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  • QA 107
    Question:
    Are there standard particle sizes for different types of ground coffee such as regular, drip or fine grind?
    Background:
    I would like to know if there is a standard particle size for what we describe in New Zealand as plunger grind, filter grind and espresso grind. I am trying to work out if terms like regular, drip or fine grind are directly related with these and thought that comparing particle sizes would provide the answer.
    Asked by:
    Roaster - New Zealand
     
    Answer:

    Briefly, no. Individual roasters grind according to their own preference but the particle sizes of the various standard descriptions of ground coffee usually fall in the same range. 

    In a November 2005 article in Tea & Coffee Magazine*, Daniel Ephraim (www.mpechicago.com) compared different  'grinds' as follows, taking as a basis the number of particles obtained from one coffee bean: 

    French Press (plunger pot) or coarse grind: 
    100 -    300 particles
    Drip or filter grind:    
    500 -    800 particles
    Vending, filter or fine grind:          
    1,000 - 3,000 particles
    Espresso grind: 3,500 particles
    Turkish grind            15,000 - 35,000 particles 

    On the other hand, at www.mpechicago.com/coffee you can also download a chart comparing historic and current ground coffee specifications for US and European preparation, by number of particles per gram and by size in microns. The same site also offers a particle size conversion chart.
      
    In an April 2006 article in Roast Magazine - www.roastmagazine.com , Terry Davis (www.ambexroasters.com) describes how modern bimodal grinding allows an operator to select two grind particle sizes in desired mix percentages and combine the grinds for a consistent final product. Once the required percentages and particle sizes are established, bimodal grinders allow one to program the equipment accordingly.

    Other information sources you could consult include www.dittingswiss.com; www.mahlkoenig.de and www.isomac.it.

    * More also in June 2006 -  www.teaandcoffee.net

    Posted 31 July 2006

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