Is it important to have a coffee grinder?
One of the best things about making and drinking a perfect cup of coffee is to smell the wonderful aroma from coffee beans.
Why coffee bean but not ground coffee? Okay, we all know that ground coffee saves you some precious time in the morning but grinding on demand will make the flavor last longer.
Coffee experts also advised us not to grind more coffee than the amount we plan on drinking no matter how convenient it is to grind the whole pack at a time, not to mention the immoral fact that many coffee bean stores nowadays blend your chosen coffee with lower quality beans in order to get some more profit.
The only way to ensure that your coffee is authentic and still in its highest quality is to invest in a home grinder. The moment you try that freshly ground cup of coffee, you may not want to return to the bland pre-ground coffee anymore. Also don’t forget that true coffee fans never get tired of grinding their own coffee and they love to do that everyday.
That is why coffee grinder is one of the most important equipment in the coffee making process and we should not underestimate its vital role at all!
Different types of coffee grinder
There are few things you need to learn before choosing your own coffee grinder. Some latest coffee makers & espresso machines even have this function built-in.
The two most common types are blade grinder and burr grinder.
This type of coffee grinder is not so expensive (from 20$) and compact in size for home user. Plus it is simple to use and easy to clean. It normally has a metal blade to cut up the beans and spins at high speed. The fineness level can be controlled by how long you let it run. However, the coffee grounds might not be in a stable quality as the beans will be cut into variety of sizes which leave negative result on your coffee.
Therefore if you expect a fine grind with this design, grind them in spurts of a few seconds each so the bottom of the grinder can be bounced gently to tumble the partly coffee bean back down. Blade grinder can sometimes be useful for grinding nuts and other spices, however you must give it a thorough clean afterward if you don’t want your coffee to smell like pepper. If you just want to grind the beans simply for the fresh coffee aroma and be concerned about cost, blade grinder will be a nice choice.
Here are some useful tips for blade grinder:
Since the blade is the main tool in the equipment and it can wear out, make sure you have it sharpen on an often basis.
It is necessary to clean the grinder thoroughly after grinding flavored coffee and don’t grind more than 15 seconds because it might give your ground coffee a bitter taste and strange flavor.
This type of grinder uses a moving grinding wheel and non-moving surface where in between the beans are crushed.
One of its strengths is to regulate the ground size which allows for a more consistent quality, even a not very expensive one can give you nice grind result. A typical burr grinder contains an airtight compartment at the top of the machine to keep the beans fresh and prevent spillage and waste of coffee during the grinding process.
For the above strengths, it is easily understood that burr grinder is the best option, especially for some specialty coffee machine like Espresso machine, French press.
Burr Grinder is simply divided into 2 categories: wheel burr and conical burr grinder.
The wheel burr uses a higher speed rotation than the conical, however, it is noisier and messier. The conical is cleaner in operation which also spins more slowly, doesn’t make any mess but of course, you need to pay more for it (can be from 50 to 600$).
The only tip in using burr grinder is also the same to the blade grinder: you need to clean it thoroughly after each use. It is recommended that you may grind a few tablespoons of dry, uncooked rice in the grinder once a month to remove the unwanted smell.
How to choose the perfect coffee grinder?
Before making the important decision, you also need to consider some other factors like coarseness level since most of the cheap grinders don’t have this setting, which means you need to try a few times to find out what the perfect level is for you.
Some expensive models offer numerous setting options from coarse, medium, fine to extra fine and even turkish (powdered like flour). It depends on how you want your coffee to be and the type of your coffee makers.
So, first thing is to make sure the grinder you are considering is capable of grinding for your needs. Medium level is suitable for drip coffee makers while French press, vacuum vac pot require the ground coffee to be coarse and the level has to be extra fine for Espresso machines.
Grinders with lids deep enough to accommodate all of the ground coffee without spilling during the process were preferred. Strength of the motor is also vital as the more powerful the machine is, the less likely it is to burn out after frequent use. Maintenance is one of the important factors. If you don’t want to waste times cleaning afterward, basic blade grinder can be a good choice while burr grinder requires more care in order to keep it in great condition.
Besides, if you pay attention to small details, some other features like bean capacity, performance, durability and noise level should also be taken into consideration. What about the price? How much money should you spend on your coffee grinder? According to expert from CoffeeGeek.com, grinder is also as important as your espresso maker. Therefore, a high quality Espresso maker which costs 250$ might need a grinder at the same price range. However if you don’t want to spend a lot of money on such equipment, a hand grinder can be a nice choice over a cheap electrical one as these electrical things are easily broken and not consistent on the coarse setting. Start getting one grinder and see yourselves the differences from the same old cups you have everyday with the bland pre-ground coffee. It’s not only about maintaining the flavor, but also creating art every morning.