Okay so maybe you've read (if not, what are you waiting for?) BeverageFactory.com's comprehensive articles regarding the Varieties of Coffee Grinders and an In Depth Guide to Burr Coffee Grinders and maybe you still have some questions. The following FAQ's will help you determine which coffee grinder will best fit your needs.
How do I know which coffee grinder is right for me?
The best way to insure you choose and use your coffee grinder to its fullest is by determining the brewing methods you most often engage. If you are an equal opportunity coffee drinker/lover and you make everything and anything from drip coffee, French Press coffee, and espresso and you plan on grinding your coffee beans fresh, then your best bet is to go with a non-dosing burr grinder. Burr coffee grinders give you the flexibility of grinding beans to the right fineness or coarseness level and the ability to dispense the ground beans into any filter.
If you mostly brew espresso, you may want to consider a dosing burr grinder which will grind the right amount of beans needed for a single shot consistently while also easily dispensing the beans directly into your espresso maker's portafilter.
For drip coffee makers on a budget, a blade grinder will still give you the benefit of fresh ground coffee without breaking the bank. Also, if you use a paper filter with your drip coffee maker you do not need to worry as much about the inconsistent coarseness level of blade grinded coffee since the paper filter prevents rogue grinds from finding their way into your brew.
Which grinder works best with my filter system?
Considering what kind of coffee filter you will be using with your coffee grinder is as important as figuring out which type of brewing method you will pursue most often. As we talked about in question 1, paper filters found with drip coffee makers leave plenty of room for grinding inconsistencies which plague most blade ground coffee.
Drip coffee makers with permanent filters on the other hand, require a more uniform grind since dust like grinds will find their way through the filter and into your brew. In this case, you should try to purchase a burr grinder.
Burr grinders also work best for French presses and Vacuum pots which both posses' permanent filters and will be susceptible to the same issues of inconsistent grind coarseness.
When brewing espresso with a portafilter, you will definitely want to consider a burr grinder. Not only do some burr grinders, like dosing grinders, produce the right amount for brewing espresso every time, but burr grinders produce a superior and uniform grind which transfers less heat to the coffee preserving its original richness. You may also want to take into consideration if you will be using a pressurized or non-pressurized portafilter. Pressurized portafilters make up for some grinding error where as non-pressurized portafilters require the grind to be just right in order for proper water to properly and evenly saturate the mixture.
Which grinder works best with an espresso maker?
No doubt about it, burr grinders are the best! 'Nuf said.
Will my grinder fit in my kitchen cabinets?
This is a good question and something definitely to consider when purchasing your coffee grinder. Blade grinders store very easily and are often times light and slight. Burr grinders can be quite large so it is a good idea to check the dimensions before purchasing.
Is there a grinder that insures I'll choose the right fineness or coarseness for my brew?
With blade grinders, the only aid you have are your own eyes to watch the grind fineness and ears to listen to the sound of the coffee going from very coarse, coarse, and finally to fine. After a few tries, you will definitely be able to figure out how long it takes to get the grind that works best for your brewing method.
Many burr grinders on the other hand do come with preset grind settings. Stepped locking burr grinders are the easiest to use in this respect as they come with manufacturer pre-set grinding options. Simply turn the dial to the grind fineness or coarseness you want, and it shall be done!
Hopefully this information was helpful and you are now well on your way to discovering the wonderful world of fresh ground coffee. If you would like to do so right now... click here!