Originally Posted by Renault78law
I'm just curious about your choice to buy another grinder. My recollection is that you brew coffee with an aeropress. Since the aeropress is so forgiving, my question is whether there is much benefit to using an excellent grinder. I could see better consistency, but when you're brewing basically one or two cups a day, how much does the grinder really matter? Again, we're talking coffee here, not espresso, so I don't believe fineness or uniformity really matter all that much.
Full disclosure: I'm uncharacteristically trying to take a practical approach to this relatively new hobby and I'm trying to convince myself that I don't need to buy an excellent grinder.
To follow up on some of the other good comments already, it depends on what kind of coffee you're making. Espresso is a thing in and of itself, and if that's your goal and you don't want to endlessly screw around, get a Nespresso: it's more consistent, cheaper (in the short term, and maybe long term if you never dial in your pull), and better than what most people can do, including cafes. Just recycle those capsules.
Consider how much coffee you're making. If it's a single cup, then the manual grinders are fine. The OE would be overkill, and a Hario is fine, especially if you're using a pretty forgiving method (like French press), but just because a method is forgiving doesn't mean it's indiscriminate: you can still tell differences, and it depends on how much those differences mean to you. The Baratza Encore is a great electric grinder otherwise, and pretty affordable and well-supported. I use one at home with an Aeropress (and metal filter).
Note that in the Sweet Home article linked, there's a hint that French press grind (a really coarse grind) is hard to do, and that is true, and different grinders perform differently at different grind sizes. The OE is supposed to be very good at coarse sizes. I'm still dialing mine in, and I think I have it pretty close to what my Hario did before in terms of grind size (14 notches on the OE), but if you put me in a blind test between the two, I'd have a hard time telling them apart right now. That's for my office setup which is an immersion brew (steep 3 minutes in an Espro body) poured through a paper filter.
I agree with PB that beans and good water make a bigger difference. Get beans that you like, make sure they're fresh (within 2 weeks of roast, and the bean does change and get better within that period), use filtered water (Brita is fine), and a reasonable grinder (basically not a whirly-blade), and you're more than 90% of the way there. No need to go all out initially before you figure out what you like. Brew parameters and grind size can make really huge differences too.