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Impact of Grind Size on Home Coffee Machines

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Coffee lovers know that a perfect cup of coffee depends on several factors, including the quality of beans, water, and the brewing method. However, there is one crucial element that often gets overlooked, and that is the grind size. 

Whether you prefer a French press, pour-over, or drip coffee, the size of the coffee grounds can significantly impact the taste and aroma of your coffee.

Keep reading as we will explore the impact of grind size on home coffee machines, how to choose the right grind size for your brew method, and some tips on achieving the perfect grind.

Why Coffee Grind Size Matters

Grind size refers to the size of the coffee particles created when coffee beans are ground. The size of the coffee particles influences the extraction rate, ultimately affecting the coffee’s flavour and aroma. 

Different brewing methods also require different grind sizes to extract the best flavour and aroma from the coffee beans. 

Extra Coarse: This grind size is the largest and is usually used for cold brew coffee. The coffee grounds are steeped in water for an extended period, resulting in a smooth, less acidic coffee.

Coarse: This grind size is used for French press and percolator coffee machines. The coffee grounds are steeped in water for longer, resulting in a full-bodied and flavorful cup of coffee.

Medium Coarse: This grind size suits pour-over coffee machines and Chemex. The coffee grounds are in contact with the water for a shorter period, resulting in a bright and flavorful cup of coffee.

Medium: This grind size is commonly used in drip coffee machines. The water quickly passes through the coffee grounds, resulting in a balanced and smooth cup of coffee.

Medium-Fine: This grind size is used for Moka pots and Aeropress. The water quickly passes through the coffee grounds, resulting in a strong and flavorful cup of coffee.

Fine: This grind size is used for espresso machines. The water is forced through the coffee grounds quickly, resulting in a strong and intense cup of coffee.

What Happens When You Use The Wrong Coffee Grind Size?

Using the wrong coffee grind size can have serious consequences on your coffee’s taste and quality. The right grind size can save your coffee experience from strong and watery to bitter and unpleasant.


If the grind size is too coarse, the water will flow through the coffee too quickly, resulting in under-extracted coffee. Under-extracted coffee is weak, lacking in body and flavour, and can taste sour or acidic. The water needs more time to extract the desired flavours and aromas from the coffee grounds.


If the grind size is too fine, the water will not flow through the coffee easily, leading to over-extraction. Over-extracted coffee can be bitter, harsh, and unpleasant to drink. The water has too much contact with the coffee grounds, causing it to extract undesirable compounds such as tannins and caffeine.

Inconsistent Results

Using the right grind size can affect the brewing time and temperature, leading to consistent results. This often occurs when switching between different grind sizes for different brewing methods.

Clogging the Coffee Machine

Using the wrong grind size can also damage your coffee machine, particularly if the grind is too fine, which can clog the machine. This is particularly true for espresso machines, which require a fine grind size to produce a shot of espresso. 

If the grind size is too fine, the coffee can clog the filter and result in a mess inside the machine, potentially causing damage to the machine and affecting the taste of future shots.

Tips For The Perfect Pour at Home

Choosing the right coffee grind size is crucial when making the perfect cup of coffee at home. Here are some tips to help you achieve the perfect pour:

Choose the right grind size: Different brewing methods require different grind sizes. Refer to our guide below in choosing the right grind size for your brewing process.

Invest in a good quality grinder: A good quality grinder will ensure that your coffee beans are ground consistently, resulting in a better-tasting cup of coffee. Consider investing in a burr grinder to provide a more precise and consistent grind.

Store coffee beans properly: Proper storage of your coffee beans can also affect the taste and quality of the coffee. Store the beans in an airtight container away from light and moisture to keep them fresh.

Use the right amount of coffee: Using the right amount of coffee is important for achieving the perfect pour. The general rule of thumb is to use 1 to 2 tablespoons of coffee per 6 ounces of water, which can vary depending on your preference.

Experiment with different brewing methods: Be bold and experiment with different brewing methods to find the one that suits your taste. Each brewing method can bring out different flavours and aromas in your coffee, and it is worth trying different methods to find the one you like the most.

Achieving the perfect pour at home requires attention to detail and the right tools, with the right coffee grind size being a crucial factor. With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to enjoy a delicious cup of coffee every time you brew.

Best Home Coffee Machines for 2023

If you want to learn more about coffee grind size and find the perfect coffee machine for your home, check out Coffee Complex. 

Our website offers a wealth of information on coffee brewing, including guides, reviews, and recommendations for the best coffee machines and grinders. With our help, you’ll be on your way to brewing the perfect cup of coffee in no time!

About The Author

Picture of Anthony Maione
Anthony Maione

Anthony is a coffee machine sales and repairs specialist living in Adelaide, South Australia. He has spent the last 14 years staying at the forefront of the coffee machine industry. He has sold hundreds of home and office coffee machines throughout all of South Australia and has also repaired countless machines.

Occupation: General Manager, Coffee Complex
Lives in: Adelaide, South Australia

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