A barista trainer with Counter Culture Coffee, Erin Meister says she’s botched enough batches of Hollandaise to know that even culinary creations with just two ingredients — like coffee — can require serious finesse.
In a recent article for Serious Eats, Meiser helps explain how grind size is often the factor that most determines quality in a simple cup of coffee or shot of espresso. She examines two opposite ends of the grind size spectrum — French press and espresso.
Espresso, then, is kind of the caffeinated equivalent of speed dating: You have to put a fine point on your most fascinating and appealing characteristics because you have less than ten minutes to sell yourself. French press is more wine-and-dine: You can take it a bit easier, revealing all the juicy details in due time.
So how do you find that magic grind size? Practice and taste, Meiser advises:
Does your cup have grassy or pencil-like flavors? That could be a sign of underextraction, which might be caused by too coarse a grind. Bitter, astringent aftertaste? It’s possible you need to back off the fine-grinding a little bit. In the end, go with whatever tastes best to you.
The full story: Serious Eats