Since whole beans maintain their fresh taste and aroma longer than ground coffee, it is best to grind your beans just before brewing for the fullest flavor. An electric hand grinder is probably the easiest (and most commonly used) way to grind your coffee. Grind the beans in short bursts of about three to five seconds in length, so the coffee will not heat up excessively. Shake the grinder a few times during the process.
There are three basic grinds--coarse, medium, and fine. To obtain a course grind, process for five to 10 seconds. This is intended for use with percolators. For a medium grind, process 10 to 13 seconds. This is the most popular grind, used for electric drip and French press methods. A fine grind, processed 15 to 20 seconds is not used commonly in the U.S. It is used for vacuum and Neapolitan flip methods. A very fine grind, as used for espresso, will need 25 to 30 seconds of processing. Timing is important. Too fine a grind may cause the filter to clog, while too coarse a grind can weaken your coffee. Experiment until you've found what makes the perfect cup of coffee.
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