- Your Coffee Bean Grinder: The Backbone of Great Darn Coffee -
Your grinder is the most overlooked piece of the puzzle when it comes to brewing great coffee. Without the right coffee grinder, or knowledge about coffee grinding, you'll never come close to brewing that perfect cup of coffee.
You are about to learn everything that you need to know about grinding coffee the right way. Don't forget to check out this coffee grind chart for easy grinding before you go!
Why is Grinding Coffee (properly) so Important?
One of the most important steps to make delicious coffee happens before you begin to brew. Grinding your beans correctly is a necessity that most people overlook.
Some poor souls naively employ a blade grinder, mercilessly pummelling their beans into inconsistent particles, while others (and heaven help those who do) happily dump pre-ground coffee into their coffeemakers, unaware that these grounds are as stale as the neglected bag of Fritos in the back of their pantry.
Coffee beans are delicate and deserve to be treated with care if you want them to relinquish their savoury oils and rich flavors. To get the most out of your beans, you should invest in a burr grinder, manual or electric.
Though there is some overlap, most brew methods call for different grind sizes. A burr grinder will give you control over how fine or coarse your grounds are, a (mostly) hopeless dream with a blade grinder.
A well matched grind-and-brew method will yield a full extraction and a balanced cup. If hot water is allowed to mingle with your grounds for too long (the result of an overly fine grind) then it will begin to absorb the harsher, more acrid solubles. Too short, and you’ll miss out on the good stuff.
A proper grinder will also ensure that the coffee particles are of a uniform shape. Coffee grounds that are the same shape allow water to pass through in a predictable manner, which is crucial to planning out your brew.
If you can’t accurately regulate the rate of flow, then you may end up with gutter-worthy coffee one day, and mind-blowing coffee the next and never know why.
Make the investment to grind your beans the right way, and you will be rewarded with day after day of coffee so good you may never see your local barista again (he always gets your name wrong anyways).
Don't understand over or under extraction? It's the reason your coffee sucks, and it can be fixed with a good grind.
NEVER use a blade grinder. Your grinds will be inconsistent. Some will be over extracted, some will be under extracted. Your coffee will suck.
Types of Grinders
WAR has been declared.
Online, in the coffee forums, that is. The war is over coffee grinders.
It’s a bloodbath, with fanatics and scholars digging in deep and hurling poorly spelled, poorly supported opinions at one another.
Burr vs. blade, manual vs. electric, flat burr vs. conical burr; the battleground is vast. Yet amidst all this turmoil, a few nuggets of truth have managed to slip through.
The most substantial certainty is that burr grinders are exceedingly better than blade grinders. When it comes to tasty coffee, the essential elements are consistency and control, two things a blade grinder is terrible at.
Between a manual and an electric grinder you will find a debate mostly full of opinions parading as facts. Though an espresso enthusiast’s love of an electric burr grinder (like the Fiorenzato F4) is valid, the rest is up to personal preference and/or wallet size.
The differences separating flat burr and conical burr grinders is much more subtle. Flat burr grinders, the newest and (generally) more expensive contender has its merits for those seeking to play outside the box; yet the conical burr grinder is a classic that far from being eclipsed.
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FAQ's - Grinding Coffee
Coffee Grinder Reviews - Our Recommended Grinders in 2016
We take our grinders seriously. We've had sh*tty grinders in the past, and we don't want you to make the same mistake. We don't want you to go through the pain we went through.
Before you rush out and buy the first grinder you see, browse our recommended manual and electric grinder reviews below.
If you want a review of the best grinders in 2018 - read this guide.
The Baratza Virtuoso
The Virtuoso is a sturdy machine capable of satisfying even the most anal retentive coffee enthusiast. Its precision-targeted 40mm conical burrs can handle the finest espresso, the coarsest cold brew, and any grind in between.
40+ grind settings, straightforward controls and a constant 450 RPM running speed (no bean overheating) means the Virtuoso grinds as well as commerical grinders do.
Though not cheap, the Virtuoso is one of the more affordable professional-grade burr grinders on the market.
The Baratza Encore
The Encore is the baby brother of the Virtuoso.
Almost identical in every way, it is slightly less expensive, and a great choice for home-brew beginners to intermediate.
It offers the same number of grind settings and speed of the Virtuoso, meaning it does still grind like a champion.
With a smaller 8-ounce hopper capacity, quick grind speed, and hardy internal components made from lightweight materials, the Encore is a great introduction into the world of craft coffee brewing.
The Bodum Bistro Burr Grinder
Design-conscious home-brewer? The Bodum Bistro looks great on the countertop of any modern kitchen: it's minimalistic, and won't clutter your countertop.
How well does it grind? It can deftly handle any grind between espresso and French press, which makes it both pretty and utilitarian.
The comparatively small price tag, simple design, and reasonable grind range make the Bistro a good fit for the fashionable pour over or drip lover.
The Cuisinart Supreme Grind
The Cuisinart Supreme Grind is a powerful little grinder for an unbelievably low price.
Costing a mere fourth of the average price for burr grinders - its an easy choice for budget brewers.
Suspicious? You shouldn't be. With 18 different grind settings and an easy-to-use dose selector, this grinder is capable of handling most coffee setups.
Its small footprint also helps it nestle in among your other kitchen appliances without taking up much space.
The Breville Smart Grinder
The newest and most advanced grinder in the field. The Breville Smart Grinder can quickly and conveniently fulfill your coffee grinding needs.
Its built in Dose IQ function allows you to seamlessly switch between grind settings without having to fidget and experiment with the micro adjustments.
The Smart Grinder also features an intuitive strength selector, making this machine one of the most hassle-free grinders available. Perfect for serious home brewers.
The Hario Skerton (manual)
Among manual grinders, the Hario Skerton is a class favorite. It is a near-perfect union of classic styling and modern efficiency.
It features ceramic conical burrs, a recent development among top-notch grinders.
Ceramic burrs should make you smile. They generate less heat than metal while maintaining an edge for longer.
For a manual grinder, the Skerton has an wide range of size settings, and can handle nearly all grind types.
Besides its harmonious design, its price is also very attractive for a coffee lover concerned with precision.
The Porlex Mini (manual)
The Porlex Mini features ceramic conical burrs to keep your beans at an appropriate temperature even in the midst of vigorous grinding.
Clearly; its the physical embodiment of “sleek.” With a cylindrical profile that is both slim and 100% stainless steel, this grinder is an instant fit for any minimalist.
Its small size and durable frame also make it great for travel. Yet it is more than just a pretty accessory for your coffee collection.
The Porlex Mini is entirely capable of churning out an ultra-coarse, cold brew grind, and then a powdery-fine espresso grind without fuss.
More Coffee Grinding SHIZNIT From The Blog
Coffee Grind Chart
If you do just one thing today. Please.....Make sure its stealing this coffee grind chart from me!
Print it off, share it with your friends, and be amazed at how much better your coffee will be overnight, by simply using the perfect grind!
GRIND YOUR COFFEE PERFECTLY
Lets face it: getting the right grind is hard. Very hard. If you don't get the right grind, your coffee ends up shitty. Here's an easy fix: simply download this top-secret little coffee grind chart, and compare what you think is the right grind, to what really is. I created it for myself, but I want you to have it. Take it before I change my mind!