Coffee Grinder

Discussion in 'Social Life, Food & Drink, Travel' started by otc, Mar 15, 2009.

  1. freshcutgrass

    freshcutgrass Senior member

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    Sorry, but this one of those....do it right or what's the point...kind of things. Since there are too many compromises for it to matter in the end, I suggest you just buy the cheap tin of supermarket pre-ground coffee and not worry about a grinder at all.
     


  2. otc

    otc Senior member

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    Now I don't buy that at all. Grinding my own coffee with my piece of shit burr grinder (disks...I'd reckon it is similar to the cheap one target currently has that has awful reviews) was definately better than the cheap tins of preground stuff.

    I'm not making espresso, I don't need a controllable super fine grind that only a super high end grinder can deliver. Even the people on coffeegeek seem to agree that the reviews are all biased heavily towards machines that can do espresso but many of them would work just fine for drip coffee or french press.

    Thanks to the people on more focused cofee sites who at least realized that a college student making 12oz of drip coffee in the morning is not the right person to be investing in a high end grinder.
     


  3. whacked

    whacked Senior member

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    Now I don't buy that at all. Grinding my own coffee with my piece of shit burr grinder (disks...I'd reckon it is similar to the cheap one target currently has that has awful reviews) was definately better than the cheap tins of preground stuff.

    Agreed. I would add that french press or moka pot are far superior ways to enjoy coffee on a budget than drip.
     


  4. freshcutgrass

    freshcutgrass Senior member

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    Well, it's not like other brew methods don't benefit from this as well. But my concern is no longer the grinder, but the coffee itself, and at what point it no longer matters, given your tight budget. You say you don't use "super high quality" coffee. Not sure what that means. "Good" coffee will have three attributes....good quality green beans to start (single varietal or blend)...it's roasted properly...and of course, being fresh.

    Let's worry about the "fresh" part. If you are buying beans from your source that are fresh roasted (as in roasted within a week of purchasing), then I'd say it's worth getting whatever grinder you can get your hands on....freshly brewed, freshly grinded, freshly roasted beans will always taste better no matter the quality of the bean and roast or the grinder.

    If you are buying "stale" beans, then it really doesn't matter so much....grinding a stale bean isn't really an improvement over just buying the already stale pre-ground....it's all stale.

    Know what I mean?

    My preferred method of brewing (besides espresso) is a simple pour-over directly into the cup. No need for a brewing machine at all....just a $2 plastic #2 cone and grind enough beans for each cup. It actually takes less time than waiting for a drip machine to brew a "pot", and having the second cup done this way tastes much better than using the stuff that's been sitting in the pot.
     


  5. esquire.

    esquire. Senior member

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    I've heard the Baratza Maestro is the cheapest "good" grinder you can get. It's a conical burr grinder and has the same guts as many of Baratza's more expensive grinders. I believe it runs around $100.
    If it has the same guts as Baratza's more expensive models, then that may or may not be a good thing depending on your point of view. I scored a Baratza Virtuoso for a fantastic bargain, but I'm already having second thoughts and seriously considering returning it because of the reviews I've read about it. When you look at the reviews about it, there's a lot of disappointed owners who aren't happy with the durability of the Baratza Virtuoso- parts start falling off pretty quickly, and the machine breaks down a lot. The Baratza is the Rowenta Iron of Coffee Grinders- a high priced tool that's great when things are good but all too often breaks down only a short amount of time.
    I don't know about this. I know burr grinders are the default answer about what kind of coffee grinders to get, but does it make that big of a difference for drip coffee? For espresso, you can make the argument that the grinder is just as important as the espresso machine. And, good grinders are needed for french press to reduce the number of fines, although they are still not as vital as they are for espresso. But, with drip coffee, doesn't the filter make the burr grinder less necessary? And, for something like a Chemex and their special filters, then a burr grinder would be even less important.
     


  6. Merlino

    Merlino Senior member

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    Well, it's not like other brew methods don't benefit from this as well. But my concern is no longer the grinder, but the coffee itself, and at what point it no longer matters, given your tight budget. You say you don't use "super high quality" coffee. Not sure what that means. "Good" coffee will have three attributes....good quality green beans to start (single varietal or blend)...it's roasted properly...and of course, being fresh.

