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glenn

Coffee Grinders: Models, Sources, Maintenance/Hygiene

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Not to get too obsessive about this - but moving on to measurements.  I hear a lot of different opinions on the ratio of coffee to water.  I'm speaking solely in terms of a french press.  I don't know what a "standard" measure is nor the definition of a "standard" cup.  I see different opinions on this too.  Can someone state in terms of grams of coffee (and whether that's ground coffee or beans) and ounces of water what the approximate ratio should be?

I also need to buy a kitchen scale, but I'll spare y'all and start another thread.  [ruby's ghost is haunting me]

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I should add that someone on alt.coffee recommended 53-58 grams for a 1 quart press.  Getting my abacus out, that comes out to 1.66 - 1.81 grams per cup [53 or 58 grams / 32 ounces].  Does that sound right and again, is that ground coffee?  It seems way off to me considering (according to the author) that the bodum scoop has 7 grams.

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Getting my abacus out, that comes out to 1.66 - 1.81 grams per cup [53 or 58 grams / 32 ounces].  

no way man.  i'm thinking more like 1.9 grams per cup.

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no way man.  i'm thinking more like 1.9 grams per cup.

Hmmm, you have a point.  But I wonder what the great minds here think of the following.  This is way more coffee than I generally use (I usually make 4 four oz. cups at a time).  This came from someone on alt.coffee.

In my experience, these things are NOT linear - one cup takes more than (4 cups / 4).My baseline is something like 14 gms for one mug, 26 for 2, 34 for 3, 42 for 4 (and that's as much as I make at once)

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Just yesterday, the Daily News reviewed coffee grinders - make that SOME coffee grinders. They led with Kitchen Aid BDG100, Hamilton Beach Custom Grind 80340, Capresso Burr 551, and DeLonghi DCG39.

If anyone wants a photocopy of the article, PM me.

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Rec'd the Rocky today, wow that was fast.  What a nice machine.  It'd be nice if they had instructions that explained how to use the darn thing though... but the folks at WholeLatteLove helped out there.  It's extremely difficult to tell from the instructions which setting is coarse or fine, plus there's no mention how to empty the grounds.  That might be obvious to folks with espresso makers, but the doser didn't seem to make sense to me.  Still doesn't... I removed the plastic filter holder and put a bowl underneath to dose the grounds to - that was at the suggestion of WholeLatteLove.  I'm not pleased with that part.  But anyway, I can see I'll never have to buy another grinder and I'm looking forward to Mrs. Bux teaching a course on the Sylvia at the Learning Annex.

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I agree that 14 grams is way too much for one cup of coffee but standard "one cup" in coffeemaking is 6 oz - might this person be referring to how much they use for a mug (which is typically a 10 oz mug or larger).  I use one standard plastic coffee scoop rounded to a peak (by overfilling and then shaking it a bit over the container). Always come out really welll. Starbucks standard method is to use far more coffee to water than other people use. I guess it bumps up the caffeine content and gets peoplel hooked on their product?  Not sure but I always thought the big problem with their coffee was overroasting until someone gave me some as a gift and I made it using my standard proportions - I was shocked that it actually made a half decent cuppas joe!

As for grinders... I've had a standard $40-50 Braun blade grinder for years and it has served me well for auto drip and Melitta style coffee - even for espresso when I got a baby DeLonghi espresso machine. Finally graduated to a Gaggia Baby after some research (and after I realized I was really hooked). I also researched burr grinders on www.coffeegeek.com  and settled on the Solis Maestro - have been very happy with it. My biggest complaint ont he Braun was static on the container and a tendency for grounds to accumulate in the horizontal chute and end up on the counter when I pulled the bin off. The Solis drops grinds vertically into bin and although others have mentioned static as a problem I have had none. Also, because of the vertical dispersion, I've never had to clean out that part of grinder. Do NOT get the Solis Maestro which you may see on sale cheap - it has horizontal dispersion. By the way... the Maestro is also very, very quiet. Quietest grinder I've ever heard - nice feature if your mate is a late riser.  If espresso is now in your plans or perhaps future plans... get the Maestro - otherwise a good $50 grinder should be adequate.

