Some people refer to grinds as the coffee that comes out of the grinder, and grounds as the spent grinds you're left with after brewing.

Is this nomenclature correct?


1 Answer 1


Some people refer to grinds as the coffee that comes out of the grinder,

This is a misuse. "grind" (noun, countable) is (From the OED):The size of the particles of a powder, e.g. ground coffee.

1922 W. H. Ukers All about Coffee xxv. 402/1 A mixture of a very fine with a coarse grind gives the best results in the cup.

1959 Glossary of Packaging Terms (B.S.I.) 34 Grind, the size of the particles of which moulding powder is composed, generally graded according to the portions retained by different mesh sizes.

  • Interesting. So to the second half of the question, what do you call the spent grinds left after brewing?
    – nnnnnn
    Feb 14, 2020 at 10:05
  • "Grounds" thespruce.com/using-coffee-grounds-in-your-garden-2539864 "How to Use Coffee Grounds in Your Garden"
    – Greybeard
    Feb 14, 2020 at 10:17
  • 1
    The following training document for baristas defines “the grind” as “the consistency of the ground coffee” (p.30) and even capitalize “the Grind” (p.32) when using it more broadly to mean “the product/result of grinding the coffee beans” rather than simply its consistency or grain size. The 77-page document does not anywhere use “grinds” to refer to the ground beans. shortcoursesau.edu.au/pdf/sca/Barista-Coffee-Workbook.pdf Feb 14, 2020 at 13:34
  • Notice that the OED refers to sources that pre-date the significant “waves” of change in modern coffee brewing techniques and culture (as described here: prima-coffee.com/coffee-glossary#first). But this may or may not be relevant to the answer, but notice there are no meshes in use in the modern context. Feb 14, 2020 at 13:45

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