How to grind Coffee

coffee grinder

A simple guide to grinding coffee at home

The aim of this guide is to teach you the basic principles of grinding coffee at home we will try to address the different types of grinders available, their subtle differences and why you might choose one grinder over another.

By the end of this guide we hope you will be well prepared to make an educated decision on the type of grinder that best suits your needs, how to use it, how to care for it and most importantly how to make the perfect cup of coffee.

Topics we will cover

Why you should grind your own coffee
The difference between Manual and Electric grinders
What is a Burr grinder?
The difference between Dosing vs Non-Dosing
How to Clean and care for your grinder

Why should you grind your own coffee?

The quick and simple answer is freshness!
Most people start out drinking instant coffee it is quick and easy simply head down to your local shop or supermarket by a jar of something that sounds familiar, take it home add a spoonful to a mug, add some hot water and milk and enjoy. For most this provides a satisfying cup, however for some, there seems to be something missing in the taste, its ok but not delicious so they move on to filter coffee. They head back down to the local shop or the supermarket and find a well known brand of pre-ground coffee and purchase a cafetiere or a coffee percolator. With a little excitement they head home with their pre-ground coffee and new toy and look forward to experiencing the taste of fresh coffee. While this is certainly the first step to a great tasting coffee at home, for many it lacks a little lustre and leaves the coffee drinker wanting more, something is note quite right, the coffee might taste a little bitter, or a little dull or just not what they were expecting. The simple reason for this is that the pre-ground coffee might not be the right grind for the equipment they are using or more likely than not is just not very fresh. The reason for this is that once the coffee bean has been ground and exposed to air the quality reduces dramatically within a very short space of time.

Starting to sound familiar?

If the above sounds like a journey you have been down and you have been searching for an answer to brewing the perfect cup of coffee then continue reading and we will try to open up the world of truly fresh coffee to you, a world of many different flavours, aromas and experiences awaits you with speciality coffees from around the world. However it all starts with freshly roasted coffee beans and the perfect grind.

The difference between Manual and Electric grinders

Whilst the simple answer to this might appear to be obvious, one involves a fair amount of elbow grease and is undoubtedly better for the environment and the other is simple fast and relies on electricity either from the socket on the wall or from batteries.

There are some significant differences aside from environmental factors and speed. With a manual grinder the process can be carefully monitored and you can easily see how the grind is looking and make simple adjustments before you have ground your way through a fair amount of expensive coffee beans.

The other consideration is of course cost, a manual grinder is likely to be cheaper than a similar quality electric grinder. When we start out on this journey of coffee discovery we are not sure if it is going to be for us with have many questions going round our minds. Is freshly ground coffee going to be any different? Will I like the taste? Will it all be worth it? So we stray on the side of caution and say “hey lets give this thing a try, but I am not going to invest much of my hard earned cash into the just yet” so we head off in search of a  Cheap Coffee grinder a quick online search will probably end up taking us to Amazon where for a few pounds we will find a plethora of manual grinders we will study the feedback and settle on a grinder. Happy and excited we will eagerly await the postman’s visit. The morning our new toy arrives we are ready to experience the true taste of freshly ground coffee. Eagerly we will open up the package and examine our grinder. If we are lucky there might be a leaflet with some instructions on how to set the grind for fine, medium or coasre. If there are no instructions then a quick search online will set us in the right direction. Next its off to the cupboard to grab our bag a single origin coffee we have ready and waiting. We have already read how much coffee we will need to make a couple of cups so out come the scales and we measure just the right amount. We pour our beans into the grinder and start turning the hadle after a few turns we check the dispenser and there is a few specs of ground coffee in the bottom. We make a few more turns and check again a few more specs of coffee are now in the dispenser – boy this is going to be a long job. Trust me when I say you will, depending on the grind size you need be turning that handle for around 2-3 minutes. However I can assure you it will be worth it! You will finally have enough freshly ground coffee for a couple of cups and with a quick sniff you will realise all the effort was worth it.

To surmise the manual grinder – it will get the job done, very affordably, extremely portable, simple to use, however does require elbow grease and some may not be able to grind fine enough for expresso.

On the other hand you have the electric grinder, it basically does the same job but it will generally take a few seconds rather than minutes to grind enough for your morning brew. Electric grinders come in all shapes and sizes and have a huge range of settings and features, however with all these features on offer you are most definitely going to need larger pockets as they don’t come cheap!

