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What's The Best Grind Size For Drip Coffee?

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What's The Best Grind Size For Drip Coffee

Many different qualities define a great cup of coffee. But yet one of the easiest and most overlooked ways to elevate your average cup of joe is to pick the right grind size.

By understanding the difference between each coffee grind size, you can choose the right texture and taste for your drip coffee. You may think all ground coffee should taste the same as long as it is the same coffee beans.

Still, fine, medium, and coarse coffee grinds all have different flavor profiles and textures. The general idea is that the finer the coffee grinds are, the more surface area there is for the water to pass through.

That is why finer ground coffee can be more robust than coarse grinds. Just keep in mind that each brewing method has a different recommended grind size. To find out more about the best grind size for drip coffee, read on!

Different Coffee Grind Sizes Compared

  • Fine Grind (Setting 1-3)

Finely ground coffee beans are smooth in texture and are almost powdery. They have a large surface area, which causes the water to go through the coffee quickly. This coffee is best used in a high-pressure coffee maker or an espresso machine. If the coffee beans are ground too finely for your coffee maker or filter, the coffee will be salty and cloudy.

  • Medium Grind (Setting 4-6)

Medium ground coffee beans are in-between finely ground and coarsely ground coffee. This coffee is used when the water and coffee interact over a medium amount of time. You can use a medium ground coffee with a standard coffee maker or even in pour-over coffee.

  • Coarse Grind (Setting 7-10)

Coarsely ground coffee is barely put through the grinder, and the beans remain somewhat whole. Since there is not as much surface area with coarsely ground coffee, it takes longer for the coffee flavor to be strong. Therefore, this coffee should be brewed for longer in a French Press or as a cold brew.

How to Get the Right Grind Size

With the right grind size, your coffee will have an amazing aroma. This is because of the extraction process when the water passes through the ground beans. During this process, the grind size must be just right. 

Otherwise, the coffee can be bitter or weak. To choose the right grind size for drip coffee, you must consider the type of filter you have.

For flat bottom filters, use medium ground coffee beans. Try a medium or finely ground coffee bean for cone-shaped filters, and for gold or plastic permanent filters, use a medium filter.

Make sure to try each of these out and adjust the grind size until you have found the perfect one. If you find that the coffee is on the bitter side, try to make it more coarse. If the coffee has a weaker taste, grind the coffee beans even finer.

The Best Grind Size For Drip Coffee

When it comes to drip coffee, the best grind size to use is typically fine to medium. Again, there is no single best grind size since each drip coffee marker is different. The best way to determine what grind size to use for your drip coffee is to check to see what type of filter you have. Then, adjust the grind size as needed.

Grind Sizes and Over-Extraction or Under-Extraction

The grind size is critical to extraction. This is because extraction is when the water moves through the coffee grounds to extract flavor. If you have the wrong grind sizes, you can end up with over-extraction or under-extraction.

Over-extraction happens when the coffee beans are too finely ground. This is because the finely ground coffee beans have a large surface area for the water to pass through. In that case, the water will pick up too much flavor.

Under-extraction happens when the coffee beans are too coarse. This means there is less of a surface area for the water to pass through. In that case, there will be a weak, watery flavor since the water can’t extract as much flavor as it should.

Tweaking Your Coffee Grind Size

Even though you should stay within the general grind size for your drip, you can make minor adjustments to the grind size so that the coffee is exactly to your liking.

If the grind size of your coffee beans is too coarse, the water will pass through without extracting much of the coffee flavor. With coffee beans that are too coarse, your coffee may taste sour and be missing hints of sweetness. This sour flavor can be fixed by grinding the coffee beans just a bit finer.

If the grind size of your coffee beans is too fine, they will pass through the filtration. That means you may have a brown, cloudy coffee that will be more bitter. To get rid of that bitter taste and make a more refined cup of coffee, you should grind the coffee beans coarser.

Summary and Conclusion

The perfect cup of coffee is heavily reliant on what grind size you use for your drip coffee. The three main grind sizes for any coffee include fine grind, medium grind, and coarse grind. All three of these sizes can make a delicious cup of coffee. But to make the best cup of drip coffee, use fine to medium coffee grounds.

With exactly the right grind size, you can prevent over-extraction and under-extraction from causing your coffee to have a lack of flavor or too strong of a flavor. If there is a bitter or sour taste, it likely means that your grind size is wrong.

So, you should always be sure to adjust the grind size so that the coffee is to your liking. With all of these tips and tricks in mind, go out and make the best cup of drip coffee!

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