Coarse Ground Coffee: Unveiling the Secrets for a Perfect Brew

coarse ground coffee

Coffee lovers understand the importance of the right grind size in achieving a perfect cup of joe. While finely ground coffee is commonly used, there’s another option that’s gaining popularity – coarse ground coffee. In this article, we’ll explore what coarse ground coffee is, why it’s worth considering, how to grind coffee beans for a coarse texture, popular brewing methods, tips for brewing, and storage recommendations. So, grab your favorite mug, and let’s dive into the world of coarse ground coffee!

Coffee enthusiasts are often in pursuit of the best possible flavor and aroma in their cup of coffee. The grind size plays a crucial role in this pursuit, as it determines the rate at which the water extracts the coffee’s flavors during brewing. Coarse ground coffee offers a unique brewing experience that sets it apart from its finely ground counterpart.

What is Coarse Ground Coffee?

Coarse ground coffee refers to coffee beans that have been ground to a larger particle size compared to fine or medium ground coffee. It has a distinct texture, similar to coarse sand or sea salt. The larger particle size allows for slower water extraction during brewing, resulting in a different flavor profile.

Types of Coffee Beans

When it comes to coarse ground coffee, it’s essential to understand the types of coffee beans that can influence the flavor and quality of your brew. In this section, we will discuss the two main types of coffee beans: Arabica and Robusta.


Arabica beans are the most popular and widely consumed coffee beans in the world, accounting for about 60% of global coffee production. These beans are known for their delicate, nuanced flavors and lower acidity. They typically have a smoother and more balanced taste compared to Robusta beans.

When selecting Arabica beans for your coarse ground coffee, consider the following characteristics:

  • Origin: Arabica beans are predominantly grown in Latin America, Africa, and the Arabian Peninsula. Each region can produce beans with unique flavor profiles, influenced by factors like altitude, climate, and soil.
  • Roast level: Arabica beans can take on different flavor profiles depending on their roast level. Light roasts usually have a brighter acidity, while medium roasts are more balanced with a hint of sweetness. Dark roasts can have bold, smoky flavors with lower acidity.
  • Processing method: The way the coffee cherry is processed can also impact the flavor of Arabica beans. Two common methods are wet (washed) processing, which results in a clean, acidic flavor, and dry (natural) processing, which creates a sweeter, fruitier taste.


Contrary to Arabica, Robusta beans are the second most popular variety, accounting for around 40% of global coffee production. Robusta beans are known for their stronger, more bitter taste and higher caffeine content. They are less refined in flavor and can produce a more robust, earthy brew.

When choosing Robusta beans for your coarse ground coffee, keep these factors in mind:

  • Origin: Robusta beans are primarily grown in Africa and Southeast Asia. Similar to Arabica, the flavor profiles can vary depending on the specific region.
  • Roast level: Robusta beans can handle a wider range of roast levels, from light to dark, with each roast producing distinct flavor characteristics. Choosing the right roast level for your preferences is key to enjoying your coarse ground coffee.
  • Blends: Sometimes Robusta beans will be blended with Arabica beans to create a more balanced flavor profile or to add an extra kick of caffeine to the coffee.

By understanding the differences between Arabica and Robusta beans, you can make informed decisions when selecting the right type of coffee bean for your coarse ground coffee needs. Remember to consider factors like origin, roast level, and processing method to find the perfect beans for your taste preferences.

Coarse Ground Coffee

Ideal Grind Size

When grinding coffee beans for a coarse grind, you should aim for a size similar to rock salt or chunky appearance. A common method is to grind the beans for 8 to 10 seconds, using short bursts of a few seconds each. A medium coarse grind can be achieved with 10 to 15 seconds of grinding, again using short bursts.

Importance of Texture

The texture of your grind plays a significant role in the extraction and flavor of your coffee. Coarser grinds have a larger surface area, which requires a longer extraction time. This results in a less bitter taste, as extra coarse grinds do not extract the more bitter compounds found in coffee beans. Your choice of grind size will directly affect the flavor profile and quality of the brewed coffee.