To surmise the electric grinder – it will get the job done quickly, can be perfect for expresso, can be very expensive, can be very noisy, needs electricity.

Like many I started with a manual grinder which I still have today it mainly gathers dust in the corner of the cupboard, however when we go camping its one of the first things to be put in the kitchen bag along with a freshly roasted bag of coffee beans.

What is a Burr grinder?

No doubt whilst trying to research your perfect grinder you will have come across the term / recommendation for a Burr Grinder – so what are they? And why are they recommended?

Ok so lets start by talking about the alternative – the blade grinder! In a few words simply do not buy one and the reason for this is very simple which we will go into more detail about a little later on. For the perfect brew it is imperative the grinds a of a consistent size otherwise some of the grinds will end up under extracted while other will end up over extracted and the result will be an awful cuppa. The reason fro this is quite simple the blade grinder spins a blade at an incridible speed and sends bits of beans flying all around the machine some bits fly to the top and get stuck on the sides some sink to the bottom you keep pressing the button and bits of coffee beans fly around. You then pour out your grinds and I can guarantee there will be no uniform.

So we have now left the blade grinder on the shelf and we are back looking at burr grinders but wait there seems to be two types. Flat and conical – what’s the difference? Again in simple terms the flat burr grinder has 2 flatish disks which rub together with coffee beans in the middle the discs are separated just enough to allow the ground coffee to escape out of the sides at the required size. The conical grinder has one cone shaped grinder the coffee beans go in at the top and are continually ground until the grinds are small enough to fall out the bottom.

So is there any difference to the ground coffee that either of these grinders make – the simple answer is no! they both produce a good uniform grind. Now with a little research you will most certainly find ambassadors for each, however in our experience you can’t go far wrong with either.

What is dosing and non-dosing?

We are only including this because whilst you are researching your grinder you will certainly hear / read about this. Dosing is all about the collection of the coffee grinds.

So what’s the difference?

Dosing: Collects the grinds into a hopper
Non-Dosing: A chute straight into your coffee machine

Who cares?

Well to put some meat on the bones around this topic suffice to say that if you are starting a coffee shop you will no doubt be looking for a dosing grinder which will grind more coffee at a time. The downside to this type of grinder for the home user is that you will end up with left over grinds that will sit around and will no longer be fresh. One of the negatives to consider should you be starting your coffee shop is that grinding a large batch of coffee will produce heat and this can actually start to spoil the coffee.

For home brewing we therefore recommend the non-dosing type so you can simply grind enough coffee without needing to clean out a hopper after each use.

Why should you care for and clean your grinder?

The whole reason you are grinding your own coffee is simply because you want fresh ground coffee. If you do not clean your grinder you will have remains of sale old coffee being mixed with your freshlye ground coffee and surprisingly this left over stale coffee can have an impact on the taste.

So take a moment every now and then and disassemble your grinder and get a stiff (not wire) brush and give the burr and surrounding areas a good brush out and remove all the old grinds. Too much reading on the internet might lead you to articles suggesting to grind rice in your grinder to clean out all the old grinds. NEVER use rice in your grinder, rice is actually much harder than coffee beans and grinders are simply not designed to grind rice. Grinding rice will prematurely blunt your grinder and will actually cause more mess.

Grinders have settings?

So you have your new grinder out of the box whether it be a manual or an electric there will be a way to adjust it for the type of grind you need. There will be many settings for both however lets be frank about this. There are only really 2 settings you are going to need. Fine and coarse with the exception of Turkish Coffee which you will need very fine like dust. And maybe the odd expresso machine will require a finer grind. Grinders use two main methods of adjustment – stepped and stepless. Stepped grinders normally have numbered notches for adjusting from coarse to fine while stepless grinders offer an infinite adjustment. 

Cold-brew: Coarse
French press
: Coarse
: Coarse 
: Fine
: fine
Turkish Coffee
: Extremely fine, like dust

When things go wrong Under Extracted Vs Over Extracted

What are we on about here? In simple terms if coffee is under extracted it will be weak, tasteless and too acidic – whilst on the other hand over extracted coffee will be bitter and taste a little burnt.

