Coarse Ground Coffee: Everything You Need to Know

Did you know your coffee grind size will affect the taste of your coffee? We review the different types of coarse grinds including the best way to brew them.

It is no secret that the quality of your coffee beans can affect the quality of your drink. However, did you know that the grind size of your coffee also plays a key role in making the perfect cup?

In coffee culture you will hear a lot of talk about using a specific type of grind for different types of drinks. Don’t worry if you aren’t well versed in this topic. 

The truth is there is not a lot of information available today that really explains everything you need to know about coffee grind size and when to use it. Don’t worry, that is what we are here for!

Ready to brew now? Check out our list of best coarse pre-ground coffee:

1. Stone Street Cold Brew Reserve Colombian  (Top Pick)
2. Cafe du Monde Chicory Coffee
3. Primos French Press Specialty
4. Bizzy Organic Sweet and Smooth Cold Brew
5. Stone Cold Jo Cold Brew Blend

Today we explore a very popular grind size, coarse ground coffee. We will explain everything you need to know about coarse ground coffee including what it is, when to use it and what drinks to use it with. Read on to learn more!

What is Coarse Ground Coffee?

Coarseness of coffee is another way of referring to the size of the coffee bean once it has been ground. A very coarse grind will result in beans that are in large chunks whereas a fine grind will have a salt like look and texture.

Before we can get into the basics of ground coffee it is important you understand the concept of extraction. 

Coffee extraction occurs while preparing coffee beans. It involves the process of using water to dissolve the compounds in the coffee beans while extracting the flavor of the bean. 

How much flavor you are able to extract out of the coffee bean is dependent on several variables including quantity of coffee, duration of brewing as well as grind size. 

One easy concept to understand about grind size is that fine grinds result in a quick extraction time whereas coarse grinds result in a slow extraction time.

When brewing with a coarse ground coffee the hot water will bind to the outside of each individual grind, slowly penetrating the center of each grind which absorbs the flavor of the bean. Because the coffee is larger, it will take longer for the water to penetrate the bean.

In comparison, when brewing with a fine grind coffee the hot water binds to the outside of the individual grind. Because the grind is smaller it takes much less time for the water to penetrate and can extract the flavor much more quickly. 

Coffee Extraction Factors

Coffee being extracted into a cup.
Pressure and grind size are two variables that have a big impact on the taste of your coffee.

There are two key factors that will affect the extraction of your coffee and also greatly influence the final taste you will find in your cup.

The first factor is pressure. Pressure is measured by how much force is used to push water through the coffee beans. For example, when brewing with a 9 bar pressure espresso machine a lot of pressure is used to push water through the portafilter. 

In comparison, when brewing with a french press you will use much less pressure than your best espresso machine. 

You can observe how pressure affects the drink in your cup simply by comparing the drinks that result from brewing with an espresso machine versus a french press.  The very different flavors of each resulting drink is a great example of how pressure affects your drink. 

The other huge factor in extraction is the grind size of your coffee because the size of your grind will directly affect how slowly or quickly the water will pass through the coffee. This speed is what affects the taste of the coffee that is brewed.

Pressure and grind size are essentials to the coffee extraction process, you can’t have a cup of coffee without them!

Brewing With Coarse Coffee

French press using coffee grinds to make a cup of coffee.
Coarse coffee pairs well with many drink types. We review popular brewing methods to make your perfect cup.

Coarse coffee is recommended for two popular manual brewing methods, the French Press and Cold Brew. There are also less popular methods of brewing such as using a percolator or making cowboy coffee that also use coarse ground coffee. 

What all these drink types have in common is that they can utilize the Immersion Method of brewing, which is the process of placing coffee grounds in water and letting them steep. 

A little more about each brewing method below:

French Press Coffee

The French Press, a manual brewing method, results in a full-bodied, highly aromatic cup of coffee. To use the French Press you measure the ingredients, grind the coffee, time the brew and press the plunger. 

Fine to medium ground coffee will be problematic when using a French Press. This is because smaller grounds will get lodged in the French Press’s fine mesh filter and also can slip through it resulting in a lot of coffee grounds in your cup. 

