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Mistakes to Avoid When Grinding Coffee Beans

Updated: Jul 2

Brewing a great cup of coffee after grinding coffee beans seems easy enough, but once you take that first sip, you realize it tastes nothing like your local specialty coffee shop. The good news is that making great coffee is more about the technique than the gadgets.

If you avoid these common mistakes, that full-bodied cup of coffee is achievable in your home.

Grind Levels for Grinding Coffee Beans

If you have not already guessed, there are several different grind levels when it comes to grinding coffee beans. Each level of grind will give you a different aroma and flavor of the coffee.

Here is a small breakdown of what the grinds look like. These can be accomplished simply by changing the size of your grinder.

The amount of time that water and coffee need to be in contact with each other is directly related to the particle size of the grind. The finer the grind, the more surface area of the bean is exposed to water. The more surface area, the less dwell time is needed.

Under-extracted coffee grounds will produce coffee that tastes sour, acidic, and salty, while over-extracted coffee grounds will produce coffee that tastes bitter or hollow with a lack of any notable coffee bean flavors.

Which Grind to Use With Each Gadget

Each ground level produces a different level of flavor in your coffee, so which gadget produces the best grind? If you’ve been using a blade grinder to grind your coffee beans, let me tell you right now that you’ve been making the most common coffee-grinding mistake.

DO NOT grind your coffee beans with a blade grinder! Doing this will result in coffee that is worse than the pre-packaged ground coffee you get from the supermarket.

Blade grinders can only work by spinning extremely fast, which causes heat and friction. Heat and friction are bad for your coffee — remember — heat is the #1 killer of flavor in your coffee.

If you use this method, you may notice that your coffee tastes a little scorched and less fresh. Your best option is to choose a burr grinder.

Burr grinder uses the same even pressure and rotation, which will ‘crush’ beans into the perfect consistency. This is done at a lower speed, meaning there is no added heat, so the flavor and consistency of the grind stay intact.

The Perfect Grind

If you are still unsure which gadget to get or figure out which grind is best, here is a breakdown of each grind and what gadget each is used for.

A Coarse Grind is generally used for the following:

  • French Press (press or plunger pot)

  • Toddy Makers (cold brew method)

  • Vacuum Coffee Maker

  • Percolator

A Medium Grind:

  • Auto Drip Makers

A Medium/Fine Grind:

  • Drip Makers (with cone-shaped filters)

A Fine Grind:

  • Stove Top Espresso Pots

  • Some Drip Makers (with cone-shaped filters)

A Super Fine Grind:

  • Espresso Machines

A Turkish Grind:

  • Turkish Style Coffee

Other Common Mistakes that are Made:

Poor Quality Coffee Beans:

Beans that have been roasted for longer than the required time have a dark, shiny appearance. They produce a brew with a strong and bitter taste. On the other hand, medium roasts offer a smooth taste, and the beans are light-colored.

If you are unsure whether you are getting the right beans or not, invest in a Peacemaker Coffee Subscription. Every bag of coffee you receive from us is a PREMIUM coffee, roasted within 72 hours and shipped to you in a valved and sealed bag.

This is the freshest coffee available and will be shipped directly to you..

Grinding Your Coffee Too Early:

Do not grind your coffee beans too early, as this will spoil the quality of your brew. Make sure that your brewing water is ready when you grind to avoid losing the flavor as you wait for it to heat.

Grinding too Much or too Little Coffee:

If you grind more coffee than you need, you will end up wasting it. So, determine your daily consumption and try to grind just what you need. You might need to play around with this the first few times until you get the right amount.

The Wrong Coffee-to-Water Ratio:

Have you ever drank a cup of coffee and thought to yourself, “Wow, that’s really weak!” Perhaps there is too much water—or not enough coffee—for the proportion to work.

The rule of thumb is to start with two heaping tablespoons of coffee per cup and then modify future brews if needed if too strong or too weak.


Now that you have all of this information at your fingertips for grinding coffee beans, you have become a coffee-grinding expert!

Paying attention to the little things, like your grounds of coffee in this case – will help you to reap the rewards of a great cup of coffee.

Let us know how you like this blog.

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