Originally Posted by Renault78law
[...]when you're brewing basically one or two cups a day, how much does the grinder really matter?[...]
There’s a reason that most credible sources say “don’t skimp on the grinder”, as it seems to be unanimously considered to be the most critical piece of gear. If you want good coffee, the grind matters just as much for a single cup a day as it does in a busy top-end café. But it isn’t a quantity thing, it’s a quality thing; the ideal grinder for the home and the shop aren't likely to be the same.
Uniformity is the key element regardless of how much you're brewing or how. An inconsistent grind is simply more visible with espresso because you’ll get problems such as pinholes blasting straight through the puck. But unevenly-extracted coffee sucks just as bad on Aeropress as it does with any other technique.
I can't see why someone wouldn't want those one or two cups a day be as tasty as possible. The good news is that you can get world-class grind quality in a reasonably-priced manual unit these days, which is what A Y has chosen.
Originally Posted by joshuadowen
You don't need an excellent grinder. Most of what separates less expensive grinders from more expensive grinders has to with "extra features" and robustness of construction. Less expensive grinders aren't built to be used a few hundred times a day, as is common in a cafe setting, but for home use you'll be fine. The biggest thing to focus on is the quality of the burr set. The burrs are what actually come in contact with and grind the coffee. Everything else in the grinder is just about moving the burrs. A hand grinder with a high quality burr set is relatively cheap but does what you need.
While I agree that nobody needs a commercial-volume grinder for household use, it may be a bit of an oversimplification to say that the only difference between a cheaper and a more expensive grinder is how often it’s designed to be used.
But for grind quality, yes, it’s the burr set (and how well it’s stabilized) that matters — not the ancillary parts. An excellent grinder should be the #1 equipment priority… it just doesn’t have to be a particularly expensive or high-output one.
By the way, there’s a handy article here that compares some consumer-level electric grinders using some sweet nerdy particle-size-distribution charts:http://thesweethome.com/reviews/the-best-coffee-grinder/
Though personally, I'd skip the consumer-grade electrics entirely. I find that something with big, well-supported burrs — like A Y's incoming L2 — is ideal for non-commercial use, as it’s as fast as most equivalently-priced electric mills, has far better grind quality/consistency, no grind retention, doesn't require much effort for a brew grind once it’s been used for a little while, and is far quieter, cleaner and more portable. As I’ve previously mentioned, I can’t see a downside, and for a couple hundred bucks, you’re sorted for life.Edited by Belligero - 8/18/16 at 6:18am