What Is the Smallest Grind You Can Use in a Paper Cone Filter Drip Coffee Maker and Still Make Great Coffee?


Many people ask the question, “What is the smallest grind you can use in a paper cone filter drip coffee maker and still make great coffee?” The answer depends on what type of machine you own. For instance, if you are brewing with a French press or an AeroPress, the answer would be different from making coffee with an espresso machine. This article will teach readers how to grind their beans correctly for all types of machines to make a great cup of coffee.

What Is Grind Size?

Grind size is the measurement of how finely ground coffee is. The smaller the grind, the shorter the brewing time because you’re using more coffee in a smaller amount of liquid. Conversely, a coarser grind will soak up more water and will take longer to brew. The grind size of your coffee is important because the over-extraction of coffee (a bitter, undesirable taste) occurs when coffee particles are left in contact with water for too long. A finer, more compact grind will soak up the water quickly, extracting all flavors and oils faster than a coarser grind.

Reasons Why Grind Size Is Important

1) The grind size is one of the most important aspects when it comes to coffee. Coffee grind size determines how quickly water is absorbed into the coffee during brewing. A finer grind means a quicker brew time.

2) A smooth, drip profile will create a better-tasting cup of coffee, with fewer tannins and more complexity. A coarser grind will absorb more water and leave more sediment in your cup than a fine grind does.

3) Most paper cone filter drip coffee makers have a removable cone filter that can be used for fine or coarse grinding. You can use the same cone for both if you like, but many people prefer to use different filters depending on their grind size preference.

4) A larger coffee grind means faster extraction and a stronger brew. On the other hand, a finer ground coffee means multiple “extractions” from the same grounds.

3 Basic Coffee Grind Sizes

1. Coarse

The first step in the process is the selection of the coarse grind size. This is done to decide how much coffee you’re going to brew and how coarse the grind will be. A coarse grind contains about 25% less coffee than a fine grind while being more concentrated than a medium grind. This will work perfectly in pour-over coffee, French press, or any other cone filter drip coffee makers.

How To Make Coarse Grind Coffee 

1. Place your coffee beans in a coffee grinder.

2. Grind the beans coarsely for 18-20 seconds. The coarser the grind, the faster it will brew (12 to 15 minutes) and the stronger and bolder your cup of coffee will be. Experiment with different grinds as well, depending on your personal preference.

3. Place the ground coffee in a filter cone or press unit along with hot water (about 180 degrees), and let it bloom before brewing.

4. Pour coffee into your favorite cup and enjoy your creation.

2. Medium

Medium Grind is for those who want a stronger coffee but are not interested in the full-bodied flavor of a coarse grind. A medium grind has approximately 10% less coffee than a fine grind and will be less concentrated than a coarse grind. 

How to Make Medium Grind

1. Dump out medium grind from your grinder into the coffee funnel. Put the lid back on and use the plunger to press down hard, breaking up any large chunks.

2. Add remaining medium-coarse grind to the top of the filter, filling it just below the rim.

3. Remove the lid from the filter basket and place it on top of the pot. If using French Press or another vessel that needs stirring, then work on it before turning on the coffee maker.

4. Turn on the coffee maker and change the settings to “brew.” When you see steam coming out of the spout, the water has reached a temperature strong enough to create delicious coffee.

5. Open your coffee maker after some minutes and place your filter basket on a heat-proof surface. Use a medium and large spoon to stir the brew regularly until the desired potency is obtained.

6. Enjoy!

3. Fine  

This type of grind is suitable for those who want a milder brew. It will have approximately 3% more coffee than a medium grind (or 10% more than a coarse grind) to make it less concentrated. The fine grind will be very close to the fine coffee powder but it will still have a coarser texture.

How To Make Fine Grind Coffee 

1. Ground the coffee.

2. Place a filter in the pot. Add water so that its level reaches about an inch above the top of the filter (it does not have to be exact) and ensure that your coffee grinds are well mixed with the water. 

3. Proceed with brewing as you normally would (i.e., rinse, boil, etc.). 

4. Add your coffee concentrate to the water by tipping the carafe.

5. Once your coffee has brewed, allow it to cool for a few minutes and remove your brew basket from your carafe. Discard it before you pour out coffee into any serving vessels (such as mugs or pitchers).

Other Sizes of Coffee Grinds

There are four other sizes of coffee grinds. 

1) Extra Coarse Grind

The extra coarse grind is more expensive but it’s perfect for brew pots with a filter basket. They are meant to be brewed in a French press. A good way to use this grind size is to make a mixture of coarse and medium grinds.

