Learning a lesson on grind size the hard way


Yesterday morning I made some coffee as my usual and preferred Saturday morning activity. Cassidy was up and getting ready to head out on a run with some friends. I got my things together and began with getting my water heating up and grinding my beans. Lately, I’ve been working on dialing in my single cup pour over process during the week, so my grinder was set finer than I would like for brewing in my Chemex. Unfortunately, I totally spaced on this and got my coffee grinding. I didn’t realize it until the coffee was totally ground. I was pretty frustrated with myself for not paying enough attention to what I was doing.

So, I decided to try an experiment and still do my normal Chemex process with the coffee ground too fine. I took a guess at what it would do and how the coffee would taste. I thought this would be a good reminder of how altering one part of coffee brewing can have a huge impact on the final outcome. Looking at how fine the coffee was compared to what I normally would have it ground it wasn’t too difficult to see it would be overly extracted. My guess was that it would be bitter and vegetal tasting.

I went ahead with my usual Chemex process. It was crazy to see how the grind size elongated my brew time significantly. Normally I try to hit around 3:30 minutes and this went all the way to 5:30 minutes. Afterwards, my grounds looked like a big mud pile. I tasted it and sadly was right about the flavor. Overall it was over extracted and there was this grassy mask over all of the flavor notes I know this coffee has.

This was a good lesson on home coffee brewing and a good reminder that I kinda know what I’m doing. I am by no means a coffee professional, but I’ve put a lot of time and energy into coffee to understand the nuances of the brewing process.

If you’re looking for some good tips on pour over brewing I found this video from Seattle Coffee Gear on their YouTube channel with some good stuff.

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