What Is Coarsely Ground Coffee: Why Size Matters


Did you know that the size of your coffee grounds matter if you want to achieve the perfect tasting cup of delicious coffee? In this post we’ve outlined our coffee grind chart as well as have given a thorough explanation and comparison titled, what is coarsely ground coffee.

Ground coffee with spoon background
Ground coffee with spoon

We’ve described all of the factors that matter when making the perfect cup and why it’s a good idea to factor in your ground size. 

What is the Coffee Grind Chart?

The coffee grind chart describes the different sizes of coffee grounds, their uses, and how it affects flavor.

You can use the coffee grind size chart to achieve the perfect cup of coffee using the right grind.

Why Does Grind Size Matter?

Grind size matters for coffee because of coffee extraction. The perfect amount of extraction from when you grind and brew tastes great.

If you use the wrong grind size to make your cup of brew, you’ll likely notice that your coffee tastes too acidic or too watery.

This means that you’re using too coarse grounds and your coffee has been under-extracted. That’s because the size of the grind matters.

grounds of coffee and manual coffee grinder
grounds of coffee

Similarly over-extracted coffee adds too much flavor to your brew and gives it a bitter, unpleasant flavor.

This means that your whole beans have been ground too fine for the intended brew process.

If you have a coffee grinder at home, you can experiment with different grind sizes to find the best one for you.

Why Grind Your Beans at Home?

Pre-ground coffee is widely available in grocery stores or your local coffee shop, so why would you want to take the time to grind your own coffee? There are two main reasons.

It allows you to find the perfect grind size for your custom taste preferences and it allows you to enjoy a fresher cup of coffee.

As the coffee grinds sit over time, they tend to become oxidized which is quickly followed by the grinds becoming stale.

Coffee Grind Sizes: Coffee Grind Chart

Below is a list of coffee grind sizes that will help you achieve perfection in your brew. In terms of coffee, every element has terms that describe its characteristics.

When it comes to grind size, we’re referring to the size of the coffee particle and not the weight or the volume of the coffee.

Below on our coffee grind chart, we’ve listed out 7 distinct sizes ranging from super fine to extra coarse.

coffee grind size chart including super fine, fine, medium fine, medium, medium coarse, coarse, extra coarse. why grind size matters
coffee grind size chart

1. Extra Coarse: An extra coarse grind is going to be the largest sized pieces as far as ground coffee is concerned.

Using extra coarse grinds requires the longest extraction time and it also tastes less bitter because of the size of the grounds.

Extra coarse grinds are typically compared to the size of rock salt and are referred to as chunky.

2. Coarse: Coarsely ground coffee is slightly smaller in size than an extra coarse grind.

Coarse ground coffee is comparatively about the size of sea salt and has a good consistency for percolators, French press, and coffee cupping brewing.

3. Medium Coarse: Medium-coarse grind is ground to the size of rough sand and is perfect for use for longer steeping brews such clever dippers or café solo, which require less extraction time.

4. Medium: A medium grind is about the size of regular sand. It’s what many coffee shops use for brewing a cup of drip coffee.

5. Medium Fine: A medium-fine grind is comparatively the same texture as table salt. It’s a finer grind than medium.

It takes less time to brew and extract a bold coffee flavor.

6. Fine: Fine grounds are finer than table salt and they’re great for a shorter extraction and include more surface area.

This is the size that’s commonly used in coffee shops to make espresso.

7. Super Fine: Super fine coffee grounds are so small that they’re much like a powder, similar to powdered sugar.

An extra fine grind is great for strong brews because of the larger surface area, such as Turkish coffee which requires finer grounds.

coffee strainer with coffee grounds
coffee strainer with coffee grounds

As you experiment with grind size, water temperature, and brew time, you’ll likely find the preferred combination that creates the perfect tasting cup of coffee.

While we recommend our coffee grind chart, we recognize that many people find the perfect combination using their own experimentations and variables.

Brewing Method

Below is a list of different brew methods. Whether you’re someone who prefers a traditional drip coffee or are a sophisticated coffee drinker who prefers good French Press Coffee, finding your favorite brewing method and corresponding recommended ground size can be a good way to experiment making the absolute best cup of coffee.

Cold Brew Method – extra coarse

Cowboy Coffee – extra coarse

French Press – coarse

Percolator – coarse

Coffee Cupping – coarse

Clever Dripper – medium coarse

Café Solo – medium coarse

AeroPress – medium

Drip Coffee Machine – medium

Pour Over – medium

Siphon Coffee – medium

Espresso – fine

Moka Pot – fine

Turkish Coffee – extra fine

coffee brewing method according to grind size chart
coffee brewing method according to grind size chart

Types of Grinders

There are a variety of coffee grinders that can be used when you’re grinding your own coffee at home. Finding the best coffee grinder for you is important.

What’s the difference between burr grinders and blade grinders?

