If for any reason you are having trouble using bean box dot com, please call us directly on +1-888-923-8596 or email us at delight at bean box dot com (delight@beanbox.com).
Gift Today — 20% OFF purchases $100+ ▶

Everything You Need to Know About Grinding Coffee

Grinding your coffee is an important variable in making the best cup possible. Here is everything you should know about grinding coffee.

We’ve often been asked why we ship whole bean coffee, and the reason is simple: whole beans best hold the freshness of the roast. They do this by emitting CO2 from the moment they leave the roaster, and this gas forces out the oxygen and moisture that otherwise quickly break down the integrity of the beans.

There’s a bewildering array of grinding options, but there’s no need to geek out to enjoy well-ground, freshly-roasted coffee. There are two key types of grinding mechanisms: blade- and burr-based. In the former, a propeller-like set of blades spins, dicing the beans until the grounds reach the desired consistency. In burr-based grinders, there’s a flat or conical structure, and the coffee is literally pulverized by the burrs.

In a pinch, anyone can grind coffee. Blade-type grinding can be done in blender (I’ve done this in a Vitamix), and burr grinding can be simulated with a high quality pepper mill (empty the pepper first!) or even with a mortar and pestle. Coffee geeks will cringe, but the effects are the roughly the same. If you ask them, however, they’ll recommend you purchase your own grinder, specially made for coffee, and the general consensus is that burr-based grinding is the preferred method.

Why the preference for the burr? First, there’s a consistency to the size of the output; second, the process generates far less heat than blade-based grinding. But third, and most critical, the act of pulverization effectively multiples the surfaces of the ground coffee. There’s no chemical change to the coffee, but the best way think about the difference is to think about why we crack pepper, or grind cinnamon by hand: pulverization enhances flavor by creating new surfaces (as opposed to reducing to powder through sliding) to engage during brewing.

For folks who want to keep things simple, the next key variable in the grinding process is the coarseness of the grind. Here’s a handy map of how fine to grind:

Folks into the more bespoke brewing methods like the Clever or Chemex will have their own preferences and a broader grinding spectrum in mind, but fine and medium (respectively) will work well.

Coffee Grinding Resources

Along the way, don’t forget to literally savor the process. Fresh whole beans have a unique scent, and once ground the coffee is even more engaging to the senses. Before you brew, warm up your palate with your nose, and enjoy!


Get handpicked artisan coffee delivered fresh to your home with a Coffee Subscription
or our Coffee of the Month Club. And look no further for the perfect gifts for coffee lovers.

Other Posts You Might Like

For a great cup, the quality of the grind means everything.

Ground Coffee - Where We Stand

For a great cup, a great grind in the Beanery will beat a poor grind in the kitchen, every time.

Strength: it's in the brewing. Yes, we can!

Brewing Truly Strong Coffee

Strong coffee: it's all in the brewing

A great grinder is the centerpiece of your coffee altar.

Great Coffee: It's All About The Grind

Our guide to your daily grind, and why grinding is the key to great coffee.

Pulling a shot in the Beanery.

Espresso Basics, and a Few New Drink Types to Try

(None of which are called ‘expresso’)