If the grind is too coarse for your method of brewing you will have an under-extracted brew and if the grind is too fine you will have an over extracted brew. Neither of these outcome will make for an enjoyable experience.

Need some freshly roasted coffee beans to put in your grinder check out the links to our speciality grade coffee

Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Coffee Beans

assorted fruits on person s hand

Yirgacheffe is a sub-region of Sidamo and is a specific region in its own right. The coffee beans produced from this region create a bright coffee with a fantastic aroma.

Coffee grows wild in this region with small garden farms hand picking the cherries and selling them at the local markets where they are bought and taken to the mills for processing. Once the beans are roasted they have a distinct yellow stripe.

Ethiopian Yirgercheffe is one of the most popular single origin coffees

Processing: washed

Tasting notes: sweet lemons with a floral aroma.

Altitude: 1700 to 2200

Favourite brewing methods: Cafetière, Drip, filter.

El Salvador Cerro de Ataco Coffee Beans

mountain covered with green trees

In El Salvador the coffee industry is so important it actually makes up about 90% of the regions exports. The coffee producers in this region really go the extra mile to ensure the product they are exporting is the very highest quality and screen size and thus produce a consistent and excellent coffee. 

The 100 year old local mill in Santa Ana, Benfico Las Cruces – handles all the regions coffee beans. The mill has been updated over the years and now boasts eco-friendly equipment, mechanical driers, raised African beds and patios which enable both wet and dry processing.

This coffee is grown in the volcanic mountain range of Apaneca Ilamatepec which runs through the west of El Salvador, Ahuachapán, Santa Ana, and Sonsonate regions. The volcanic, high altitude (1350-1500m), tropical conditions of this area creates a perfect environment for the coffee plants to thrive.

Cerro de Ataco actually translates to “The Attacked Hill” and in 2005 the more dominant of the 4 volcanos Ilamatepec (a.k.a Santa Ana) erupted causing devastation to the dense coffee growing region. It took around 2 years for the coffee farms in this area to fully recover.

Tasting Notes: dark nutty chocolate – think pecan pie!

Process: Washed

click below – select your options and order.

How to make drip coffee

I love fresh coffee for me it is one of the many wonders of the world.

If you have not yet tried truly fresh roasted coffee you have not tasted coffee yet!

Although a French press / cafetière will produce a wonderful cup of coffee it can be a bit hit and miss if you do not get your timing right. You also need to have a selection of french presses / cafetière’s as you need the right size for the amount of coffee you want.

Drip coffee / filter coffee is a little more forgiving.

What you need

A drip coffee machine / filter holder

The correct size filter

Medium coffee grinds

Hotter from a kettle

  1. To start you need to get some freshly roasted coffee beans.
  2. You will now need to put 12g into you burr coffee grinder and set the grind to medium.
  3. Grind your beans
  4. Now you will need to find yourself a nice cup / mug
  5. Boil the kettle and swill some hot water around your cup and discard the water.
  6. Place your coffee drip on top of your cup.
  7. Place a filter into the coffee drip.
  8. Add your medium ground coffee
  9. Add hot water – not boiling – leave boiled water to stand for 1minute before using. Pour slowly over the coffee grinds starting in the middle and swirling outwards I till all the grounds are covered with water.
  10. Let the water drip through this will take around 30secs.
  11. Once water has dripped through repeat step 9 – this time the coffee grounds will have swollen a little and it will probably take about 1 min to go through.
  12. Again wait for the water to drip through and repeat step 11 this time filling the coffee drip and leave to drip through.
  13. The whole process should take around 4mins
  14. Remove the coffee drip and discard the filter and grounds.
  15. Enjoy you drink.

Looking for some fantastic freshly roasted coffee for your drip coffee maker. Click below

Bean coffee V Ground coffee

This discussion comes down to freshness and convenience.

Once coffee beans have been ground the grinds start to oxidise which can dramatically alter and reduce the flavour.

Buying freshly roasted beans and grinding them yourself will give you the best tasting coffee.

Grinding your own beans enables you to tailor your grind to your preferred coffee making method. However you will need a coffee grinder!

If it is all about convenience and your aren’t picky then you can buy some drinkable coffee off the shelf in your local supermarket, however you need to look for the freshest grind. You will find a big difference between coffee which was ground a day or two ago and coffee that has been sitting on the supermarket shelf for months.

