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Coffee Grinders: Models, Sources, Maintenance/Hygiene

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Check out the Baratza refurbished grinders...click here.

I've used the Maestro and the Kitchenaid pro line... The Maestro feels cheap and made of plastic just like your typical retail chain grinder, but does grind well. The kitchenaid is built like an absolute tank and is, well, beautiful.

kitchenaid Pro Line


Edited by Crouton (log)

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Beans are probably the most important factor, followed by water quality, followed by water temperature, followed by the grind, followed by the filter.

With drip, I tend to go low tech, and my favorite grinder is the old fashioned hand cranked grinder-in-a-box-with-drawer type. No shrill universal motor whine early in the morning, no more grinder dying on me after 3 mths and then haunting the Mal-warts or hardware stores for a new one to break down again.

Truly European style is to have a wall mounted hand crank grinder, nicely fixed to the wall. However, these are virtually impossible to obtain in N. America. I "Improved" on my grinder by adding a simple piece of wood.

In order to hand crank, you need one hand on the box and one hand to crank. I screwed on a small piece of wood--about 4" wide by 16" long, to the bottom of the grinder, and---- I sit on it. While listening to the news, I pull out a stool, stick the board on the seat, sit down, and crank, and when done, empty the drawer and hang up the whole assemby.

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In order to hand crank, you need one hand on the box and one hand to crank. I screwed on a small piece of wood--about 4" wide by 16" long, to the bottom of the grinder, and---- I sit on it. While listening to the news, I pull out a stool, stick the board on the seat, sit down, and crank, and when done, empty the drawer and hang up the whole assemby.

When I grind, I actually like to renovate the kitchen.


Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

mweinstein@eGstaff.org

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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I use a Baratza Maestro. It's 2 yrs old and still going strong, after daily use. Added benefit... if I need to grind 4 lbs of coffee for a party... the machine is up to the task.

But in a previous life, for my pour-over filter coffee, I thought an inexpensive blade grinder was completely ok.


Karen Dar Woon

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I'm crazy about the Hario skerton mill. Amazing grind consistency, infinite adjustments, quality burrs, hand-powered, Portable, cheap. Unless I am grinding by the pound, this is my first choice.

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I use a Baratza Maestro. It's 2 yrs old and still going strong, after daily use. Added benefit... if I need to grind 4 lbs of coffee for a party... the machine is up to the task.

But in a previous life, for my pour-over filter coffee, I thought an inexpensive blade grinder was completely ok.

I have a Solis Maestro Plus which is around 7-8 yrs old and still grinds the morning brew for drip. Not great for espresso but for other methods of brew it's totally adequate. The Plus has a heavy base so it feels more substantial than the basic Maestro. One thing that also is quite nice on these grinders is no static or very little. It doesn't make a mess like other grinders.

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I use a Baratza Maestro. It's 2 yrs old and still going strong, after daily use. Added benefit... if I need to grind 4 lbs of coffee for a party... the machine is up to the task.

But in a previous life, for my pour-over filter coffee, I thought an inexpensive blade grinder was completely ok.

So, do you think a Baratza really makes a difference for drip or is a bland grinder okay?

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I use a Baratza Maestro. It's 2 yrs old and still going strong, after daily use. Added benefit... if I need to grind 4 lbs of coffee for a party... the machine is up to the task.

But in a previous life, for my pour-over filter coffee, I thought an inexpensive blade grinder was completely ok.

So, do you think a Baratza really makes a difference for drip or is a bland grinder okay?

I take a blade grinder with me when we travel and it works okay to get a good cup of coffee in a hotel room with my fresh roasted beans but the grind consistency is far superior with a burr grinder like the Maestro. I do think that makes a better cup but grinding good beans on demand with a blade grinder is still far superior than buying preground coffee.

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Good grinder first. Always. Provides consistency in your brew. You can play with your beans - but your grinder's the fixture that those beans rely on to get the best out of them before water's even hit them.

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A blade grinder is excellent for drip coffee at home. If you buy a burr grinder, don't get this one. The reviews below the image explain why this kind of burr grinder is FAR inferior to a blade.


Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

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The Hario Skerton works great.It creates a little invigorating workout in the morning as well as a nice ritual. I ditched my high-end automatic drip and moved to the Hario V60 funnel paired with the Hario Bouno Kettle. I am enjoying my coffee 100x more now.

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I love my Solis Maestro Plus - bought it for $150 five years ago from Whole Latte Love, use it every day, clean it once a week (which takes 10 minutes). It's not for espresso, but it's one of the best grinders I know for drip. I use it for French Press, V60, and Aeropress, and it handles them all well.

