How to choose the grind of coffee for turkey, espresso and other brewing methods

Buying coffee beans, each of us anticipates how he will enjoy a rich taste and noble aroma. But even if the recipe is followed, the drink sometimes does not live up to expectations: it turns out to be too bitter or too liquid, and even worse – it smells like burnt coffee. Do not immediately blame the manufacturer or seller – often the reason for the failure lies in the wrong grinding of coffee.

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Dependence of coffee taste on the degree of grinding of beans

When brewing coffee, ground grains are extracted: the essential oils, caffeine and other compounds that form the taste and aroma of the drink contained in them are dissolved in hot water. The finer the grains are ground, the greater the total surface area of ​​the particles and the faster the substances contained in them are washed out.

It would seem from this that a very fine grind is the shortest path to success. But the problem is that the dissolution rate of different substances is not the same.

How to choose the grind of coffee for turkey, espresso and other brewing methods
How to choose the grind of coffee for turkey, espresso and other brewing methods

Coffee extraction takes place in 3 stages:

  • Release of substances responsible for the characteristic sourness inherent in Arabica.
  • Dissolving compounds in water that give the drink sweet, chocolate and fruit-berry notes.
  • Increase in bitterness due to saturation of the drink with tannins, caffeine, decomposition products of chlorogenic acid.

The length of the steps depends on the coffee preparation method. For example, whenbrewing espresso each stage takes 8-10 seconds, and if you prepare coffee in a French press, it will take more than a minute (total preparation time is 4-5 minutes).

The finer the grinding of the grains, the faster the first two stages pass and the last one begins. If you do not interrupt the extraction in time, the coffee will turn out to be too strong and bitter.

Grades (types) of coffee grinding

There are 5 main degrees of coffee grinding:

  • ultrafine grinding (pulverized, or “into dust”) – ground coffee resembles ground cinnamon;
  • fine espresso grind – like iodized salt;
  • fine (fine grind) – like coarsely ground powdered sugar;
  • medium (medium grind) – like sugar;
  • coarse (course grind, coarse) – like sea salt.

Grinding coffee for brewing in a cup

If you don’t have a coffee maker at hand, you can brew a drink in a cup: the method is called “Warsaw style”. Ground coffee is poured with hot water, stirred, covered with a saucer and insisted for several minutes. The more the grains are crushed, the better.

Starbucks even makes ultrafine vacuum-packed coffee especially for brewing in a cup, advertising it as a substitute for instant coffee. This coffee grind is very good for brewing in a cup. But if it is impossible to grind the grains “into dust”, the usual fine grinding will do.

Grinding coffee for turks

In a Turk, it is supposed to brew ultrafine coffee. The grain particles form a suspension, which makes the drink appear thicker. You need to wait a bit until it settles. At home, it is almost impossible to grind grain so thinly. You either have to buy ready-made ultrafine coffee or grind it in specialized stores. It is advisable to use coffee powder as quickly as possible: it fizzles out within a few hours.

Fine and medium ground coffee is also suitable for making a drink in a Turk.

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Grinding espresso coffee

Especially for coffee machines, a fine espresso grind was invented: a little finer than the usual fine, but larger than the superfine.

You cannot use superfine coffee for brewing espresso: the drink turns out to be bitter, with the smell of burnt beans, and small particles clog the filters of the coffee machines.

Experienced baristas recommend:

  • grind the coffee coarser at high humidity, low temperature and atmospheric pressure;
  • for low humidity, high temperature and atmospheric pressure use a finer grind.

At high humidity, the particles swell and stick to each other. The pre-wetting time is shortened, tannins begin to be released earlier, and if the beans are ground too finely, the coffee will taste bitter. In hot weather, natural moisture evaporates from the grains, due to which the pre-wetting period increases. If the coffee is ground too coarsely, the drink will have a noticeable sourness.

How to choose the grind of coffee for turkey, espresso and other brewing methods
How to choose the grind of coffee for turkey, espresso and other brewing methods

There are no standards for fine espresso grinding. It is selected empirically: coffee is brewed and the extraction rate is evaluated. The ideal time to brew 25 ml of espresso is 25 seconds, with an error of ± 3 seconds. You need to stock up on electronic scales and a stopwatch. The cup, into which the coffee flows, is placed on the balance.

If the drink flows out slowly (25 ml is not drawn in 28 seconds), and the trickle is too thin or intermittent, then the grind is too fine. If a portion of espresso is produced in less than 22 seconds, it means that the grinding is coarse, the water only washes away the particles, and the drink becomes weak. In this case, the grinder is adjusted to reduce the particle size.

Grinding coffee for geyser coffee maker and aeropress

To brew coffee in a geyser coffee maker or aeropressgrind should be fine or medium (size of fraction – like cane sugar). The finer the grind, the stronger the coffee, but the extra fine powder clogs the airpress filter.

How to choose the grind of coffee for turkey, espresso and other brewing methods
How to choose the grind of coffee for turkey, espresso and other brewing methods

Coffee grinding for pourovers and kemex

It is believed that medium grind coffee is suitable for pourovers: slightly coarser than for an aeropress. If disposable paper filters are used, then the grinding can be thinner, as long as the water passes through the thick. But in pourovers with metal or fabric filters, finely ground coffee cannot be brewed: the particles of the beans fall through the holes.

How to choose the grind of coffee for turkey, espresso and other brewing methods
How to choose the grind of coffee for turkey, espresso and other brewing methods

To prepare a drink in a kemex, the grains are ground even coarser than for a pourover (the fractions should be the size of large sugar crystals).

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Grinding coffee for drip coffee makers

In drip coffee makers, it is customary to brew coffee, ground coarser than for Chemex, but slightly finer than coarse grinding.

Exactly the same grind is good for cupping (brewing in a cup) in Brazilian: open way. Coffee is poured into a cup, poured with hot water and stirred. After 4 minutes, remove the floating particles of the thick with a spoon.

How to choose the grind of coffee for turkey, espresso and other brewing methods
How to choose the grind of coffee for turkey, espresso and other brewing methods

Grinding coffee for a French press

Usually, coffee of the coarsest grinding is recommended for brewing in a French press: fractions should reach the size of crystals of sea salt or even pearl barley. But a drink made from grains of such grinding has a slightly sour taste, which not everyone likes.

A French press with a nylon filter can brew medium-ground coffee. If you buy an American press, then even thinner ground grains will do. This modification of the French press is equipped with a special chamber for coffee. An airpress filter is placed in it, and particles do not enter the drink.

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