Freshly ground coffee beans make better coffee. – by this I mean coffee which is ground just before brewing.

All about roasting.

Once the coffee grower has harvested and processed the coffee beans they are put in sacks ready for export. These beans are green and need to be roasted before they can be used for coffee. Whilst every producer and coffee roaster will have their own unique level of roast you can generally be guided as follows.

  • Lightly roasted beans can be a little bitter and have a duller flavour they are high acidity and caffeine.
  • Medium roast beans are the most common roast and have more flavour, you can easily taste the subtle tones of the coffee. Coffee
  • Medium-dark roast beans have a lower acidity level, wonderful rich, dark flavour, sometimes an oil on the surface of the coffee, can have a bitter-sweet aftertaste.
  • Dark roasts beans are very low in acidity, taste bitter and have a full body, stronger flavour.

Click here to buy freshly roasted coffee beans

Arabica Beans V Robusta Beans

There are really only two species of coffee plants which beans are harvested from, the Coffea Arabica which produces the wonderful arabica bean and the Coffea Canephora which produces the robusta bean. The coffee been itself is the pit or stone of the coffea plant’s cherry.

Arabica beans

Due to being hard to grow, susceptible to pests and disease and needing several years to mature before it will produce cherries, Arabica coffee beans are more expensive.

The most commonly associated countries for growing aribica beans are in South America; Columbia and Brazil, However Africa also produces quite a large volume of these beans.

Robustas beans

The Coffea Cenephora plant is very hardy and can produce large volumes of cherries at a very early age. The beans are highly charged with caffine however they are harsher and a little more bitter.

Robusta beans are cheap and mostly used in supermarket brands, instant coffee and cheap coffee grounds are usually made from this bean.

In Summery

Robusta – Cheap, highly caffeinated (2x the amount of Arabica), strong flavour, bitter taste however good quality robusta can be used for espresso. Typically used in Italian blend and instant coffee.

Arabica – Delicate cup, many different subtle flavours, used for single origin and premium coffee blends – lovely drunken black.

Single Origin Coffee V Blended Coffee

What is a coffee blend? 

Blended coffee has Largely been considered an inferior drink. This is because big coffee producers try and ‘bulk’ up there coffee with cheaper and usually inferior Robusta beans. This process is common with instant coffee producers.
However there are now a number of smaller coffee roasters who blend expensive single origin coffee beans in order to enhance and create a flavour which is not possible to achieve with a single origin coffee.
The blending process can either be completed before the beans are roasted or once roasting has been completed.
Here at Yellow Mountain Coffee our signature blends have been carefully Crafted using select high quality single origin coffee beans which are blended together to create a coffee which is suitable for a variety of brewing methods.

We started off getting to know and understanding the unique flavours of some of the worlds best single origin coffee beans. We looked for the individual characteristics of each coffee and came up with a recipe to take our favourite elements from a select few coffees and blend them together to produce a full bodied, well balanced coffee.

Single origin coffee

A single origin coffee is simply a coffee produced from a single source.

Coffee Beans and their Origins

Coffee varies around the world and takes on distinct flavours depending on where it is grown, the type and variant of the bean grown and the production methods used. Below is a brief outline of the coffee producing countries, the processes they use to produce the coffee and the expected taste and aroma.


Australia is part of the new world of coffee production and is working its way through to overcome a multitude of issues that traditional origin coffee produces do not suffer from. However the full bodied beans produced are rich in flavour with smooth buttery tones.


Brazil is home to the Arabica coffee bean which produces a smooth and mild coffee with sweet nutty flavours a little acidity and is commonly used in expresso. The beans are grown high in the mountains at an altitude between 2000 and 4000 feet.


Colombia is probably the most famous growing region as it is the world’s largest producer of coffee. This is mainly due to the fantastic growing climate in Columbia where the coffee beans can be harvested all year long. The high altitude of the foothills of the Andes in Columbia provide moist soils and a temperate climate which produces a dense coffee bean resulting in a nice mild cup of coffee.

Costa Rica

Costa Rica started cultivating their Arabica beans in the late 1790s. The region has almost perfect growing conditions and the coffee produced is full flavoured with a balance of brown sugar and vanilla with hints of caramel.


