Free 🇺🇸 shipping on all coffee

Grinding, how important is it? Very! - Hoodlum Coffee

Grinding, how important is it? Very!

Have you ever had a coffee that's bitter?

What if we told you there's some basic reasons why your coffee isn't tasting the best. We'll keep this simple rather than a complicated science lesson.

When you extract the coffee you can over extract or under extract, this depends on grind size and extraction time. In general you can't change the extraction time as this is usually set by the your brewing method, so we'll concentrate on the grind size.

Over-extraction occurs when you pull too much out from the grounds. The crisp acids, sugars, and aromatic notes become overshadowed by all the extra bitter compounds that were pulled from the beans at the end. The coffee’s weak and dull. 

Under-extraction takes place when you don’t pull enough from the grounds. Those bright acids have nothing to balance them out, so they taste and feel overpowering. The coffee’s too concentrated, sour, and has a very harsh tang.

So how does the grind size matter? Well in simple terms, if you use a grind that's too fine for your extraction method you'll over extract and if it's too course you under extract.

We recommend burr grinders as they give a more consistent grind size. You can see our recommendations here:

Cuisinart DBM-8 Supreme Grind Automatic Burr Mill

JavaPresse Manual Coffee Grinder

If cost is an issue than a simple grinder like this will be fine to get started:

Hamilton Beach Fresh Grind Electric Coffee Grinder for Beans

Here's our simple guide to choosing the right grind size.

Grind Particle size in millimeters Consistency similar to Best for
Extra-coarse 1.5 Rock salt Cold brew
Coarse 1 Coarse sea salt French press, Percolators
Medium 0.75 Beach sand Pour-over, Chemex, Drip Coffee maker
Medium fine 0.5 Table salt Moka pot (stovetop espresso), Aeropress, Siphon brewer, Pour-over cone
Fine 0.3 Fine granulated sugar Espresso
Superfine 0.1 Flour Turkish Coffee