When buying a bag of coffee, we seek for the one that meets our preferences: brand, roast profile, some specific flavors, country of origin. But what most of us overlook and ignore is freshness. From the very first day after being roasted, our coffee starts to age. During the first week this aging process is really slow and nothing to worry about, but later on - three, four weeks and more - coffee absorbs or loses moisture, undergoes oxidation and loses its volatile aromatic compounds. This results in flat taste, “pale” flavors, and distinct cardboard taste that goes from the cellulose. That’s why a responsible coffee roaster will usually recommend you to consume the coffee in a 1 month period after the roast date.
So we come to a very crucial point - you either lose most of the flavor before you even first try the coffee you bought or you grind your coffee at home right before you brew it. And get the full impression. At this point, it doesn’t really matter what type of grinder it will be - electric or manual, with conical burrs or flat burrs, cheap option or high-end device (of course, there are big differences between those, but that’s the topic for another discussion). Anyway, buying whole coffee beans and grinding them on demand will make your coffee much better.
But what grind size should you go for? Well, it depends on the brewing method of your choice. All of them require different recipes, extraction times and grind size. Here’re some tips that will help you. We placed these techniques according to the required grind size, from fine to coarse.