Technique; a Complicated Name for a Simple Hack – Florin Coffee
  5. Clive Coffee: Reducing Static in your Grinder – Clive Coffee (duplicate link)

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As you can see, there are many ‘ultimate guides to coffee grinding’ on the web, but I think we did a pretty good job on this topic. I hope you think so too!

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  • Beginners Guide to Coffee Grinders – Whole Latte Love – Updated for 2022 The purpose of this section is to let you in on all the little things that you don’t normally hear about coffee grinders. I may be a little long winded in some of my explanations but I am trying, in the only way I know how, to cover (wholelattelove.com)
  • How to Grind Coffee: The Only Guide You’ll Ever Need – Kona Coffee Buzz (konacoffeebeans.org)
  • The Complete Guide to Grinding Coffee – Howchoo – Regardless of the brew method/device or type of coffee you prefer, grinding coffee to the proper consistency is a key to brewing the perfect cup. (howchoo.com)
  • Coffee Grinding: Ultimate Guide + Coffee Grinder Reviews – Of all the details that go into brewing delicious coffee, grinding coffee beans properly is probably the most crucial. Even the most expensive espresso machine cannot perform well without the help of a proper coffee (bestofbrewing.com)
  • The Ultimate Guide to Brewing Moka Pot Coffee – JavaPresse Coffee Company – Think moka pots are brewers of the past? Think again. Here’s everything you need to know about how to make moka pot coffee – the specialty coffee way. (javapresse.com)
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  • How to Grind Coffee Beans – Coffee – Bulletproof – Learn how to grind coffee beans in our comprehensive guide! Experience the freshest and most flavorful coffee by grinding coffee at home. (bulletproof.com)
  • The Blade Coffee Grinder Guide: Use the Blade Grinder with Confidence – Find out the pros and cons of using an electric blade grinder for coffee and 4 effective ways to improve your ground coffee. (coffeeconfidential.org)
  • Grinding Coffee Beans | Ultimate Guide – Need help grinding coffee beans? It’s not as easy as pressing a button. Learn how different filter methods require different coffee grinds and how to distinguish between each one. Discover why we grinding coffee beans is as important as brewing th (batchcoffee.co.uk)
  • Coffee Grind Chart – The Ultimate Guide | Coffee or Bust – I’m about to rock your whole world. I’m going to make your morning cuppa fine as all get out thanks to a thing that most average brewers forget to think about all together: the grind. This is the ultimate guide to coffee grinds, chart and breakdowns (coffeeorbust.com)
  • How To Grind Coffee For Cold Brew: An Ultimate Guide – Experts agree that cold brew is special in requirement and taste. So, one needs to know how to grind coffee for cold brew. Let’s learn it! (coldbrewup.com)
  • The Complete Guide to Coffee Grinding | Kicking Horse Coffee – The right grind size corresponds to the brewing method (kickinghorsecoffee.com)
  • The Complete Guide To Coffee Grinding – Feb 15, 2020 – Everything you need to know about grinding coffee at home. Our guide features everything from grind size for different brewing methods, … (pinterest.com)

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