Brewing Methods

Several brewing methods work particularly well with coarse ground coffee, namely French press and cold brew methods.

  • French Press: The French press method involves steeping coarse ground coffee beans in hot water for 4-6 minutes before pressing down the plunger to filter and separate the coffee grounds. This method is ideal for a coarse grind since it allows for a slow, complete extraction of flavors due to its large surface area.
  • Cold Brew: Coarse ground coffee is also perfect for making cold brew coffee. In this method, the coffee grounds are steeped in cold water for an extended period (usually 12-24 hours), resulting in a lower acidity, smoother, and less bitter coffee. Since the water is cold, the extraction process is slower, and using coarse ground coffee ensures that the flavors are adequately extracted without over-extracting the bitter compounds.

Remember that the grind size and brewing method work together to provide an optimum extraction and ultimately a more enjoyable coffee experience.

Coffee Grinding Techniques

coffee beans and coarse ground coffee

When it comes to grinding coffee beans, choosing the right grinding technique is essential for creating the perfect cup. In this section, we will explore two popular grinding methods: blade grinders and burr grinders. Understanding these techniques will help you determine which one suits your needs best.

Blade Grinder

A blade grinder uses a propeller-like blade to chop up coffee beans into various sizes. To use a blade grinder, follow these steps:

  1. Measure your coffee beans: Use 1 to 2 tablespoons of coffee beans for every 6 ounces of water.
  2. Put the beans in the grinder: Place the measured beans into the grinding chamber.
  3. Grind the beans: Pulse the grinder in short bursts, ensuring an even grind. For a coarse grind, aim for 8 to 10 seconds.

While blade grinders are relatively inexpensive and easy to use, they have some drawbacks:

  • Inconsistency: Blade grinders often produce uneven grounds, which can lead to an inconsistent extraction of flavors during brewing.
  • Overheating: Prolonged grinding can heat the beans, which may alter their taste. It’s important to use short bursts to minimize this risk.

Burr Grinder

A burr grinder is a more advanced option that uses two abrasive surfaces (burrs) to crush coffee beans into a uniform size. Here’s a simple guide to using a burr grinder:

  1. Measure your coffee beans: As before, use 1 to 2 tablespoons of beans for every 6 ounces of water.
  2. Adjust the grinder settings: Set the grinder to the desired coarseness, usually the coarsest setting available for coarse ground coffee.
  3. Place the beans in the hopper: Pour the measured beans into the grinder’s hopper.
  4. Grind the beans: Start the grinder and let it run until the desired coarseness is achieved.

Burr grinders offer several advantages:

  • Consistency: These grinders produce evenly sized grounds, ensuring a better extraction of flavors during brewing.
  • Customization: Burr grinders typically have multiple settings, allowing you to easily adjust the grind size to fit your brewing method.

Keep in mind that burr grinders tend to be more expensive than blade grinders, but they offer better results for coarse ground coffee. By choosing the right grinding technique, you can improve the overall taste and experience of your favorite coffee brews.

Brewing Methods for Coarse Ground Coffee

Coarse ground coffee is best suited for methods that require an extended contact time between coffee grounds and water. In this section, we’ll explore three popular brewing techniques you can try using coarse ground coffee: French Press, Drip, and Cold Brew.

French Press

The French Press is a classic brewing method that takes full advantage of coarse ground coffee. To brew using this method, follow these steps:

  1. Heat water to 200°F (93°C).
  2. Add the desired amount of coarse ground coffee to the French Press (usually 1 to 2 tablespoons per 6 ounces of water).
  3. Pour hot water over the grounds, ensuring they are evenly saturated.
  4. Stir gently to combine.
  5. Place the lid on the French Press, but don’t press the plunger yet.
  6. Let the coffee steep for 4 minutes.
  7. Press the plunger down slowly and pour the coffee into your cup.


Although coarse ground coffee is not typically used for drip brewing, it can still produce a decent cup. If you want to experiment with this method, simply follow these steps:

  1. Measure the desired amount of coarse ground coffee (usually 1 to 2 tablespoons per 6 ounces of water) into your drip coffee maker’s filter.
  2. Fill the water reservoir with cold, filtered water according to the desired serving size.
  3. Start the brewing process and let the drip coffee maker do the rest.

