Whether you like it black and hot or cold-brewed with whipped cream on top, many people can agree that coffee is the elixir of angels. There is, for many, no more comforting aroma than the rich scent of freshly-ground coffee beans wafting through your home or office. So how long does it take to grind coffee beans?
You should expect to grind coffee beans from about 6-9 seconds for coarsely-ground coffee to 19-22 seconds for very finely-ground coffee. You can decide how long to process the beans depending on the brewing method and the type of grinder you are using.
This article will break down the grind time for coffee beans and how long to grind them for espresso and more robust coffee. I will also highlight the grind times for several other brewing methods of coffee, and I will address whether a finer grind makes for a more robust coffee.
How Long Do You Grind Coffee Beans for Espresso?
For a manual grinder, you will grind the beans for approximately 15-19 seconds. For espresso, choose the fine or super-fine grind size and adjust your grinder to this setting.
When you use a burr grinder, there will usually be several settings to choose from, depending on what type of coffee you want to make. If your burr grinder has a numerical setting instead, you may need to try different settings to determine how fine you would like your beans ground.
It is more crucial to achieve the proper grind size for espresso than for other brewing methods. It is more noticeable when there are slight variations in grind size for espresso, and many espresso drinkers are particular about their shots.
What Is Espresso?
Espresso is a famous brewing technique that forces extremely hot water through finely-ground coffee to produce a thick and concentrated coffee. Its texture should be like ground cinnamon when the grinding process is complete. If it is not overly fine, it will not brew correctly.
When grinding your coffee beans for espresso, you should pulse the grinder in short bursts of 2-3 seconds. Then, continue processing for at least 15-19 seconds, not counting pauses between pulses.
If you grind the beans for too long, they may become bitter due to overheating. However, at the same time, you should be careful not to under-process the beans.
Once your beans are ground to the proper consistency, check to ensure there are no remaining unground beans. If larger chips remain, continue pulsing the grinder until your grinds are uniform and evenly ground.
Remember that evenly ground coffee is necessary for that perfect cup. When you pinch a bit of it, the grinds should clump together and not fall apart.
How Do You Grind Coffee Beans for Strong Coffee?
To grind beans for a more robust coffee, do it just before brewing. You will want to grind them very fine because this creates more surface area for the water to run through. The increased surface area makes for a slower extraction time and a more full-bodied cup of coffee.
A common misconception is that a darker roast always translates to a more robust cup of coffee. However, this is not always the case. According to chemist Christopher Hendon, coffee is simply chemistry and physics.
The strength of the brew depends on how much coffee you extract from the grinds. The increased surface area and longer extraction time of finely-ground coffee create a more potent beverage, not necessarily the roast of the coffee.
If it is challenging to visualize grind size, you can view this informative video below demonstrating which grind size to use for different brewing methods:
Since grind size is somewhat subjective and can vary according to each person’s taste, it is beneficial to see the range between coarse, medium, and fine grinds to know how long to grind your beans for your particular taste.
Does a Finer Grind Make Stronger Coffee?
A finer grind can mean a more robust cup of coffee. In addition, because finely ground coffee is densely packed, the extraction time is extended, and more surface area is exposed to the water. These factors produce a more robust cup of coffee.
When you brew your coffee, its strength will also depend on the water ratio to coffee, with a lower ratio producing a more robust cup than a higher ratio. For example, a water-to-coffee balance of 10:1 will be a better bet for lovers of potent coffee than a water-to-coffee ratio of 25:1.
Types of Grinders
The amount of time it will take you to grind your coffee beans depends on which type of grinder you choose to use. The two main types of grinders are burr grinders and blade grinders. Each is suited for particular types of brewing methods.
A blade grinder is used for very coarse to medium grinds. It is primarily used for cold brew coffee, drip coffee pots, and French presses.
However, it is a more common type of grinder for the average household coffee drinker and usually is less expensive. Press the button and pulse the coffee with a blade grinder until it reaches the consistency you desire.
A burr grinder produces medium-fine to very fine coffee. It can be flat or conical. Many burr and blade grinders have an automatic time setting for how long to grind coffee.
However, if you opt to use a manual burr grinder, you will need to know how long to grind your beans for the particular type of coffee drink you wish to make.
According to Carpe Diem Coffee & Tea Company owner Alan Tolson, burr grinders are preferable to blade grinders because they grind more uniformly and evenly.
Experts agree that the secret to perfectly ground coffee is not mainly time but rather a combination of other factors. Most importantly, grind size and whether the coffee is evenly ground.
Grind size is also a matter of personal preference and taste. It can be perfected through a process of trial and error and experimenting to achieve the flavor you are after. Keep in mind that grind times will vary with different types of grinders.
However, I have included a guide from Kona Coffee Beans below to help you determine the approximate grind times for each grind size and brewing method:
Approximate Grind Time for 9 Grams (0.32 oz) of Coffee
|Brewing Method||Measurement||Grind Time|
|Coarse (French Press)||0.9 mm (0.035 in)||6-9 seconds|
|Medium/Coarse (Percolator)||0.8 mm (0.031 in)||7-10 seconds|
|Medium (Metal Filter)||0.7 mm (0.028 in)||10-12 seconds|
|Medium/Fine (Paper Filter)||0.5 mm (0.020 in)||12-15 seconds|
|Fine (Espresso)||0.3 mm (0.012 in)||15-19 seconds|
|Extra Fine (Turkish)||0.1 mm (0.004 in)||19-22 seconds|
As you can see, a coarser grind will require a shorter grind time. For example, French press coffee should only be ground for a few seconds, as it is the coarsest type of grind.
On the other hand, the longer you grind the coffee beans, the finer they become. The finest grind would be for Turkish coffee, which should be just about as fine as baby powder.
The science of coffee can be overwhelming for the novice. Still, it is essential to understand those interested in enjoying the benefits of grinding their beans.
According to your personal preferences, coffee experts agree that a satisfying coffee experience begins with grinding the beans to perfection.