I'll share a quick Instagram exchange I had recently to kick things off:
I wrote:Anecdotally I've found that sifting fines slightly increases clarity and sweetness but at the expense of overall complexity. Also requires updosing in order to achieve good body/mouthfeel. Then factor in the average 3g fines per ~18g dose (Feldgrind 1.1, v60 prep) and you're well on your way to both a more labor intensive and expensive cup of not-necessarily-better coffee.
Scott Rao wrote:Fines are fine for espresso. They have no virtue in filter, other than perhaps contribution to body. I have zero doubt about this.
If fines were fine for filter, why would: sifting create cleaner, prettier coffee? Why would batch taste best at the coarsest settings? Virtually fines-free roller mill capsules make filter with massively high extractions and no bitterness or astringency?
[regarding sifting] You'll lose some body but you gain massive flavor clarity. As for complexity, I think that's an illusive concept that's hard to agree on or replicate
Matt Perger wrote:they're fine in terms of their extraction yield not being any different than the exterior surface of all grinds (the first thing mentioned in these comments Scott and I *actually* disagree on). In terms of flow and porosity they're annoying as hell for filter.