Why Coffee Grinders Are Important
“Ground coffee is not just coffee ground up,” says barista and grinder engineer Michael Elvin of Olympia Coffee Roasters. “You need to have the right fineness/coarseness to get a good extraction. If it’s too fine for the method of brewing, your coffee will be harsh and medicinal. Too coarse, your coffee will be thin and more like tea than coffee.”
So whether you’re still wed to the idea of months-ago-ground coffee in vacuum-tight tins, or if you proudly grind at home with a blade grinder, or run it through the giant machine at the supermarket (you know, the oily behemoth that smells like Irish Cream blend?), you’ll benefit from at least a little of the science behind why grinding fresh and grinding evenly are so critical. You’ve heard the preaching, but it’s true: a conical burr grinder is the only real way to ensure even particle size, and any other whirly-blade mechanism will offer uneven results at best.
And though there are certainly those times for all of us (tropical vacation, sleeping roommates) we’ll feel the need to grind ahead (Elvin suggests that when traveling, you buy small amounts of coffee at shops en route and have them grind it for your brewer) your coffee will never have as much flavor than it does when grinding right before you brew. Alright, the basics dispensed with, let’s look at one of the best choices on the market for you to start dropping holiday hints about before it’s too late.
Clara’s Coffee Ceramic Burr Coffee Grinder
This tall, skinny grinder is easy to hold in your hand, but can only retain a smaller amount of grinds in its stainless steel chamber. It’s so small and light it makes the ideal travel grinder, fitting harmoniously into an overnight bag next to your Aeropress. This model is also slightly more intuitive to adjust grind size than most grinders in the market today. It is very easy to use and change the grind size from coarse to fine. With fresh ground coffee this easy to make on the go, finding hot water is suddenly your only obstacle.