Below are a list of the brew methods displayed on the chart, with descriptions and reasoning for their grind size values.
This brew method is traditionally prepared by simmering finely ground coffee and water in a small pot called a “cezve”. Unlike other popular brew methods, the coffee grounds are left in the final cup.
Turkish coffee is an immersion brew method, without the need for separating the coffee and water before drinking — so any disadvantages normally associated with grinding too fine, such as clogging in an Aeropress or channeling in an espresso machine, are not limiting factors for Turkish coffee.
For this reason, the grind size for Turkish coffee should be even lower than that of espresso, approximately between
40 and 220 microns. This fine grind, which should have the consistency of powder, ensures that the coffee particles are fully extracted during the brewing process, resulting in a rich and intense flavour.
The grind size for espresso typically falls within a very specific and small grind size range.
This narrow grind size boundary is clearly defined by the fact that the creation of espresso involves more extreme processes and mechanisms relative to other brew methods. Because espresso machines push water through coffee at such high pressures, any slight deviation in grind size from common practice will either result in over-extraction or under-extraction at a higher proportion than other brew methods.
The size of the particles for Espresso should ideally fall between
180 and 380 microns. Fine particles allow for a high surface area of coffee to come into contact with the water, facilitating the extraction of the most desirable substances in a short brewing period.
Filter coffee machine and drip coffee machine are general terms for any electrical coffee brewer that uses a percolation or pour over mechanism.
The grind size varies hugely depending on the maker and model of the machine. In most cases the grind size falls between medium-fine and fine — around
The AeroPress has the longest range on this chart, the grind size measuring
320 and 1180 microns. The AeroPress is a versatile product, allowing for many different brewing methods, techniques and customisation. To represent these factors, we have left the grind size range broad.
The AeroPress was invented by Alan Adler as a more compact, portable and convenient coffee maker. Since its release in 2005, the AeroPress has gained immense popularity, and has become a staple product for coffee lovers. Different brewing methods, like the inverted brewing technique has allowed for coarser grinds. New accessories, like metal filters, funnels, special cups, and even attachable pour over cones have been designed by independent enthusiasts.
Depending on what your routine, equipment, method and technique is, your grind size requirement will vary. We recommend that you start at a medium grind size level, and find the right setting from there.
Bialetti, the company that invented the original Moka pot (and still manufactures the most popular stovetop coffee maker) recommends a medium-fine grind that “feels gritty when rubbed between your fingers, but not powdery.”
The grind size for a Moka pot can fall between
Note that an espresso grind is too fine and may block your Moka Pot!
A siphon — or vacuum coffee brewer — is an immersion type coffee maker working on the principles of vapour pressure and vacuum. A siphon comprises of two chambers: a lower chamber that contains water, and a higher chamber containing the coffee grounds.
The siphon brewing process requires pressurised water flowing from the bottom chamber up to the top chamber and through the coffee grounds.
A medium to medium-fine grind size —
375-800 microns — allows for a steady flow of water through the coffee bed, preventing excessive clogging, slow filtration, or fine particles from entering the lower chamber.
The V60 is a popular pour-over coffee brewing device that was created by the Japanese company Hario. Its name comes from its V-shaped 60 degree cone design. Made of either ceramic, glass, plastic, or stainless steel, the inner walls of the dripper has iconic spiral grooves that allow for a slower and controlled water flow that facilitate a more even extraction.
Although we have already created a range for pour-over brewers in this chart, we have decided to highlight the V60 with its own range. It is undoubtedly the most popular pour-over brewer in the world currently, seen in most brewing competitions, and winning 6 of the last 11 prestigious Word Brewers Cup competitions.
V60 requires a finer grind size than most pour-over brewers —
Pour-over — aka drip coffee, manual percolation, manual drip, or filter brew — is the oldest form of percolation brewing. It traces its roots to ancient Ethiopia and Yemen — where traditional brewing methods involved pouring hot water over ground coffee in a controlled manner.
Today, pour-over consists of pouring water over coffee grounds in cone or funnel shaped dripper containing a filter (typically made of paper or cloth).
Modern pour-over cones — like the Chemex, V60, and Kalita Wave — all come with their own peculiarities and subtle advantages — and their grind size varies only slightly.
We recommend setting your grinder between
Steep-and-release is a new brewing method — only gaining popularity in recent years. These brewers take the form of a pour-over, but use immersion instead of percolation. The coffee is left to steep in water, and then released in one go through the filter.
Steep-and-release has many advantages over conventional pour-over methods, including:
- Less water bypass
- Less channeling
- More extraction
The grind size range for steep-and-release is generally coarser than pour-over. Immersion in most cases requires a coarser grind to avoid over-extraction — so we’ve set the rang to
Coffee cupping is a systematic method of tasting and assessing coffee beans — checking for aroma, flavour, body, acidity and other characteristics. It is a means for farmers, roasters, buyers, and other professionals to compare the quality and consistency of their coffee.
As the name hints, an assortment of coffee beans are ground and put into small cups from which tasters spoon out and drink the brew.
The Speciality Coffee Association (SCA) has established guidelines for coffee cuppingthat are followed worldwide. The guidelines state that:
Grind particle size should be slightly coarser than typically used for paper filter drip brewing, with 70% to 75% of the particles passing through a U.S. Standard size 20 mesh sieve.
