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What's The Best Grind Size For Iced Coffee?

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Drinking coffee is a significant part of most individual’s morning routines. Caffeine provides a burst of energy that many find necessary to get through their long day at the office or taking care of their home. Thus, it is not surprising that nearly four hundred million cups of coffee are consumed daily in the United States. 

Furthermore, approximately twenty percent of Americans gravitate towards drinking iced coffee, particularly younger consumers between the ages of eighteen to twenty-four.

So why the sudden switch from traditional hot coffee to colder varieties? For starters, iced drinks are trendy in the United States. They are a bit more fun and easier to drink compared to hotter beverages. 

In addition, some people find that consuming iced coffee allows them to be more productive at school or work. Taking a sip of something cold provides a bit more of a wake-up than simply consuming caffeine.

Even in the chilly winter months, you will find many people still order their favorite iced beverages. Since cold coffee beverages are popular, it is crucial to know whether or not you are drinking a good cup of joe. Some factors to determine this include roast type, temperature, and of course, grind size.

Grind size refers to the degree to which something is reduced. Thus, in terms of coffee-making, it measures the size of roasted coffee beans. The grind size will vary based on the type of coffee you are trying to create. 

Iced beverages require a different grind size than hotter beverages, such as an Americano or cappuccino. Knowledge of which size to use is sure to be helpful whether you are a barista, cafe owner, or even an avid iced coffee consumer.

Grind Size Basics

While grind size may seem like a minimal factor to non-industry professionals, it actually affects the overall coffee drinking experience. Since coffee is brewed with water, the ground coffee powder dictates how fast the aroma and flavor are released.

For optimal results, the ratio of ground coffee needs to pair well with the amount of water incorporated. This will ensure that the extraction process is done correctly. If too many aromas are released, this will result in over-extraction. Meanwhile, coffee may be under-extracted if too little aromas are released.

Determining the appropriate grind size based on the type of beverage you craft is an essential part of the entire coffee-making process. There are three primary grind sizes regarding coffee: coarse, fine, and medium. Although, there are various levels associated with each size, including extra-fine or medium-coarse.

Comparison of Different Coffee Grind Sizes

As mentioned earlier, the grind size required will depend on the type of beverage you are trying to make. The list below will provide a brief description of these different sizes to help consumers determine which is best for their go-to cup of joe.

Extra Coarse Grind 

The ground coffee beans are thick and flaky.

Recommend For: Cold-Brew or Cold-Drip coffee.

Coarse Grind

Boasts a slightly less thick than extra coarse while remaining flaky.

Recommend For: Cold-Brew or French Press coffee.

Medium-Coarse Grind

 Has a thinner consistency than coarse coffee with some larger flaky pieces.

Recommend For: Pour-Over coffee, especially using a Chemex coffee maker.

Medium Grind

Features a ideal combination of thick and thinly ground coffee.

Recommend For: Pour-Over and drip coffee.

Medium-Fine Grind

Has a slightly thinner consistency than medium ground coffee.

Recommend For: Aeropress coffee and stovetop espresso (Moka pot).

Fine Grind

This grind size produces a thin consistency perfect for concentrated coffees.

Recommend For: Traditional espresso and beverages like cappuccinos and lattes. May also be used to make stovetop espresso.

Extra Fine Grind

This grind level has as an extremely thin, granular powder-like consistency.

Recommend For: Turkish coffee (a highly caffeinated variety of coffee)

The Best Iced Coffee Grind Size

Coarsely ground coffee beans, specifically extra-coarse, are ideal for preparing a cup of iced coffee. This allows for the ground coffee to fully immerse its aroma and flavors despite the extra water added to the beverage. 

In addition, it only takes about eight to ten seconds to grind this variety which is perfect for those rushing to start their busy morning.

Top Reasons to Avoid Pre-Ground Coffee

As you have probably gathered by now, the grind size affects the overall aroma and taste of coffee. Oxygen, among other factors like time, can negatively impact those components and lead to under or over-extraction.

Even if high-quality coffee beans are used to make pre-ground coffee, it risks exposure to oxygen and may become stale. If exposed, the scent and flavor we crave in our favorite cup of joe will diminish. 

Therefore, it is often better to ground your coffee beans before use to ensure the most freshness.

There is no doubt that pre-ground coffee is convenient and quick for when you are in a rush to drink your morning cup of coffee. Although, is that convenience genuinely worth the loss of quality in your beverage?

In Conclusion

Trendy iced coffee beverages are not going anywhere anytime soon. So it’s great to know the ideal way to produce the best cold cup of joe. A coarse ground size is essential for making cold-brew or cold-drip coffee. 

Additionally, it is recommended to ground the coffee beans yourself to attain the best quality and freshness.

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