Coarse Ground Coffee: The Secret is in the Size

Coarse Ground Coffee

When it comes to making great coffee, grind size matters, because not all grind sizes work for all brewing methods. If you’re making your brew in a Frech press for example you’ll need a coarse ground coffee or at least a medium-coarse grind. The secret to good coffee doesn’t only lie in the quality of the beans but also in the coarseness of the grind. 

Even though many of the popular pre-ground coffees are specifically made for espresso machines, this won’t work in every coffee-making gadget, unfortunately. For some, you’ll have to look at a more gritty grind.

This site contains affiliate links.

Our Top Picks for the Best Coarse Ground Coffee

What is Coarse Ground Coffee?

Coarse ground coffee is made from coffee beans that are ground to a more coarse grind setting leaving larger particles as the outcome. When a bean is coarsely ground the area that the hot water can come into contact with is smaller and the water will gradually seep from the outside to the inside often creating a smoother coffee. 

Why Does Grind Size Matter?

To avoid making terrible coffee it’s important to pay attention to the grind size and match that with your brewing method of choice. Too-fine coffee in the wrong type of coffee gadget will extract too quickly, giving you a terribly bitter over-extracted coffee. It can also clog up your gadget, espresso machines for example can make a massive racquet if you use a grind size that is too fine.

If you use a grind that is too coarse in your gadget you’ll end up with awfully weak and under-extracted coffee that tastes like dishwater. So in the name of good coffee, please pay attention to the size of the grind!

Coarse vs Fine Grind

The coarser the grind the more gritty it will look, it will also have a more varied colour between the particles. An extra coarse grind can even resemble the look of some instant coffees. You’ll likely see chunky bits and you will be able to tell the granules apart. A coarse grind shouldn’t look like beach sand, for example – then you’ve gone to fine.

The finer you move on the spectrum of grind size the fewer chunky or gritty bits you’ll have in your grind. Until you get to the point where it resembles cocoa powder, that is a fine grind if not too fine for even espresso. You might have ended up with a Turkish extra fine grind, in this case, it’s hard to say. 

Most coffee grinders will have a range of settings even the basic ones will have quite a few size options you can choose from so you’ll need to play around with those if you’re using a grinder of your own. If you don’t have one then we have a few suggestions on good ground coffee further down the page. 

Coarse-vs-Fine Ground
Fine vs Coarse Ground Coffee

Identifying Grind Size

To give you an indication of what the grind sizes might look like here is a quick snapshot:

  • Extra Coarse – think ground peppercorns
  • Coarse Grind – this is more like sea salt
  • Medium Coarse Grind – it’s probably similar to coarse sand
  • Medium Grind – this is more like regular sand or kosher salt
  • Medium Fine Grind – it’s finer than sand but not as fine as table salt
  • Fine Grind – this one is a bit closer to table salt
  • Fine Grind – yes you’ve guessed it, finer than table salt perhaps a bit like cocoa powder or drinking hot chocolate

What is Coarse Ground Coffee Used For?

Coarse ground coffee is used for slower brewing methods where the coffee needs to steep for a few minutes. Espresso makers for example use a pressure pump where the water flows relatively quickly over the grind and into the cup, so espresso grind is finer. More commonly coarse-ground beans are perfect for Percolators, the French Press and Cold Brew.


Percolators use a coarse grind, sometimes also called the French Press Grind. Even though percolators are not as popular anymore it still makes a good cup of coffee. If you use a coffee that is too fine in a percolator you’ll end up with the dreaded sediment floaty bits at the bottom of your cup. It’s also likely that your coffee will be bitter and nasty.

French Press

Yes, coarse ground coffee is often called French press grind as it’s probably the most popular way of making coffee with a coarse grind. When using a French press you place coffee grounds in a chamber and then pour hot water over them. You’ll give the water a bit of a stir, let it steep for 4 minutes and then press the plunger down and you’re good to go. 

Again, if you use a fine grind for a French Press coffee you’ll have the sediment bits that escape and end up in your cup. You’re also taking a bit longer to brew using a French Press so a coarser grind will make sure that your coffee isn’t bitter and over-extracted.

Cold Brew Coffee

You may have heard of cold brew coffee, don’t confuse it with iced coffee as they are two very different things. To make a cold brew you’ll generally use a coarse or extra coarse grind as you’ll be steeping your coffee for between 12 and 24 hours using cold water. Because of this lengthy steeping process, you’ll need a coarse grind, a fine grind will over-extract and you’ll have wasted all that time on terrible coffee. 

How to Get Coarse Ground Coffee

To get the perfect grind you can approach the situation in two ways. Either grind your own with a handy coffee grinder or buy pre-ground coffee where it’s done for you. Note that griding your own will usually give the best taste because the insides of the beans have had less time to make friends and transfer their goodness with the air around it, coffee is super friendly in that sense. But if you’re not into griding your own that’s fine you can still buy some in a store. Here’s our list to help you get going.

The Best Coarse Ground Coffee – Our Picks

Wandering Bear Extra Strong Organic Coarse Ground Coffee

  • Roast Level: Dark Roast
  • Speciality: Organic
  • Aroma: Full-bodied and chocolate

The Wandering Bear Extra Strong Coarse Ground Coffee is perfect for making cold brew coffee and for use in a French Press. You can also use it for a drip machine or a percolator if you have those.

These magic little beans are roasted in Brooklyn NY in small batches.

This coffee even smells wonderfully robust, so if you’re not too keen on a nice strong and full-bodied coffee then you should look elsewhere. But if you are then you’re in luck as this packet will deliver just that.

