Anyone Here Sieve Their Ground Coffee?

While I appreciated that grinding unavoidably creates “fines” in ground coffee, I didn’t know that sieving is a thing.

Rather than spend $$ for a kit to gauge the effect of a controlled grind, I tried sieving with screens I had on hand. I burr-ground 8 cups’ worth on “French Press”, then successively ran the grind through a coarse flour sifter (removing almost nothing), and then and extra-fine chef’s Chinoise. A LOT of the coffee passed through that, and resembled a fine espresso grind. A fair amount also passed a #28 tea strainer.

I made espresso with what the #28 captured, and it was great–much better than the “espresso” grind marked on the grinder. Better crema, too, and lower bitterness.

The stuff that passed the flour screen but stopped in the Chinoise will be in tomorrow morning’s French press. I’m interested to see how much mud the press throws, and whether the coffee will be more or less bitter after a 4-minute steep.

Does anyone here take the time/trouble to sieve their grind to a more uniform tolerance than exits their grinder?



Im doing well to find the coffee maker, grind beans, and fill the thing with water. No way I have the mental acuity for anything more.


It’s been years since I last purchased a 1- or 3-pound can of ground coffee, but I seem to recall a very uniform grind. And awhile back, Costco sold me a strange Starbucks ground coffee iin little mini-cans that was uniform–and I thought was tasty.

No, I have never tried this nor even knew it was a thing. The Roasty article was persuasive though. And since I’ve been known to remove the skins from chickpeas before making hummus, I’m curious to hear about the outcome of your sieving exercise.

Both the espresso and French Press experiments were smashing successes. Better flavors, less bitterness, and far less mud.

So much attention is given to dialing in grind settings, water temperatures, and brew times, but all those things, IMO, are thrown off if the true grind size is all over the board. The best you can do is triangulate between over- and under-extraction.

Not that this is perfect–some fines/mud are still there. It’s just a more precise triangulation.

The real downside (other than time) is: what do you do with what you screen out? The truly fine stuff, dust, really, can be used in cooking and baking. The fractions that are a bit too fine for French Press can be used for espresso or drip. But it is either a hassle to keep and store the spoils, OR it’s a big waste of $ to just toss. And if you screen in larger batches, there’s a freshness tradeoff to consider.

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Those fine bits might do well in a dry rub as well.


Yep, my pork rib rub I add finely ground coffee - usually I just shake out the grind container residue.

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So, to test my recollection (of canned coffee containg a more consistent grind with fewer fines), today I bought a small can of Maxwell House.

I portioned out the same weight of MH and drip setting from my burr grinder. I screened out evefything that would pass a #28 tea screen, and weighed what wouldn"t pass. By both weight and volume, the MH was >30% greater no-go.