Do I Need to Grind Coffee for Aeropress?

ground coffee going into an aeropress coffee maker

QUESTION: I just got my Aeropress and am learning how to use it. Do I need to grind coffee for my Aeropress? — Janine T.

ANSWER: Yes, you’ll need to use ground coffee in your Aeropress. However, you can either grind the beans yourself or use pre-ground coffee. That said, we always recommend grinding your coffee beans fresh if you can. You cannot just put unground coffee beans into your Aeropress. That won’t work. We’ll explain more about why, how to grind your beans, and how to use pre-ground coffee in this article.

Grinding Coffee Beans for Aeropress

Aeropress recommends using beans ground either finely or superfine, as they are ground for espresso. It’ll take more practice to use espresso grind and it will take longer to press. This is especially true if you are preparing more than one cup. Go for a consistency that’s just a bit finer than table salt.

If you’re following the recommended grind size for Aeropress and still aren’t happy with the taste of your coffee, we can help. Does it taste weak, sour, or watery? It’s likely under-extracted, which means you should increase the grind size and/or lengthen the brewing time. Does it taste burned, bitter, or sludgy? Then it’s over-extracted, and you need to decrease the grind size and/or shorten the brewing time.

Using Pre-Ground Coffee in an Aeropress

Yes, you can use coffee beans that are already ground in your Aeropress. Simply follow the usual instructions, but either increase the amount of coffee you use or increase the brewing time. Because the pre-ground coffee will not be ground as finely as if you did it yourself, you need to either use more coffee or brew it for longer. 

Why You Should Grind Your Own Coffee Beans

It’s just as easy to use pre-ground coffee as it is to grind your own beans (some would say easier, since you skip the step of grinding the beans). But we recommend grinding your own coffee beans in every situation where it’s possible to do so. This is because your coffee begins to lose its freshness as soon as it’s ground. Coffee that’s less fresh has fewer aromatics, making the smell weaker, and also begins to lose its taste. To ensure your coffee is the freshest it can be, invest in a grinder—they’re economical, too.

By now you’ve learned that although possible to use preground coffee in your Aeropress by adding more coffee or increasing the brew time. And if it tastes weak, you can fix it by grinding finer or brewing longer. If it tastes bitter, you know to fix it by grinding more coarsely or shortening the brewing time. 

You’ve also learned why you really shouldn’t use preground coffee. We’ve also covered how finely you should grind your beans for use in an Aeropress: to a texture a bit finer than table salt. Now you’re ready to make the best possible coffee in your Aeropress.

Learn More About Aeropress Coffee

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