Most non-organic coffees are decaffeinated by using solvents such as methylene chloride, a probable human carcinogen?!
So you’ve trekked down to your local health food store, and made your way to the bulk coffee section. You admire the varieties, weighing local coffee suppliers against far-away vendors from Hawaii, South America and the Pacific Northwest.
Some beans, like a Breakfast Blend, look dry and light brown while others look dark and oily, like a Peruvian Dark Roast. You open the containers, bringing the full aroma into your nose, smelling the sweet and acidic notes and imagining a perfect cup of coffee in the morning.
You scoop a pound or so of whole coffee beans into your brown bag, head over to the burr grinder, and… freeze. Between you and your ground coffee stands a dial with five or six ground types in a semi-circle, each featuring a somewhat arcane symbol.
Learn more about how to match up your preferred coffee method with the right ground type.
Organic Coffee Ground Types
How do you brew a perfect cup of organic coffee? It depends on your method of brewing! Some methods require a coarser ground type, some benefit from a finer ground type. Common home coffee grinders will only grind at one speed, so to vary the ground type, grind the coffee beans for a shorter time (for coarse coffee) or for a longer time (for finer coffee).
Unfortunately, it can be difficult to get a consistent granular size at home for a nice, even pour. Additionally, home grinders can heat up and burn the coffee grounds. One option is to grind coffee at your local health food store where you purchase the beans, but the trade-off is reduced freshness. If you buy coffee a couple times a week, this may be a good alternative.
Coarse ground coffee is best for a French press or a percolator – those stainless steel contraptions that go on a gas burner. Use a medium grind (sometimes called “auto drip”) for standard coffee makers. And use a fine ground type for pour-over coffee, espresso machines and an aeropress.