It is a very familiar routine; wake up, head to the stove, start the kettle, get your favorite coffee out, grind up your whole beans and brew your morning cup-of-Joe. That is certainly an oversimplified description of how a cup of coffee is born. So many people around the world repeat this process. Some are meticulous and some just throw coffee grounds into some vague amount of hot water and hope for the best. While your morning cup of coffee is a personal experience, there are some considerations you could start making to be on the road to a more consistent, and better tasting cup of coffee!
The first decision that you are going to make is the method you will use to brew your coffee. For a lot of folks out there, this will be a product of whatever device you have on hand. That is to say, most people have one or two methods to brew coffee. After-all, we are usually not trying to set up a coffee shop in our kitchen. So you may have an automatic drip machine, a pour-over or a french press. Whatever you have or decide to use will be your main driver for making the next step; deciding on the grind.
This is a very important step in the brewing process and can make all the difference to the taste of your coffee. Each tool used to brew coffee is tied to a grind. For example, a conical pour-over drip is optimized for a fine grind where a french press is optimized for a course grind. Get it wrong and you end up creating diluted coffee flavored tea or get a mouth full of coffee dust on your last sip. To pick the right grind, here is a quick little table to reference:
|Course||French press, Percolator|
|Medium||Pour-over (with flat bottom)|
|Fine||Pour-over (conical), Stove-top Espresso|
|Extra Fine||Espresso, Turkish Coffee|
Now that you have chosen your brewing method and grind type, it is time for step number three. The action of grinding the beans is another opportunity to improve the taste and quality of your cup of coffee. Generally speaking, there are two main ways to grind your coffee. You can use a blade grinder or a burr grinder. A blade grinder uses spinning blades, much like a blender, to effectively chop the beans to the desired consistency. A burr grinder uses two discs that crushes the beans. A burr grinder is more optimal in achieving a consistent grind, but blade grinders tend to be more portable and take up less space.
So that's it! By knowing your equipment and how to grind your coffee beans, you can create a high quality cup of brewed coffee every morning. Enjoy!