The Aeropress is a coffee brewer that brews just a single cup of coffee at a time. It is a piston-style brewer, which steeps the coffee before forcing it through a special filter directly into your cup.
While this is a fairly simple method for brewing coffee, you may be wondering what the best coffee grind for an Aeropress is.
A Primer in Grind Size Differences
The size that you grind your coffee beans into is imperative for a delicious tasting cup of coffee. Different methods of brewing coffee require different sizes of grounds.
For example, French press coffee is typically ground coarsely, while a Turkish coffee grind would be ground extra finely.
When you grind coffee, the oils and flavors of the coffee beans are released. When you add water, those flavors and compounds are extracted into the water.
A finer coffee grind will increase the surface area, which will increase the extraction rate of the coffee into the water. If the coffee is over-extracted, it can taste bitter and overpowering.
On the other hand, a coarser coffee grind will have reduced surface area, thus reduced extraction rate. An under-extracted coffee may taste too weak, or can sometimes even taste sour or salty.
See this post for a comparison of sour and bitter coffee.
How to Grind Coffee for an Aeropress
The Aeropress prefers its coffee to be ground into a fine texture, which is similar to the grind you would do for an espresso. This size would be a little bit finer than a typical table salt.
You would want to grind coffee for an Aeropress into a fine size if you were using the typical steep time of 30-60 seconds. Some people may prefer to steep their coffee for a longer period of time, which would alter the grind size you use.
For example, you could brew for 3 minutes with a medium grind, or for 4 minutes with a coarse grind. These time differences would be based on flavor preferences that you have.
Instructions from the Aeropress website advise to use a fine grind of coffee and steep the coffee for 20-40 seconds before plunging it.
Types of Grinders to Use for an Aeropress
There are many different types of coffee grinders on the market. Many Aeropress enthusiasts recommend using a Burr style grinder, as opposed to a blade style grinder.
Burr grinders are able to grind up the coffee beans in a more consistent manner, meaning that all the coffee grinds will end up being the same size. This is important when brewing coffee, because a uniform size will make for a perfectly extracted coffee.
Burr grinders will have sharp opposing surfaces, which cut the beans from both sides. Burr grinders can be either electric or manual, with electric Burr grinders being more expensive.
Blade style grinders
Blade style grinders use a blade similar to a blender. These types of grinders can sometimes produce grinds of differing sizes.
As mentioned above, different grind sizes will result in differing times of extraction. Unequal extraction times may result in either under- or over-extracted coffee, which can alter taste.
However, blade style grinders are much more affordable than Burr grinders and may be a good grinder for a beginner.
See this post for a more detailed comparison of blade and burr grinders.
A Summary of Grinding Coffee for an Aeropress
In summary, the most common way to grind coffee for an Aeropress is to use a fine ground setting, similar to an espresso ground.
The highest quality grinder to use would be a Burr style grinder.
You can see my favorite entry level burr grinders here on this page or just check out the Skerton Pro on Amazon. It’s affordable, small, hand powered, and it makes consistent enough grind for me.