Many coffee lovers want to make sure they’re doing everything they can for the most delicious cup.
However, something not many people think about is the problem of fines.
This little bits can cause problems with the resulting flavor of some coffee beverages.
As a result, they are something worth paying attention to, especially if you grind your own beans!
To help you gain a better understanding of what fines are and how they’re a problem, we’re going to take a deeper look at them and how to avoid the issues they cause.
So read on, learn and enjoy!
What Are Coffee Fines?
When you grind your own coffee beans, you generally are aiming for a certain level of coarseness.
From coarse to fine, this texture can greatly effect the resulting brew.
As a result, it’s important to make sure that the level of coarseness you choose matches the type of coffee you want to make.
For example, fine or very fine grounds can work well in espresso whereas coarse grounds work well for French press brews.
Generally speaking, you want all the resulting grounds to be the same size.
However, some grinders may not create the most uniform grounds.
As a result, you can end up with fines, or pieces that are much more fine than the rest of the grounds.
Why Should I Remove Them?
When you’re brewing a type of coffee that doesn’t require fine grounds, this can become a problem.
Most coffee lovers are aware that the size of the grounds effects the extraction that is able to occur.
Consequently, if you leave those fine pieces in the grounds, they run the risk of over-extraction.
This can add a burnt taste to the coffee overall, which brings down your ability to enjoy it.
To avoid that issue, there are many who seek to find ways to get those fines out.
The good news is, there are ways to avoid this issue as well as remove fines that are already in the grounds.
Ways To Avoid Fines
There are methods you can use to avoid fines in your grounds, or at least decrease how often they show up.
Depending on your unique situation, you might find that some methods work better than others.
Consequently, it’s definitely worthwhile to try them all out and find the ones that work best for you.
They should help greatly to keep your coffee tasting great with just a little bit of added work.
Use a Lighter Roast
You might find yourself wondering why the roast matters when it comes to producing fines.
It’s important to keep a mind that darker roasts have been roasted for longer.
This results not only in a lower caffeine content but also a body that is more brittle.
Because of that, they are more likely to result in some fines when you ground them.
Lighter roasts aren’t so brittle, so they won’t be as likely to create fines.
You will want to keep in mind that light roasts can pack more of a caffeine punch as well.
Don’t expect to be able to down them as easily as you might with a dark roasts and not get the jitters!
Create Grinds That Are More Coarse
The less you grind up your beans, the less likely you’ll end up getting fines.
This piece of advice tends to work better for those who like coffee brews that don’t require grounds that are very fine.
It might be trickier if you aren’t keen on French press coffee.
However, it can be worth experimenting with coarser grounds to see if you can improve the kinds of coffee you like.
Otherwise, you can choose to go in the opposite direction and stick to coffee types that need very find grounds overall so they’ll all be extracted evenly.
It’s really up to you!
Pay Attention to Burrs
Another aspect to pay close attention to is your grinder.
This is especially true for the burrs that the grinder uses to grind up your beans.
Firstly, you’ll want them to be sharp, as that way they’ll be able to work more efficiently.
In addition, making sure they are aligned correctly can help the grinder to create grounds that are more evenly-made.
It’s also important to keep in mind that a lower quality grinder may not be able to create as uniform grounds.
So if you’re using a cheap model, it might be worthwhile to consider a higher-quality option.
The good news is, there are a lot of great grinder options out there.
Whether you prefer burr grinders, blade grinders or manual grinders there are plenty of options out there.
It’s worth taking a close look into all of them to get an idea of what they can offer.
That’s especially true if you don’t have a lot of experience with using a coffee bean grinder.
It’s worth noting that grinding fresh beans can really add a lot to the flavor of your coffee.
Just make sure you have a way to get those fines out!
Methods to Remove Fines
For the most part, methods for removing fines that have already made their way into your grounds are experimental.
In most cases, people choose to try to prevent the occurrence of fines altogether.
However, it is important to know how to get them out if you find your grounds are less uniform than you wanted!
Sift Them Out
Most who try to get fines out of their coffee grounds make attempts to sift them out.
Some may try using sugar sifters while others while others try out specially made filters that can keep fines out of French press beverages.
As of yet, there doesn’t appear to be a one-size-fits-all option, but that doesn’t mean you won’t find something to get the job done!
You can also try out using a sieve.
There are really plenty of methods out there you can try out, so make sure to give them a shot if you’re concerned about fines.
Are Fines Ever Okay?
There are some cases in which fines are less of a problem.
Generally speaking, this occurs when making espresso, as the extraction periods are much shorter and quicker.
As a result, having a few fines can actually improve the resulting espresso shot.
However, there is a ratio of fines to other grounds that proves to create the ideal results.
Not many people know the exact ratio, as it can vary from person to person.
So If you’re a fan of espresso you can feel free to play around with allowing a certain amount of fines in your grounds for brewing.
Overall, it’s generally a better idea to try to prevent fines from occurring rather than trying to get them out after your beans have already been ground up.
There are a number of things to can do for this, such as looking into a higher-end grinder.
You can also ensure your burrs or blades are sharpened and well aligned.
If that isn’t an option, you can try out some of the methods listed here for sifting fines out.
Another option you have is to try experimenting with the fines and other grounds in espresso!
With a little trials and error, you’ll surely get the results you need.