As for espresso based drinks vs regular joe:  I still love regular coffee but have found myself drinking a latte each morning rathe rather than regular coffee. Once you get the right gear and make a really good one at home it's easy to get hooked.

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Can anyone recommend a coffee grinder?  I have been spoiled by past jobs in coffee shops and can never replicate the grind control at home.  I've had burr grinders (obvious limitations for espresso, but suitable for drip machines) and the fancy Capresso one with the numbered dial, but have been disappointed by all.  My Francis-Francis espresso machine isn't too fussy, but I find the better the grind the better the espresso.  I actually even tried my hand at grinding the beans in my mortar and pestle...it wasn't worth the sweat. HELP!!!


"Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut." -Ernest Hemingway

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This topic has seen some active discussion quite recently - just scroll down this page a bit (general topics) and you'll find a thread. I'm currently using a Solis Maestro and love it. I haven't had the problem that some folks describe with static on the bin but I disagree wiht those who love it because you can grind directly into the portafiliter basket of your espresso machine - I've tried that and it's messy. The Maestro is really nicely made, quiet and looks good - widely considered to be the best thing on the market for under $200. To find out more or to get info and detailed user commentary on the Maestro or on semi-pro machines (be prepared to shell out serious $$) go to www.coffeegeek.com

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I have a new coffee grinder that claims the cup and cover are dishwasher safe. This got me to wondering how often do folks normally wash their coffee grinders? It would seem overkill to run the dishwasher every day just to clean the grinder. Is it necessary to clean them after every use?


=Mark

Give a man a fish, he eats for a Day.

Teach a man to fish, he eats for Life.

Teach a man to sell fish, he eats Steak

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I've never cleaned mine other than with a damp paper towel.

How do you get the Mustard flavor out, after grinding those little buggers?

Or worse, the stickyness from Christmas Poppy Seeds?

(Just Kidding) :laugh:


Peter

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I've heard you really have to clean the things out a lot. Supposedly, leftover grounds can go bad in the grinder, thus contaminating every batch :shock:

Needless to say, ours hasn't been properly washed for atleast a year... maybe two. This could be the reason why I consider starbucks to even have good coffee...


"Things go better with cake." -Marcel Desaulniers

timoblog!

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I suspect you guys are talking about burr grinders, since most blade grinders don't have a removable cup. I've resisted getting a burr grinder, as I am (so far) successfully avoiding becoming a coffee geek.

But I do have two blade grinders -- one for coffee and one for spices (take that, Peter!) For cleaning them, I picked up a tip from Martha Stewart. She suggests tearing a few pieces of white bread and whizzing it for a few seconds, then whisking out the crumbs with a pastry brush. The bread thing is usually a kludge, but the brush works very well. I do use the bread in the spice grinder when I've done something particularly, um, persistent, in aroma or oiliness.


Dave Scantland
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dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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I've never cleaned mine other than with a damp paper towel.

That's an interesting way of recycling. Most people just throw their used paper towels away.

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I suspect you guys are talking about burr grinders, since most blade grinders don't have a removable cup. I've resisted getting a burr grinder, as I am (so far) successfully avoiding becoming a coffee geek.

Actually mine is a blade grinder. A Kitchen Aide Cobalt Blue.

It does have a removable cup reminiscent of a stainless steel blender.


=Mark

Give a man a fish, he eats for a Day.

Teach a man to fish, he eats for Life.

Teach a man to sell fish, he eats Steak

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For the burr and the blade grinder, same solution

Handful of dry rice, whirred / ground to powder, and brushed out. Especially effective with the burr grinder


Apparently it's easier still to dictate the conversation and in effect, kill the conversation.

rancho gordo

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When I worked in an oil refinery, we used to clean the big (50,000 HP) air compressor blades with walnut shells.