A coarse ground is ideal for this brewing method as it will not clog or pass through the filter and will result in a robust and delicious cup of coffee that is mostly free of coffee grounds!

Cold Brew Coffee

Cold brew is arguably one of the most popular coffee drinks in the world. 

Much like the french press, when making cold brew coffee, coarse ground coffee is ideal. Fine to medium ground coffee can cause little particles to slip through the filter and into your cup.  

This results in a drink with a grainy texture, which does not appeal to many. To avoid the feel of a sandy cup, be sure to use a coarse ground coffee.


A coffee percolator is a pot used to brew coffee grounds by cycling boiling water through coffee grounds. Coffee percolators are typically placed on a heat source, such as a stove or fire. There are also electric percolators that self heat. 

Because water filters through the percolator repeatedly, it is recommended that medium-coarse grounds are used. If you use a smaller grind the beans can become over-extracted resulting in a very bitter cup. Also, if your grinds are too fine you can end up with a grainy cup. 

Cowboy Coffee

Cowboy Coffee is a traditional coffee drink that has been given its name from cowboys who brew it while on the trail. It is brewed using coarse grounds that are heated with water. 

Many opt to use this method when enjoying the great outdoors and don’t have access to electricity. The coarse grounds are important for this brewing method because they need to be able to sink to the bottom of your pot before you pour yourself a cup.

Types of Coarse Grinds

Different types of coarse coffee grinds.
A coarse grind can come ground in different densities.

Coarse ground coffee will have a more noticeable color variation than a fine ground coffee. You can recognize an extra coarse ground coffee being that it will have chunky pieces of ground coffee bean that are easy to locate and pick up.

Fine ground coffee grinds will have a smooth look and feel, and would be similar to trying to pick up sand. As you know, picking up just one grain of sand would take a lot of effort!

The most popular types of coarse coffee grinds are noted below:

Extra Coarse Grounds

Will have the appearance of peppercorns. This grind is perfect for immersion methods that require the coffee grounds to soak in water for a long period of time.

Coarse Grounds

Coarse ground coffee will look like sea salt. This grind size is recommended for brewing with a french press.

Medium Coarse Grounds

This type of grind will have the appearance like sand. This method is a good fit when using a percolator or for making cowboy coffee.

Other Types of Grinds

Medium Grounds

This grind will have the consistency of kosher salt. This is an optimal grind option when brewing drip coffee.

Medium Fine Grounds

You will find this grind to be slightly bigger than table salt. This is a great option for pour over brewing methods.

Fine Grounds

Fine grounds will be finer than table salt. This grind is ideal for brewing espresso. If you are looking for simple way to brew perfect espresso we highly recommend you check out Nespresso’s top brewing models.

Super Fine Grounds

Will resemble powdered sugar in texture. This type of grind is not used as much as other options, but is the grind of choice for Turkish coffee.

How to Get Coarse Ground Coffee

There are two ways to achieve coarse ground coffee. You can opt to purchase pre-ground coffee or you can grind the coffee beans yourself. 

Before you can decide which method is best for you, there are a few things you need to know about each option:

Purchasing Pre-Ground Coffee

Pre-ground coffee is a great option for those who are always pressed for time and simply don’t have the bandwidth to manually grind coffee at home. Pre-ground coffee is convenient, but will almost always be more expensive than grinding your own beans. For many the cost is worth the convenience. 

Finding a quality pre-ground coffee option can require a little bit of trial and error. Luckily Cozy has had the chance to filter through many of the options available today and have come up with our recommendations of best pre-ground coarse coffee:

Stone Street Cold Brew Reserve Colombian (Top Choice)

This small-batch US based roaster makes the perfect blend of coarse ground 100% Columbian Supremo coffee beans that are bold and smooth. This option is designed for optimal cold brew extraction.  This brew is also great in a French Press.

Cafe du Monde Chicory Coffee

The bright yellow can and aromatic combination of coffee and chicory will have you dreaming about Cafe Au Laite and Beignets. This original french market stand coffee hails from the infamous New Orleans restaurant Cafe Du Monde. This coarse coffee is absolutely delicious when combined with hot milk and sugar. 

Primos French Press Specialty

Primos is made from premium arabica beans that have been selected from a fourth generation family farm. This brew has a medium body, smooth and citrusy flavor. It is medium roasted giving you a lighter coarse ground option for your cold brew and french press drinks. 

