Why Coffee Grind Size Matters: Making Better Coffee at Home

Does size matter? If you’re trying to achieve the perfect cup of coffee the answer is yes!

Many everyday coffee drinkers overlook the importance of grind size when making their coffee. It isn’t something we often times think about but it can make a big difference. How? Allow me to explain and save you some unpleasant cups of morning coffee.

Discovering which size is best for your brewing method is one of the most crucial steps to making coffee at home, as grind size alone can dramatically change the taste of your drink. But what exactly is it about the difference in grind size that contributes to the taste of your final cup?  Essentially, grind size determines the surface area of the coffee that is exposed to hot water during extraction. For example, a very coarse grind size means the water can quickly fall through the spaces of the ground coffee without much contact, whereas when you grind your coffee finely, you are raising the surface area to which this water is exposed. Based on this knowledge, if the contact time is too high or the grind is too fine, it will result in an over-extracted brew which can be bitter. If the grind is too coarse or the contact time is too short, the coffee will turn out weak.

coffee grounds


Okay, enough with the science lesson. So which grind is best for the method you are using at home? A quick look below will tell you all you need to know.

Espresso –  Espresso has a very short contact time with hot water, so it requires an extra fine grind size. A fine grind will feel quite similar to powder. If you are using a stove top espresso maker however, it should be slightly more coarse (on the medium side).  BCJ’s Espresso Roast pulls a deliciously bold shot without being bitter or too acidic!

AeroPress – This single-cup manual coffee maker uses a medium – fine grind. Finer grind takes longer to press, requiring patience (that I usually don’t have in the mornings), but makes a richer brew more quickly. Medium- fine has a similar size and feel to that of sugar.

Pour-over – Because Pour-over brewers come in various sizes and shapes, they require varying grind sizes to control the flow rate of water, however  most pour over methods call for a medium to medium-fine grind. Similar in consistency to sugar.  Blue Collar Joe’s award winning PNG Roast is a perfect pour over option.

Drip Coffee – For drip coffee, the recommended grind size varies between medium-coarse to medium. Similar looking to rough, large-particle sand. Delicious to picture right?

French Press –  This method calls for a coarse grind setting. Because the coffee is steeped in boiling water, the contact time between the water and coffee is much longer, which requires a coarser, chunkier grind similar to sea-salt.

Although the above is a pretty good guide to creating the ideal cup, grind size can change and vary depending on preference. It can take some experimenting before you find the size that is perfect for your personal brewing method. The key idea to remember while discovering your preference is, if your grounds are too coarse your coffee will be under extracted, weak and flavorless. If your grounds are too fine, your coffee will be over extracted, bitter and overpowering. Next time you seem to be doing everything right but are still getting the same average/unpleasant coffee, think about your grind size. And with this map, I wish you a wonderful journey of coffee discovery!

Blog post contributed by: Kimia A – @caffeinekim

Caffeinekim is a coffee shop reviewer, coffee connoisseur, and fashion lover on a mission to find the best cafes and coffees.  She finds coffee perfect for connecting with people, charging up for the day, and she is always gathering more knowledge for her blogs!

girl with coffee cup


Chocolate Covered BCJ Coffee Beans and White Chocolate Bark Recipes

This is the weekend for celebrating with your better half or treating yourself! With these killer concoctions, it simply depends on how sharing… or selfish you want to be!  Here at BCJ, we say either way – treat yo’self! Why for those last minute dinner reservations, when these recipes are great for spending a little quality time in the kitchen that we guarantee will pay off in the …. erm… dining room. If you’re not into the whole cupid thing this weekend, they make a great accompaniment to a stiff drink and that carton of ice cream that you deserve!

I’m talking about chocolate covered Blue Collar Joe Coffee Beans and white chocolate bark. Either can be made with chocolate chips you have in your pantry (though please read our notes
on bloomed chocolate before diving in). There’s even a bonus recipe for coffee infused milk that can be a great addition to milk shakes, cocktails or your Saturday morning hot chocolate.

