Last week we talked about all the methods for making coffee at home, both manual and automatic, of all sizes, extractions and prices.
In short, now you have all the information you need to choose the machine to buy for your home, so today we’re talking about coffee grinders.
I know, it seems like a minor point, but it’s not!
The grinder is just as important as all other equipment, if not more. If you grind it wrong or in any case the particulate obtained does not have high quality standards, you will never be able to have an optimal product in your cup.
In other words: if the grinding is wrong, the extracted coffee will never be good.
Let’s also remember another important fact: 15 minutes after grinding we’ve lost 60% of the coffee aromas.
Therefore, if you want to obtain an intensely aromatic final extracted drink, you should grind the coffee fresh, i.e. only at the time of extraction.
Let’s get started!
The importance of grinding
First of all, as already mentioned, we must understand why grinding is important. This is why I’d suggest you to watch a video about the main aspects.
Grinding is used to increase the contact surface between coffee and water.
By breaking the bean, the water has a better chance of touching even the internal parts of the same, extracting all the substances that are useful to us.
Grinding is important because:
- It influences the color and the extraction of the drink: if the grinding is wrongly made, you will get an under-extracted or over-extracted coffee;
- Consequently it influences the taste: an under-extracted coffee is flat and with an unpleasant acidity, while an over-extracted coffee is bitter with empyreumatic scents, i.e. with notes of burnt and/or ash.
Finally, the grinding is not constant.
Let me explain: coffee is a porous food, so it absorbs everything from the external environment. For example: if the weather is dry in the morning and the afternoon becomes more humid, the coffee will need a different grind.
So it should be checked every day and several times a day.
To find out more about how to grind coffee, read the dedicated article:
You will really find all the information to find out how to grind for each extraction method and above all how to check its correctness.
Finally watch the video below on how to use the hand grinder:
How to choose a coffee grinder
The first questions to ask yourself before buying are definitely:
- Which is my need?
- What type of coffee grinder do I need to satisfy it?
If you are a great coffee lover and you already own other professional or semi-professional equipment, it is better to focus on the same target also for the grinder.
If, on the other hand, you are less demanding or are just starting to approach the world of fine coffee, you can start with cheaper, but still high-performance equipment, to practice.
Here are the different technical characteristics:
With rotating blades
I advise against these regardless of one’s personal level, as the blades do not allow in any way to obtain a uniform and homogeneous and above all constant over time detail. This is because the blades cut the bean, not grind it. Furthermore, it is not even possible to adjust the degree of grinding.
The most widespread system as it is precise, constant and resistant, perfect especially for espresso.
Allow to obtain a uniform grind, also by turning at lower speeds, it prevents the coffee from overheating. Ideal more for paper filter methods.
Finally, the millstones can be:
- Ceramic – cheaper, but less precise and more fragile;
- Steel – more expensive, but stronger, more accurate and also easier to clean.
Another key feature is the ability to adjust the degree of “thickness” of the ground coffee.
This is because each method has its own specific grind level. The grinder must therefore allow, as the one in the photo, the possibility of adjusting the granulometry, which is not possible with the blade one, but only with the conical or flat grinders.
Important feature, but not essential.
The capacity indicates the quantity of beans that the grinder is able to contain in its tank.
This can vary from 15 g for small and domestic ones up to 2 kg for larger and professional ones.
If we consider domestic use, it must be large enough to grind the necessary coffee in one go, without ever having too much residual coffee, so as to avoid its oxidation and loss of aroma.
Let’s take a practical example: if I’m alone in the family and I prepare a moka, the smallest 15 g one is already sufficient.
If, on the other hand, we are a family of five and each morning we each make two coffees for ourselves, we must provide a dose of ground coffee of at least 70 g (10 cups of 7 g each), thus requiring larger models.
You can find coffee grinders starting from € 20.00 up to € 5,000.00 if not more.
So decide how much you want to spend, bearing in mind that the performance will depend on the price.
As mentioned at the beginning, consider your level of preparation. If you are a beginner, you don’t need to spend too much, as you are in an experimentation and learning phase. Furthermore, if you are buying it only to obtain a more qualitative moka, you are fine, but you will not need the best coffee grinder on the market.
While if you try different coffees every day, maybe even Specialty with different extraction methods, then you need to aim higher.
Which manual grinder to choose?
Hario Skerton Pro
Excellent entry level grinder, with adjustable ceramic conical grinders, 100 g tank and completely removable for cleaning.
Grinding level is adjustable.
€ 30,00 – € 40,00
Manual coffee grinder with conical stainless steel burrs and up to 12 different adjustable grind levels and 20 g tank.
€ 55,00 – € 65,00
Stelton Collar Coffee Grinder
A minimal and chic grinder, created by designer Daniel Debiasi and Federico Sandri to prepare coffee at home in style.
It has ceramic grinders, which can be completely disassembled for cleaning and with the possibility of regulating the particle size.
€ 85,00 – € 105,00
Elegant, recognizable and loved. It is available in various colors, models, materials and sizes, but what unites them all is the incredible quality of the components.
Yes, it is expensive, but if you are a professional you must have the best to be able to work at your best!
Conical stainless steel grinders with ball bearings, obviously precise, constant and adjustable particle size and approximately 40 g tank.
€ 150,00 – € 380,00
Brand new on the market and in my opinion the one with the higher performance!
The first manual grinder with flat 58 mm grinders (almost as big as professional electric grinders) placed vertically, obviously adjustable to always guarantee excellent extraction.
Finally very easy to disassemble and clean thoroughly!
Which electric grinder to choose?
The costs are decidedly higher, as are the performances.
Here are the ones to keep an eye on.
Easy to adjust, with steel conical burrs and 250g capacity.
Designed for home use, therefore it does not allow you to grind very large quantities, for example those required in a commercial activity.
The only small hiccup is in the struggling to empty the entire grinding chamber properly, making cleaning more difficult.
€ 130,00 – € 200,00
Eureka – Perfetto
Beautiful to look at, compact and available in an infinite number of colours.
Easy to adjust and dose, with flat grinders.
The result is amazing! So perfect if you are real coffee lover professional Especially designed to be combined with an espresso machine.
€ 330,00 – € 800,00
Fiorenzato – All Ground
Last recommended, but not least, recently launched on the market, it is comfortable, intuitive, constant, precise and suitable for any type of grinding, for this reason it is called “all ground”, i.e. “all the grinds”.
At the moment for the home channel it was one of the grinders I had the most fun with!
It has flat burrs in steel and coated in titanium, 64 mm.
€ 600,00 – € 800,00
Now you just have to choose yours and start making coffee like never before!
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