How Long to Grind Coffee Beans

Grinding coffee at home is an essential part of the daily ritual for most caffeine lovers. And here you are, with your whole-bean coffee and electric grinder, ready to say goodbye to pre-ground coffee!

But then you realize you don’t know how long to grind coffee beans.

Grinding coffee beans to the right consistency is vital for the brew’s flavor. The wrong grind size only leaves a bitter or sour taste in your mouth.

So let’s get to the bottom of it and determine how long you should grind coffee beans for different brewing methods.

How long should I grind beans for perfect coffee?

Grinding coffee doesn’t take much time. Whatever kind of coffee maker you use, you can reach the optimal grind size in less than a minute.

But what’s the precise grind time for your coffee maker? I got curious and decided to run some tests and find out — so you can get to grinding coffee without delay!

I used a basic, small electric blade grinder made for coffee and spices for my experiment. They’re available at almost any well-stocked supermarket.

blade coffee grinder with beans

Additionally, according to SCAA best practices, you should use around 10 grams of coffee per cup (6 oz) — in other words, about two tablespoons. So, I measured two level tablespoons (or one coffee scoop) of medium-roasted coffee beans into my grinder.

With these factors in mind, I discovered that the ideal grind times for different coffee grinds are:

  • Extra coarse grind: Grinding coffee extra coarsely doesn’t take long — only 4-5 seconds.
  • Coarse grind: To reach a coarse grind size, run the grinder for about 5-6 seconds.
  • Medium-coarse grind: You must grind the coffee for about 8 seconds for a medium-coarse level.
  • Medium grind: You will hit a medium grind size after about 10 seconds of grinding.
  • Medium-fine grind: You will reach a medium-fine size in around 15 seconds. This point is easy to miss, so check the coffee grounds’ consistency after 13 seconds and then grind for a couple more seconds if it still looks too coarse.
  • Fine grind: Aim for 15-20 seconds for a fine or espresso grind. Blade grinders begin to struggle with a grind size this fine, so you may have to go run the grinder a bit longer.
  • Extra fine grind: Grind the beans for 25-30 seconds for extra finely ground coffee. However, my blade grinder couldn’t reach this level.

coffee beans and black coffee

How long to grind coffee for different brewing methods

Now that you know how long to grind coffee beans to achieve different grind sizes, let’s find out how long you should grind coffee beans for your preferred brewing method. The exact grind time will vary depending on what type of coffee maker you use and how much coffee you want to brew.

Different brewing methods require different grind sizes — and you must get it right to make a flavorful cup of coffee. Finer grinds have more surface area than coarser ones, directly affecting the drink’s bitterness and the amount of flavor extracted from the beans.

Ground coffee that is too fine will produce an over-extracted and bitter brew. On the other hand, a coarser grind than necessary will result in under-extraction, and the coffee will taste weak, flat, and sour.

While experimenting, I determined the ideal grind times for an electric blade grinder to make two cups of coffee (or a comparable amount) with the most popular brewing methods.

whole coffee beans and ground coffee

Pour-over coffee

To make two cups with a pour-over coffee brewer, like a Chemex or Hario V60, you need about two level scoops of coffee. A medium-coarse grind consistency will give you the best results.

You should run the grinder for 10-12 seconds to get medium-coarse grounds for pour-over. Check the result after 10 seconds to ensure you don’t grind them too finely.

French press coffee

A French press coffee maker requires about one scoop of coffee to produce two strong cups. The right grind size for this brewing method is medium-coarse. While you can buy pre-ground coffee for French press, grinding coffee beans right before brewing will produce more aroma and flavor.

Grind your coffee beans for 5-8 seconds to reach the perfect French press grind size. Inspect the grinds after 5 seconds and keep going one second at a time if they are still a bit too coarse.

ground coffee in french press

Drip coffee

For regular drip coffee makers to make two cups of brew, you need roughly two scoops of beans. Medium grind size works best with an automatic drip coffee machine.

You will hit the sweet spot for drip coffee after grinding the beans for around 15 seconds. However, if you like your drip coffee on the weaker side, you can go for three tablespoons of beans and a 10-12-second grind time.

AeroPress coffee

The AeroPress company suggests using 14 grams of coffee beans, which equals to roughly one heaping scoop. Medium-fine grind size works best with this brewing method.

For an AeroPress, grind your beans for no longer than 15 seconds. I recommend checking the ground coffee after 10 seconds.

ground coffee and aeropress


Espresso machines require a fine grind for the best flavor and aroma extraction under high pressure. The perfect amount of fresh coffee beans for a double shot of espresso is about one scoop.

