How to make coffee? No single technique is right for everyone. Your needs and personal preferences will determine how you choose to brew your coffee. In turn, this will help you decide how fine or coarse your grinding should be.
For this reason, questions such as the following will be important:
Are you preparing coffee for breakfast or for after dinner?
Do you want a hearty wake-me-up type of coffee early in the morning or a dessert espresso coffee to savor during a special friends’ get together?
Always grind your beans as close to the brew time as possible for extra freshness and best taste. The size of the grind is very important to the taste of the coffee. If coffee is over extracted or ground too fine, it can taste bitter. On the other hand, if it is under extracted or ground too coarse, the coffee can taste flat. If you grind your coffee at home, a burr or mill grinder will grind coffee to a consistent size. A blade grinder can grind some coffee beans more finely than others.
Before grinding the coffee, try rubbing a couple of beans between your fingers to get the “feel” for the bean sizes. Take a minute or two to smell the beans. Visualize the coffee plantations where they come from and prepare to enjoy your coffee experience to the fullest.
The type of grind will depend on the brewing method you will use. For example,
Grind the beans at a coarse setting for brewing with a coffee press (“French press”).
Use the finest setting for Espresso brewing.
Automatic drip, the most common brewing method, uses a grind level a little finer than medium.
The percolator brewing method works better with a grind level of medium or a little coarser.
The vacuum brewing method uses a grind level about the same as automatic drip.
The finer the coffee grind level, the greater the surface area for brewing.
Generally, the more quickly the coffee brews, meaning the less time the water is in contact with the ground coffee, the finer the coffee should be ground.
Some drip coffee makers brew better coffee with a finer grind level.
Try a finer setting if the coffee is too weak for your preference and you used the correct amount of coffee for the amount of water measured.
Never re-use coffee grounds. This is because the desirable coffee flavors have already been extracted and the leftover grounds add only bitter and undesirable tastes.