Grinding Coffee and Types of Grinding

Coffee GrinderWhat’s the big deal about grinding coffee? After all, you buy your beans, you put them in the grinder, you turn the handle, and you’re done, right? Not so fast. Did you know that the type of grinder you use as well as how you store your ground coffee has an effect on how it tastes?

First things first. Do you think it’s best to grind your coffee in a blender or mixer, or do you need a fancy blade or burr grinder to do the job? If you want to do it right and preserve the flavor and aroma of your coffee, take a few simple steps to ensure that you get the best from your coffee beans and enjoy that perfect cup anytime you desire.

Did you know that there are different methods to grinding coffee based on how you prefer to prepare your coffee? For example, a coarse coffee grind is best utilized for vacuum coffee makers, the good old-fashioned percolator, French press machines, or a cold brew coffeemaker.

Medium grind coffee is best used with auto drip makers, with flat bottom filters no less, while medium to fine grinds do best in drip makers with a cone shaped filter. Fine grinds produce the best results for espresso or Turkish style coffee.

A large number of coffee drinkers who don’t have coffee grinding machines at home are perfectly content using their blender, but when it comes to preserving the flavor, body, and aroma of your coffee, properly grinding your coffee is essential.

A variety of methods to grind coffee include using a blade grinder or a burr grinder. The length of time you grind your coffee also has an effect on the flavor, taste and aroma of that coffee. Most of us tend to put the beans into a grinder and spin, whir or grind until we have an extra-fine texture, but you don’t always have to go so far – again depending on that type of brewing method you use.

Start with quality beans and take advantage of your grinder – regardless of type -to make the coffee that you like best.

Blade Grinders

Blade Coffee GrinderMost of you may be familiar with the term ‘blade grinder’ by another name – the good old-fashioned coffee mill. You know, that little box that you pour your whole coffee beans into, close the door, and turn the handle? Blade grinders are one of the most popular forms for inexpensive coffee grinding, and are perfectly accessible as well as affordable when it comes to purchasing.

Blade grinding your coffee is perfect for drip style coffee machines, a French press, or even a coffeemaker. Most store-bought coffee mill/blade grinder produces medium to coarse ground grains, but is not capable of producing the very fine grinds preferred for espresso or Turkish style coffee aficionados.

The only downside to a blade grinder is that it can be noisy first thing in the morning or late at night, but that’s a small price to pay for good coffee. Some discerning coffee drinkers may notice that consistency is not always equal to that last pot you made, and that’s because a blade grinder literally crushes or pulverizes the coffee bean. The degree of crushing or pulverizing depends on how many coffee beans are in the press at any given time, so some pots may taste slightly different than another depending on how evenly the coffee beans have been pulverized.

Blade coffee grinders are easy to use. You fill the reservoir with coffee beans, put on the lid, and either press a button that starts the blade inside to whirring, or you crank the handle. The longer you grind the finer coffee grounds you’re going to get. Again, consistency can be difficult to gauge until you have a bit of practice producing the exact texture you’re looking for.

The same guesswork may be involved in how much coffee to grind for that perfect pot. In most cases, measure two tablespoons of your favorite coffee bean for 6 to 8 ounces (or two tablespoons of whole coffee beans per cup of coffee) of water, depending on your preferences regarding your coffee strength. Blade grinders are fine for producing coffee grounds to use in both flat bottom and cone shaped filter drip makers, your French press, your vacuum coffeemaker, and yes, even the old standby, the percolator. Experimentation may be required until you perfect the measurement of the type of coffee beans you’ve purchased to the taste you’re looking for.

Burr Grinders

Burr Coffee GrinderA burr grinder is another common type of coffee grinder that comes in a variety of styles, sizes, and function. They’re a little more expensive than a blade or coffee mill type grinder, but most are more than worth the money because of the consistency and quality of the ground coffee it produces. No guesswork required, as is the case for many types of blade grinders. Most burr grinders today come with a variety of settings that you can utilize for your preferred brewing method. A bit of experimentation may be required at first until you determine exact settings that will produce the perfect cup of coffee that you prefer.

While blade grinders or your traditional coffee mill is perfectly fine for creating medium to coarse ground coffee, a burr coffee grinder, because it utilizes two blades or burrs, is perfect for grinding just about any type of coffee, whether you want to use your counter top coffee maker, your French press, your espresso machine, or even if you’re hankering for that oh so yummy cup of Turkish coffee.

Burr grinders are relatively inexpensive, and come in a variety of shapes, designs, and sizes, depending on the manufacturer. As with blade grinders or your traditional coffee mill, you’ll need to engage in a bit of experimentation to determine how many tablespoons or cups of whole beans will produce the strength of coffee you prefer.

The best thing about a burr grinder is that it’s easy to use. Pour in your whole coffee beans, close the lid, press a button, and presto, you’ve got fine ground coffee! Burr grinders are an excellent choice for fine, superfine, and Turkish grind coffee for use with anything from your espresso pot to a cone shaped filter drip maker to your espresso machine. When you have time, experiment with using your burr-ground coffee with different brewing methods. Play around with the length of time you grind the coffee. You’ll soon discover the perfect length of time to grind, and the exact measurement of coffee to water to produce that perfect cup of coffee you enjoy first thing in the morning. Enjoy!

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