How to Grind Coffee

You obsess over every detail related to your coffee: from buying the best beans, to storing them properly, to even using filtered water at just the right temperature when brewing. But did you know that how you grind your coffee beans can be one of the most important steps when brewing? It’s not only important to grind your coffee beans using the right grinder, but to also grind them to the proper density and size.

A good grind can take your daily cup of coffee from ordinary to amazing! So here are some tips from the experts at Charleston Coffee Roasters for how to grind coffee at home.

Charleston Coffee Roasters - How to Grind Coffee


The two main types of grinders you will find are “burr grinders” and “blade grinders”. Basically, burr grinders use two revolving surfaces, aka burrs, that slowly grind the beans as they pass in between the surfaces. Blade grinders, on the other hand, have a metal blade that spins like a propeller at high speed to chop the beans. Because the blade spins so rapidly, it generates heat and friction which could scorch your beans.

Another reason that burr grinders are our preferred method for grinding beans is because the grinds end up much more uniform in size, and there is more control over the size and texture of the grind. The uniformity of the grind is particularly important, because it enables the water to more evenly and fully extract the flavor from the coffee grinds. The end result is a better tasting cup of coffee.

Burr grinders are a bit more expensive than blade grinders, but they last longer (the blades eventually will dull on a blade grinder) and are well worth the investment.


In addition to having the right type of grinder, the size and texture of the grind is also an important component in brewing a great cup of coffee. This is because it will affect the contact time, extraction rate, and flow rate for the brewed coffee.

The method that you plan to use to brew your coffee will largely dictate how you should grind your coffee. Here are the most common grind levels, and suggestions for the appropriate brew method for each grind:

  1. Coarse

-Looks like coarse sea salt
-Use for French Press and Cold Brew

  1. Medium-Coarse

-Looks like coarse sand
-Use for Chemex and Cold Brew

  1. Medium

-Looks like granulated sugar
-Use for Drip/Pour Over and most Drip Machines

  1. Fine

-Looks like fine table salt
-Use for Espresso


We recommend that you only keep about a week’s worth of ground coffee at a time, because ground coffee can become stale quickly. Place the coffee in an airtight container at room temperature away from light and heat. Preferably the container should be ceramic, plastic, or opaque (not clear) glass.

For longer storage, you can keep your coffee in the freezer but it should also be in an airtight sealed container. Just try to open the container as infrequently as possible when it’s in the freezer. When you are ready to pull the coffee out of the freezer, be sure to let it come to room temperature before using.

Now that you have your ground coffee, you’re ready to move onto How to Prepare the Best Tasting Cup of Coffee!