If you are not grinding your coffee fresh at home, you are missing out on the great flavor and taste that are the hallmark of high end coffee shops. If you love coffee from Starbucks or your local independent coffee shop, but don’t like paying $2, $3, or sometimes even $5 per cup, you need a home grinder.
The importance of a good coffee grinder is typically overlooked by most people, and thus their home brewed coffee does not come close to that amazing coffee house flavor they are trying to recreate. Even if you have an amazing high end coffee maker, you will have sub-standard coffee if you skimp on the grinder or forgo fresh ground coffee altogether.
Fresh Ground Coffee Really Has A Huge Impact
If you have ever wondered where that inviting aroma in your local coffee shop comes from, it’s from the recently ground coffee. When coffee is ground, all the important oils are released from within the roasted bean and start evaporating. Vacuum sealed hole coffee beans will hold the vast majority of their flavor for months, and still taste good after sitting on a shelf for a long period of time. Once coffee is ground however, most of the great flavor evaporates within 30 minutes and will taste flat and uninviting a few hours later.
Coffee Grinder Type Does Make A Difference
There are three main types of grinders available for the home coffee brewer. These three types are represented by both powered automatic and manual hand operation grinders. Which one is the best for you depends on the price you are willing to pay and the quality grind you are looking for.
Blade Grinder – The kind of coffee grinder most frequently used by home coffee brewers is the blade grinder. A motor turns a blade super fast, which in effect chops your coffee beans into bits. The are most common because of the price, not because of the grind quality they create. A good blade grinder costs as little as $15. But what it lacks in price, the blade grinder also lacks in grind quality. Blade grinders need to be cleaned frequently and come with a little brush to help with cleaning out the old coffee grounds.
Burr Grinder – The burr grinder is the next step up in coffee grinding technology. Two grinding wheels essentially squish your coffee beans between them, allowing the bits to fall through when they are small enough. There is much finer control over the size of the coffee grounds when using a burr coffee grinder over a blade. The grinding process also proceeds much more slowly, thus keeping the beans and grounds from heating up and burning the oils during the grinding process. Burr grinders used to be the best price point for the home coffee grinder market, but conical burr grinders have really come down in price in the past few years. A good burr grinder can be bought for around $50.
Conical Burr Grinder – The cream of the crop for the home grinder, the conical burr grinder is similar to a normal burr grinder, but grinds the beans between two cones, one inside the other. This allows the coffee beans to be ground even more slowly and consistently, as the process can proceed gradually, with the coffee bean pieces getting smaller and smaller as they proceed through the grinding process. These grinders are far more adjustable than other models, making a fine espresso grind with ease. Until recently, conical burr grinders were typically in the $150 – $200 range, but with more and more interest in home coffee grinders those prices have dropped below $100. A good conical burr grinder can cost under $80 these days, and is a great long term investment.
Love Your Individual Cup Brewer But Want Fresh Ground Taste?
You can have that single cup convenience with the great taste of fresh ground coffee! Those Keurig K-cups are super easy and quick when you just want one cup of fresh coffee, but they lack that fresh ground taste that is the hallmark of coffee shop brewing. There are a number of different single K-cup baskets on the market that can be filled with one serving of fresh ground coffee, then reused again and again. With K-cup prices in the $1 a cup range, filling your own with fresh ground coffee can help both your budget and your taste buds at the same time!