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What is the relationship between the grind setting and coffee flavor?
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AustinJerry
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Posted Tue Mar 25, 2014, 6:05am
Subject: What is the relationship between the grind setting and coffee flavor?
 

I have a Baratza Encore grinder, and brew coffee in a Bonavita drip coffee maker.  I purchase fresh beans from a local purveyor every week, and my tastes are normally for dark roasts, especially a dark organic Sumatra.

Can someone share what the relationship between the grind setting and the resulting brew flavor is?  I have experimented with settings ranging from 16-22, and would be interested in knowing what settings others with this grinder are using.  Thanks!
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DavecUK
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Posted Tue Mar 25, 2014, 8:13am
Subject: Re: What is the relationship between the grind setting and coffee flavor?
 

I should think there the scale of  under extraction - correct and overextraction as you grind from coarse to fine. From a flavour point of view less flavour, muted - good - bitters and unwanted
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Dave_E
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Posted Tue Mar 25, 2014, 8:34am
Subject: Re: What is the relationship between the grind setting and coffee flavor?
 

All about extraction rate.
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AustinJerry
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Posted Wed Mar 26, 2014, 2:38pm
Subject: Re: What is the relationship between the grind setting and coffee flavor?
 

Dave_E Said:

All about extraction rate.

Posted March 25, 2014 link

Care to expand a bit?  Of course I can't control the rate of flow of the hot water.  Are you saying the coarseness of the grind affects the extraction rate?  Can you give me some direction--does a finer grind increase the extraction rate?  Does an increased extraction rate increase the strength of the brew, enhance the flavor, make it more bitter, what?

I suspect the right answer is to vary the grind settings, assess the resulting flavor, and make my own decision.  But I was hoping for some insight from others.
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kinbote
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Posted Wed Mar 26, 2014, 3:59pm
Subject: Re: What is the relationship between the grind setting and coffee flavor?
 

AustinJerry Said:

...does a finer grind increase the extraction rate? ...increase the strength of the brew, enhance the flavor, make it more bitter, what?

Posted March 26, 2014 link

I'm no expert, but I believe a finer grind increases extraction rate partly by slowing down the water-to-grounds exposure time. It also increases the volume of extraction because more of the coffee bean surface is exposed. So overall, a finer grind will result in more flavor extraction -- which isn't always a good thing.
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germantownrob
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Posted Wed Mar 26, 2014, 4:18pm
Subject: Re: What is the relationship between the grind setting and coffee flavor?
 

This is for espresso but in many ways can have a smaller effect on drip.
Click Here (www.home-barista.com)
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Frost
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Posted Wed Mar 26, 2014, 4:28pm
Subject: Re: What is the relationship between the grind setting and coffee flavor?
 

Finer grinds (like espresso) extract faster. Coarser grind slower. A drip to press pot grind usually targets brew times of 3-4 minutes.
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germantownrob
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Posted Wed Mar 26, 2014, 6:09pm
Subject: Re: What is the relationship between the grind setting and coffee flavor?
 

Frost Said:

Finer grinds (like espresso) extract faster. Coarser grind slower. A drip to press pot grind usually targets brew times of 3-4 minutes.

Posted March 26, 2014 link

Yes and with a window of 3-4 minutes one can adjust a brew for 3 minutes to 4 mins by adjusting grind and or amount used. I have found that I can zero in on flavors I like by adjusting these things in a drip, press, or pour over, just not as drastically as can be done with espresso.
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boar_d_laze
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Posted Thu Mar 27, 2014, 6:08pm
Subject: Re: What is the relationship between the grind setting and coffee flavor?
 

Frost Said:

Finer grinds (like espresso) extract faster. Coarser grind slower.

Posted March 26, 2014 link

Well put.

For the same mass of coffee, coffee ground finer exposes more surface area compared to coffee ground coarser, and under identical conditions will -- as you say -- extract faster.  

A drip to press pot grind usually targets brew times of 3-4 minutes.

Drip and press are apples and oranges though, because press is an "immersion" brew, and drip is "pour over."  

The actual contact time for a particular volume of water (say each 50ml out of a 750ml pour) in a pour over is considerably less than that for the same volume of water in an immersion brewer.  It makes sense then, that most drip brewers function best with medium grinds and most presses with coarse grinds.  

Of course there are not only exceptions but ways to shape "in the cup" characteristics with temperature, grind and taste.

Rich
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jpender
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Posted Thu Mar 27, 2014, 6:41pm
Subject: Re: What is the relationship between the grind setting and coffee flavor?
 

boar_d_laze Said:

Drip and press are apples and oranges though, because press is an "immersion" brew, and drip is "pour over."  

The actual contact time for a particular volume of water (say each 50ml out of a 750ml pour) in a pour over is considerably less than that for the same volume of water in an immersion brewer.  It makes sense then, that most drip brewers function best with medium grinds and most presses with coarse grinds.

Posted March 27, 2014 link

I think you're making an assumption about the solubility of the various compounds in coffee. You're implying that saturation has an effect in immersion brews. But are there data to support that?

I was under the impression that a relatively coarse grind is used in traditional French press in order to minimize grit passing through the screen whereas drip grinds are chosen with an eye toward total percolation time. Aeropress, also an immersion method but with a different filtration scheme, is often done with a grind much finer than drip.

It's obvious that a finer grind results in faster extraction. But assuming the same final extraction, does the grind influence taste?

Further reading: Click Here (www.home-barista.com)
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