Correct grind for cafetiere

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Correct grind for cafetiere

Postby jameso » Sat Nov 26, 2005 10:59 am

There's lots of stuff on here about finding the optimum grind for espresso. But how do I tell from the finished result if I've got the grind right for a press-pot brew? You read some of the coffee reviews on HB, and you get people saying that such and such a bean needs a slightly finer grind than others. But how do you know what is needed? What are the indicators that make you go "Hmm, I'll take that one a bit finer next time?"

OK - enough repetition, you get the point! All wisdom welcome.

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Postby BazBean » Sat Nov 26, 2005 2:02 pm

i am no expert on Press but i grind rough enough so that little or no coffee "powder" is visable in the cup after its drank and move dial usualy the same distance i move it from espresso to filter on again if you follow? ...... an espresso has a small amount of time pick up all the coffee goodness from the grinds during extraction, whereas in press the coffee actually sits in the water for a good 2-3 minutes so too fine and it wil overextract for my tasteing, it also makies it darn hard to push down...and ends up over the ceiling as happened on one occasion. this is mearly my own preference and have no scentific basis to comment but as sure one of our more qualified members can give a better idea. as press pots for me are more forgiving than espresso if you get it wrong i tend just to drink the stuff most of the time regardles. :lol:
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Postby jameso » Sat Nov 26, 2005 5:37 pm

Thanks

I guess I already know the right ballpark for press brewing. I'm more interesting in how to fine-tune that, reading people saying things like "took me a while to find the right grind for this", with reference to a particular bean in the cafetiere. Anyone?
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Postby lukas » Sat Nov 26, 2005 5:50 pm

Regarding fine-tune, I have no real Idea. I just discovered that proper dosing is a very important factor for a pressport, but I think I should have knewn it. I made a Kenyan AA+ this morning, it wasn't that good. With slightly less grounds however, it tastes awesome now!
To give a relative scale, for Espresso I use 3-5 on my grinder, for the Vacpot yesterday I tried 11 (12-13 next time, as I got a slight unpleasant overextraction), and for presspot I mostly use 18. Works for Java, Kenyan, and Hawaii Kona so far :)
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Postby jameso » Sat Nov 26, 2005 5:53 pm

Hmm - sounds good. What's your dose then?
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Postby lukas » Sat Nov 26, 2005 6:00 pm

actually, I'm not using a Presspot (because it hasn't arrived yet and my old one os b0rked), but a jug which holds approx. 250ml. Assuming that my grinder really puts 6gr in a dose, I just had 250ml of kenyan aa+ produced with 16gr of grounds :)

edit: I just pour the coffee through a sieve when pouring into the mug, which holds away most grounds.
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Postby Terje » Thu Dec 01, 2005 8:42 am

I grind it fairly fine. It's a little rougher than what I use for my moka pot, which is again a little rouhger than what I'd use for turkish coffee but the difference between the three isn't as big as you might think. A really rough grind serves no purpose IMO.
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Postby jameso » Thu Dec 01, 2005 8:46 am

Do you not get lots of grit in the finished cup that way?
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Postby lukas » Thu Dec 01, 2005 11:38 am

I find that coarser grounds give a different (and IMO for some beans better) taste. But I can't really elaborate on this, yet :)
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Postby jameso » Thu Dec 01, 2005 11:45 am

I'm getting the decided impression that the answer to my initial question is: "We don't know".

We (as a forum) seem to have varied opinions as to whether medium or coarse is best for Cafetiere, but no real reasons behind our opinions. Likewise, no-one has yet shared a way of telling the ideal grind for any given bean, which may indicate that the answer is "one-size fits all", whatever size that is.

Sorry - I don't mean to rubbish what people have said so far - thanks for letting me know what you do, folks. It's just that the comments seem to lack the conviction that you get reading people's views on grinding, blending, robusta-ing etc., for Espresso.

Perhaps the people who make elusive references to this on HB reviews aren't members here. Or perhaps it's less clearcut than the reviews make out.

I'm hoping that if we keep sharing what we all do, we might all learn about this one, and between us forge some definite advice.
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Postby simonp » Thu Dec 01, 2005 1:03 pm

If you asked the same question for espresso, you would also not get a definitive answer. Different machines, roasts and beans all require a different grind.

With a caffetiere the same changes apply. Some prefer a coarse grind and a longer brewing time, some prefer a finer grind and a shorter brew time. Also the sixe of teh caffetiere makes a difference I have found.

But how do you know what is needed? What are the indicators that make you go "Hmm, I'll take that one a bit finer next time?"


Personal taste. I grind for about a 3 minute brewing time (so a finer grind than some), if this gives me a weak coffee I'll go finer, if it tastes over extracted I'll go coarser. If I end up si fine I get lots of mud, then that bean will need a coarser grind and a longer brew time.

I'm not sure the answer you want exists. This is Tom at Sweet Marias guides for French Press/Caffetiere:
http://www.sweetmarias.com/brewinstr.frenchpress.html
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Postby jameso » Thu Dec 01, 2005 1:44 pm

Thanks Simon
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Postby espressomattic » Mon Dec 05, 2005 8:01 pm

James my experience shows that if you pop to a supermarket and buy some off the shelf stuff...NOT TO USE!!!! You will find that this is a good guide to how coarse the grind should be. But it really does boil down to taste. Somedays I put an espresso grind in..very carefully press down..other days I prefer coarser grinds. I think as will all of this 'If it works for you personally...' great.
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