Can ground coffee be re-ground?

Grinders are one of the keys to exceptional espresso. Discuss them here.

#1: Post by nile13 »

The question might sound dumb, but bear with me and see if you can help.

I have a Vario and it works well for standard home espresso duty (to a point that I have one in Boston and one in Miami). All good, except that Miami is well known for Cubano coffee. For those who are familiar with it, you know that this godly nectar comes from exceedingly crappy Bustelo or Pilon coffees. The problem is that you can rarely find it in bean form. It's sold in vacuum bricks, pre-ground, in 99% of establishments around Miami and in 100% places outside of Miami. The bigger problem is that it's ground way too coarse for my Anitas.

So the question is - can I re-grind one dose of already ground coffee in a Vario? As in pour 17 grams of ground coffee into its hopper and get a much finer ground 17 grams out of it? I think that it would not damage the grinder but it's unusual enough that i thought I'd ask if anyone has done something similar.

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#2: Post by JmanEspresso »

Short answer. NO.

Longer Answer-

My Pops, without thinking one morning, did this. He accidently left the Vario on a coarse press pot setting, and ground coffee for pourover.. Instead of just tossing the 30grams of grounds, he re-ground them. Idk how they came out, but the grinder wasn't damaged.. I did get pretty upset with him about it, though when I took it apart to check the burrs, there was no damage, just lots of caked on coffee powder.. which likely would have been removed with some Urnex Grindz.

Still.. No.

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nile13 (original poster)

#3: Post by nile13 (original poster) »

Jeff, thanks!

Do you think that the caked-on coffee on burrs was from this one run or from accumulated use previously? I feel uneasy about doing this and am leaning to "No" very hard. It's just hard to find proper beans for Cubano when you crave it once in a while. So far Trader Joe's Medium Roast came close, but it's not it.


#4: Post by faustroll »

I am actually interested in this as well, but from another angle.

I'm thinking about getting a sieve to sift out the 'boulders' or very large particles the grinder produces. I do a lot of percolation brewing and I think this might be adding inconsistency to flow rate and not allowing me to achieve the kind of extraction yields I want.

However I don't want coffee to go to waste and I was wondering if I could 'regrind' them. At first I would be worried that it would produce extra fines, but now I'm even questioning if they will go through the grinder. Would it matter if goes through a gravity fed conical, like a Baratza or an auger fed vertical flat burr, like the bunn or ek43?

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#5: Post by another_jim »

You can regrind coarse coffee finer; but the final grind setting has to be lot coarser. For instance, grinding flour in a hand mill usually takes two passes at the exact same setting. In the first pass, the grain comes out a little coarser than espresso grind; second pass at the same setting creates a powder.

You should experiment with small amounts of coffee, starting with a setting used for drip grinds, and see if you can converge to the correct setting
Jim Schulman

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#6: Post by turtle »

I've done it in the distant past but I don't do it any longer.

Seemed to get hotter than normal and gummed things up occasionally.

I could not "recommend" you re-grind ground beans but I don't think it would cause anything terminal with the coffee or grinder (at least from my limited experience)
Mick - Drinking in life one cup at a time
I'd rather be roasting coffee

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#7: Post by yakster »

After Tim Wendleboe commented about re-grinding coffee using a Hario Slim hand grinder, I tried it in my Slim and found that it was a pretty good way to reduce the number of boulders and get a more consistent grind. If you were also sieving off the fines, this might be a good way to make the best out of a hand grinder of this class, but I probably wouldn't recommend it for an electric grinder.

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#8: Post by aecletec »

I've done it on 64mm (Faema) and 75mm (Anfim) flat burrs in 100g+ amounts without issue.


#9: Post by VernS »

I used to use the double grind at the same setting technique in a ceramic conical burr manual grinder if I found noticeable boulders in my ground french press coffee. This would usually happen if lighter roast or harder beans caused lurching and subsequent off center burr location. The second grind only required about 15% of the force.

After a lot of experimentation with technique, practice and concentration I've found I can produce a reasonably consistent grind without double grinding.


#10: Post by pacificmanitou »

nile13 wrote:It's just hard to find proper beans for Cubano when you crave it once in a while. So far Trader Joe's Medium Roast came close, but it's not it.
I once took a very plebian brazil to FC+ then forgot about it for about three months. It reminded me more than quite a bit of Bustelo.
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