Your grinder is the most important part of your coffee besides the water. Grind consistency makes a huge difference in the quality of your coffee. As a matter of fact, here's my morning routine... you're going to need a instant read thermometer, a gram and ounce scale, and a French Press:

1. Weigh out 48 g. of coffee beans, preferably freshly roasted (i.e. within 2 weeks). Don't know when your beans were roasted? Find a new source.

2. Heat good water in a kettle to between 200 F and 205 F. This you can play with a bit... some coffees like 200, some like 204.

3. Once the water is at temp, pour a bit into the French Press, a thermal carafe and a mug to heat them. Swirl and dump the water.

4. Grind your coffee. I'm usually 2-3 ticks back from the coarsest setting on my Solis - this can vary due to humidity, oilyness of beans, and other factors.

5. Add the coffee to the bottom of the French Press, place the press on your scale again, switch to ounces and tare it, then weigh out 12 ounces of water into the Press.

6. Stir the water and coffee. You should see bloom as CO2 is liberated from the grounds. Add the remaining 12 ounces of water, put the filter assembly on top, and wait for 3:30.

7. After three and a half minutes have gone by, slowly press the filter down, trapping the coffee in the bottom. Immediately pour the coffee into the thermal carafe.

8. Drink coffee. Mmmmmmm.

Thanks,

Zachary

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Hi everyone,

I am looking for a new coffee grinder in the kitchen. I want a good model, that will grind my coffee consistently and will not brake soon. Can you tell me what are the things I should be careful about when choosing a coffee grinder?

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What style of coffee are you looking to make?  Espresso grinders and drip grinders are different animals.  If you're thinking espresso, something from Ascaso is not a bad starting point. Baratza does grinders for less fine styles well.  You're looking at $175-$200 for either of these new.  You might want to ebay around and try your luck on a used grinder from somebody who felt the need to upgrade.


Edited by cdh (log)

Christopher D. Holst aka "cdh"

Learn to brew beer with my eGCI course

Chris Holst, Attorney-at-Lunch

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Yes, what is your budget, and when you say "kitchen," what method(s) of making your coffee do you use?

 

Based just on your question, though, I also would recommend a Baratza grinder (I have two). You can get the basic Encore model for $129 from Seattle Coffee Gear; prices go up from there. As cdh mentioned, I also see a used one on eBay (from a brand new seller), currently at US$60 plus shipping.

 

(FYI, in this context, the word is "break," not "brake.")

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I've a Baratza Virtuoso, the next model up from the Encore.  Like it a lot and use it for drip (daily), Espresso a few times a week and occasionally French Press for my snooty friends.  Could have spent more.  Could have, probably should have, spent less and bought the Encore.  On Baratza's website and a couple of the retailers, rebuilt models are occasionally available for approx 25% off.   

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we don't even know what kind ( style ) of coffee is involved here yet.

 

I doubt its true espresso.

 

perhaps a good quality drip.

 

match the grinder to the quality of the beans.

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I had a Solis Maestro, (now the Baratza Encore although slightly different), for over 10 yrs. not long ago I broke a small part and haven't looked hard enough to find the part. Just using my Mazzer Mini for everything. But the Solis served me well as a non espresso grinder

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  You're looking at $175-$200 for either of these new.  

The Ascaso is probably a good $40 - $50 higher than the high end of this.

 

AS everyone else has mentioned, other than budget, what kind of coffee will you be brewing?


Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

mweinstein@eGstaff.org

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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'espresso'  requires a more precise grinder than drip.

 

that being said, your grinder for espresso should match the machine you use for espresso, if not the next machine 'up' the espresso scale

 

should you eventually move up with regard to espresso machines.

 

and all should match the level of beans you use.

 

another source for coffee info is HomeBarista.com

 

best of luck.

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I've heard good things about the Breville grinders at the high end, but have never played with them.  My knowledge of the Baratza and Ascaso is from years of personal experience.


Christopher D. Holst aka "cdh"

Learn to brew beer with my eGCI course

Chris Holst, Attorney-at-Lunch

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what's important is to 'match' this sequence :

 

Roasted Beans ---> ground beans ---> extraction process.

 

then you will get the most flavorful cup that suits you.

 

coffee is after all a personal beverage.

 

if you are upgrading any one of these three, consider that you might upgrade the others at some point

 

if you are getting hardware now, and can afford it, find the next ( grinder ) up.

 

another site to study is

 

http://legacy.sweetmarias.com/library/

 

although its a coffee roasting site, they cove everything.  if they sell it, they will tell you about it

 

and they know what they are doing

 

also

 

https://www.seattlecoffeegear.com

 

https://www.seattlecoffeegear.com/grinders?p=1


Edited by rotuts (log)

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