If you don’t know where to start (How easy is it to use? How noisy is it? Does it need to grind super-fine for a stovetop or espresso machine? How much will I spend?), we’ve got all the deets so you can invest in the best grinder for you.
Manual grinders are good all-round performers that produce grounds that are uniform in size, which is essential to a good cup of coffee. They’re small, simple (so there’s less to go wrong), easy to use and pretty inexpensive.
These grinders use an outer serrated burr and an inner cone-shaped burr (hence the name). When the inner burr spins, the sharp edges pull beans into the gap between the burrs where they’re ground into smaller and smaller pieces.
The conical shape allows for uniform grinding and a high level of grind size control. It also allows for grinding at a lower speed – meaning less noise and heat.
Coffee tastes best soon after being roasted, but too soon and the full flavour profile won’t have developed. Fresh beans contain CO2 which can make your brew bitter. It reduces over the few days following roasting (those one-way air valves in coffee bags? They allow the CO2 to escape) leaving you with the fullest flavour, complexity and dimension. The best time to brew is from 10 days after roasting, and for espresso it’s 14-28 days.
Save supermarket coffee for caffeine-kick emergencies only – there’s no way of knowing when it’s been roasted (best-before dates can be 12 months or more). Locally roasted beans, however, will be fresh, with robust, vacuum-sealed packaging that’ll keep out oxygen, light and water – which all diminish flavour.
Invest in a good home espresso machine which has a decent steam pressure such as a La Marzocco Linea Mini or a Sage.
Before you can start honing your latte art, you’ll need to master pulling the perfect espresso shot. Learn how to do this by reading the Indy Coffee Box How To Brew guides here.
Ready to start beefing up your home brew bar? KRUPS’ Expert Burr Grinder is perfect for newbies who aren’t ready to make an investment. The compact piece of kit has 17 grind settings for different brew methods as well as removable burrs for easy cleaning. The 12-cup capacity means you can brew your latest Indy Coffee Box beans for a crowd in next to no time.
If you’re looking to step up your grinding precision, the Wilfa Svart Aroma is a well-rounded intermediate grinder. The stylish grinder provides five different grind sizes for both espresso and pourover methods, plus a nifty timer function. Ensuring maximum flavour extraction was priority number one in the creation of this kit and a specially designed DC motor minimises heat impact while a UV filter protects against sunlight.
Learn how to make perfect cafetiere coffee
Let’s get a few things straight however: we’re not talking about “cold brew” you get in the big coffee shop chains, those frappachino-type cold coffees topped with squirty cream, adulterated with syrups and served in a huge plastic cup with plastic lid and straw. They are based on espresso coffee diluted with cold water or milk.
No sirree, we’re extolling the spine-tinglingly chilly
thrills of a different beast altogether. Because while real cold brew is also
essentially cold coffee, it’s made by steeping coffee grounds in cold water for
up to 24 hours. No quick fixes here; this all about slooow extraction to produce
a concentrated, flavourful coffee that tastes sweet and mellow.
Just starting out on your speciality adventure? The Hario Mini Mill + is a good gateway grinder. The compact manual coffee grinder ensures a consistent grind size (which means consistently great tasting coffee), while its lower bowl can be used to weigh out up to two cups at a time.
Its small size and light weight make it the perfect travel grinder for nomadic brewers.
Ready to take your home brewing to the next level?