If you want a splendid cup of coffee, do a perfect grind. There is nothing like perfectly Grinding your coffee. The aroma is breath-taking.
Do you often wonder people grind coffee beans? Even me, I once wondered why. Well, the truth is that grinding coffee gives it a very unique flavor. It is only when you grind the coffee properly that you will be able to get this flavor from the beans. Now, to avoid a cup of coffee without the fresh and beautiful aroma, do a proper grinding of your coffee beans.
Coffee brewing is easy. All you need to do is to add some hot water to coffee beans and you get coffee. It is the hot water that extracts chemicals from the beans and creates a coffee-like beverage. However, this method only extracts the flavors from the surface of the bean and leaves those of the inner portion of the bean. Also, even if you cut all of the beans in half and did the same, you will still not be able to extract the entire flavor. Grinding your coffee is the best option.
Am sure you now know that the size of the grind and the amount of time the ground coffee is exposed to water determines how much of the coffee is extracted. The water part of the equation depends on the brew method. It is best for us to focus on the size and the consistency of the size in your grind.
What is consistency here?
Extraction is usually uneven when coffee grounds vary wildly in size. It makes some to be over-extracted while others are under-extracted. Note that under-extracted coffee tastes sour and weak. This is because the bad flavors have been extracted, leaving the good behind. On the other hand, over-extracted coffee tastes bitter and bad. This makes it lack the exact flavor you need. If you want a perfect grind with the kind of flavors you need, consider consistency as the first factor. After it, any other factor such as price and the rest can come.
How do we get a consistent grind?
To get a consistent grind, reduce whole coffee beans into small particles of the desired size without grinding any of them too much or too little. It can be hard but the effort is worthwhile.
Electric or Manual Grinder?
The one you choose depends on what you can afford, the grind consistency, and the brew method.
Blade Grinder (Electric)
This is the most common style of coffee grinder found in homes is a “blade style” grinder. It comes with a blade attached to a motor that spins and chops up your coffee beans. These blade grinders are very affordable but lead to an extremely inconsistent grind. In the end, some will be chopped 500 times and some have been chopped 100. The extraction will be bad and at the same time, you won’t enjoy your coffee.
Burr Grinder (Manual)
This type of grinder comes in many shapes and sizes. A conical shaped burr attached to a motor (or a hand crank) sits within a fixed outer burr. Gravity feeds the coffee beans through the burrs. Once the coffee reaches the desired size, it falls through the burrs and is ready to be brewed. The good part of this is that majority of this coffee will be extracted properly.
Interestingly, you can get manual, hand-powered burr grinders for the same price or cheaper than your average blade grinder. For example, Hario Skerton produces an excellent grind for every brew method more coarse than espresso. Examples include drip, pour-over, french press, and Aeropress. They are all good and affordable. This kind of grinder is portable with just a few moving breakable parts. However, it is manually powered. That’s why many prefer electric coffee grinders.
To get the electric grinder that will perfectly grind your coffee, go for the Baratza grinders. The encore is the cheapest. You can find the encore new for around $130 or refurbished closer to $100. There are more expensive ones at $400 or so. These ones may look more beautiful but the quality is the same.
What about the freshness of your coffee?
The normal thing is to start brewing your coffee 3 or 4 days after roasting. When you finish, store the beans in an airtight container and finish off the coffee within 2 weeks. Make sure to always grind right before brewing. It is important to know that coffee gets a stale taste after 20 minutes or so and gets worse as time progresses.
The fact is that each brewing method exposes the coffee to water at different temperatures for different periods of time. In the end, this affects the flavor extracted as well as their quality. The best way to know the proper grind for your method is to experiment. Let all other variables be constant and change only the size of the grind.
Am sure you have learned a whole lot. Keep your questions in the comment section below.