    Let's worry about the "fresh" part. If you are buying beans from your source that are fresh roasted (as in roasted within a week of purchasing), then I'd say it's worth getting whatever grinder you can get your hands on....freshly brewed, freshly grinded, freshly roasted beans will always taste better no matter the quality of the bean and roast or the grinder.

    If you are buying "stale" beans, then it really doesn't matter so much....grinding a stale bean isn't really an improvement over just buying the already stale pre-ground....it's all stale.

    Know what I mean?

    My preferred method of brewing (besides espresso) is a simple pour-over directly into the cup. No need for a brewing machine at all....just a $2 plastic #2 cone and grind enough beans for each cup. It actually takes less time than waiting for a drip machine to brew a "pot", and having the second cup done this way tastes much better than using the stuff that's been sitting in the pot.


    Listen to this man.

    Also, if you want to buy a new grinder $100 really is about the lowest you can go for a burr grinder. If you're unable to spend that amount or if you simply don't want to, you'll have to resort to 2nd hand grinders.
     


  7. Merlino

    Merlino Senior member

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    [...]
    I don't know about this.

    I know burr grinders are the default answer about what kind of coffee grinders to get, but does it make that big of a difference for drip coffee? For espresso, you can make the argument that the grinder is just as important as the espresso machine. And, good grinders are needed for french press although not as vital as they are for espresso.

    But, with drip coffee, doesn't the filter make the burr grinder less necessary? And, for something like a Chemex and their special filters, then a burr grinder would be even less important.


    I can certainly understand why you would think that, but the big problem with having both large and small coffee grounds, apart from creating an impenetrable puck in espresso machines, is that these grounds will extract at different rates, resulting in overextracted components (the smaller grounds), grounds that are extracted nicely (the medium-sized grounds) and underextracted components (the larger-sized grounds). The result is a cup that inhibits both acidic and bitter tastes in addition to the yummy tastes you want.

    An even ground will prevent that from happening since the coffee will extract at the same rate.
     


  8. leftover_salmon

    leftover_salmon Senior member

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    If it has the same guts as Baratza's more expensive models, then that may or may not be a good thing depending on your point of view.

    I scored a Baratza Virtuoso for a fantastic bargain, but I'm already having second thoughts and seriously considering returning it because of the reviews I've read about it.

    When you look at the reviews about it, there's a lot of disappointed owners who aren't happy with the durability of the Baratza Virtuoso- parts start falling off pretty quickly, and the machine breaks down a lot.

    The Baratza is the Rowenta Iron of Coffee Grinders- a high priced tool that's great when things are good but all too often breaks down only a short amount of time.


    I have a Vario and aside from a small adjustment I needed to make on Day 1 (tightening a small screw), it has been great. I wouldn't condemn the name because of your Virtuoso.
     


  9. indesertum

    indesertum Senior member

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    nice thread necro

    fwiw i got an upgraded kyocera mill from orphan esporesso and it's fantastic. really love it
     


  10. arced

    arced Senior member

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    +1 on craigslist

    I got my Pasquini Moka on craigslist for $75 and I love it. I'd recommend you do a countrywide search on craigslist for a grinder. I did that and found a restaurant that was giving up on espresso, so it was selling off its grinder. They took a cc over the phone and ups'ed it to me.

    Also, I agree with everyone that a quality grinder is a great investment. Cheap'ing out just doesn't make sense in the long term.
     


  11. v0rtex

    v0rtex Senior member

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    I got by with a Black and Decker $30 burr grinder from Target. Broke down twice in 18 months and got replaced under warranty.

    Recently upgraded to an Ascaso i-Mini which was $285 from http://www.seattlecoffeegear.com/ and the difference for espresso is very noticeable. Still keep the Black and Decker for coarse grind though.

    If you're just grinding for drip coffee/french press then a cheap burr grinder is fine. For espresso, it's worth saving up for a decent grinder.
     


  12. pebblegrain

    pebblegrain Senior member

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    If you are making 1 serving per day and you have no money, you should get this:

    [​IMG]

    Hario Mini Mill. About $35
     


  13. matt22616

    matt22616 Senior member

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  14. ALFAMALE

    ALFAMALE Senior member

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    Try Braun, Got mine in 1989 and its still running. I think they are about 50-70 bucks.
     


  15. JSC437

    JSC437 Senior member

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    If you are making 1 serving per day and you have no money, you should get this:

    [​IMG]

    Hario Mini Mill. About $35


    I have this. It is great.

    You can adjust the grind size, etc...
     


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