FRESH IS BEST!
We recommend buying whole beans and grinding what you need, when you need it.
Whole beans will stay fresher for longer in their whole state. Storing in an airtight container like Airscape storage tins (or similar), eliminates oxygen and provides a dark environment.
If you buy pre-ground, store it well, drink it within a couple of weeks then you shouldn't have any issues. But it’s important to remember pre ground coffee will stale much quicker due to the small particle size - the moment coffee is exposed to oxygen it will begin to degrade, by this we mean loose aroma & flavour.
Grinders can be expensive but if you’re into coffee, you want it to taste the best it possibly can - so consider it an investment. There are many many grinder options on the market:
Manual Hand grinders - range from £30-£250+
Most manual hand grinders are geared towards filter and pour over brew methods and not necessarily suited towards espresso brewing. That's not to say there aren't grinders on the market that will cope with a range of grind settings, but you should check if the burrs are suitable for Espresso (fine) grinding.
|Affordable||The arm workout!|
|Easy to travel with||Small capacity|
|Excellent arm workout||Fiddly to change grind size|
Electric grinders - range from £50 - £1000+
Electric grinders really vary in price - as with the manual hand grinders you need to check if a grinder is capable of the range of grind sizes you will require for your brew methods. The Wilfa Svart Grinder is simple to use and has the grind setting already marked on the dial, however it won't go fine enough for Espresso brewing.
|Minimal effort||Can be expensive|
|Larger capacity||Takes up worktop space|
|Easy to adjust grind size||Can't travel with it|
The Baratza Encore is the ultimate entry-level grinder - The Encore consistent grinds for brew methods from espresso (fine) to Cafetière (coarse) and everything in between.
What do you need it to do?
If you just indulge in one cup a day a hand grinder is perfectly adequate - however if you like an AeroPress in the morning, a Pour Over in the afternoon - and a Cafetière after dinner - you may be better investing in something electric that you can quickly adjust to suit your brew method.
Equally if you’re making several cups at once, unless you want the arm workout offered by a manual grinder an electric grinder may make life easier.
IT'S ALL ABOUT THE BURR GRINDER!
A burr grinder will give you a much more consistent grind.
A low-quality grinder and blade grinders will produce uneven coffee fragments known as fines. The small fines will extract very quickly and cause bitter flavours through over-extraction. Any larger fragments won’t fully extract and will introduce sour flavours.
Different Types Of Burr Grinders
Do your research…
Things to consider when buying a grinder:
> Size / Space on your worktop
> What brew methods you need it for?
> Part replacements
All grinders offer something different. We’ve established that you should opt for a burr grinders whether looking at manual or electric, but you need to consider what you need it to do..
If you just use one brew method there are loads of choices on the market, some grinders are geared more towards grinding for Espresso (fine grind) whereas some grinders are aimed at filter and pour over methods of brewing (medium grind).
The ones that offer a good range of grind sizes are often at the more expensive end of the scale.
> Only grind what you need
> Clean your grinder regularly
> A very light spritz/droplet of water on your beans before grinding will reduce static