So, since we’ve gotten so many questions about “why whole beans only” and “well what grinder do you recommend” we figured we’d write a blog…so here it goes, all the reasons for grinding your own beans and the tools to do it...by Clay Snyder.
Grinding your coffee as close to the time when you brew it is a simple way to improve any cup of coffee. The main reason for doing this is to preserve the many flavorful oils and other compounds that are released when grinding. These are not preserved with pre-ground coffee that has been sitting on a shelf for even a short amount of time. Another important reason is for consistency. A more consistent grind allows for better quality.
To get a bit more technical, a more coarse grind is better suited for pour-overs, drip brewing and French pressing, where as a much more fine ground is preferred for espresso where producing crème and extracting subtle notes and flavors from the coffee is possible. The best way to do get the most consistent grind is using a burr grinder. Another benefit of using the burr grinder is that it doesn’t get the grids hot like a blade grinder. The unintentional heat can sometimes sacrifice flavor because it destroys the beans natural oils. Yes, it’s true. The heat that can be introduced while grinding can change the desirable flavors of the coffee in much the same way that roasting the beans does. All coffee beans are roasted as part of the process to what extent is what makes the style of roast unique. An Italian Dark Roast is, you guessed it, roasted darker and longer. A Medium Roast is roasted for less time and at lower temperatures. The entire roasting process is very nuanced and beyond the scope of this blog and my understanding. Basically both a burr grinder and blade grinder will certainly turn whole beans in to ground coffee, for sure. And the blade style can be more affordable, if that’s a consideration.
But for the true coffee connoisseur, I would definitely spend the extra bucks and invest in a burr grinder. Most grinders will have a chart or settings for your brew method, but a nice semi-fine grind is what I’m looking for to use in my pour over. Nothing too fine, or it will bog the filter and can taste a bit bitter. You can also play with the water temperature. A bit cooler (190*) will be less bitter than 210* water. You should find what YOU like. Just make sure you buy our coffee though. That’s a given. 😊
As far as specific grinders, I have the Bodum Bistro. For $40 it was a smart buy. It’s a burr grinder with a hopper that is not too large and is adjustable for grind size. It’s perfect for grinding a medium grind for use in my pour-over brewer and was relatively cheap. (Click on photo for link)
The Bodum is great and affordable BUT it’s super messy!!! Not very wife friendly.
Here’s an idea of what I’m talking about (see video)
There are a ton of options out there. I sure this Breville one is awesome (as all Breville products are), but it’s a hefty investment at $200. Click picture for link.
Below, this manual style is a good option. I have a pepper mill like this AND IT’S AMAZING. Probably a lot of work though.
And for you Keurig fans, there are options for you too! You can achieve good results with one if the refillable k-Cups that either came with your machine or in the link below.
Once those beans are ground, now it’s time to make the coffee! Personally, I prefer a simple pour over. Drip coffee is just fine by me, but I tend to make way more than I should and either waste it or end up drinking a s%!t ton of coffee. The pour over method also allows you to control all the variables in a super simple and cheap fashion. It’s a no-frills way to make a good cup of coffee. If you want to go this route, here are a few options:
Chemex 6 cup:
Click on image beside for link.
They are all the same concept. Get the one that looks best and is within your budget. Anyway, now that you are grinding your own coffee, you can grow a huge beard and start collecting tattoos as well as control the grind and taste of your coffee!
PS: After only a brief search on the internets, I was able to come find a reasonable solution to the static issue with my Bodom burr grinder. Adding just a few drops of water to a metal spoon and stirring it into the beans prior to grinding solved my issue almost completely! Not sure how this works, but I’m sure it has something to do with science 😉