Wandering Bear Extra Strong Organic Coarse Ground Coffee for Cold Brew, 1 lb Bag - Dark...
556 Reviews
Wandering Bear Extra Strong Organic Coarse Ground Coffee for Cold Brew, 1 lb Bag - Dark...
Dark but not burnt, full-bodied and chocolaty. A coarse grind is perfect for cold brew, French press and works well in drip machines.

Shop Wandering Bear

French Press Specialty Coffee, Coarsely Ground, Primos Coffee Co 

  • Roast Level: Medium Roast
  • Speciality: Direct Trade
  • Aroma: Medium body, low acidity, smooth, sweet with citrus notes

Primos Coffee Co makes this beautiful coffee from Premium Arabica beans grown on a fourth-generation family farm in the mountains of Jinotega, Nicaragua. This is a direct trade coffee and comes directly from the farm to you, no middle man and no dodgy dealings – or so we hope!

Similar to Kona Coffee these guys harvest by hand and dry their coffee naturally. For best quality, the coffee is grown under the shade of trees and delivers low acidity and medium body.

French Press Specialty Coffee, Coarse Ground, Primos Coffee Co (Medium Roast, 2 Bags)
2,464 Reviews
French Press Specialty Coffee, Coarse Ground, Primos Coffee Co (Medium Roast, 2 Bags)
Premium Arabica beans selected from the best micro-lots at our fourth-generation family farm. Produced sustainably with the highest standards for our fellow Nicaraguans and natural resources.

Shop Primos

STONE COLD JO: 12 oz, Cold Brew Coffee Blend 

  • Roast Level: Dark Roast
  • Speciality: Certified Organic
  • Aroma: Hints of toffee, caramel, chocolate and grape

Jo Coffee’s Stone Cold Jo Cold Brew Blend is Organic speciality grade, which means it’s in the top 2% of speciality grade organic Arabica raw coffee. This coffee is perfect for cold brewing or using in a French press.

This packet of goodness is bound to make you happy and put a smile on your face. As Jo Coffee are artisan craft coffee roasters first and foremost. If you enjoy a milder coffee, just add a little less to your coffee gadget and it will still deliver great taste.

STONE COLD JO: 12 oz, Cold Brew Coffee Blend, Dark Roast, Coarse Ground Organic Coffee,...
3,903 Reviews
STONE COLD JO: 12 oz, Cold Brew Coffee Blend, Dark Roast, Coarse Ground Organic Coffee,...
Each batch of this fresh roasted organic coffee is hand-crafted, by artisan coffee roasters, in our micro-roastery.

Shop Jo Coffee

Bizzy Organic Cold Brew Coffee

  • Roast Level: Medium Roast
  • Speciality: Certified Organic
  • Aroma: Arabica beans roasted medium with notes of caramel and hazelnut

Bizzy Coffee was made for busy people, it says so in the name. With this coffee, Bizzy makes your life easier by giving you a pre-ground medium roast bag of greatness. The coffee is sifted to ensure the grind size is more consistent.

The grind works perfectly for a cold brew if that’s your method of choice but it can go just as well in a percolator or French Press as you’d expect. If you enjoy Bizzy, you’ll be glad to know that it also comes in a dark and light roast so there is a packet for everyone.

Bizzy Organic Cold Brew Coffee | Smooth & Sweet Blend | Coarse Ground Coffee | Micro...
11,750 Reviews
Bizzy Organic Cold Brew Coffee | Smooth & Sweet Blend | Coarse Ground Coffee | Micro...
Coarse ground coffee optimized for cold brewing to give you a consistent, extra smooth cold brew.

Shop Bizzy

Stone Street Coffee Cold Brew Reserve, Coarse Ground

  • Roast Level: Dark Roast
  • Speciality: Fairtrade
  • Aroma: Bold yet smooth and slightly sweet with chocolate notes

Stone Street Coffee is an artisanal roaster from Brooklyn, NY. And they have been roasting since 2009. We love that they take pride in ethical sourcing as coffee can be a terrible industry when it comes to exploiting farmers.

Use this dark roast for cold or hot brewing, whichever method you prefer it’s bound to taste wonderful. Your brew will be equally tasty black or with milk, pair it with a bit of dark chocolate and you’re in for a treat.

Stone Street Cold Brew Coffee, Strong & Smooth Blend, Low Acid, 100% Arabica, Gourmet...
9,218 Reviews
Stone Street Cold Brew Coffee, Strong & Smooth Blend, Low Acid, 100% Arabica, Gourmet...
100% Colombian Supremo beans are freshly roasted & coarsely ground for optimal cold brew extraction.

Shop Stone Street

City Girl Cold Press Coffee Blend

  • Roast Level: Medium Roast
  • Speciality: Fairtrade
  • Aroma: A blend of sweet and smooth

Located in Minnesota City Girl is a true girl power coffee. It’s made by women and sourced from female-owned farms or co-operatives. This level of girl power is something you don’t see very often in the coffee space and we love it!

Not only is this blend a great coffee, but it’s also sustainably sourced with the aim to protect the environment. The coffee has a smooth, not too acidic and mellow taste but still has a strong flavour. We say hats off to the girls who created this little gem!

City Girl Coffee Cold Press Blend, Medium Roast, Ground for Cold Brew, Small Batch, 12 oz...
271 Reviews
City Girl Coffee Cold Press Blend, Medium Roast, Ground for Cold Brew, Small Batch, 12 oz...
Our coffee is sourced from women-owned or women-managed farms and co-operatives around the world. Girl Power at its finest!

Shop City Girl

Last update on 2022-07-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Scroll to Top