Brews, Bites & Bottles

What's the Deal With: Grinding Your Coffee Beans

Brews, What's the Deal With, Coffee SnobNatalie Wright

Many questions can be asked as we navigate our way through the universe that is coffee. With many questions, there are also many opinions. Mine is just one of them, and these are only a few questions that may be asked, but here we go.

WTF is up with grinding coffee beans?

Question 1: Do I buy whole bean or ground at the store? Always, always, always buy whole bean coffee as much as you can because the majority of the delicious flavors we find in a cup coffee come from the oils found on our coffee bean (no different than the many flavors in wine that come from the vessel they are aged in). When we grind our coffee beans, the oils evaporate at a far quicker pace than keeping them whole in an air tight container.

Question 2: What's the difference between a blade grinder and burr grinder? It comes down to control. You have far greater control of how fine or coarse your beans are ground when it is a setting rather than just using your eyeballs. 

Question 3: Why does how coarse or fine you grind your beans even matter? This one comes down to taste. The quicker the water can go through the coffee beans, the less flavor you will have because it can't absorb as much. This is why the longer brew processes (cold press) use a coarser grind: the coffee oils (AKA flavor) has time to seep into the water, and the quicker brew processes (espresso) use a finer grind.

It seems like there are numerous ways that people create their own perfect cup of coffee. What's yours?

P.S. For the record, my hands were not used in the making of this photo.