The Absolute Best Grind Size For Automatic Drip Coffee

The process of making a cup or pot of coffee seems pretty darn simple. Heated water is used to extract flavor from coffee beans that have been roasted and ground. Sounds straightforward, right? Hardly. Every single step of the coffee making process impacts the flavor of the cup you drink. From roasting the beans to selecting your water temperature, the path is fraught with peril and controversy.

Coffee Affection tells us that automatic drip coffee makers are the choice for most households in the U.S. They're easy to use, brew coffee that's consistent from pot to pot or cup to cup, and many are even programmable, so your coffee can be ready before your feet hit the floor in the morning. But some coffee enthusiasts choose other styles of coffee makers for home use, and understanding which grind size is best for each kind of coffee maker is vital. The wrong grind size can yield coffee that's under-extracted and tastes sour or acidic, or over-extracted and tastes bitter or hollow.

Choose a medium-coarse grind

The best grind size for automatic drip coffee is a medium-coarse grind. Grinds that are more coarse will be under-extracted, leaving you with a disappointingly weak cup of coffee, while grinds that are too fine will be over-extracted and bitter. Finer grinds are better for the Aeropress or espresso, while coarser grinds are great for French press or cold brew methods.

Getting a precise grind of your coffee beans requires the right equipment, and while there are two basic types of coffee grinders available for home use, namely burr grinders and blade grinders, one is clearly superior. Homegrounds explains that uniformly ground coffee is essential to getting a good finished product, which means you need a burr grinder because, "Blade grinders suck at achieving uniform grounds." Burr grinders can cost more than blade grinders, but the investment is worth it, according to The Strategist. Every grinder in their list of recommendations is a burr grinder, with the least expensive a modest $55 and the most expensive a whopping $995.

Set that burr grinder to medium-coarse, and you're ready to brew the perfect pot in your automatic drip coffee maker.