How to Grind Coffee Beans for Cold Brewing

Nothing beats cold brew coffee in providing a refreshing feeling during the warm weather. Read on to learn how to grind coffee beans for cold brewing.

a glass of cold coffee brew - grind coffee beans for cold brewing
Medium to coarse grind size gives the best cold brew

Coffee has been my favorite beverage for many years. My love for this refreshing and energizing drink made me research how to grind coffee for a cold brew. This has enabled me to enjoy the drink even during the hot months of the year. 

After doing my research, I did a little research and wrote it all down to share with you. So, how to grind coffee beans for cold brewing?

The answer is medium to coarse grind size gives the best cold brew. With these grind sizes, cold brew without bitterness but with natural hints of sweetness. Any time of the year is coffee time for me.

A cold brew coffee comes in handy during the warm season of the year. Learning how to grind coffee for cold brewing helped me to enjoy a cup of coffee even during midday when temperatures are high without worrying about staying cool.

Why Is Medium To Coarse Grind Size Appropriate For Cold Brewing?

Grinding coffee is meant to increase the surface area that will come into contact with the water during brewing. As I mentioned earlier, the ideal grind size for making a cold brew is medium to coarse. The grind should not be finer than the texture of coarse sea salt.

When you rub the grind in your hands, you should feel like you have beach sand. This size allows easier and faster filtration process which allows optimal extraction of the sweet flavors. You will love the cold brew you will get since it will have a less bitter taste.

Coffee Grind Size
Coffee Grind Size

Can I Use Ultra-Coarse Grind For Cold Brewing?

If you prepare your cold brew using an ultra-coarse ground coffee, you will end up with a weak and underdeveloped cup of coffee. Why? The grind has little contact with water which means there will be little or no extraction of flavors.

Can I Use Fine Ground For Cold Brewing?

Well, you may be wondering whether you can use fine ground coffee for cold brewing. Right? You can use fine ground coffee to make your cold brew, but there is one problem – it interferes with the filtration process.

The grind is too dense which doesn’t allow easy flow of water. The water is trapped on top of the coffee grinds which will increase the contact time. This will result in over-extraction making your brew bitter.

Fine grind size makes the water have increased contact surface area with the coffee. This may result in excess extraction of oils and flavor. You will end up with a cold brew with a bitter taste that you won’t like.

The fine grinds can pass through the filter which will make your cold brew have sediments. Filtering particles in your mouth will carry away the fun of enjoying a cup of coffee. The pleasure of taking coffee begins when sipping it to enjoying the refreshing feeling it gives afterward.

Grinding My Coffee For Cold Brewing

What Is The Benefit?

The main benefit of grinding your coffee is that you are in control of the flavor of your cold brew. As mentioned earlier, the grind size plays a vital role in determining the extraction level which in turn determines the taste of the cold brew.

Precaution To Take

If you want to get a great tasting cold brew, there is one precaution that you should observe when grinding your coffee beans – Grind immediately before brewing. Why? This will prevent losing flavors and aromas.

Coffee has volatile aromas and flavors that will disappear quickly and react with oxygen when the beans are broken up. That is why your house is filled with an aroma when you are preparing coffee. The aromas add to the taste and flavor of your cup of coffee.

To avoid losing the aroma to the air, brew immediately after grinding. They will enter the brewing water and make your cold brew flavorsome. Always grind what you need only.

Choosing Your Grinder

Tools of work are important elements in making a job successful. The same applies to grinding coffee for cold brewing. If you don’t have the right grinder (see reviews), you will not crush your coffee beans appropriately.

The two common coffee grinding tools are:

  • Burr grinder
  • Blade grinder

Burr Grinder

This is the best approach to grind your coffee for brewing. It has two revolving cutting discs that grind your coffee into the same size particles. This gives you a consistent extraction when you cold brew them. This is the main reason why it is considered the best grinding option.

A burr grinder offers the capacity to adjust the grind size to ensure you get the appropriate grind size for your cold brew. When compared to a blade grinder, a burr grinder doesn’t overheat which ensures it preserves the flavor of your coffee.

