How to Choose a Coffee Grinder?
Nowadays coffee grinders vary in price from under $50 to thousands of dollars and it can be confusing knowing how much to spend and why. There are quite a few differences between grinders.
The first difference is the blade that is used to grind the beans. The cheaper models tend to have a blade like that in a food processor.
Some machines have a superior burr mechanism which actually slices off bits of the beans and exposes a greater surface area meaning there is more potential for all of the flavour of the bean to be extracted in to the drink. The cost of the machines reflects this difference with a burr grinder being more expensive.
With a burr grinder it is also possible to buy a model where you can set how finely you want the coffee to be ground. This is a useful feature if you have different types of coffee machine as an espresso machine needs a different grind than a drip filter machine and also you may find a big difference in flavor between different grinds.
Some machines allow you to choose exactly how course the grind is and others just have several settings to choose from the former usually being more expensive than the latter. Another difference between machines is the speed of the motor. Many people prefer the high speed ones because they do the job more quickly and do it well. However the low speed grinder doesn’t get as hot and therefore the coffee doesn’t get overheated. This is important because exposing the coffee to heat begins to release some of the flavor.
There are differences in the machines as to how the coffee is dispensed. Some have a hopper on the front and you can then put your portafilter in a special slot and dispense the amount that you need directly in to it. Some machines allow you to vary this amount and some do not. Others have no hopper and you dispense into a container or carafe. These grinders tend to be a bit messier.
It is a good idea to consider all of the features of a coffee grinder and decide which are important to you and this will give you a start to your decision making. With a list of required features you will be able to eliminate certain options.
It is also a good idea to have a budget in mind too. Keep in mind how much space you have as some models are thinner and taller and others shorter and fatter and depending on where you are putting it you may not be able to fit certain models in.
Brand name could be important to you and obviously there are many different companies that make coffee grinders. You may prefer the same brand as your coffee maker as it is likely to match better style wise and you will know how good that brand is already.
If you now have a short list of models then it is worth finding everything that you can out about them. Go to the manufacturer’s website and read everything that you can about them.
Then go to review websites and see if anyone has reviewed them to find out what others think. If you know anyone who grinds their own beans then talk to them about what they use and how they find it.
If you want to see the different grinders then go to a shop and do not be afraid to ask for a demonstration. This will show you how it works and also let you know how noisy it will be.
Do not purchase right away though as you are likely to find that it is cheaper to buy a machine online than from a brick-and-mortar store.