Simply, if you over extract, your coffee will taste too strong and bitter. If you under extract, your coffee will taste weak and sour. The Gold(ilocks) goal is to find balance, with the understanding that balance is relative to your particular taste.
Play around to see what you like.
This will influence how strong your coffee tastes. We always weigh our coffee as opposed to scooping, because light roast and dark roast coffee have different densities. A general rule of thumb is to use a 16:1 coffee to water ratio. Our cheat is to take the number of ounces of water and multiply that by 1.8. So, if you have 40 ounces of water, you should use roughly 72 grams of coffee to start.
An even and consistent grind will allow for an even and consistent brew.
A blade grinder looks like a miniature blender, when the blade spins it bashes the beans into inconsistent grounds. You will have fine powder mixed with large chunks. This makes an even extraction virtually impossible and results in coffee, that to be polite, could be better.
A burr grinder has two plates, or burrs, set a specific distance apart. The coffee is ground by passing through the two burrs. When you change the grind setting you are widening or narrowing the space between the two burrs. This creates a much more consistent grind and consistently better cup of coffee. A burr grinder is what you want for in-home grinding.
Grind size depends on the brew style. Assuming your burr grinder has 10 notches to adjust grind size you would use around a #2 for espresso, a #5 for pour over, #7 for drip, and #9 for French press. These are all rough estimates and you should adjust from here until you find what works best for you!
A good rule of thumb is if you wouldn't drink the water, don't use it to make your coffee.
Water treatment chemicals and natural occurring minerals will create off flavors and ruin an otherwise perfectly good cup of coffee. The most common and most detrimental chemical to flavor is chlorine. We use a carbon filter because it is very good at removing chlorine among other chemicals and minerals. We recommend anything from a Brita to a Berkey to an under sink filter to a whole house filter. The key is to remember to periodically replace the filters to keep them working!
Brew time is dependent on the brew method. As a rough guide, espresso shots should take around 25 seconds, a pour over should take around 2 minutes and 20 seconds, and a french press should take 4 minutes. Times vary for consumer grade drip machines. Adjust the grind size coarser (or higher) to shorten the brew time. Adjust the grinder finer (or lower) to increase brew time.
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