The size of a U.S 20 mesh sieve is around 850 microns.
Cupping guidelines from other organisations and professionals set the grind size around medium-fine and above — so we’ve set the range for cupping at
Brewing coffee in a French press involves steeping coarsely ground coffee in hot water, then using a porous plunger-style device to separate the spent coffee grounds from the brewed coffee.
French press recipes usually use a coarse grind size. This standard is defined by the design of the French press. The openings of the metal mesh on the plunger are too large to block fine particles. However, even with a coarse grid, a small amount of particles are expected in the final brew. This is what gives french press coffee its popular taste profile — a rich, cloudy body and texture.
For these reasons, we have set the grind size for french press to
800 microns and more
Cold brew is a method of brewing coffee using cold or room temperature water over and extended period of time — anywhere from a few hours to over a day.
Due to the long brewing time and the cold temperature of the water, the grind size for cold brew should be very coarse, we’ve set the chart to
800-1400 microns, but some methods go even higher.
Cold drip is a method of brewing coffee using a slow, controlled dropping process — typically lasting between 4 to 24 hours — using cold or room temperature water. It results in a smooth, low acidity coffee concentrate that can be diluted or enjoyed over ice.
Coarse grounds are recommended for cold drip to avoid any fine grounds which could make the coffee taste over-extracted. Unlike cold brew, going too coarse can hasten the brewing process that is meant to last many hours. We recommend a grind size of
Out of all the variables in coffee brewing, grind size has the most influence on the quality of the final cup — a slight adjustment can drastically change the flavour.
But for a factor that has so much importance, coffee grind size is the hardest variable to communicate to someone else. In any brewing recipe, each variable has a specific numerical value. For example:
- Water in degrees celsius
- Coffee dose in grams
- Pressure in bars
Grind size however, cannot be accurately defined with a simple numerical value.
There are a few reasons why describing grind size is so difficult:
Coffee grinder settings are not universal. The “2” setting on one coffee grinder is not the same as the “2” setting on another coffee grinder. These settings aren’t necessarily simple numbers either — they come in the form of whole numbers, decimals, fractions, number of audible clicks, angles in degrees, number of rotations, letters, words, symbols, illustrations, burr gap distance in microns, haptic feedback, number of notches or ribbing, textures on a dial, buttons, levers, and plain old guess work.
Coffee grinder differ, not just between brands, but between models, and even individual units. The same two grinders made in the same factory on the same day can drastically vary in grind size distribution — as most manufacturers don’t calibrate or align the burrs to such fine margins.
Language is innaccurate. My “fine” grind, might not be the same as your “fine” grind. Someone else coarse could be another’s “medium”, and so on. Comparing grounds to objects — like sand, flour, and sugar — can also be misleading. These things can differ in size, shape and availability depending on regions, cultures, and practices.
Measuring grind size is difficult. Not just because particles are tiny and numerous — but because any grinder on any setting produces a range of particle sizes and shapes. A single value cannot be an accurate description of every particle.
There are methods for finding the average size of particles, but these methods are either painstaking or require the use of expensive equipment (like a laser particle diffraction analyser).
So instead of trying to describe the size of coffee grounds, we have designed this tool as a new approach to make your coffee brewing easier and more comprehensible.
This chart generator displays the grind size range of various coffee grinders, and their respective settings for each popular brewing method.
Instead of setting your grinder to a vague recommendation, you can use this tool to set a good starting point, to then begin dialling-in to the perfect setting for your particular brewing method.
You can also use this tool to find your next potential coffee grinder, as it can show you the approximate range of the grind size the machine can produce, and the number of setting increments it has. With this knowledge, you can find the right coffee grinder that matches the brewing methods that you use at home.
The ranges for each brew method are based off original guides and popular recipes. We have chosen to omit more obscure recipes that could skew the ranges disproportionately. This means that the boundaries are not definite and are up to interpretation.
We have decided not to define the ranges exclusively to what the inventors of the brew methods intended or what coffee specialists insist is the right way, but defined by how people use it most frequently.
When grinding your coffee for a particular method, there will inevitably be particles that will be smaller or bigger than the range. Don’t worry though, as the range is not intended to be the boundary of coffee particle distribution, but where the majority of grounds should lie.
The words fine, medium, coarse, to denote a certain grind size is not universally acknowledged nor consistent. Although our definition of these words will differ from others, we decided to include them with values of 200 micron increments. This is with the hope that we can create a new basis for the definition of these terms in the coffee industry.
Extra-fine 0-200 microns
Fine 200-400 microns
Medium-fine 400-600 microns
Medium 600-800 microns
Medium-coarse 800-1000 microns
Extra-coarse 1200-1400 microns
The boundary may seem high at 1400 microns (1.4mm), but a high proportion of coarse coffee grounds that are attributed to some brew methods can be this large when measured.
There are hundreds of different types of coffee brewing methods around the world that we have failed to include in this chart. We have tried to choose the most popular and well known coffee brewing methods, but we have inevitably ended up with brewing methods from mostly western and developed countries. In future, we hope to encompass more methods from around the world, and expand on more general brewing terms to include more specific brands and coffee makers. This will probably be in the form of a more customisable version of this chart.
This chart can display any commercial coffee burr grinder. It does not contain blade grinders as these do not grind coffee at a consistent grind size.