How to Use a Coffee Grinder

Complete Guide on How to Use a Coffee Grinder

Last Updated on January 17, 2023

So, you thought that all you had to do with a coffee grinder was to throw in some beans and let it do its magic. Well, you would be partly right. However, there’s a lot more to producing ground coffee than simply doing that.

Are you interested to know more? In this post, we go through how to use a coffee grinder for your benefit.

Things You Need to Consider

Before using a coffee grinder, here are some of the things you need to prepare first:


To get the best out of your coffee grinder, you need to think more carefully about the beans you will use. What kind of coffee do you enjoy? Do you prefer dark roast? An Italian blend, perhaps? Before grinding, be sure to know what coffee you want to work with.


What will you use to make your coffee? You will need a smooth finish if you are making an espresso; however, a coarse grind will do if you are using a French press.

Type of Grinder

Later, we will look at the difference between a blade grinder and a burr grinder, as those are the two main options you will be choosing from. We also have to consider other things, such as the grind setting on grinders, the grind size, and many other important factors.

The Basics of a Coffee Grinder

A coffee grinder is used to grind up coffee beans to get them ready for being put into whatever coffee machine you have at hand. The basic steps involve you throwing in the coffee beans, turning on your coffee grinder, and then looking at the coffee grounds that are then produced.

The grinder will either use blades or burrs to break up the coffee beans and turn them into ground coffee. If you are not using a manual grinder, you need to plug the machine into a power supply and hit the button, and in seconds, you will have perfectly ground coffee.

Those are the basics, but let’s look at things in a bit more detail.

Making an Adjustment and Getting Coffee Ready For Brewing

We need to clarify something early on.

You will see us referring to changing settings and grind sizes. However, this primarily applies to one sort of grinding machine, the burr grinder. If the idea of moving settings and carrying out some adjustments is too much, then go for the easier grinding option. You can either do this by hand using a blender or food processor, or a blade grinder.

But having more information on the two main grinding options will be helpful.

Choosing Your Grinder

The first thing you must do is choose your grinder. You will have to select from either a blade grinder or a burr grinder. So, what’s the difference between the two?

Blade Grinder

With blade grinders, you have the container where you drop in the coffee beans, and two blades will rotate when the grinder is plugged in and switched on. This is the version that is the most popular form of coffee grinder, as it’s relatively inexpensive.

A blade grinder rotates at such a speed that the blades smash up the beans, resulting in the ground coffee. For some, this causes a problem with its ability to achieve a consistent grind.

Thanks to how it smashes the beans into oblivion, it does mean that you get quite a coarse grind compared to other grinders. However, this is still perfect for a French press, but if you want coffee for an espresso, then you will be disappointed.

Burr Grinders

A burr grinder is different in that it contains two burrs that sit face to face and grind down the coffee beans when it’s in action. You will have two options to choose from, a conical burr and a flat wheel burr.

The conical burr is not going to clog as easily as the flat wheel version. However, they are more expensive. So, if you want to try out burr grinders, go for the flat wheel version to save some money.

These grinders are often used in a professional setting, but various home versions are out there for people who love their coffee and wish to have greater control over the end product.

Ultimately, choosing your grinding machine is the first thing you need to do as it will influence the sort of drink you will then be able to enjoy.

When to Grind Your Coffee

Freshly ground coffee tastes better, and that’s why you should only grind before you are going to fire up that coffee machine.

This gives you greater control over the flavour, and even the smell of freshly ground coffee is far superior to anything else out there. In addition, those fresh oils will react better to the heat that is then applied to them, resulting in better-tasting coffee coming out when you press those fresh grounds.

What Can Go Wrong With Grinding

Several things can go wrong with coffee grinders, and that’s going to lead to a negative impact on your cup of coffee.

First, grinding for too long a period without stopping can lead to you burning the beans. This does then, rather unsurprisingly, produce a burnt taste. Therefore, perfecting your technique is important, and pay close attention to the time, so you don’t burn the particles.

Also, over grinding can lead to the coffee gaining more of a bitter taste. That is something that some people do enjoy. However, this is all about perfecting the grind and the length of time you should grind for.

On the flip side, coffee that is too coarse will also have its problems. Here, there’s a good chance that the coffee will be weak as you have failed to extract all of that flavour and oils.

The Rules of Coffee Grinding

To get that cup of coffee, you need to follow certain simple rules when it comes to trying to grind your coffee.

Rule 1: The Timing of the Grind

It would help if you used grinders when you were ready to brew coffee. This will make sure you have the maximum flavour before the coffee has the time to dry out.