Sooooo… this versatile recipe collection has something for every level of tasty this weekend. Be it a trail of rose petals, candles and soft music, or “I just can’t even” and Big Bang Theory re-runs…
Whip up a decadent perky surprise and win the weekend in one fell swoop with some quick, easy and tasty chocolate covered Blue Collar Joe Coffee Beans and white chocolate bark.

Chocolate Covered Coffee Beans
Recipe by Tara Miller
Yield: ⅓-½ cup of chocolate covered coffee beans (fits well into a jelly sized mason jar in case there are any left)
Time: 10 mins active time (plus 1 hour for chocolate to set)
½ cup of chocolate chips*
¼ cup Blue Collar Joe Whole Coffee Beans (We love the Brazilian Roast )
1-4 tablespoons of either Coffee, Milk or Coffee Infused Milk**
*Be sure to use high quality chocolate that has not bloomed (all uniform color, no lighter, dull patches that
look dusty). Bloomed chocolate cannot be brought back into temper and will return to its dusty
appearance in a few hours. You can use dark and milk chocolate for this.

Medium sized, microwave safe bowl
Small rubber spatula
Parchment lined or wax paper lined baking sheet
1) Pour chocolate chips in the bowl and microwave for 30 sec. Remove and stir chips with the
spatula. Repeat microwaving and stirring until chips begin to melt then reduce cooking time to 10
sec then stir and repeating until all chips are melted with a uniform appearance.
AT THE SAME TIME as the chips begin to melt they may appear too thick or lumpy, gradually
pour in your liquid about a ¼-½ tsp at a time until the melted chocolate is very smooth and when
you lift the spatula the chocolate falls off in ribbons like on those delicious candy bar commercials
when the chocolate pours over some other confection and your mouth waters.
2) Pour the coffee beans into the melted chocolate mixture and stir them in until fully covered.
3) Place your lined baking sheet next to you and using your fork, fish out one or several coffee
beans at a time and place them on the lined baking sheet. Clumps of beans are great and make
for a tasty mouthful, like a coffee bean truffle. Repeat until all coffee beans are deposited onto the
lined baking sheet and set aside to set. DO NOT place the coffee beans in the refrigerator as this
will cause the chocolate to dull.
4) Once the coffee beans are set, you will be able to pull them off the lined baking sheet easily and
put them in a container for gifting or storage. I personally love them in a small mason jar or
acetate bag tied with ribbon.
** Coffee Infused Milk- Prepare 24 hours ahead of time
½ cup of milk (any milk)
⅛-¼ cup of coffee beans (whole will need a fill 24 hours, ground can be ready in 8)
Pour coffee into milk and place, covered, in the fridge for 8-24 hours to allow coffee flavor to steep into
the milk. Pour coffee infused milk through a mesh strainer to separate spent coffee. Place in covered
container and use within 7-10 days (milk will expire when milk usually expires).

White Chocolate Bark
Recipe by Tara Miller
The oils in the coffee beans prevent the even coverage required for a good covered coffee beans so to
obtain a good coffee bean to chocolate ratio a bark seemed a great option.
Yield: 1 ½- 2 cups of bark
Time: 10 mins active time (plus 1 hour + for chocolate to set)
1 cup of white chocolate baking chips
¼-½ cup of Blue Collar Joe Coffee Whole Beans
1-4 tablespoons of either Coffee, Milk or Coffee Infused Milk**
Medium sized, microwave safe bowl
Small rubber spatula
Parchment lined or wax paper lined baking sheet
1) Pour chips into bowl and microwave for 10-15 secs. Remove and stir. Be very careful at this step
as white chocolate can burn quicker than regular chocolate. Cook at short temps, stirring
thoroughly. Repeat heating and stirring until chocolate is smooth and completely melted.
AT THE SAME TIME AT THE SAME TIME as the chips begin to melt they may appear too thick
or lumpy, gradually pour in your liquid about a ¼-½ tsp at a time until the melted chocolate is very
smooth and when you lift the spatula the chocolate falls off in ribbons.
2) Pour coffee beans into coffee and stir to incorporate. Beans will not be fully covered though you
can try if you want, I’m just sayin’…
3) Pour white chocolate/coffee bean mixture onto lined baking sheet and spread out your
deliciousness until it is about ¼” thick. Put aside to set. The bark will take longer to set than the
regular chocolate because it is in a large piece and white chocolate doesn’t set to the same
hardness as regular chocolate. Once it is set, break it apart into good sized pieces and store in a
sealed container like pyrex or gift in a clear acetate bag or festive tin with a tight lid.

