Everyone knows you need great quality beans to make the perfect cup of coffee, but what about the grind? Getting it wrong can mess up an otherwise amazing cup of coffee, due mainly to the effect on the extraction time, which can change the strength and flavour of the brew.
Different grind types for different machines
Depending on what kind of coffee machine you’re using, the kind of grind you will want to use will vary. Here’s a quick run-down of which grind consistencies to use for which machines. If you stick to these guidelines you’ll be sure to get the very best out of your beans.
Extra fine – Turkish coffee (as this is unfiltered)
Fine ground – Espresso machines, stove top mokka pots
Medium ground – Pour over brewers, drip machines
Coarse ground – French press, percolator, and Chemex
Extra course ground – Cold brew coffee makers like the Toddy, or the Hario Mizudashi
Coffee grounds recycling
The UK coffee industry produces 500,000 tonnes of coffee grounds each year, most of which is just thrown in the bin and ends up in a landfill site. Professional coffee shops therefore have a duty to dispose of their grounds in the most sustainable way possible, with the added benefit of avoiding the high taxes associated with using landfills.
Thankfully, there are a number of different industrial uses for recycled coffee grounds, with companies such as bio-bean working hard to collect and redistribute the coffee waste in a way that minimises any negative environmental effects. Here’s a quick summary of the different ways coffee grounds can be reused.
Bio fuel – This is the main way large amounts of coffee grounds are recycled. The coffee grounds are used to make bio-mass pellets which are used for industrial heating purposes.
Animal feed – Coffee grounds can also be used as animal feed, which could go towards helping to make milk for your future lattes!
Fertiliser – It’s not just animals that like coffee, plants do too! Coffee makes a great fertiliser as it helps to reduce the PH levels of the soil.
Household uses for coffee grounds
Coffee shops aren’t the only ones who can recycle their coffee though; everyone can get in on the act. There are plenty of useful ways you can reuse coffee grounds around the house and get the most bang for your buck out of a bag of beans.
Compost – As with most plant based waste, coffee grounds can be thrown in with your compost to help make a great fertiliser once spring comes back around.
Cleaning – Coffee grounds are naturally abrasive, but not so much as to cause damage. They can be used for scrubbing particularly difficult pots and pans or kitchen surfaces.
Hand scrub – It may not be fairy liquid, but coffee grounds can still leave your hands nice and soft! Use alongside your hand soap to gently exfoliate your skin and keep your hands in tip top shape.
Repair furniture scratches – I’m sure all coffee enthusiasts have discovered how effective coffee can be as a dye (such as on your favourite white shirt!), so why not use this to your advantage? Rub some coffee grounds in scratches on your wooden furniture to help disguise the damage.
Keeping things simple
So now you know all about how to make sure you have the best prepared coffee grounds, and how to responsibly dispose of them when you’re done, but how can you be sure you get it right every time? The simplest way is to take the guess work out of the equation by using a coffee machine with a built in grinder that automatically produces perfectly ground coffee, making amazing tasting drinks every single time.
Easy-to-use bean to cup machines like the WMF 9000 S+, and filter coffee machines like the WMF 1200 F make creating incredible tasting drinks absolutely effortless, with no special training required. Download a brochure for more information.