The burr grinder is highly expensive, but again you get what you pay for. You will get a quality grinder. I use it for cold brewing and can tell you the convenience and adaptability it offers are worth the cost.

Blade Grinder

This grinder operates the same as a blender with blades rotating at the bottom of the container. It grinds the coffee into various uneven sizes where some will have a finer size and other coarser size. This will result in an uneven extraction and unbalanced taste.

The blade grinder is relatively low priced compared to the burr grinder. However, you will have to pay for the cost difference in other ways – taste.

My friend was low on budget and decided to choose this grinder. It is a decision he regrets because there is a difference in what he brews compared to what I make with a burr grinder.

How To Use Grinders

The above grinders are available in both automatic and manual models. The automatic ones are easy to use and fast. All you need is to press a button to set it to the proper setting and get your coffee ground within a moment.

You will need to adjust the setting several times if it’s your first time using the grinders. Wait until you properly adjust the grinder properly before grinding all your beans. Some people use a manual grinder model because it is relatively low priced.

When you choose a manual grinder because of the price, you pay the added cost in another way- your time. You will have to spend more time grinding your coffee when using this grinder compared to using an automatic grinder.


What If You Don’t Have A Grinder?

My love for coffee led me to research how I can enjoy this refreshing drink no matter the situation at hand. Whether on a budget, hot weather, or other restricting reasons, I still enjoy it. If you can’t afford a grinder to grind coffee for making a cold brew, don’t worry, I have some viable solutions for you.

Using A Standard Blender

A blender is a good alternative for grinding coffee if you don’t have a grinder. It uses a blade system that works like a blade grinder. Some advanced blenders have a setting for coffee grinding purposes.

The working mechanism of a blender will give you unevenly sized ground coffee which will not give the best taste for your cold brew. So, unless you have run out of options, a blender is not a great alternative for grinding coffee for cold brewing.

Using a standard blender
Avoid running the blender continuously

When using a blender, you should avoid running it continuously. Grind in small spurts to prevent heating the cavity which can start to cook the beans natural oils which can make your cold brew taste bitter.

Using A Hammer

Yes, you read that right! You can use a hammer to grind coffee beans for making a cold brew. It is the best approach to use if you don’t have a grinder because it produces medium to coarse grounds.

When using this procedure, be careful to avoid damaging your countertop. To grind your coffee, place the beans inside a plastic bag and gently hammer them.

Hammer from one side of the bag to the other if you want to get a consistent texture. This is another good reason why a hammer is a good choice. You will have a cold brew with a good and balanced taste.

How To Prepare Cold Brew Coffee

After learning how to grind coffee beans for cold brewing, how do you prepare the real thing? It’s straightforward – mix the coffee grounds with water and allow it to steep in the fridge for 6-12 hours. Simple as that!


How To Grind Coffee Beans For Cold Brewing: Final Words

You don’t have to wait until the cold season of the year to enjoy a cup of Joe. Make it your favorite drink even during the hot months of the year. How?

Cold brew is the answer. Cold brew coffee gives you that chance to stay energized all year long. One thing you have to note is that appropriate coffee grinding is the key to a great-tasting cold brew.

So, how do you grind your coffee for cold brewing the right way? The above guide has all you need to know to help you make a sophisticated and satisfying cold brew.

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  • Aisling O'Connor

    Aisling is an Irish food and drinks writer and journalist fueled by coffee and herbal tea. She followed up her journalism degree with nutrition studies. Find Aisling on LinkedIn.

1 thought on “How to Grind Coffee Beans for Cold Brewing”

  1. Your webpage is helpful. I found a low cost brew kit at Bruw, a very simple kit that uses two wide mouth canning jars and a filter. The filter kit was 10 dollars and I picked up two canning jars at my local hardware. My neighbor gave me some pre-ground coffee she had purchased; even though it was “coarse” ground, it was difficult to get the coffee through the filter. I have now purchased a manual burr grinder, thanks to your insight and sharing of information.

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