Whether you’re a coffee lover or not, the chances are that you know coffee is kind of a big deal. It’s the second most traded commodity in the world, and for a good reason – it tastes delicious. Plus, its restorative power is exceptional, and it has done wonders for me over the last few years. Unfortunately, rushing to your favorite coffee shop every time you need a caffeine kick can be tedious, let alone costly.
So instead of spending too much cash at the coffee shop, why don’t you brew some coffee and enjoy it in the comfort of your home? Plus, the only way you can enjoy a fresh, flavorful cup of coffee is by grinding the coffee yourself and not depending on pre-ground coffee for your iced coffee. This means that you need a reliable grinder. So if you don’t have a coffee maker with grinder, here are a few things you must know before purchasing your first coffee grinder:
What Is a Coffee Grinder?
Coffee grinders are exceptional tools for extracting the taste and aroma of coffee beans, making it possible for you to brew high-quality, delicious coffee. This tool is the most crucial part of the brewing process, but most folks believe that the brewing process begins with the coffee maker, which isn’t the case. The brewing process begins when you grind your roasted beans.
The right grinder ensures that your coffee or espresso makers will get the most out of the coffee grounds. It can produce finely ground coffee that works with a wide range of brewing processes, including espresso. Therefore, if you love drinking different types of coffee, you need an electric grinder with lots of grinding settings.
Grinders vary in size with the ones meant for private usage being smaller in size, and they can be operated on demand. Coffee grinders can come with the coffee machines or be purchased separately. But most coffee lovers still prefer a standalone coffee grinder as it gives them an opportunity to pick a unit that matches their needs in terms of capacity, mechanism, and grinding settings.
Factors to Consider Before Buying a Coffee Grinder
Type of Grinder
Coffee grinders have evolved over the last few centuries from a simple motor and pestle to what we have today. Plus, with technology ever-changing, manufacturers have started producing better coffee grinders that are easier to use and can satisfy most coffee enthusiasts. These grinders are designed for producing coffee for certain brewing methods, which means that the size of the ground coffee differs. So here are some of the most common types of coffee grinders in the market:
Blade grinders resemble blenders since they function by cutting the roasted coffee beans using their small blades into small pieces. This is the most basic technique for grinding roasted beans that can be found in most homes. In fact, most of these blades are made from steel. The blade grinders function by chipping the roasted coffee beans apart when grinding them. And the only way you can achieve a specific size is by equipping your grinder with a sieve.
Compared to other types of grinders, blade grinders are affordable, and that is because the grinding technology they use isn’t complicated. Blade grinders are ideal for coffee lovers who don’t have very high expectations when it comes to the quality of their beverages. Blade grinders are ideal for folks working with tight budgets; plus, they can be used to chop other ingredients in the kitchen.
Burr grinders have some ceramic or steel burrs with a width of between 41mm and 71 mm. The size of the ground coffee is determined by the width between the burrs. Large conical burrs are ideal for high-volume espresso coffee, while smaller burrs are used in office/home coffee grinders. Small burr grinders are associated with hand grinders and are affordable, but they are a bit more costly than blade grinders.
Compared to blade grinders, burr grinders tend to grind huge amounts of coffee beans. It doesn’t burn the roasted coffee even when overused. Plus, with some burr grinders, you can adjust the size of the ground coffee. This functionality can come in handy for folks who love their beverage in a certain way. There are two kinds of burr grinders:
- Flat burr grinders: they are a bit costly and ideal for producing consistency when it comes to the size of the particle.
- Conical burr grinder: they are quieter and more affordable.
Electricity vs Manual Grinders
The main difference between these two types of grinders is that you’ll have to work extra hard with manual grinders. But automatic grinders are powered by electricity, and all you have to do is add the roasted beans and turn the machine on, and you’re good to go. Since manual grinders don’t use electricity, they tend to be cheaper than the automatic burr grinder and the best option for your next family trip.
Why Use Manual Coffee Grinders?
Do you spend a huge percentage of your time off the national power grid? Do you love adventure, or are you always on the road? If you’re a camping aficionado, and always lack coffee grounds when in remote locations, then you’re not alone. There are many folks who miss freshly ground coffee when camping, but with a manual coffee grinder, this will never be an issue.
Unfortunately, you will have to give up on the quality of your beverage; after all, manual grinders don’t produce finer or evenly grounded coffee beans. But you will save a lot of cash on electricity and have to work hard for your cup of Joe.
Why Use an Electric Grinder?
The electric grinder can generate high-quality coffee that can be used even for making espressos. The main reason why they can produce high quality grounded coffee is because they come with a motor. And being automatic, you will have some freshly ground coffee within the shortest time possible.
Electric coffee grinders come with an adjustable setting that allows you to produce ground coffee of varying textures, shapes and sizes.
If your family loves drinking a wide range of coffee, then you will require a grinder with more than enough grind settings for a consistent grind. Remember, the more settings it has, the more expensive the grinder will be. But most grinders are either described as stepless or stepped grinders:
- Stepless grinders have more options, and since they don’t come with established settings, you can pick the right settings from the given range.
- Stepped grinders come with a set number of settings that you can pick and start grinding.
If you already know what you want, you should go for a stepless grinder that will offer you unlimited options.
Most coffee grinders tend to be quite noisy, so if you’re sensitive to the noises produced by kitchen appliances, then you should go for less noisy options. Remember, you’ll be using it every morning when everyone in your home is asleep. So, if you don’t want to wake up your baby from their sleep, you should look for a quieter option.
Luckily, conical burr grinders are more silent than flat burr options. Plus, burr grinders are way more reliable and better than blade grinders. Therefore, if you’re getting it at the store, you can test it before finally making a purchase.
Ease of Usage
Manual grinders are easier to use than electric options. Manual grinders come with simple guides on setting the brewing settings. In fact, even a first-timer or small kid can use a manual grinder. All you have to do is pour your roasted beans into the grinder, close the lid and turn its grinder using the wooden ball. On the other hand, electric grinders come with more settings and more detailed manuals that can be complicated for some folks, especially the stepless grinders.
This feature has to do with how you will distribute the ground coffee after grinding it. Coffee grinders that come with dosers can easily pour the coffee into the containers you’ll use to add coffee to the filters right before starting the brewing process. But some coffee lovers don’t like grinders with dosers since they believe that leaving the ground coffee in the grinder for an extended period can result in them losing its freshness.
Doserless grinders correct the issue of dispensing the coffee more directly, which means that you’ll always have freshly brewed coffee every morning, but you’ll end up with more mess to clean when you use it.
Every coffee grinder model is designed to hold a particular amount of coffee beans every time you grind them. And since you get high-quality coffee if you brew it as soon as you’re done grinding. It’s crucial that you consider the capacity of the grinder. Therefore, you need to consider your daily usage when picking the right capacity for your new coffee grinder. If you have a big family of coffee lovers, then you will require a grinder with a huge capacity.
Every coffee aficionado who understands the benefits of drinking freshly brewed coffee knows the importance of a coffee grinder. They understand that the quality of the final brew is determined by the grinding process. Therefore, you need the right coffee grinder to enjoy the benefits of these roasted beans. An electric grinder offers you more grinding settings than a manual one. But a manual grinder can come in handy when you’re camping off the grid or in case of a blackout.