--mh


--mark

Everybody has Problems, but Chemists have Solutions.

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I want to purchase a coffee grinder and and my initial intention was to buy the cheapest possible.

However, after reading numerous reviews on Amazon I decided that it was worth the extra 10 dollars or so for the KitchenAid BCG100ER Blade Coffee Grinder. (I figured out how to do the egullet -> Amazon link! :biggrin: )

The KitchenAid gets almost unanimous rave reviews and most importantly the bowl and blade are remvoveable for cleaning, unlike the cheaper blade grinders.

But there are also a few other units at the same price and my conundrum is which one would be best.

There's the Cuisinart DCG-12BC Grind Central Coffee Grinder which also has removeable bowl and blade. But it's gotten only one review, although it is a rave review that says this unit surpasses the KitchenAid.

Then there are also two burr grinders for the same price that get decidedly mixed reviews. My thought is that its better to buy a better-quality blade grinder than a low-end burr grinder, but I'm not sure.

DeLonghi DCG4T Deluxe Burr Coffee Grinder with Timer

Black & Decker CBM7B SmartGrind Deluxe Coffee Bean Burr Mill

I'm intending to be grinding for French Press coffee, but may want to use other methods.

Any advice or tales of experience with these machines would be appreciated.

Thank you!


Edited by hillbill (log)

Gustatory illiterati in an illuminati land.

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I've got an ancient KitchenAid burr grinder, and a couple of cheapo Braun blade grinders (one for coffee, one for spices). KA has different settings for different grinds, blade just requires watching (not a big problem). The KA is noisy, very noisy. On a performance basis, both types work just fine. HOWEVER: The burr grinder is a royal pain to clean; in fact, I've never been happy with my cleaning efforts, such as running rice through it and sticking skewers and brushes up the chute. The Brauns also cannot be cleaned 100%. But at least I can wipe/brush them a lot more thoroughly.

So I say to you: get a blade one that you can take apart to clean. That's what matters most. Not size. :wink:

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So I say to you: get a blade one that you can take apart to clean.  That's what matters most.  Not size.  :wink:

My only experience with grinders was the Krupps or Braun blade grinder my parents had. I remember that I could never, ever clean all the coffee out and I'm pretty sure it always smelled like rancid coffee. That's why I thought it was worth spending some more to be able to clean it. Thank you for confirming that impression.


Gustatory illiterati in an illuminati land.

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There's a lot that's been said about grinders here in the past and the informed view is that a good grinder is expensive and a vital link in producing good coffee. A lot is going to depend on how you make your coffee and what sort of machine you use.


Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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I personally prefer a burr grinder - mostly because they provide an even and consistent grind that's adjustable. This means if you're making espresso you can tell the machine to grind it super fine and if you're using a press, you can have the machine grind it on the coarse side. With a blade grinder, in my experience anyway, it's nigh impossible to get all the grounds the same, um, grind.

As for cleaning, I find both styles to be a pain. But as long as you're only running non-flavored coffee through it, how often does it really need to be cleaned?

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There's a lot that's been said about grinders here in the past and the informed view is that a good grinder is expensive and a vital link in producing good coffee. A lot is going to depend on how you make your coffee and what sort of machine you use.

I did a search but I guess I didn't have the correct parameters because I either came up with too many irrelevant responses or nothing.

I've read a fair amount about grinders elsewhere and the comments are either about expensive machines that I can't afford or else they seem to conclude that any blade grinder will work. I'm looking to take one step up from the cheapest blade ($15-20) to about $30 give or take and I'm looking for guidance within this very narrow price range.

I'm planning to use a French Press. This is all new to me.

Thank you.


Gustatory illiterati in an illuminati land.

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Since you're specifically planning to use a french press, I'd suggest a burr grinder. As noted above, it's difficult if not impossible to produce an even grind with a blade grinder -- the bottom stuff is powder by the time all the beans are ground. And powdery grounds will produce crappy french press coffee.

As for cleaning, grind up some raw rice once a month or so and you'll be fine.

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