If you’ve read much about trifecta brewing on our site you’ve probably seen that we recommend a consistent grind size when developing recipes for new coffees. This was difficult for me since I came from an espresso saturated background where grind size was a primary changeable factor. However, when it comes to trifecta brewing there are so many variables that I quickly found leaving grind size out of the variable list is a good thing. When you first start developing recipes on your trifecta you will need to do some experimenting to determine the grind size you want to become your own standard. This is heavily based on each users own preference and desired full cup profile. A good starting point is somewhere around a drip or medium grind. Now on to why it should remain constant.
Take a moment and consider all the brewing shifts that happen when you manipulate grind size. In case you didn’t think of anything right off here are a few: If decreasing grind size your extraction rate will increase and you will need less ‘extraction time’ as well as a shorter ‘fill pause’ time. The slurry will need less ‘turbulence on’ time and less ‘turbulence power’ if particles are smaller. And finally, you may have a longer ‘press out time’ and possibly even need more ‘press out power’ to overcome the difference in size. If you choose a larger particle size the opposite becomes true for each of these variables. Basically if grind is changed everything about the brew process is shifted to another set of recipe variables. On the flip side, each trifecta recipe variable has a large range from low to high that can effect change on the full cup. With trifecta variables you can make these changes in small steps or large leaps. Grind size is always a large leap and you may miss out on some nuances within your coffee when changing the grind instead of another variable.
As mentioned above, a medium or drip grind is a good place to start your exploration. By starting with a grind that is neither too coarse nor too fine you have a lot of room for change within the trifecta recipe variables. Our experimentation has shown that a full cup develops better and stays more pleasant as it cools when using a medium grind. We have also found that it is easier to extract nuances and make changes in small steps with a medium particle size.
Now we want to hear from you! What grind size are you typically using and what determines your grind size?
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