Does size matter?

by Ghostbird Coffee on September 24, 2021

Well, it does if you are looking to avoid your coffee being under or over extracted!

One of our main goals is to empower anyone whether it be home brewers or coffee professionals with the ability to make coffee at home or at the cafe with ease, by learning to control this one variable alone you will be able to open up a floodgate of flavours from mastering this factor alone - : the grind size!

Most of the time, we at the roastery have come to learn and realise that a lot of individuals find it crazy to make coffee and to achieve the flavours we have described on our website or on our packaging, after reading what we have to share - we are sure you will have a better understanding of what and where to tweak in order to achieve that desired coffee notes. Because regardless if you’ve purchased the same materials or equipment or follow the same steps and techniques we share with you, this one factor alone will be able to bring you to another level altogether!

The relationship of grind size and extraction

Why are we talking about this? Well, in order to understand what is the best grind size for you, the thing you need to understand is this critical relationship between the two factors. By understanding this relationship, you will be able to avoid under extraction and over extraction. So, to cut a long story short, for you to extract the perfect amount of flavours from your coffee, the right grind size is crucial. Extracting too little flavours would mean you would have under extracted it, too much would mean you would have over retracted it! A balanced extraction when all of the tasting notes are allowed to come out, producing a coffee flavour that’s sweet, well-rounded, and crisply acidic.

Typically, grinding your coffees to coarse results in under extraction - This is when you have not extracted enough of the flavours associated with the coffee of choice.

Grinding too fine will result in over extraction - this is when one has extracted too much flavour out of the coffee thus resulting in an overpowering and unpleasant drinking experience. 

As a summary, here is a quick and simple comparison to what an under extracted coffee vs an over extracted coffee is like:



Hollow – A lack any notable coffee bean flavour

The type of grind size and it’s respective tools

When it comes to the types of grind sizes within coffee, there are three main descriptors but not limited to only those few. They are, Fine, Medium and Coarse, within each of these three, there are the in between finesse as well as listed per below.

Extra Fine > Fine > Medium FIne > Medium > Medium Coarse > Coarse > Extra Coarse

Extra Fine
As this is one of the more rare grind settings, an individual who grinds their coffee in this grind setting,  one would be brewing their coffee as a Turkish Coffee Brew Style. The texture and feel of one's grounded coffee would closely resemble what flour is like. 

For something that is more commonly known - this grind size is typically reserved for the espresso machine. Other uses for this fine grind setting would also be for the Moka Pot. The texture and feel of this grind coffee would be something like what powdered sugar is like.

Medium Fine
This grind setting can be found to be used for brewing your coned shaped brewing vessels, typically known as the V60. Alternatively it could also be used to brew your kalita wave brewers too! What this grind size resembles is something that is ever so slightly coarser than beach sand. 


This is a great way to start grinding your coffee as it is a wonderful middle ground. It is a safe size to be used for primarily the manual brew setup. Alternatively, you may use this setting to do coffee cupping of which one would steep their coffee in water for up to 4 minutes and then you’d taste your coffee to identify the flavour notes respectively. The consistency of this grind size would very much be like table salt.

Medium Coarse
This setting is a bit of a weird one as the brewer will feel like it is neither a medium grind size nor is it a coarse grind size. What this setting will resemble after grinding is it looks very much like rough sand. Best used with a Chemex brew or even a Clever Dripper.

This grind setting is a forgiving setting as the brew tool that is typically associated with this grind size is the french press. With the coffee being fully immersed with water, the only factor which one would need to worry about is the duration one would steep their coffee in ( inserts blog ). What one could imagine it to be would be that it looks a lot like sea salt, something that is coarse and rough at the same time, yet not being extremely too big.

Extra Coarse
This grind setting can be seen used to make cold brew coffees, as cold brew is typically steeped for an extended duration of time, the extra coarse setting allows the water to gently extract the coffee beverage from the extra coarse ground coffee. What one can imagine it to be would be something like freshly ground black peppercorns. 

How do I know if I'm at the right size?

Firstly, what we would recommend is to identify what is the brew tool you are looking to purchase or use. This way, it would then enable you to narrow down to the few options that are associated with the respective tools. Once that has been established, the next thing is to taste! Taste! Taste! your brews! As each grinder one uses is very subjective to the brand and style of each grinder - hints, burr or blade grinder ( to which it will be another topic altogether ).

Worry not ! As we will be able to assist you to grind your coffees for free! As our coffees are roasted fresh and are then packed individually, depending on your request, we will grind your coffees respectively and then seal it up with an industrial grade packaging sealer to ensure your coffees don't lose their freshness after each grind!