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How Should I Grind My Coffee for a Coffee Maker?

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Updated August 26, 2022

If you’re a coffee drinker, you’ve undoubtedly thought, “How should I grind my coffee for a coffee maker?” With so many types of grinds out there, finding the correct type of coffee grind is overwhelming.


  • Different types of coffee makers require different types of coffee grounds. Pre-ground coffee beans are unable to meet these requirements in most cases.
  • The type of coffee grinder you use will determine whether you have a consistent grind and whether you can achieve your perfect grind size.
  • Using the correct brewing method is the only way to ensure that the complex flavors of your coffee grounds shine through in every cup of coffee.

Coffee grinding is an art, and even the best coffee maker can’t make up for poor quality, inconsistent grinds. Your budget will determine what type of grinder you can afford, with a blade grinder being the most affordable option.

Why is Ideal Grind Size Important?

If you’re a coffee drinker, you likely have a preferred brew method. While brew time is essential, the real star of the show is the ground coffee you use. You can invest in a coffee pot that coffee experts have been raving about. Still, if you stick with pre-ground coffee, you’ll never realize the appliance’s full potential.

The grind for drip coffee is leagues different than for espresso makers. Pre-ground beans have their place, but they give you little control over the types of coffee grinds you can use.

Did you know that you can use your drip machine for so much more than amazing coffee? Our article on how to boil water in a coffee maker will tell you how. And did you know that if you are going camping, you may need an inverter for your coffee machine? Thankfully we have an article that explains how big of an inverter you need to run a coffee maker. Also, if you are interested, be sure to check out our article for more coffee machine tips.

Insider Tip

Always correctly measure the ounces of water required for your method of brewing.

Finding Your Ideal Grind Size

Figuring out how finely ground your coffee beans should be is challenging. There are tons of grind settings to choose from, and the wrong grind size can ruin the cups of coffee you make. You’ll need to understand why contact time matters and what coffee beans are the best for quality coffee. Keep in mind that different types of coffee require different grinds. For example, an espresso should use medium-sized grounds. For more information, you can check out our article on how to make espresso with a regular coffee maker.

Another essential factor is water temperature. Of course, coffee filters are also crucial. Ensuring you have fresh filters of the correct type is paramount to perfecting your preferred brewing method. Understanding how often to change a charcoal filter in a coffee maker is foundational to crafting that signature coffee flavor.

Use the Right Type of Coffee Grinder

First, you’ll need to purchase a coffee grinder. There are a few options, like blade coffee grinders or the expensive Burr grinder. Doing a little research into the type of coffee grinder you invest in is crucial.

If you’re looking for a finer grind, a Burr coffee grinder is the right choice. If you don’t need finely ground coffee, then a blade grinder will suffice.

These are the most common types of coffee grinders:

  • Conical Burr Grinder
  • Blade Grinders
  • Electric Grinders

The Relationship Between Contact Time and Coffee Extraction

Extraction time is critical for crafting the perfect cup of coffee. Steep time is dependent on the different types of coffee grounds and brew methods you’re using. If your steep time is too short, you’ll end up with under-extracted coffee. On the other hand, steeping them in hot water too long will result in over-extracted coffee. One such brewing method where this is very important is the french press. It is a great method for strong, full-flavored coffee. And if you are curious our article will answer the question, “What size french press should I get?”

The type of grind size determines how much contact with water the ground beans have. Finer coffee grounds have much contact with water and pull out far more coffee oils as a result. There is far less contact time with hot water if you use a coarser grind.

Coffee Grind Size Chart

Still not sure what type of grind is right for your coffee machines? Use the coffee grind chart below to make the coffee-making process easier:


A dirty coffee pot will populate with yeast, mold, and more. Regularly clean your dirty coffee pots to avoid potential health complications.


What coffee brewing methods do coffee shops use?

A coffee shop typically has access to every grind size and coffee maker listed in the coffee grind chart earlier in this article. They vary their water temperature, brewing time, and

Can I grind fresh beans at home without a grinder?

You can use a myriad of different appliances for this purpose. A bullet blender is a popular choice for folks on a budget. Remember that they can only provide medium grind size and are best for creating coarse ground coffee.

Is it necessary to grind coffee daily to keep it fresh?

To avoid bad coffee, yes. The quality of your pot of coffee depends on it. Your taste buds will thank you for providing that fresh coffee taste you crave.

What textures should I look for in my pre-ground coffee beans?

There is a general rule of thumb for this. The finest grind you use should look and feel like powdered sugar. On the other hand, a coarse grind size should feel like coarse sand. Medium-sized grounds will have the same texture as granulated sugar.

STAT: In a recent survey, 70% of seniors reported that they drank coffee in 2020. (source)

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