Coffee Grinder Coarse Vs. Fine: What Grind Is The Best?

Are you lost when brewing whole-bean coffee? Find out which grind is the best for your cup of coffee with this coffee grinder coarse vs. fine comparison.

Coffee Grinder Coarse vs. Fine
coarse grind vs. fine grind

If you’re like me, then ground coffee is a way of life due to its convenience. However, the world of coffee grinders has opened up a whole new realm of possibilities. After you’ve been away from pre-ground coffee, it’s hard to go back! But this also means choosing the right grind for your brew.

When it comes to grinding coffee, there are two main grind types: coarse and fine. Each one has its own benefits, so this coffee grinder coarse vs. fine comparison will help you decide which one is right for you.

What Are Coarse Coffee Grinders And Fine Coffee Grinders?

As the name suggests, coarse coffee grinders produce a larger grind size, while fine coffee grinders produce a smaller, more uniform grind. Coarse coffee is ideal for French press coffee makers and cold brew coffee makers, while finer grinds are best for espresso makers and pour-over brewers. Many coffee grinders can offer multiple grind levels. 

What Do Coarse Coffee Grinders And Fine Coffee Grinders Have In Common?

A man holding his electric coffee grinder
Both their electric versions provide a wide range of grind size options

Both coarse and fine coffee grinders are available in both handheld and electric versions, making them accessible to all kinds of coffee drinkers. They also grind beans quickly and efficiently, producing consistent results in a short amount of time. However, depending on the type of grinder you have, it might take longer to make fine grinds than coarse grinds.

Both coarse and fine coffee grinders are great for different types of coffee. In addition, they both provide you with a wide range of grind size options, so you can make your coffee exactly the way you like it.

Coffee Grinder Coarse Vs. Fine: The Differences

There are several distinct differences between coarse and fine grinders. The most obvious difference is the size of the grind. Coarse grinders produce larger, more irregularly shaped coffee grounds, while fine grinders produce a much finer, more even grind.

Another difference is the time it takes to make each type of grind. Making a coarse grind generally takes less time than making a fine grind since the beans don’t need to be broken down as much. However, fine grinds require more time to produce a uniform result.

Again, you might notice this difference more when using a handheld grinder versus an electric grinder.

What’s Better About Coarse Coffee Grinders?

Coarse coffee grinders are often cheaper, more accessible, and produce ground coffee faster than fine grinders. They’re also great for making French press coffee and cold brews since the larger particles make it easier to keep the coffee grounds from ending up in your cup. Since cold brew coffee is made with cold water for hours on end, it takes longer to extract the flavor from the coffee grounds and, therefore, should be ground to a coarse size.

In addition, coarse grinders are also easy for beginners to use since they don’t require as much attention to detail. All you have to do is push your grinding button or crank your handle, and you’ll have coarse coffee in no time. Check out our blade grinder vs. burr grinder guide.

What’s Better About Fine Coffee Grinders?

Fine grinders are great for making espresso, as the finer grounds extract more flavor from the beans. They’re also better at producing a consistent grind size since the finer particles require more precision and attention to detail.

The downside of fine grinders is that they’re often more expensive, and they take longer to produce the desired grind size. However, if you’re looking for more flavor in your espresso or want a consistent grind size, then a fine grinder is the way to go.

Who Should Get Coarse Coffee Grinders (And Why)? 

The type of coffee grinder you use depends on the type of coffee you plan on making. If your go-to brews are French press or cold brew, or if you simply need to make coffee in a jiffy using a handheld grinder, then a coarse grinder is the way to go.

Coarse grinders are also great for beginners or anyone who doesn’t want to spend too much time grinding their beans. If your only goal is to break down your coffee beans and put them in your drip machine, save yourself the expense and go with a coarse grinder. You might also be interested in our mortar and pestle vs. electric coffee grinder guide

Coffee grinder with coffee beans on the wooden table
Coarse grinders are for those who don’t want to spend too much time grinding their beans

Who Should Get Fine Coffee Grinders (And Why)?

For those that appreciate a good cup of espresso or want a more consistent grind size, then a fine grinder is the way to go. This type of grinder takes more time to produce the desired grind size, but the payoff might be worth it if you’re looking for a more flavorful cup. In addition, if you’re looking to make Cuban coffee or other strong-tasting dark beverages, such as Turkish coffee, then a fine grinder is the best way to get that full flavor.


  • Veronica Heurta

    Veronica Huerta is a Journalism major who graduated in 2021 with a BA in Journalism from California State University Long Beach and AA in Journalism from Long Beach City College. She is not only a writer, but also has a decade working in the medical field as an emergency medical technician and psychiatric technician. A Los Angeles native, she knows how fast fads come and go, and what it takes to create high-quality coffee. Her combined career in the medical field and as a writer allow her to write objective and highly-researched reviews on coffee and other products that can benefit people's physical and mental health.