Grinding is the last operation through which coffee has to go before being actually made. Ideally, coffee should be ground immediately before being made, as ground coffee quickly loses its aroma.

In times past, coffee was ground in wooden or marble mortars with a pestle. Later on the scene were different kinds of crank and drawer coffee grinders, and finally the modern-day electric ones. The old coffee grinders are considered better than the modern-day electric ones, because coffee is "ground" by the wheel where the beans pass and not "minced", as happens with the various electric-blade coffee-grinders which, among other things, heat the coffee, thus further roasting it and causing it to lose some of its flavour. The amount of grinding necessary has to be determined by the kind of coffee-maker used.

There are four basic methods of brewing coffee: boiling, steeping, percolating and filtering. Coffee experts consider filtering the best method of extracting the soluble essences of ground coffee. The coffee is contained in a paper or cloth filter. Very hot, but not boiling, water is poured over the grounds and allowed to flow into a container where it will not come into contact again with the grounds. For perfect coffee, earthenware or glass receptacles should be used, since contact with metal lowers the quality of the drink.

For more information on brewing that perfect cup of coffee and the multitude of different ways of making coffee, please visit the Making Coffee section.