The most common coffee been from Cuba is Arabica which produces a smooth, smokey, full bodied cup with a rich aroma. The natural climate and geography of Cuba is perfect for producing some of worlds the best coffee beans.  


Ethiopa is thought to be the birth place of coffee with roots going back to the 10th century. It is the origin of the arabica plant which is now grown widely across the world. Some of the most unique coffee beans come from this region. One of the oldest is the Harar bean which produces a distinct intense fruity, wine flavour with a floral aroma.

El Salvador

The coffee plantations in El Salvador are at high altitudes with mineral-rich volcanic soils. The coffee from this region matures slowly which produces a hard and dense bean with a perfect balance and sweetness. There are distinct notes of hazelnut and spice.


Gautamala enjoys very rich soils and almost perfect rainfall patterns for producing Gauatemalan hard bean coffee. This full-bodied coffee has a delicate sweetness with lingering fruit flavours.


The varied landscape of Honduras provides distinct differences in its coffee production which range from bright acidic, sweet and lightly fruited to low acidity with caramel undertones which make a delicious espresso.


Hawaii is home to the unique Kona coffee belt which is about 3000 feet above sea level on the fertile volcanic slopes. The Kona coffee beans produce a complex, well balanced, crisp and delicate cup of coffee with wonderful aromas.


Kenya is home to a number of very small plantations producing expensive and very high quality coffee beans. Kenyan coffee is probably best known for is full bodied, winey acidity with strong blackcurrant flavours.


Mexican coffee is probably best known for is nutty, dark roasts. The high altitude mountain water process produces a medium bodied, crisp, sweet coffee which is bright and clean.


The demand for coffee from Malawi has increased hugely over the last decade. The coffee produced is light with flavours of chocolate and berries and a floral aroma.


Produces a fairly typical Central American bean however the full bodied speciality coffee produced in the mountains of Nicaragua are rich in flavour with slight fruit tones.


In the grand scheme of things Peru is quite a small supplier, only accounting for around 2% of the world’s coffee production. However the high quality Arabica beans produced in this region are quickly growing in popularity. The climate in Peru is very diverse with tropical rain forests in the east and dry deserts in the west. The rich soil in Peru coupled with its equatorial climate produce a coffee bean which has a bright acidity, full bodied flavour and a smooth aroma.


The majority of Tanzania coffee is grown on the side of Mount Kilimanjaro, under the shade of banana trees, it is produced on small farms with a couple of larger plantations. The majority of coffee produced is Aribica (70%), Robusta (30%). Tanzania produces washed (wet-processed) coffee which is soft, clean and medium bodied.


Uganda is most commonly associated with Robusta bean coffee production which is used widely for instant coffee. However there is one Arabica plantation on the western slope of Mt. Elton on the Kenyan boarder. This coffee has a similar flavour to coffee produced in Kenya however it is lighter in body.

How to make Matcha Green Tea

How to make matcha tea

Before we learn how to make the perfect cup of Matcha Tea we should take a moment to discuss what Match Tea is, the origins, benefits, side effects and the rituals..

What is Matcha Green Tea?

Matcha is a Japanese green tea which has its own distinct flavour described as an equal balance between sweet and bitter.

As this tea contains the whole leaf it is proposed there are a number of additional health benefits over other green tea, with claims it has more antioxidant properties than leaf green tea. I will discuss this further a little later on.

Matcha tea is made from the Camellia sinensis plant. This is the very same plant that other green tea, black tea, oolong tea and white tea are made from. However the leaf is not steeped and strained as it is with traditional green tea. It is instead ground down into a fine powder which is consumed while enjoying your brew.

The origins of Matcha Green Tea

Matcha Tea has become the buzz word on the streets of Hollywood, New York, London and pretty much everywhere else in the world. Celebrities are drinking it by the gallon and Matcha tea shops are springing up all over town. However Matcha Green tea is not a new drink! In fact it dates back over a thousand years when the Shogun clans ruled Japan and the dynasties were controlling China.

We can probably thank Eisai, a Japanese Buddhist Monk who dedicated his life to his religion, studied Buddhism in China and loved green tea. However in 1191, Eisai returned to Japan with tea seeds and the Zen Buddhists methodology of how to prepare green tea. Eisai’s Chinese tea was considered to be of the highest grade in all of Japan. He created his tea plantation on the grounds of the temple in Kyoto the home of the Kamakura Shogun.

