What you need to know about coffee

Are you new to the world of coffee? Do you love coffee and want to know more about this delicious beverage? We all have to start somewhere and learning about ground coffee is probably the best place to start.

After all, we have all seen brewed coffee; we probably know that there is ground coffee, beans and instant coffee, but less often do we know what differentiates each of these types of coffee, apart from their form. For now, let's focus on ground coffee.

So what is ground coffee?

Ground coffee is the coffee used to prepare coffee drinks and is the result of grinding roasted coffee beans.

It is prepared by infusing ground coffee in hot water, just as tea and many other aromatic beverages are prepared. This infusion results in the popular drink we know as black coffee, red coffee (in Colombia) or, simply, coffee.

Ground coffee comes in various sizes, depending on the type of coffee you plan to brew. We'll get to this point in a bit.

For now, however, we must be clear that ground coffee and instant coffee are not the same, even though they smell and look similar. Therefore, it is a big mistake to try to prepare them in the same way.

Differences in the size of ground coffee beans

As we have already stated, ground coffee can have different sizes depending on how much the roasted coffee beans are ground.

We can speak of very finely ground, almost powdered, for preparations such as espresso or Turkish coffee, or coarsely ground, such as that used to prepare it with the French press technique.

The size depends on the method by which you prepare your coffee and always influences the final taste.

Then you have:

  • very fine, almost pulverised
  • medium-fine, which is normally found in filter coffee and Moka
  • medium size, still good for filter and Mocha
  • medium-thick, it is used for pouring
  • coarse, for French press and cold processing (long set-up times)

Is fresh coffee better than pre-ground coffee?

The answer is yes. Brewing is greatly improved when we start by grinding the beans immediately before brewing our coffee. This means that freshly ground coffee will give you a cup of coffee that will be tastier than anything you have had with the pre-ground stuff.

When we buy ground coffee, we would ideally like to know the date it was ground; however, this information is usually not found on the packaging. We can assume that the grind corresponds to the date on the packaging and go by that.

Normally, ground coffee is vacuum-packed, hermetically sealed, so that it retains most of its flavour. But beware: it loses it quickly, so you need to store it properly.

What does foam in coffee mean?

When you are served fresh coffee, foam should be produced the moment the hot water touches the ground coffee. This is caused by the release of CO2 from the small expansion of the coffee beans, which produces foam by interacting with the natural fats in the coffee. This is a good sign about the freshness of the coffee you are about to drink. 

You will be able to see this with methods such as French press or pour-over coffee, as other brewing methods will not show you the coffee itself, only the brewing.

Can I reuse ground coffee?

No, reusing ground coffee is not like reusing tea leaves. You will not get a good cup of coffee. You will get a muddy cup of brown water and you will be very disappointed with the results.

Can I reuse the ground coffee for anything?

In addition to using the leftover coffee grounds as compost or slow-release fertiliser for your plants, you can use the ground grounds to make a body scrub or mix them with some candles or handmade soaps for a pleasant scent (and dye).

Final thoughts

Ground coffee and all its forms and uses is a fundamental element that every coffee lover should know. So, now that you know what kind of coffee grind sizes there are, how they are used and even how to reuse ground coffee, you know the basics.

If what you want is to prepare yourself a good cup of coffee, in https://thelittlefarmercoffee.net/, you will find the best ground coffee, fresh and perfectly prepared; high altitude coffee from Guatemalan lands that add special flavour characteristics.

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