|Posted by Robert Booth on July 31, 2012 at 8:15 PM|
It sounds so simple, doesn't it... "grind your coffee".
Well, in reality it is of course, but even the simplest things can be improved upon!
Truth be told, the good-quality old-fashioned table- or lap-grinders were probably a good solution: they ground evenly and slowly, so the grinds did not heat up and the precious coffee-oils did not suffer from heat stress.
The really good quality ones, like the Zassenhausen-brand, also ground beautifully even, which means that the water can dissipate through the grinds levelly and dissolve all the flavours on its way down.
Lesser quality grinders produced uneven sized grinds, which allow water to find the way of least resistance and produces "channelling": where water passes only through part of the grinds and misses most of it
The modern electric grinder has similar problems: a cheap one, of lesser quality materials, often produces very uneven grinds.
Blade-style grinders ( choppers) are the worst offenders, followed by flat- burr-grinders made out of badly cast metals or even plastic, allowing the burrs to sit unevenly.
A good coffee grinder is worth the money and with good maintenance, will last you for decades.
You can make a really great cup of coffee with a good grinder and a pour-over filter or a French Press, but even the best espresso machine makes crappy coffee if you are using a cheap and nasty ( or expensive, but not maintained!! ) grinder.
One, very experienced, coffee-equipment dealer once said to me: " Spend as much as you can afford on a grinder, then make coffee in a plunger and start saving again for the coffee machine!"