Tencha – growing green tea plants under shaded conditions – was later developed by the Zen Buddhists, this new way of growing green tea plants would maximise the health benefits of Matcha. To this day the plants are grown in shaded plantations.

Tea ceremonies – The Ritual of Matcha

Murata Juko a student of Zen in the 1500’s conceived the current tea ceremony. He brought together what he considered to be the best parts of the existing ceremonies. He formalised a new ritual which included the cultivation, consumption and indeed the tea ceremony itself.

However it was Zen Master Sen-no-Rikyu who developed and popularised Juko’s ceremony which is called ‘Chado’ (The Way of Tea) into four principles.

  • Harmony (wa)
  • Respect (kei)
  • Purity (sei)
  • Tranquillity (jaku)

What are the health benefits?

So a little more detail on the proposed benefits. Many claim that the antioxidant properties of Matcha tea has many other wonderful benefits. To include its ability to lower cholesterol and blood pressure, enhance mood, increase energy and even promote weight loss. However although there has been some research such as: a small pilot study published in the International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism in 2018. There is very little evidence to prove its health benefits.

Possible Side Effects

I can not discuss the benefits without balancing the argument with what some may consider side effects or negative benefits.

Lets be clear here though, Matcha is generally considered safe if used to make beverages and foods in small quantities. Matcha does contain caffeine which can cause a headache, insomnia, irritability, diarrhoea and heartburn if consumed in excess.

Green Tea may contain contaminates which have been absorbed by the plant from the surrounding soil. These could include fluoride, arsenic and lead. Matcha tea is more concentrated than green tea as the whole leaf is consumed. Therefore the government guidelines of no more than 5 cups of green tea a day should be reduced to 1 or 2 cups of Matcha.

How to make Matcha green tea

When considering how to make Matcha we need to understand that there are a number of different styles of Matcha tea. In this article we will focus on the two most common forms Koicha and Usucha.

Koicha: This is considered the formal version it is a stronger and thicker version of matcha – You must use a high quality matcha or you could end up with a bitter brew.

Equipment required

You can buy a Matcha starter kit from amazon by clicking here



  • Heat the water: Pour water into either a stove top kettle or electric kettle and bring to the boil.
  • Prepare: While your water is boiling place your sieve over your Matcha bowl, measure out 1 scoop / 2g of Matcha using the Matcha scoop, lift the sieve a little and shake the Matcha powder into the Matcha bowl.
  • Wait: Once the water has boiled you should leave it to stand for 2 minuets, ideally the water should be 80c / 180F degrees.
  • Bring together: Pour the boiled water over the powder.
  • Whisk: The mix needs a really good whisk, not round and round but in a jerky up and down ‘Z’ pattern.
  • Making it perfect: This final step is down to your own desired taste either enjoy and drink or you might prefer to add a little more water.
  • Drink: pour into a cup and enjoy!

Usucha: This is the common form of Matcha and the one you will probably be served in coffee shops all around the world. It is thinner and weaker and you can use any Matcha powder. The frothier you can make it the better.

Equipment required

You can buy a Matcha starter kit from amazon by clicking here



  • Heat the water: Pour water into either a stove top kettle or electric kettle and bring to the boil
  • Prepare: While your water is boiling place your sieve over your Matcha bowl, measure out 1 scoop / 2g of Matcha using the Matcha scoop, lift the sieve a little and shake the Matcha powder into the Matcha bowl.
  • Wait: Once the water has boiled you should leave it to stand for 2 minuets, ideally the water should be 80c / 180F degrees.
  • Bring together: Pour the boiled water over the powder
  • Whisk: This mixture requires a good whisk use the Bamboo Matcha Whisk until a thick foam floats on the top this step would usually take 20 – 30 seconds.
  • Drink: Pour into a cup and quickly consume this beverage before it begins to separate and settle.

In Summery

In my opinion Matcha can be used to make very tasty tea, smoothies, Matcha Lattes, and tasty foods however due to its concentration you should not drink too much.

I am sure that drinking green tea has the potential to enhance your health, however due to the lack of clinical trials surrounding Matcha you should take this with a pinch of salt.