2) Medium-Coarse Grind

The medium-coarse grind is the most common of all types. This is the optimum size for making drip coffee and a fine choice for any best coffee maker. You can also use this size for a French press but it won’t work well with a metal filter.

3) Medium-Fine Grind

The medium-fine grind is the most versatile. You can use this grind for drip coffee or in a French press. Many people choose to use this for single-serve brewing. The medium-fine grind is the most popular size of ground coffee that you can buy at any grocery store.

4) Extra-Fine Grind

The extra-fine grind is best for French press brewing. It’s also a good choice for making Turkish or Italian-style coffee. Many people also use it for a single-serve machine.

How Finely Ground Coffee Do I Need for My Drip Coffee Maker?

When you’re making pour-over coffee, the grind should be very fine. Depending on the brewer you’re using, the size reduction criteria should lie between sand and flour. If it’s too coarse, your brew will be of moderate quality. If it’s too fine, your brew will taste bitter. We recommend using a 1:1 ratio of coffee grounds to water.

Smallest Coffee Grind Size in Drip Coffee Maker

In our opinion, the smallest coffee grind size for drip coffee is probably the French press or an AeroPress. In these two brewing methods, the grounds are added in hot water and saturated with flavor and aroma. If you’re going to use the AeroPress in combination with a filter, we recommend you to go with the 1:1 ratio. This will work perfectly when making extracts in the AeroPress or using it as an alternative to an Espresso machine.

How Long to Grind

It’s important not to grind for too long because this will result in a coffee that will taste different from a normal one. In general, we only recommend grinding for a couple of minutes. Depending on the kind of grind you are using and your brewing method, you might want to go up to two minutes. If you are grinding for longer than that, it’s better to use pre-ground beans. To be on the safe side, use an automatic grinder or at least a manual one.

Methods to Grind the Coffee Beans

Method 1: Burr Grinder

A burr grinder will give you the consistency you can count on. The fineness of the burrs determines the grind size. The more space between the burrs, the coarser your coffee will be. Grind enough so that you can press your finger into the coffee and leave a slight indentation. After you’ve grounded the coffee, let it sit for 60 seconds.

Method 2: Blade Grinder

Like those made by Baratza, blade grinders are considered stable because they use conical-shaped blades instead of burrs for grinding. These have a ceramic burr chamber which is effectively grounded by the conical-shaped blade. The consistency of the grind is determined by how quickly the blade moves and how sharp the blades are.

Method 3: Manual/Electric Burr Grinder

These are very popular but usually don’t produce consistent results. As the blade turns and spins around, it will grab the coffee beans and pull them towards the center of the grinder. Manual or electric burr grinders are slimmer than blade grinders.

However, they have some limitations. While they’re great tools for grinding, a coffee grinder cannot be used with filters or press pots because it will make a mess of things. Manual, electric burr grinders are great to use with flat bottomed coffee makers and French presses. 

Method 4: Hand Grinder

Hand grinders, like the Hario Skerton, are made for Espresso coffee. It’s similar to a burr grinder but contains metal cones instead of burrs. The metal cone is capable of grinding small amounts of coffee in quick time. This is one of the best tools you can own if you’re going to use it occasionally. 

Brewer Pairings With Specific Grind Size

French Press Grind Size: Coarse

Coarse grind size is perfect to use with a French press. The grounds need to be large enough for the French press as it uses a mesh filter. 

Cold Brew Coffee Grind Size: Medium to Coarse

Cold brew coffee is a popular way to make coffee at home. The idea behind it is to brew a batch of coffee and drink it with the ice. You can make cold brew coffee with any grind size, but we recommend using the coarse grind for large batches and the medium-fine for single-cup servings.

Pour Over Grind Size: Medium-Fine to Medium-Coarse

Pour over is a great way to make coffee. The conical shape of the dripper and the layers of fine mesh metal helps to create a uniform brew. Simply put the coffee into the cone, pour hot water over it and let it steep. Once the coffee is steeped, pour the coffee back out onto a tray or into a mug. The amount of water you use will determine how fine or dense your brew is.

Turkish Coffee Grind Size: Medium-Fine to Coarse

Turkish Coffee is like an Espresso shot in a cup. It was invented by Turkish people and has become very popular in Europe and the Middle East. It’s made with a special “tray,” and a coarser grind works well for it.

Aeropress Grind Size: Medium-Fine to Coarse

The AeroPress is a convenient way to make a nice cup of coffee. It uses a paper filter for the grounds that require a medium-fine to coarse grind. 