Rule 2: Choose Your Grind Size

You must also choose your grind size depending on personal preference and what you will be brewing. Move the grind size between coarse through to medium and even extra fine.

Rule 3: Focus On a Quality Grinder

You should perhaps focus on quality grinders instead of just trying to save yourself some money. A quality grinder will be capable of extracting more flavour. So, if you want to make the best ground coffee, then a quality grinder is essential.

Rule 4: Clean Your Grinder

The final main rule is to clean your grinder regularly. This is to remove the oils on the grinder before they can change the taste and flavour of your latest batch.

How to Grind Coffee Beans for Your Preferred Coffee

Just before we go into how to use your coffee grinder, you may want to know the preferred coarseness of coffee beans according to the sort of coffee you then want to drink.

So, if you plan to use a French press, then a coarse to medium mix will be perfect. Coarse will also work well with a percolator or plunger pot.

If you prefer a drip coffee maker with a flat filter, medium ground coffee will be ideal. However, if you use a drip coffee maker with a conical filter, you should be looking at a fine grind to get the same results.

Talking of a fine grind, that’s still not good enough if you plan on making espresso. So for that, it should be an extra-fine grind setting to get the perfect ground coffee.

So, with all of that rather important information in mind, let’s look at how you use that actual coffee grinder.

Step 1: Be Aware of the Coffee You Wish to Make

The first step is to be aware of the coffee you wish to make. We just referenced the different grinds you should be looking for according to the grind size or grind setting.

Remember that this is something you can do with burrs. Look at your grinder, and change the setting accordingly. It may involve a button or a slider mechanism. Check the manual for your make of grinder to see how you change the settings.

Step 2: Check the Grinder Is Clean

You don’t want to have remnants of old oil from previous grinds sitting there, as that will taint your coffee experience. So, check the grinder is clean, and pay close attention to the burrs. These grinders tend to trap the grounds in the mechanisms, so if that’s the case, then clean everything before using them.

Step 3: Be Aware Of Your Coffee Beans

Another step is to be aware of your coffee beans before loading. You should see how strong or aromatic the beans are, as this influences the final drink you can create.

Step 4: Load the Grinder

It would help if you then loaded the coffee grinder. As a general rule of thumb, look at throwing in around two tablespoons of those fresh beans for a single cup of coffee. Of course, you can adjust this depending on your preference for strength.

Step 5: Grind for a Few Seconds

You cannot do these grinders to fire them up and keep them grinding for an extended period. This isn’t good for two reasons.

First, it will give your coffee grounds a burnt taste. This is due to the grinders overheating, and that’s going to translate to the beans.

The other reason is because of grinding the beans. This changes the taste and makes everything bitter. You will want to avoid this unless bitter coffee is your preferred drink.

Step 6: Check the Consistency

You should now check the consistency of the grind. If it’s not at the correct coarseness level, you may have to alter the grind size to get what you are looking for.

If it’s not perfect, then blast the beans for a few seconds and check again.

Step 7 – Move the Ground Coffee to Your Machine

Once you are happy, the final step is to move the grounds to whichever machine you plan on using to make your coffee.

That is all you need to know about using a coffee grinder. As you can see, it’s an easy enough process. The hardest part is getting to know the various settings according to the result. Trying to get that finer blend may take some attempts before you can perfect those grounds and have them ready for brewing.

The Importance of Knowing How to Grind Your Coffee Beans

We emphasized that there’s more to correctly grinding coffee than simply throwing in the beans and switching the grinder on. But what did we mean by that?

Correctly grinding coffee beans will result in the best flavour being released. As a result, your coffee will taste better, and the entire thing will become a far more pleasant scenario.

This is also where a burr grinder will prove to be the best option. It is known to extract the best flavours from coffee beans. However, it’s also partly up to you as to the success of your cup of coffee.

A Poor Grind Will Ruin the Coffee

This is more important than you think, but a poor grind is going to destroy the coffee. You may have the best equipment in the world, but not knowing how to grind the coffee for the correct length of time will mean your coffee maker will be unable to rescue the situation.

If you are new to trying to grind your coffee, then you can expect a few mistakes to be made along the way. In addition, you will need to learn how to adjust your machine depending on what you want to brew. So, if that sounds too complicated just for a cup of coffee, then perhaps stick to a blade grinder for simplicity.

Make the Perfect Coffee

There’s a lot more to grinding coffee than you may have thought initially, so we hope this article using a coffee grinder has been useful. Return to this post every time you need help grinding coffee beans properly. There is no reason for someone to have a bad cup of coffee in this day and age!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top