To achieve the fine consistency you need for a home espresso machine, grind the beans for about 20 seconds. Depending on your grinder’s blades, 15 seconds may be enough. Check the ground coffee at this point and if there are still larger chunks left, go on for a bit longer.

If you want to make a single espresso shot, grind a half-scoop of beans for about 15 seconds.

Moka Pot coffee

Determining the right amount of ground coffee for a Moka Pot is easy, as you need to level the filter basket. Generally, a one-cup Moka Pot needs about half a scoop of whole beans to make one cup of coffee.

You should use a medium-fine to medium grind size coffee for a Moka Pot. The ideal coffee grinding time for a one-cup Moka pot is about 10 seconds.

The grinding time will change depending on your Moka Pot size. A three-cup coffee pot needs about 1.5 scoops of beans, which you should grind for 15 seconds.

Beyond that, I recommend grinding the beans in 1.5-scoop batches so you don’t overload your grinder. This would give a total grind time of 30 seconds for a six-cup Moka Pot, 45 seconds for a nine-cup pot, and a full minute for a 12-cup coffee pot — not accounting for the time to empty your grinder between batches!

adding ground coffee to moka pot filter basket

Percolator coffee

Percolators require roughly one scoop of beans to make two cups of coffee. They also require coarser grounds than many other coffee brewing methods. Coarse-ground coffee is ideal with these brewers.

For a percolator, grind the beans for 5 seconds, adding one or two seconds if the grounds still look too coarse. Be careful not to go any finer, or your coffee will taste bitter.

Turkish coffee

Turkish-style coffee is a potent beverage that requires a special ibrik coffee maker. You need one scoop of extremely finely ground coffee for a two-cup ibrik. It should have the consistency of fine powder.

Unfortunately, even at their finest, blade coffee grinders may produce a coarser grind than you desire. For Turkish coffee, grind the beans for 30 seconds. If the grounds aren’t fine enough, consider using a burr grinder.

turkish coffee in ibrik

Cold brew coffee

The cold brew method relies on cold water (surprise, surprise!) and a long immersion brewing process that requires much more coffee beans than other brewing methods. To make 16 ounces of cold-brew coffee takes a whopping five scoops of fresh beans.

You need coarse ground coffee for the cold brew to accommodate the long brewing time and lack of hot water. However, you probably can’t fit all that coffee in your grinder at once. I recommend processing the beans in two batches, using 5-6 seconds per batch.

Note that this makes for a very strong cold brew concentrate that you should dilute before drinking. If you don’t want to dilute your drink, use around 3.5 scoops of coffee, ground in two batches for 5 seconds each.

I put together this handy coffee grind chart to help you remember how much coffee you need and how long you should grind it for each brewing method!

Coffee grind times per brewing method for an electric blade coffee grinder

Brewing method

Amount of coffee beans

Grind size

Grind time


(2 cups)

2 scoops (4 tbsp)


10-12 seconds

French press

(2 cups)

2 scoops (4 tbsp)


5-8 seconds

Drip coffee

(2 cups)

2 scoops (4 tbsp)


15 seconds


(2 cups)

1 heaping scoop (2.5 tbsp)


15 seconds


(2 shots)

1 scoop (2 tbsp)


15-20 seconds

Moka Pot

(1 cup)

1/2 scoop (1 tbsp)

Medium to medium-fine

10 seconds


(2 cups)

1 scoop (2 tbsp)


5 seconds

Turkish coffee

(2 cups)

1 scoop (2 tbsp)

Extra fine

30 seconds

Cold brew concentrate 

(16 oz)

5 scoops (10 tbsp)

Extra coarse

5 seconds (grind in two batches)

Cold brew, ready to drink (16 oz)

3.5 scoops (7 tbsp)

Extra coarse

5 seconds (grind in two batches)

6 key factors that affect coffee grind time

The coffee grinding length depends on various factors, from grinder size and type to coffee roast level and amount of coffee beans.

Here are the key factors to consider when determining how long to grind your coffee beans.

1. Grinder size

The size of your coffee grinder is an important factor in understanding the grind timing. A too-small and too-large grinder can extend how long you need to grind coffee beans.