Bizzy Organic Sweet and Smooth Cold Brew

This coarse ground coffee has been made specifically for cold brewing and will give you an extra smooth brew. This brew is both smooth and sweet, made from medium roast Arabica beans. You can expect notes of hazelnut and caramel. Each bag is 100% organic and ethically sourced. 

Stone Cold Jo Cold Brew Blend

Each bag of this fresh roasted organic coffee is hand-crafted by specialty coffee roasters. This blend is smooth and dark featuring hints of chocolate and caramel. This blend is sourced from specialty grade organic arabica raw coffee, a difference you can truly taste!

There are several different grind and brew coffee makers on the market today that simplify the grinding and brewing experience by performing both functions in one machine. 

Grinding Your Coffee At Home

Coffee grinder grinding coffee beans.
Grinding coffee at home before brewing is the optimal way to extract the freshest flavor from your coffee beans. 

To create a coarse grind it is recommended you utilize a burr grinder over a blade grinder. A burr grinder will allow you to create an even grind that is necessary for evenly extracting your coffee beans.

A blade grinder simply won’t allow you to get the consistent grind you need to brew the perfect cup.

If you are in the market for a highly rated burr coffee grinder, we recommend either the JavaPresse Manual coffee grinder or the Capresso 560 Infinity Conical grinder.

Burr vs. Blade Grinder

The majority of grinders will come with either a burr or blade option.

Blade grinders are designed with rotating blades that slice the coffee beans into grounds. They work by using two blades, similar to what you would find on a food processor, to ding the beans as they are rotating around versus actually grinding them. 

Typically you will find the blades located close to the bottom of the grinder. To use, you simply pour the coffee beans into the grinder, place the lid back on and then grind. 

The rule of thumb when it comes to grinding is that the longer that you grind, the finer the coffee will be.

Critics say that blade grinders will generate more heat than burrs, which can damage your coffee beans. They’re also less consistent than burr grinders as they slice rather than crush making an even coarse grind harder to achieve. 

Burr grinders are known for being much more precise. Burr grinders work by rubbing coffee beans between burrs that are either cone shaped or flat. The burrs slowly work to grind the beans into even pieces. 

Burr grinders produce a consistent and even grind, which is one of the key factors in making good quality coffee. Due to the higher quality grind burr grinders produce, they are typically more expensive than blade grinders.

There are several different types of burr grinders available on the market today:

Flat Burrs vs Conical Burrs 

One differentiating factor can be whether the grinder is designed with flat burrs or conical burrs. Both flat and conical burr grinders grind coffee beans in a similar manner using a serrated ring that moves against another ring that has jagged edges or teeth. 

As coffee beans fall between the two rings, they are ground to a consistent size.

Flat burrs are designed with two discs with angled teeth that lie flat on each other that are horizontally aligned. 

Conical burrs grind vertically with one burr sitting inside the other that has small angled teeth. 

Both types of grinders will provide you with uniformly ground coffee, as long as you opt for a good quality model. 

Steel Burrs versus Ceramic

Burr grinders are typically made from steel or ceramic. Steel burrs are engineered to produce an even grind. Ceramic burrs are also a durable choice, typically recommended for coffee blends as well as espresso.

Both steel or ceramic will provide you with quality ground coffee. 

Electric versus Manual Burr Grinders

Electric grinders are very convenient in that they provide you with ground coffee at the simple push of a button.

Manual grinders require much more effort and muscle. Typically manual grinders are operated by turning a crank over and over eventually resulting in ground coffee. 

Manual grinders do typically produce a similar quality grind when compared to electric models but do require a bit more sweat equity.

Cozy’s Conclusion

Grind size of your coffee beans will significantly impact the flavor and texture of your coffee. Coarse ground coffee is recommended for many popular drinks that use immersion brewing methods such as the French Press and Cold Brew. 

There are many convenient pre-ground coarse coffee options on the market today. You also can opt to brew as freshly as possible by grinding your coffee beans in a burr grinder.

Whether you are enjoying a cowboy coffee or a cold brew, we hope it makes your taste buds happy! 


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