“I would like to improve my espresso at home, how can I do it?”
“How long does coffee last?”
“How do I make damn latte art for my girlfriend/boyfriend?!!”
In this new series of blogs, we decided to address the most frequent questions you ask us, both in our store and in your emails! We will give you our opinion, which we have built up through nearly 10 years of experience in the mysterious world of coffee :D
We start with: Is the coffee grind important?
Those who ask themselves this question have never had the incredible pleasure of having a grinder at home, of smelling fresh coffee in their home, every morning! The grinder is, in our opinion, an essential tool for enjoying 100% good coffee at home.
Firstly, because you will enjoy the intoxicating smell of freshly ground coffee. Just that makes you want to equip yourself, right? ;)
Secondly, in terms of conservation, you will extend the life of your coffee by several weeks by grinding it on demand. Indeed, coffee, once reduced to powder, is at its best only for a few hours, and will become without particular flavors after a day or two. Again, anyone who says otherwise probably never had a grinder.
Third, if you make espresso, you've probably noticed that some pre-ground coffees are less desirable than others. Flows too quickly, thin texture, bland flavors. That's because the extraction of a good espresso requires a fresh grind, yes, but also precise depending on the coffee. You may have to tighten your grinder by 2-3 stops between our Strong #1, a fairly permissive blend, and a light roast single-origin coffee that requires a finer grind.
Now that we understand that a mill is life, we need to talk about the types of mill! Well yes, coffee is complicated, isn’t it?!
On the market, there are 2 types of grinder: blade (which cuts coffee) and burr (which grinds coffee). If you make filter coffee, hand brew, bodum and the like, you can get away with using a blade grinder, it can be a good inexpensive introduction. However, a burr grinder is the option to prioritize, because the grind will be much more uniform and more precise.
Okay, now the bit you want to know: Which is the best grinder?
My personal opinion is that if you have a pressurized portafilter machine and like darker roast coffees, an entry-level burr grinder like the Baratza Encore or Breville Dose Control will get the job done. In terms of manual mill, the Hario Skerton is your friend, in addition to offering you a free work-out! You will then have a pleasant and tasty espresso, but not perfect.
If you want to achieve perfection, or at least try to, you will have to lean towards a non-pressurized filter and/or an Italian machine (Rancilio, Gaggia, etc.). This equipment will then require a slightly more adjustable grinder, like the Eureka Mignon. For a manual grinder, we recommend the Timemore C2, with its more ergonomic handle and its very quick adjustment wheel.
Ultimately, the grinder is the tool that gives you control over your coffee at home, so it's important to consider it during your next coffee machine shopping!