Coffee is one of the most popular hot beverages served in homes and restaurants around the world. Coffee enthusiasts know that drinking only the freshest and most flavorful coffee will suffice, which is why many coffee lovers will grind their own at home. While grinding coffee beans is an easy task, using the wrong grinder can create ground coffee that tastes burnt and, more importantly, wastes the delicious aromas and taste roasted into the beans. To get the most out of at-home coffee grinding, a hand coffee grinder is the best choice.
Two Reasons Against Electric Grinders
What some coffee lovers do not realize is that electric-powered coffee grinders use motors to spin the blades and grind the beans. While this makes for a quick cup of coffee, it can be a disaster in the making. The electric motors sometimes move so fast, or must work extra hard, depending on how many beans are added to the mill. The faster the blades turn or the harder the motor must work to turn the blades, the hotter the motor will become. Some electric mills and grinder motors become so hot that they start burning the beans or “re-roasting” them.
This is bad for two reasons. First, it can change the flavor of the specific roast purchased. Many people will purchase a more expensive coffee for home grinding because their specialty roast and origin of harvest, such as Kenyan or Blue Mountain beans. However, a too-hot electric grinder can change the flavor, thus ruining the true coffee experience. Second, if the blades and motor become too hot, the beans will burn, creating an off flavor that, in many cases, cause people to throw the burnt beans and resulting coffee away.
On the Other Hand…
A hand coffee grinder allows the coffee lover to grind his coffee beans to perfection-as fine or coarse as he wishes-without the threat of burning it or ruining its fresh flavor. After all, people who grind their own beans are after the freshness and flavorful aromas of the beans to wake them up in the mornings, not a mechanical and burnt smell. The minute coffee beans are ground they start to oxidize and lose their freshness-thus losing flavor and aroma along with it. This is another reason-and a tip-to using a hand grinder. Grinding beans right before brewing the coffee guarantees the freshest pot of coffee possible. Additionally, grinding only enough so that all the grounds are brewed at the same time guarantees its freshness and that none goes to waste.
Whether you use a hand grinder for the convenience of grinding coffee quickly and quietly first thing in the morning or right after dessert, picking the best grind for the coffee beans is essential. Most grinders have settings so that the beans can be ground in increments of a millimeter resulting in coffee fine enough for an espresso machine of coarse enough for a French Press. Coarse grinds require only three to five minutes to grind the beans, very fine grinds will require about eight to 10 minutes to finish the job, but the time, and effort is worth a great cup of coffee. Turkish grinders are made to grind coffee into a powder-like substance, which is required for brewing Turkish coffee on a stove top. Regular hand mills cannot grind the coffee as fine.
Now, the blade used to grind the beans also matters, f you want a consistent grind, that is. Propeller blades simply shop the beans until they are in small enough pieces to call “ground.” However burr blades grind the beans they way they were meant to be ground; in between burred plates that grind form both the top and bottom. This method results in a more consistent coffee ground and a fresher flavor. The fact is that anyone who loves coffee enough to consider grinding the beans themselves should purchase a hand grinder for a fresher, more consistent cup of coffee.