A small portable grinder will likely have a weak motor that will take longer to chew through the beans. You may also have to grind the beans in multiple batches, which takes longer. Vice versa, a large machine, like a food processor or blender, could only throw the coffee beans around without efficiently cutting into them.

electric blade coffee grinder with open lid

2. Blade vs. burr grinder

Burr grinders typically take longer to grind coffee than blade grinders because the burrs must crush the beans. Although this is slightly slower, you don’t need to think about grind timing with a burr grinder. The grinding is done as the coffee falls into the grounds collector, and you have the quantity required to brew your coffee.

Thanks to a burr grinder’s settings, the burrs can typically be adjusted to finer grind sizes with precision. That means that no matter how long the machine runs, the ground beans will always come out the right size. The consistent grind ensures an optimal extraction process and improves your cup’s taste and aroma.

I recommend you invest in an inexpensive burr grinder over blade grinders. Being able to dial in a precise grind setting for uniform grounds more than makes up for waiting a few seconds longer for a great cup.

burr coffee grinder on kitchen counter

3. Electric vs. manual grinder

Electric coffee grinders — burr or blade — are generally faster than manual grinders. An electric motor can spin the grinder more effectively than your muscles.

Yet, most manual grinders are actually burr grinders — unless you are using something like a mortar and pestle. You can adjust the grind consistency and will not need to worry about how long you grind. The only time you may not be able to tweak the grind setting is with an antique coffee grinder.

Typically, though, time is not a consideration with a manual grinder. The speed at which you get ground coffee depends simply on how much elbow grease you put into it!

4. Roast level

Bean roast level determines more than the coffee taste. Darke roast is faster to grind than a medium or light roast because the beans are more brittle.

During roasting, moisture evaporates from the beans. And the drier the coffee beans are, the easier they will crack and break.

A dark-roasted coffee bean has a much lower water content than a medium roast, not to mention a light one. As such, blade and burr grinders can chew through them more efficiently. If you use dark roast coffee beans, you may want to grind them for a couple of seconds less.

roasted coffee beans pouring out of roasting machine

5. Amount of coffee beans

How much coffee you put into the grinder makes a big difference in how long grinding takes. Not only does your coffee grinder have to process more beans, but a tightly packed mill may also get partially clogged, which extends the grinding time.

It’s possible to overload a coffee grinder. A blade grinder’s blades can get stuck if too many beans are in the device. Meanwhile, burr grinders may overheat from continuous grinding.

When grinding beans, the best choice is to do it in multiple batches. This way, you’ll ensure a more consistent grind size for a delicious cup of coffee and extend the grinder’s lifespan.

6. Pulse grinding

When using an electric blade grinder, you should pay attention to the total time you grind your coffee and the length of each grinding burst. You may have to grind the beans longer if you run the coffee grinder continuously without breaks.

It’s best to use a technique called pulse or burst grinding. Run the grinder for a second or two, tap the grinder to redistribute the grinds, and repeat this process until you have the grind consistency you need. This way, the machine gets to all the beans equally and makes more uniform grinds in a shorter time.

Additionally, blazing an electric grinder’s motor for a long time can burn it out and break the grinder.

woman using electric coffee grinder

How can I determine the grind size without counting time?

Many things can lengthen or shorten the time to grind your beans. You may wonder if there is a better method for measuring the right grind size.

Good news — there is! Looking at the coffee grind consistency is much more accurate than considering the grinding time. This trick lets you get the perfect grind for your preferences — even if you grind coffee beans without a grinder.

When determining the type of grind, pay attention to the average texture of the coffee grounds.

Here’s how to gauge the right grind size:

  • Extra coarse grind: noticeable chunks resembling rock salt or crushed peppercorns.
  • Coarse grind: comparable to kosher or sea salt in particle size.
  • Medium-coarse grind: slightly larger bits mixed with a finer grind; it looks like rough sand.
  • Medium grind: resembles regular sand.
  • Medium-fine grind: very small but still distinguishable particles, like table salt.
  • Fine grind: looks powdery while still having some grit, comparable to regular sugar.
  • Extra fine grind: powder consistency resembling powdered sugar or flour.

As a final note, grind your beans just before brewing coffee. If you grind too much coffee, store it in an airtight container to prevent it from going stale due to the contact with oxygen.

The grind size matters a lot when making coffee. Grinding coffee for the right amount of time ensures your grounds have the surface area to extract enough flavor and aroma from the beans.

Counting seconds of grinding time is not the most accurate method, but it can be a good starting point. Now that you know how long to grind your beans at home, you are ready to brew the perfect cup of coffee to indulge your taste buds!

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