The air is crisp and two little words are on the tips of everyone’s tongue and emblazoned on their t-shirts: Pumpkin Spice!

These classic and trendy flavorings of cinnamon, cloves, ginger and nutmeg make you think of cozy book nooks, warm pies and friends gathering.  But you know what else fits perfectly into this picture? Coffee and baked goods! Few things make me as happy as coffee and things I can eat while drinking coffee. Enter Biscotti, Pumpkin Spice Biscotti. A crisp, slightly sweet, dunk able cookie seasoned with the seasonings of the season and drizzled with a blend of dark chocolate and bold coffee to give it an irresistible appearance and a hit of chocolate to start your day off right.

But seriously: This is an easy recipe to pull together if you prep your ingredients first. Make your pumpkin spice mix ahead of time or buy it at the store, if you prefer. Set out your butter and eggs about an hour before hand so they are room temp. Measure out your ingredients before you start so you focus on baking. Biscotti is a twice baked cookie. This means that you will make your cookie dough, shape it into a log shape, bake it, slice it and bake a second time. You will need clean damp hands to shape your dough before your first baking as it is the easiest way to shape it up. After your initial bake, allow your dough to cool before slicing with a serrated knife, carefully sawing the whole way through. This sawing will prevent crumbing and ensure a professional looking slice that invites that chocolaty drizzle.

Make an extra cup of Blue Collar Joe Coffee right after your second bake so it will be hot enough to melt the chocolate for the mocha drizzle!!! 

This recipe makes a beautiful and inviting cookie that is perfect for a morning in your “If you can read this bring me COFFEE” socks and your “I run on Pumpkin Spice” hoodie. The biscotti also makes thoughtful, easy but impressive gifts for teachers, co-workers and in-laws. Be sure to use a bakery box as bags will invite crumbs and a diminished appearance. Details are everything, darling.

Pumpkin Spice Biscotti with Mocha Drizzle

Author: Tara Miller

Serves 14-16 pieces

Prep: 20 min

Cook Time: 30-40 min plus cooling time

Total time: approx. 1.5 hours

Pumpkin spice mix

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp allspice

1 tsp ground cloves

1 tsp ground nutmeg

Biscotti Ingredients

85 g unsalted butter* room temp (6 tbsp)

133 g granulated sugar (2/3 cup)

4 g salt* (3/4 tsp)

5 g vanilla extract (1 generous tsp)

7 g baking powder (1 ½ tsp)

120 g free range eggs room temp (2 large eggs)

240 g unbleached all-purpose flour (2 cups)

3 g pumpkin spice mix (1 tsp)

Biscotti Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 Deg. F. Cover one large rimmed sheet pan with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.

In medium bowl sift together flour, baking powder, pumpkin spice and gently whisk. Set aside.

In mixer with beater attachment set to low add butter and beat on medium until smooth and fluffy (about 2 min). Add in sugar, salt and vanilla and beat on medium until fluffy (about 2-5 min)

Add in eggs, one at a time, until fully incorporated (mixture may look curdled).

With mixer set to low, add in flour mixture slowly to prevent it flying out of bowl until all mixture is added and incorporated. 

Transfer dough to rimmed sheet pan in center. With damp hands gently press, shape and smooth dough into a rectangle about 3” wide by 12” long by 1” tall. The mixture will spread while baking. Dampen hands as needed to shape.

Bake dough for 20-25 min until there is a light crust on the outside and the dough doesn’t give when lightly pressed with finger. Place sheet pan on cooling rack and allow to cool to room temp. Leave oven on. 