Burr Grinders

Burr grinders use two revolving surfaces to grind coffee.

Most coffee lovers will tell you that burr grinders are superior when it comes to carefully selecting the grind size as it relates to flavor.

burr coffee grinder
burr coffee grinder

Blade Grinder

A blade grinder consists of a revolving blade that grinds the coffee beans. It’s similar to a propeller or blender blade.

coffee blade grinder
coffee blade grinder

Brew Time

The brew time is another variable that determines the outcome and flavor of your coffee.

Whether you’re making small batches, starting with room temperature water, or using organic coffee doesn’t particularly matter.

But what does matter is that the water has enough brew time to extract the coffee flavor from the grounds to achieve the perfect flavor.

What is Coarsely Ground Coffee?

Coarse coffee grounds refers to the size of the coffee grounds. It is slightly finer than extra coarse grounds and slightly larger than medium coarse grounds.

Coarse grounds appear to be chunky and are used for percolators, French press, and coffee cupping brewing methods.

How Does Grind Size Affect Coffee?

The grind size affects coffee most by the outcome of its flavor. The flow rate, contact time, and extraction time, and water temperature all play a part in the outcome that’s achieved with the types of coffee grinds.

How to fix coffee that tastes a little sour? Use a finer grind next time to achieve a more perfect extraction.

How to fix coffee that tastes too watery? Use a coarser grind next time.

different ground sizes including whole beans, coarse grounds, and fine grounds
different coffee ground sizes

Why Use Coarse Grind?

Now that you know what a coarsely ground coffee is, you might be wondering why you should use it.

A coarse grind is a good French press grind and is perfect for cold brew coffee.

It also works great for immersion brewing and slow extraction, which uses cold water and is exactly what cold brewing is.

Extraction Process

The extraction process refers to the coffee that’s extracted from the coffee grounds as it brews and the hot water flows through it.

Grind Size

Though grind size refers to different sizes comparatively speaking for the size of the individual grounds of coffee, the size is a consistent grind within those various sizes. And the best coffees are made with your custom selected best grind that fits your preference.

The best way to determine the perfect grind for your coffee extraction is to experiment until you find the perfect outcome.

different sized coffee grounds on wood cutting board
different sized coffee grounds on wood cutting board

Brewing Process

Your personal preference and brewing process can also vary and can potentially require a method that uses a longer time.

Different brewing methods require a different water temperature. For example, a cold brew requires several hours to finish and a much longer brewing time compared to making an espresso.

Frequently Asked Questions

Following are frequently asked questions that relate to what is coarsely ground coffee. If you have a question that’s not answered here, feel free to drop it to us in the comments box below and we’ll be happy to answer it.

Is coarse ground coffee the same as ground coffee?

Yes, coarse ground coffee is a type of ground coffee. Be sure to use our coffee grind chart above for your reference.

Perhaps making the perfect cup of coffee is all about finding and using the perfect grind for you, whether your preference is dark roast, medium roast coffee, or coffee that comes straight from South America.

Whatever type of coffee you choose to use, knowing how to brew it can be just as important.

What does coarsely ground coffee mean?

Coarse-ground coffee is coffee that’s ground evenly and is considered large and chunky in size compared to finer coffee grounds.

Coarser coffee is best when brewed for a long time and used for brews such as French press and cold brew. It also works well as an immersion brew.

coffee beans
coffee beans

Is Starbucks coffee coarse ground?

Coffee enthusiasts say that their Starbucks local coffee shop coffee has the best flavor.

You might be wondering whether Starbucks coffee is coarse ground, but it is classified as medium ground coffee, which is somewhere between coarse and fine ground.

What is coarse ground coffee good for?

A coarser grind is best used in brews such as French press and cold brew coffee. These brews are widely popular by coffee lovers and coffee drinkers.

You can grind the whole bean coffee yourself or use a commercial grinder at the time of purchase. Either way it makes a great cup of coffee.

What is the best grind for espresso?

The best grind size for making espresso is espresso grind or a fine ground coffee. And the best way to make espresso is with an espresso machine, although it is possible to make it manually without the machine.

What size ground is pre-ground coffee?

Coffee that’s purchased in prepacked bags at your local grocery store or coffee shop is pre-ground coffee.

That is, they’re ground beans, unless of course you purchase whole bean coffee. Pre-ground coffee grind size is a fine grind and is about the size of table salt.

Other Ideas:

Why Does My Coffee Taste Watery? & 8 Fixes
Caramel Iced Coffee
Caramel Syrup for Coffee
Copycat Chick-fil-A Vanilla Iced Coffee Recipe
How to Make Iced Coffee Fast

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Sarah is known for her extra fancy yeast breads, melt in your mouth pies, and everything salads. She has won awards as a home cook, and is passionate about helping others feel smarter in the kitchen. Sarah is the cooking genius of the sister duo.

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