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Tips & Tricks: Let's Talk About Grinding Coffee

Tips & Tricks: Let's Talk About Grinding Coffee

Tips & Tricks

From your coffee experts at Kona Coffee & Tea

Welcome to the second installment of Kona Coffee & Tea’s Tips & Tricks, where we bring you up-to-date coffee education and information so YOU can become a coffee expert in the comfort of your own home.

Our Next Topic is:

GRinding your coffee

We at Kona Coffee & Tea have been in the coffee industry for a loooong time and we love to share our favorite tips and tricks with you. 

What is the best grind for my brew method? 

This is a frequent question, and an important one! You will want to change your grind to optimize flavor, and cup quality depending on your chosen brew method. A good rule of thumb is, the longer the coffee is in contact with water, the coarser the grind should be. That is why espresso is so fine…it’s only in contact with water for about 30 seconds. Compare that to a traditional French Press, in which the coffee is in contact with the coffee for 4-7 minutes, and the grind needs to be much coarser.


The finest of grinds. It’s basically powdered coffee. To grind coffee fine enough for espresso, a specific type of espresso grinder is required. These are often pricey, which is why people rely on shops for their espresso based drinks…they’re just tough and expensive to recreate at home, though, not impossible.


If you happen to be using a K-Cup style brewing method with a refillable cup, our experience has been mixed. Many customers like the drip-grind we offer for refillable K-Cups, while others prefer the fine-grind, similar to the left section of the reference photo. Experiment. Adjust. Try again.

For Machines, Pour-overs and drip coffee, make your grinds look like this.

Machines, Pour Overs & Drip Coffee

For the common drip brewing machines (any coffee machine with a basket) and for all pour-over brewing methods, we recommend using a slightly coarser grind. For reference, make it like sea salt (see photo for reference).

French Press & Cold Brew

The French Press method and the Cold Brew method require the most coarse of all the grinds. Similar to the middle section of the reference photo. This is due to their long brew times. When making coffee in these ways, make sure the coffee is nice and coarse. You’ll definitely taste the difference.

Making Adjustments

If you make a cup and it’s not tasting perfect, don’t worry! Nine times out of ten the flavor profile can be easily improved by adjusting the grind size. Try it a little coarser…try it a little finer…and go from there. Remember, this is fun!

For information on specific grinders we love, read grinders and the importance of buying whole-bean coffee as well, if you’re interested in learning more.


Will Whole-Bean Coffee hold up better?

Yes! We always recommend you purchase whole bean coffee and grind-to-order whenever possible. Purchasing your coffee whole bean will greatly increase the overall quality of your cup over has to do with exposure to oxygen. An adjustable burr grinder is recommended for quality and consistency. 

You can visit our recipe page HERE and our “Brew Like a Pro” blog HERE for even more detailed educational information. 

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