Is a home coffee grinder really necessary or is it just for professionals?
Buying a coffee grinder for our home is not something reserved exclusively for baristas. We can all enjoy its benefits in our home. For example, whole bean coffee is cheaper than if it is already ground. And, if we are true fans of this drink, we will notice the difference when preparing it from a finer or coarser grind, depending on the case.
Before launching into an offer on coffee grinders, it is necessary to consider all these purchase aspects to make sure we get it right:
- Material: the tank and the entire structure can be made of wood or plastic. It is also possible to find an iron coffee grinder, but it is less common since it is an oxidizable metal. On the other hand, you have to consider the material of the sharp blades. The best coffee grinders are equipped with stainless steel and have ceramic structures that prevent the heat generated by the motor from reaching the beans.
- With or without a dispenser: this will mark that we can choose the thickness of the grind. For example, espresso coffee should be very fine.
- Grinding system: it can be of two types:
- Strawberry: it is typical of any coffee grinder with conical grinding wheels. They grind the grain very efficiently but are not capable of giving it a very fine grind. It is the most common in burr coffee grinders.
- Blade: the most modern. Get a high-quality grind on all types of grains. In addition, many of the devices that equip it can also be used as a multi-purpose grinder, that is, as a spice and seed mill, as a food mill, etc.
- Ease of cleaning: the best coffee grinders are removable and have some dishwasher safe elements.
- Capacity: it will depend on the amount of coffee that we need to grind in each use. A grinding tool must allow us to obtain at least 50-100 grams of ground coffee each time.
- Noise level: the quieter the better. A low-noise grinder will not disturb those around us if, for example, we use it in the morning to prepare breakfast and they are sleeping.
- Manual or electric: It depends. A crank grinder is less efficient than an automatic one, but it preserves the qualities of the coffee better during the grinding process.
- Accessories: At a minimum, the coffee grinder should include a cleaning brush and, if manual, non-slip feet to keep it firmly on the surface.
- Price of the coffee grinder: it will depend on the quality of its components. The best electric coffee grinders are normally worth between 20 and 30 euros. The manuals are usually around 15 or 20 euros.
- Best brands: KYG, Aigostar and Hario are the designers of the main coffee grinders recommended in this comparison due to their good value for money.
Parts of a coffee grinder
The components of the manual coffee grinder are:
- Hopper: is the container in which the whole coffee beans are placed.
- Grinding chamber: directly connected to the hopper. Inside there is a mechanism of blades, grinders and blades for coffee that grind the beans.
- Rotating handle or crank: by turning it, the user allows the passage of coffee beans from the hopper that grind the coffee.
- Coffee dispenser: allows you to adjust the thickness of the ground coffee. We must consider that not all types of coffee should be ground the same.
- Collection tray or tank: the already crushed grain falls into it for later use in the coffee machine.
However, an electric coffee grinder lacks a handle. Instead, it has a motor that, when activated, allows coffee to be ground without user intervention.
Types of coffee grinders
There are several types of coffee grinders:
- Automatic coffee grinders: they have an electric motor inside. The user only has to introduce the beans into the hopper, plug in the device and select the desired thickness and quantity. This way you get the best ground coffee quickly and effortlessly.
- Manual coffee grinders: they have a crank or handle on the hopper whose function is to introduce the coffee beans into the grinding chamber. In addition, when moving it, the user also operates the blades responsible for shredding them. They are cheap coffee grinders but they require more care, time and effort than electric ones.
- Coffee machines with grinder: they are coffee machines with an integrated coffee grinder, that is, they grind whole beans and make coffee during the same process.
Is an electric grinder or a manual grinder better?
An electric coffee grinder has all these advantages over manuals :
- Grind the coffee much faster.
- It allows obtaining the perfect texture easily.
- Does not require any physical effort on the part of the user.
- Can be regulated very easily.
- It is cleaner and generates less waste.
- Works best with large grains.
However, older coffee grinders also have some advantages over automatic ones :
- They do not heat up as they do not have an electric motor and, therefore, do not influence the taste of the coffee.
- Perfect for those types of coffee that require a coarse grind.
- They have very elegant and colorful traditional designs in the kitchen.
- Much cheaper.
The aforementioned in terms of flavor is what most favored the baristas and coffee connoisseurs in favor of the manuals. However, the invention of the ceramic grinder, which has solved the problem of heat transfer from the engine to the grain, has once again tipped the balance on the side of the automatics. In any case, the choice should depend on our budget, the amount we need to grind each day and the type of coffee we like to taste.
How long does coffee last in good condition before and after grinding it?
In beans, coffee can retain its flavor and aroma for months. This is because the structure itself is designed to retain its qualities and peculiarities for as long as possible.
However, once we grind it, things change. At most, ground coffee begins to lose its properties after the seventh day. Therefore, it is recommended that, at most, we grind the amount of coffee that we need for a week.
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Where and how to properly store ground coffee?
A question that we have found quite regularly among the opinions on analyzed coffee grinders. However, we can assure you that preserving and preserving ground coffee to maintain its qualities is not difficult. To do this, we must:
- Store it in the fridge: heat is the worst enemy of ground coffee as it enhances the oxidation of its particles. It should never be left in the cupboard.
- Preserve it under vacuum: as soon as you finish grinding it if we prefer to grind a large amount of grain at once and not little by little
- Store it in an airtight package if it will take several days to use it.