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The Perfect Grind

image of coffee beams

We recently received a great clarification question about selecting the grind preference:

“What grind should I use? I have a drip coffee maker.”

This is a sentiment that we get at least once per month as some customers select “ground” vs “whole bean” and are instructed to leave a grind preference in the notes. Often we get the response:


image of ground coffee

So is there a BIG difference in grind settings? Yes(ish)

We can provide grind specifications for the preferred brewing method. The grind difference is small between similar brewing methods - pour over and drip are very close to the same grind setting (unless the pour over method is Chemex). However, the difference between grinding for cold brew and for Aeropress is quite different.

Grind specification is all about extraction- using water to extract solubles from ground coffee. As a general rule of thumb, the lower the pressure, lower the temperature and longer time (ie. cold brew) the coarser you want your grind; whereas the higher the pressure, the higher temperature with lower times (like aeropress) the finer you want your grind.

overhead image of pour over coffee

At Cascadia we use a Mahlkonig VTA6 grinder that gives us 13 different grind settings. With drip being about at the middle (#7), methods such as pour over aero press and espresso (#6, #4, #2) are finer than drip. Whereas French Press, Cold Brew and Percolator (#10, #12, #13) are coarser.

We love questions at Cascadia! Don’t hesitate to reach out with your own clarification questions about anything regarding coffee. Email us any time at with your questions or feedback.

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