If you’re currently on a journey of coffee/espresso-making (we might as well say here, self-discovery *snort*), then it won’t take long before you start considering coffee grinders, if you haven’t already. Grinding your own coffee beans is the most important step in brewing a tasty cup of jo, since ground coffee begins losing flavor after only 15 minutes of grinding. Hard to believe, huh? Kind of embarrassing really, but I’ve ignored the incessant pressure in getting a good grinder … until just recently, and finally caved in.
…Lets face it, a coffee grinder just isn’t your first thought when it comes to big purchases for your home-barista setup. But fact of the matter is, a grinder is actually MORE important than the brewer/machine all together. For example, if you pair a $1000 espresso machine with a $30 grinder, your espresso machine is devalued to pretty much junk. But if you put a $100 espresso machine (such as the Mypressi which I’ve talked about in an earlier post) with a $800 grinder, then you have a better setup than some cafes! Seriously *cough, starbucks, cough*.
Why is that, you ask? What makes one grinder better than another? Well, it is simply that not all grinders can handle the work cut out for them. Oh, I should also mention that there are several types of grinders out there, hand grinders, blade grinders… and Burr grinders. The latter being the only way to go. For truly delectable coffee, you need a consistent grind. Burr grinders produce a higher surface area and fuller flavor than any other grinders, and Conical Burr grinders are a step up even from that. (Yes, there are even different types of Burr grinders – Conical Burr grinders have a slower grind speed, and are the MOST preferred types of Burrs).
The grinder I chose for myself is a Baratza Vario with ceramic burrs. Nearly 300 settings, commercial grade, and can grind as fine as Turkish. *swoon* Well, it was actually a very hard decision, as there are so many options out there (and who wouldn’t have THIS as their top choice). But the Vario got great reviews and positive feedback in blind taste-tests against some other $1000+ grinders… and held it’s own. So, I figured it was a pretty safe choice! My verdict? I couldn’t be more pleased.
…In fact, all of the Barazta grinders are great choices for the price. You really don’t know the difference a good grinder makes, until you try it for yourself. My lattes tastes 100% different – stronger, more vibrant. Even the color and crema produced is much more defined. And if you are just a plain ol’ coffee kind of kid, don’t rule out a good grinder because you use a drip pot or french press – you’ll enjoy this or any high-end grinder for even those inexpensive methods of coffee-brewing.
If you are looking to buy a grinder and have questions any at all, feel free to comment and I’ll do my best to answer! I have also rounded up some of my favorite resources on the subject below and throughout this post: