Does the Grind Really Matter?


By: Beth Garrison, CEO

There are a lot of things that go in to brewing a great cup of coffee as I am learning throughout my coffee journey.  For most people, this is also a matter of personal taste.

When I first started this journey, and was introduced to new brewing methods by our roaster (see "How I Learned to Brew an Amazing Cup of Coffee"), I had really only been exposed to regular drip grind, 12 cup coffee maker at home.  Outside of the house, it was coffee shops, but most of the time I was ordering that double espresso cafe thingy with chocolate in it. 

That all changed when I was introduced to the various methods of pour overs, immersion and agitation, and grinding.

Next week, I will focus on immersion and agitation methods of brewing.  This week, I want to focus on grinding the coffee.

The Grind

I've been using the hashtag #riseandgrind on social media (you can follow us on Twitter and Instagram @operantcoffee), as it has many connotations.  The first, is the literal meaning of rising and grinding the coffee beans.  The second, another word for hustle....getting in your exercise routine or crushing your goals for the day. 

Today, I discovered that it truly does make a difference how you grind the coffee, even when you follow "brewer recommendations." 

So it is no secret that I am in love with my Chemex and use it daily to brew my coffee.  Typically for a chemex you are supposed to use a coarse grind when grinding the beans.  I've also switched to a manual coffee grinder as opposed to the electric to have a little more control over the grind of beans.

I'm not sure if it was my exercise routine, the warmth in the air, or the good night's sleep I had, but I ground the beans a little too much today.  Also it could have been the blend (today's selection was "Warson's Wake-Up Blend"), but I ground the beans a little finer than I would have liked based on recommendations.  "Oh well, I thought, let's give this a whirl (haha no pun intended)."  And the rest, as they say is history.

By grinding the beans finer today, I achieved an amazing cup of coffee for this particular blend.  For those of you looking to try Watson, and use the pour over method, I recommend a finer grind.  It definitely brought out the flavor much more than on the days I used a coarser grind.  Again, this may also be due to taste...but try it and let us know what you think!