Vacuum Pot Grind Size: Medium to Coarse

The Vacuum Pot uses water that has been heated up and pressurized for a quicker brewing process. It requires a medium-fine to coarse grind and works well when paired with an Eastern or Western press.

Moka Pot Coffee Grind Size: Fine

The Moka Pot is a tightly sealed earthenware pot with a bottom chamber that connects to a filter. It makes a highly dense cup of coffee. We recommend using the fine grind size for this method if you’re going to use an Aeropress or French Press.

Espresso Grind Size: Super-Fine

Espresso is the king of coffee and is very popular throughout the world, especially in Italy. It’s made with a specific super-fine grinder similar to the hand grinder mentioned above.

What Is a Paper Cone Filter?

A paper cone coffee filter is a type of filter that is used when making coffee. It’s very similar to a metal mesh filter but it’s made out of paper. The paper used to make these filters is very thin and porous enough to allow the water to pass quickly. Unlike the metal mesh filters, it is compatible with many different types and sizes of machines.


1) Paper filters are easy to work with and clean. They don’t require any special adapters to fit into the machine. The filters let water pass through them quickly.

2) Paper filters are inexpensive and can easily be replaced. 

3) These filters are ideal for all kinds of coffee grind sizes.

4) Paper coffee filters don’t allow any coffee oils or grounds to go through.

When using paper filters, put a single hole in the center of the filter and hang it over the pot of freshly ground coffee. The water will pass through the filter and drip into the pot below. It’s a very simple way to ensure that every drop of coffee gets filtered out as needed.

How to Use the Paper Cone Filter?

To make Espresso, you are going to remove the filter and place it on a flat surface. Over the filter, pour a small amount of water and wait for the filter to absorb all of it before making your Espresso. When you’re ready to make your first shot, push down on the filter. 

One important thing is to look at the filter and see if there are any visible holes. If there are, use a toothpick or another small piece of wood to poke through it to keep away bigger-sized grounds. 

Coffee Grinding Tips for Best Results

1) Use a burr grinder if you have one. This is especially a great option if you’re going to use coffee beans once in a while. 

2) A more traditional grinding method uses a combination of a metal mesh filter and a grinder. This way, you can use a medium to coarse grind size.

3) If your grinder doesn’t have metal mesh, you can still get a good cup of coffee. All you need to do is use the coarse grind size and grind your beans with an automated machine.

4) Some grinders have a self-cleaning feature that will keep your grinder working properly for years. The self-cleaning feature also makes it easy to monitor the size of the particles in the beans if they’re getting too fine.

5) If you’re using a burr grinder, it’s important to remember that the burrs need to be cleaned occasionally. You can clean them very easily with an old toothbrush and some water. To makes things simple, take the grinder apart and wash the pieces separately.

6) When grinding coffee beans, dispose of the leftover beans from the machine.

7) Some people like to add sugar to their coffee but if you’re trying to get more health-conscious, we recommend using organic sugar or a natural alternative.

Final Words

There is a high volume of information present on the Internet for grinding coffee and brewing methods. Hope this article has provided you with ample knowledge about the details of coffee making and its accessories. 


Q: Does coffee taste better when it’s ground fresh?

A: Yes, fresh ground coffee is a lot better for you and has a much better taste. It also helps to make your coffee stay fresh for long periods of time as the flavor does not degrade quickly. With time, it will become stale and lose its flavor.

Q: Why is it essential to grind coffee accurately?

A: The right grind size is crucial to making the perfect cup and achieving a satisfactory taste. Grinding coffee beans that are too large can cause the water not to filter properly. On the other hand, grinding coffee beans that are too fine will result in a lot of sediment when you pour your coffee out.

Q: How do you know when the coffee is grounded?

A: Try crushing some beans in your hands before grinding them. This way you will have a better idea of how they should look like after grinding. It is important to note that excessively fine coffee grounds can clog some grinders.

Q. Does coffee taste bitter if it has been stored in the refrigerator?

A: Keeping the coffee in the fridge can, at times, cause some of the subtle flavors to wither away. If you want to store it in the refrigerator, ensure that you take it out a few hours before serving to give it time to reach room temperature.

Q. How do I keep coffee fresh for a long time?

A: The best way to preserve coffee is to keep it in its original packaging and a dry place. If you don’t have storage space, you can also store it in an airtight canister. This will prevent any moisture from getting into the container, thus ensuring freshness.