Keep in mind that using coarse grounds may result in a lighter, less bold flavor compared to a medium grind typically used for drip brewing.

Cold Brew

Cold brew coffee is a popular choice for those who prefer a smoother, less acidic taste. Coarse ground coffee is ideal for this method due to the prolonged brewing time. To make cold brew coffee, follow these steps:

  1. Combine coarse ground coffee and cold, filtered water in a large container or jar (usually a 1:4 or 1:5 coffee-to-water ratio).
  2. Stir the mixture to ensure the grounds are fully saturated.
  3. Cover the container and let it steep for 12 to 24 hours at room temperature or in the refrigerator.
  4. Strain the coffee through a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth to remove the grounds.
  5. Serve the cold brew over ice, diluted with water or milk as desired.

Remember, when experimenting with these brewing methods and coarse ground coffee, feel free to adjust the coffee-to-water ratio and brewing times to suit your personal taste preferences. Enjoy!

Top Coarse Ground Coffee Brands

In this section, you’ll discover some of the top coarse ground coffee brands available on the market, perfect for your brewing methods like French press and cold brew.

Stone Street Coffee

Stone Street Coffee, known for their Strong & Smooth Blend, offers a 100% Arabica dark roast, Colombian single-origin coffee. Their coarse ground option is specifically designed for cold brewing, making it ideal for your warmer weather coffee cravings. As you explore Stone Street Coffee, you’ll appreciate the low acid levels and rich flavor it provides.

Source: “9 Best Coarse Ground Coffee Brands in 2022 – Easy To Espresso” and “10 Best Coarse Ground Coffee for Your Mornings – Brew Smartly”

Gevalia Special Reserve

Gevalia Special Reserve is another excellent option when looking for coarse ground coffee. With a range of single-origin and blended options, each sourced from various rich coffee-growing regions, you’ll find different flavors, aromas, and intensities to suit your taste. As an added benefit, Gevalia also offers decaffeinated options for those who prefer a lower caffeine content.

Primos Coffee Co.

When you want to try a brand with a focus on sustainability and environment, look no further than Primos Coffee Co. Their premium coarse ground coffee, sourced from the high-altitude regions of Nicaragua, is perfect for immersion brewing methods. Primos Coffee Co.’s products are rainforest alliance certified, ensuring an ethical and eco-friendly choice for your daily coffee fix.

New England Coffee

New England Coffee, known for its rich taste and wide variety of blends, has something to delight every coffee lover’s palate. Their coarse ground coffee options are perfect for French press and cold brew enthusiasts. As a testament to their quality, New England Coffee has been roasting coffee beans

Specialty Coffee and Certifications

Specialty coffee refers to high-quality coffee produced with utmost care, typically grown in select altitudes and climates. These plants may be nursed for years before the first harvest, and the producers consistently refine their techniques to produce the best possible coffee beans. To ensure ethical and sustainable practices in coffee production, various certifications exist. Let’s explore some of these common certifications and what they mean for your coffee experience.

Fair Trade

Fair Trade certification aims to create more equitable trading conditions for producers in developing countries. This certification ensures:

  • Fair prices paid to the farmers
  • Improved working conditions for laborers
  • Sustainable and environmentally-friendly farming practices
  • Investment in community development projects

By choosing Fair Trade coffee, you support a better life for the farming communities and contribute to sustainable coffee production.

USDA Organic

USDA Organic certification guarantees that your coffee is grown and processed without synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, or genetically modified organisms. This seal ensures that:

  • The coffee is grown using approved organic practices
  • Soil health and biodiversity are prioritized
  • Farming techniques minimize environmental impact

When you choose USDA Organic certified coffee, you contribute to the reduction of harmful chemicals and the protection of the environment.

