Up until now I’ve focused on getting a general understanding of coffee, looked at few coffee machines and how coffee (nice stuff) is made, but now I’m going to focus a little bit earlier in the process with the espresso coffee grinder.
This is perhaps one of the most important stages in preparing a good cup of coffee, that and the beans themselves (a later article) will be the starting point and there is so much room to make a great coffee, even in this step (or to ruin one).
What I have found is that there are 2 main types of coffee grinder – the blade grinder and the burr grinder.
As always, each has its pros and cons (else there would only be the one type).
The blade grinder is the most common bean grinder, mainly because it is cheap. It is also seen to be much better than any kind of instant, even though for the coffee expert, the quality of coffee grinds it produces is not great it is still a million miles better than instant, and even, because of the freshness, better than pre-ground coffee.
Now that isn’t something we have spoken of yet, but it is best to grind the coffee as soon before using it as possible, otherwise, the coffee grind or grounds interact with the air meaning that it loses its aroma so ideally, only make as much as you need for now! At a later date we will go into the storing aspects of coffee, as to some extent the flavor can be maintained, but generally, the fresher the better (which is why at most coffee shops – even where efficiency is very important, they don’t just grind at the start of the day).
Anyway, back to the blade grinder – it is ok as I said, but the problem is there isn’t the consistency in the grind and to get a fine ground which is necessary to produce espressos, the speed at which the blade turns around can leave it burning the grind, which obviously affects the taste of the coffee.
The other type of grinder – the burr grinder, comes in a couple of different types – first we have the wheel grinder an then the conical grinder.
The wheel burr grinder is the cheaper of the two types, and it does a great job (generally better than the blade grinder), but it can be noisy and messy as it goes around quite fast and can fling the coffee grinds out a bit!
The second type of burr grinder – the conical burr grinder is the best of the lot. It is also the most expensive. The grinding is done at a much slower speed, making it quieter and much less messy. The consistency of the burr grinders is much better than the blade grinders too.
There is also a third type of grinder – the manual grinder which involves twisting a handle to grind the coffee – we will look at this in a later article.
There are several types of grind you can get from these coffee grinders and all have their uses, again we will look at this in another article, but in essence, there are coarse, medium and fine grinds available. there is also an extra fine grind called a Turkish grind which is used for the very best of the espresso.
Till next time…