Does the grind or machine I use to grind make any real difference?
We generally feel that you should order whole bean and grind fresh, right before you brew.
Avoid the cheap "blade" grinders that can't give consistent results and are hard to judge how long to "twirl" the blades when you use them.
For those who prefer ground -- here is some breakdown on what grind might be expected to work with what method of brewing...
- French Press coffee maker
- Vacuum coffee maker
- cooking pot over heat
- percolator coffee maker, brewing over heat source
- one step finer than Regular Percolator grind and allows better heat continuity, using less grounds, yielding less sediment.
- flat bottom drip brewers
- cone filter brewers
- espresso coffee makers/machines that utilize pre-ground coffee (whole-bean is generally the preferred method for many automated espresso machines)
- Ibrik or Hovoli brewing methods