Rainforest Alliance

Rainforest Alliance certification focuses on conserving biodiversity and promoting sustainable livelihoods for farmers. This certification ensures:

  • The conservation of ecosystems and wildlife habitats
  • Efficient water and energy use
  • Reduced waste and hazardous chemicals
  • Fair wages and working conditions

By selecting Rainforest Alliance certified coffee, you help preserve ecosystems and support the livelihood of farmers and their families.

Direct Trade

Direct Trade is a business model that emphasizes direct relationships between coffee roasters and producers. Although not a certification, Direct Trade involves:

  • Transparency and communication between producers and roasters
  • Personal visits to farms by roasters
  • Voluntary adherence to sustainable and ethical practices
  • Fair payment for the coffee beans

By choosing Direct Trade coffee, you support mutually beneficial partnerships between coffee producers and roasters, fostering ethical and sustainable practices in the industry.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I use coarse ground coffee in an espresso machine?

Coarse ground coffee is not suitable for espresso machines, as they require a fine grind size to extract flavors quickly under high pressure. Using coarse ground coffee in an espresso machine may result in weak and under-extracted shots.

Can I make iced coffee with coarse ground coffee?

Absolutely! Coarse ground coffee is an excellent choice for making iced coffee. The slow extraction process in methods like cold brew allows for a smooth and less acidic iced coffee experience.

How long does coarse ground coffee stay fresh?

When stored properly in airtight containers and away from moisture and light, coarse ground coffee can stay fresh for up to two weeks. However, for the best flavor, it’s recommended to consume it within a week of grinding.

Can I use a blade grinder for coarse ground coffee?

While a blade grinder can be used for coarse ground coffee, it may produce inconsistent particle sizes, resulting in an uneven extraction. For better control and consistency, a burr grinder is highly recommended.

Does coarse ground coffee have less caffeine?

Contrary to popular belief, the grind size of coffee does not significantly affect its caffeine content. The caffeine content remains relatively consistent regardless of the grind size. The difference in strength is mainly attributed to the extraction process and brewing method.

Alternatives to Coarse Ground Coffee

Fine Grind

Fine ground coffee is best suited for espresso machines. With a consistency similar to powdered sugar, fine grind allows water to be forcefully pushed through the grinds in just 30 seconds. To achieve optimal extraction and flavor, aim for consistency in grind size, distribution in the group handle, and correct coffee volume. If your grind is too coarse, you’ll end up with under-extracted coffee. Remember that fine grind is not suitable for longer brewing methods, as it may lead to over-extraction and bitterness.

Medium Grind

Medium ground coffee is ideal for drip coffee makers and some pour-over techniques. The texture is similar to flaky sand and results in a perfectly balanced cup of coffee when brewed correctly. To use medium grind, follow these guidelines:

  • Use a 1:15 coffee-to-water ratio (e.g., 60 grams of coffee per 900 grams of water)
  • Brew time should be within 3-4 minutes
  • Experiment with grind size to find your preference – a slightly finer or coarser medium grind may suit your taste better

Medium grind is versatile and can provide an excellent cup of coffee with a variety of brewing methods.

Extra Coarse Grind

Extra coarse ground coffee has an appearance similar to small pebbles or rock salt. It is well-suited to methods that require longer brew times, such as cold brew coffee or some immersion brewing techniques. For cold brew, consider the following:

  • Use a 1:4 coffee-to-water ratio (e.g., 100 grams of coffee per 400 grams of water)
  • Steep the grounds in cold water for a minimum of 12 hours, up to 24 hours for maximum extraction
  • Strain the coffee grounds to yield a smooth, concentrated cold brew

Extra coarse grind can provide a refreshing, less acidic alternative to your usual brewing methods during hot summer months or when you want a cold, satisfying coffee beverage.

Coarse ground coffee offers a unique brewing experience with its enhanced flavor extraction, control over brewing time, reduced bitterness, and versatility in brewing methods. By selecting the right grind size and following proper brewing techniques, you can unlock a world of rich and flavorful coffee. Experiment with different origins, roasts, and brewing methods to discover your perfect cup of coarse ground coffee. Cheers to elevating your coffee brewing journey!

For more coffee brewing tips and recommendations, check out: