• QA 107
    Are there standard particle sizes for different types of ground coffee such as regular, drip or fine grind?
    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

    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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