Once biscotti dough is cool place it on a cutting board and slice in generous ½ – ¾ ’’ pieces using a serrated knife. Saw all the way through each slice. If you attempt to push down too much on the knife the slices with crumble. 

Place slices back on rimmed sheet pan and bake for another 10 min. Flip each piece over and bake for a further 10 min until each side is a golden brown and crispy. Allow to cool completely before decorating with mocha drizzle.

Mocha Drizzle Ingredients

1 cup of hot Blue Collar Joe Coffee (I used Columbian)

90 g chocolate chips (½ cup)


Add chocolate chips to medium mixing bowl (microwavable) and slowly add in hot coffee, mixing together with a rubber spatula until mixture is smooth and pourable (like hot fudge). If the hot coffee doesn’t melt the chocolate enough, put bowl in microwave for short, low powered bursts of 5 sec until the chocolate is melted just enough to pouring consistency. If chocolate gets too hot it will look grainy and you need to start over. You want it just warm enough to come together. 

You can add the pourable drizzle to a small pipping bag or condiment bottle to drizzle over one side of your biscotti or you can drizzle it with a spoon. Allow chocolate to set for about 10 min before serving. 

Store biscotti in airtight, hard-side container. Storage bags will result in lots of crumbs. 


If using salted butter instead decrease salt by ¼ tsp.

Elevate Your Coffee with a Subscription from Blue Collar Joe


Satisfy your daily craving for that perfect cup of coffee without ever stepping foot in the grocery store.

Blue Collar Joe believes that coffee and convenience should go hand-in-hand. That’s why they make it easy to have their freshly roasted beans delivered directly to your door.

Join me as we uncover what makes their company tick and why you won’t find foam heart lattes filling their social media feed. We’ll also discover the benefits of a coffee bean subscription online and how to get yours started today.

Who is Blue Collar Joe?


To put it simply, Blue Collar Joe is you and me. They’re the embodiment of every person who wants a great cup of coffee without the bells and whistles that oftentimes put a damper on the authenticity of your experience.

As a small-batch roaster, this online coffee subscription club located in Atlanta knows that there’s a story behind every bean, and they’re here to tell it. With a focus on craftsmanship and quality, Blue Collar Joe supports the working men and women who make it possible to grow, harvest, transport, and roast your beans to perfection.

There is no substitute for grassroots artisanship and precision. Blue Collar Joe’s hand-built San Franciscan Roaster allows them to measure time by the second and temperature to the tenth of a degree. It’s also customary for their team to cup and score every roast profile before including it in their lineup.  

Which BCJ Coffee Subscription is Right for Me?


If you’re anything like me, coffee is a necessity for starting your day off right. Fortunately, Blue Collar Joe’s subscription service ensures your cabinets are always stocked.

Join the subscription club, and choose from three different options for your home. Economical and convenient, BCJ’s Dollar a Day subscription ships two, 12-ounce bags of coffee to your doorstep each month. Save time in the morning with BCJ’s Single Serve K Cups subscription that includes 30 pods of their flagship dark roast. BCJ’s Single Bag option is perfect for those of you who don’t drink coffee every morning but still want to keep the best on hand.

Enjoy your favorite coffee at work by opting for one of Blue Collar Joe’s office subscriptions. With bulk ordering and 100-count boxes of BCJ K Cups available, you can make the most of your coffee break.

Not only is it easy to set up a recurring monthly order, but you can also try before you buy. Choose the Blue Collar Sampler and take your pick of whole or ground beans from Africa, Columbia, Guatemala, Brazil, Costa Rica, Papua New Guinea, and Peru.


Place Your Subscription Order Today

Blue Collar Joe ships their whole bean coffee the same day it’s roasted. That’s right, genuinely fresh coffee is sent directly to you, wherever you are. Experience the unique tasting notes of each region’s coffee with all the benefits of a convenient set-it-and-forget-it subscription. Place your Blue Collar Joe coffee subscription today!