The coffee bean is the prerogative of the most demanding amateurs! They often say that you can only really appreciate a vintage if freshly ground.It is true that after selection and roasting, grinding plays a significant role in releasing the taste and all the aromas that the beans contain. Whether it is a very fruity and balanced Arabica, or a full-bodied and full-bodied Robusta, tasting is often more conclusive when the beans have just been ground just before tasting.
Grinding your coffee as you drink it is, therefore, the ideal way to preserve the freshness of its aromas. The question now remains as to which coffee grinder to choose to fulfill this mission.
What is a good coffee grinder?
A good grinder must deliver a grind that is precise enough for the extraction method chosen and sufficiently homogeneous for each use. If your grinding is not the right size or has too many different particle sizes, your coffee will not be brew properly. That said, the perfect grinder offering a 100% homogenous grind does not exist, but many models on the market remain good options for those who want to enjoy a good cup of home-ground coffee. But then, which grinder to choose?
Grinder Blade or Grinder Mill?
Then there’s not even a match: always prefer a grinding mill. We’ll explain why.
Your grandmother’s bladed mill is pretty, but it has two main drawbacks:
It doesn’t allow you to adjust the size of the grind precisely: the idea is that the longer you grind, the finer the grinding, but you navigate entirely by sight. And inaccuracy has never made for good coffee.
The grind lacks homogeneity: the blades slice the coffee beans into several parts, resulting in an uneven distribution of particles, some very small and some much larger.
The blade mill will, therefore, make it difficult to vary the extraction methods, and you will end up with an uneven grind, sometimes fine in places and sometimes coarser. The result ? An unevenly brewed and super bitter coffee.
In contrast to blade mills, there are mills equipped with grinding wheels, one fixed and the other active connected to a motor. Rather than slicing the coffee beans as a blade mill would do, the grinder grinds them: since the force unconcentrated on a specific point, the grind tends to be more even. You will still find some particles smaller than others, but the overall homogeneity remains far superior to the results obtained with a blade mill. Grinding mills can operate with flat or conical grinding wheels. But what is the difference?
Flat Grinder Mill
Advantages: homogeneity and freshness of the grind because little ground coffee gets stuck in the grinder, faster, quieter.
Disadvantages: these mills are generally bulkier and a little more expensive.
Conical Grinder Mill
Advantages: good grinding quality thanks to a slower rotation of the grinding wheels than for flat wheels, which has the advantage of avoiding overheating of the grindstone, affordable price, compact mill.
Disadvantages: these mills are a little noisier and slower. Also, be careful with the freshness of the grind that gets stuck in the mill. Expel it if the mill not in use within ten minutes.
These two types of grinders each have their strong points, but be aware that for domestic use, both will be equally suitable. And if you want to go one step further, you can also compare the two types of materials in which the grinders made: steel and ceramic.
Steel or Ceramic Grinders: What’s the difference?
The main difference is related to thermal conductivity. Steel is a high thermal conductor, which means that the grinding wheels will heat up and cool down faster, an essential criterion for professionals in the sector. Ceramic grinding has a lower thermal conductivity; they will take longer to heat up and cool down.Ceramic grinders, on the other hand, are almost indestructible, but they are also more expensive and more fragile. However, for domestic use, their greater fragility will not be a problem unless you put something other than coffee beans in your hopper (such as a large pebble, for example, but this is unlikely to happen). And to be perfectly honest, the choice of one or the other material won’t affect the taste of your coffee.
Thus, the choice between the types of grindstones or material is mainly for high-volume professionals, for whom conductivity or the risk of breakage is an issue. For your home grinder, on the other hand, you don’t have to worry about comparing these factors because the result will be the same. However, the real question to ask yourself will rather concern the type of grinder: a manual coffee grinder or electric coffee grinder?
The Manual Coffee Grinder
When one evokes the manual coffee grinder, one immediately thinks of the Peugeot coffee grinder. That one regularly finds on the secondhand market stalls. Launched in 1840 before companies started selling cars. These wooden mills with their cubic shape quickly gained notoriety and became the symbol of the domestic coffee grinder. Since then, several improved models developed with several advantages.
It’s economical: You don’t have to sell a kidney to afford a manual coffee grinder.
It’s practical: light and relatively small, a manual coffee grinder is easy to use and can be taken everywhere with you.
It is ideal for making filter coffee: the manual coffee grinder is suitable for all filter techniques, from Bialetti to French Press
Not suitable for espresso: the manual coffee grinder does not provide afine enough grind to obtain a good espresso.
Our Manual Coffee Grinder Wakeup!
The Wakeup! grinder is ideal for making filter coffee at home, whatever the method, and will even allow you to work your arms. And two minutes of the sport while making coffee is always a winning combination.
The plus: it can grind in three modes: coarse, medium, fine.
The Electric Coffee Grinder
The electric coffee grinder was born almost a century after the manual grinder. The electric coffee grinder has two main advantages over the manual coffee grinder:
It allows greater precision of grinding: Electric coffee grinders offer a wider amplitude in the fineness of the grind. Some models have adjustment “notches,” while others include a continuous calibration system with numerical marks.
It preserves your biceps: as its name suggests, the electric coffee grinder is electric. Ideal for those who don’t have time in the morning, and for lazy people.
Price: The purchase of an electric coffee grinder is a more expensive investment than buying a manual coffee grinder.
Noise: the hum of an electric mill is likely to wake up your better half in the morning (especially if you start your day at 6 a.m.). But unless you want to grind coffee for a regiment, the sound of the motor won’t take a little time.
Choosing the right Espresso Grinder
Not all electric mills can make espresso, at least not a good espresso. Indeed, some mills do not offer sufficient amplitude to obtain a sufficiently fine grind. So be sure to check this out if you plan to buy a mill to make espresso at home.
For example, to choose the right home coffee grinder
Runaway from the blade grinder
Do not linger on the comparison between the types of grinders mill (shape or material).
Choose a manual coffee grinder if you brew filter coffee only, have a limited budget, and want to make coffee everywhere, even in the mountains.
Choose an electric coffee grinder if you make espresso, if you don’t want to waste time in the morning or if you want a super precise grind (and your wallet allows it).