A guide to grinding your own coffee

26 May 2021


We promise you — grinding your own coffee is one hundred per cent worth the effort!

At Hotel Chocolat, we treat the process of making a cup of coffee with care. For us, coffee-making is more than just pouring boiled water over powder. That’s why we took the time to find the right coffee bean, perfect for roasting. Our coffee uses beans carefully selected from around the globe to ensure each sip is packed with rich, satisfying flavour. We sell our new coffee range in perfectly-sealed pods for your coffee machine and freshly roasted beans for use with a coffee grinder.

This is because it’s the best way to enjoy your coffee at its freshest. Once you open a pack of pre-ground coffee, it can lose its potency fairly quickly. Grinding your coffee fresh for each new cup means you can create a bean to cup experience in your own home. You’ll taste the difference, we promise. 

Use a coffee grinder to prepare fresh beans

Why should you grind your own coffee?

Although grinding your own coffee might seem like a big of a faff, there are certain benefits to it. After all, a little bit of labour tends to make everything just that little bit sweeter. For those who want to know the secret behind how to make the best coffee at home, you may find that the answer lies in what you do to the beans before you’ve even begun to make your cuppa. 

One of the reasons for this is you get to enjoy a fresher flavour. As a rough estimate, whole coffee beans taste best 30 days after they are roasted. Pre-ground coffee might mean that your coffee has been sitting around for longer than you would like. Whilst this doesn’t ruin the flavour, you’re less likely to get the full-bodied flavour of a fresh roast.

And, as soon as coffee beans are ground, the time in which it takes your coffee to go stale quickly accelerates. Once the coffee beans have been broken up and exposed to the surrounding air they begin to oxidise. This is why many people opt for a coffee grinder: grinding your own coffee means that you will always be able to enjoy a fresh roast that hasn’t lost any of its original, nuanced flavours.

Another argument in favour of using a coffee grinder is that it gives you more room to experiment. Everyone has a preferred method to make their coffee, and a grinder helps you find the right grind size for your machine.

What type of coffee grinder should I get?

Deciding on a coffee grinder is a personal choice. However, we’d recommend ensuring yours allows you to change the coarseness of the beans. This is especially important if you like to prepare your coffee in different ways.

Burr coffee grinder

A burr coffee grinder works by revolving two burrs in parallel to each other to grind up the coffee beans. In fact, it’s a very similar system to your pepper grinder! The beans are crushed between a stagnant surface and a moving grinder wheel, a few beans at a time. A burr grinder is a great choice as it ensures you get a consistent, even grind.

Although it might take a little longer, we recommend getting a burr grinder that grinds quite slowly. Otherwise it can heat up the beans and affect the final flavour.

Blade coffee grinder

A blade grinder works similarly to a spice grinder. There are two blades that spin extremely fast and break down the coffee beans. They’re usually cheaper than a burr grinder. Although they’ll give you nice, fresh beans, one issue with them is that they give you a variable grind size. A mixture of powder-fine and coarse beans could cause problems with certain machines such as Aeropress.

Electric coffee grinder

Electric grinders are convenient and quick. For those who like to enjoy a speedy cup of coffee in the morning then you may find that an electric grinder — either burr or blade — is the better option for you. You may want to bear in mind that only high-end grinders are able to achieve an espresso grind size.

Manual coffee grinder

Despite the fact that they don’t require any electricity — simply manpower — manual coffee grinders are able to achieve a surprisingly uniform grind. A manual coffee grinder can achieve an even grind for most grind types, from cafetiere to espresso, although it’s less suited to micro-adjustments.

Because a manual coffee grinder is a fairly simple machine, it’s durable and easy to clean. This means you gain a reliable grinder that you can take with you anywhere. No electricity is required: grind your own beans on a camping trip, or make a fresh cuppa by the beach.

Although grinding for one is pretty quick and easy, it might become more complicated if you need to make a big batch of coffee for everyone. This is because manual coffee grinders aren’t designed to grind a huge amount of beans at once. That being said, it’s an incredibly reliable and durable option, giving you an even blend for a full-bodied and balanced flavour. 

How fine should I grind my coffee?

Extra fine

Extra fine coffee is the finest setting you can go. You typically use this type of grind for Espresso or Turkish coffee. Because Turkish coffee involves drinking unfiltered coffee which includes the grounds, you’ll want to go as fine as possible. The consistency to aim for is a powdered, loose texture that resembles flour.


This option is slightly coarser than the above option, but it is still fairly fine. Expect something that is finer than salt, but with a slight grainy texture. We suggest pairing with a device that requires a quick brew time, such as an Aeropress.


Medium tends to be the standard option for most-pre ground coffee. This type of grind lends itself well to a French press. If you’re after a simple Americano then a medium blend is the best option.

Medium coarse

In a medium coarse grind you’ll find that your coffee has thicker chunks in it that resemble a coffee bean. Your coffee blend may resemble coarse sand. Again, a French Press lends itself well to this type of grind.


Unsurprisingly, a coarse grind is the coarsest grind size and it bears the closest resemblance to sea salt. This grind is used for brewing methods which require long contact time between the bean and water, meaning it’s a good choice for making cold brew. 

Where to start?

Home-ground coffee beans have many perks. They allow you to enjoy the coffee at its freshest so you can take in all the nuanced flavour of the bean. Don’t worry if you can’t get through all your coffee quickly: we’ve put together a guide to help you store your coffee to keep it as fresh as possible.

Another way to enjoy fresh coffee is to keep a box of coffee pods at the ready.  Our coffee blend keeps all the delicate flavours and aromas of coffee concealed, meaning you can enjoy the perfect cuppa in a matter of minutes.