Hello my Foodie Friends!
My Mom loved coffee and even way back then she was grinding her beans to how she liked them. She had a small wooden hand grinder and she would grind them to the correct consistency for her taste. You are probably wondering which one of the Reardon clan had the job of grinder when Mom thought we were ready. Well, it was the middle child Danny. He got the job because he could fix anything! The grinder wasn’t working and Mom called in Dan to fix it. Even though he was a little boy, Dan could figure out what was wrong with anything that had moving parts and then make it work right. There was talk, however, that the reason some things were broken was that Dan took them apart to see how they worked but Mom never knew so he was the “Hero.”
Why Grind Beans at Home?
Grinding fresh whole coffee beans just before brewing will protect the aroma of your coffee and ensures the rich full-bodied taste stands out. Ground coffee interacts with the air around it and within hours loses a great deal of flavor. The longer the ground coffee is exposed to air, the more aroma will be lost from your brewed cup of coffee or espresso. Only grind what you need now. Don’t grind for the whole week! Once the beans are out of airtight packaging, keep them in a dry, dark container with a tight closing lid.
There are three different coffee grinding methods; conical burr grinders, disk burr grinders and blade grinders.
Conical Burr Grinders preserve the most flavor and can grind very fine with the highest consistency. The intricate design of the conical steel burrs allows for a high gear reduction to slow down the grinding speed below 500 rpm. The slower the speed the less heat is imparted to the ground coffee thus preserving the maximum amount of aroma. Due to the wide range of grind settings, conical burr grinders are ideal for all types of coffee equipment such as espresso machines, drip coffee makers, percolators, French press and can even grind extra fine for the preparation of Turkish coffee.
Burr Grinders rotate at a considerable faster speed of 10,000 to 20,000 rpm and create a bit more warmth in the coffee than conical burr grinders. They are the most economical way of getting a consistent grind in a wide range of applications. They are ideal for drip coffee makers, percolators, French press and well suited for most pump espresso machines. However, they do not grind as fine as conical burr grinders and are not as quiet.
Blade Grinders are suitable for drip coffee makers and percolators. They also perform well for grinding spices and herbs. The blade rotates at very high speeds of 20,000 to 30,000 rpm thus heating up the ground coffee more than burr grinders and also creating a bit of coffee dust. That coffee dust can clog up the fine mesh of the metal baskets used in pump espresso machines. The advantage of blade grinders is they are inexpensive and easy to clean with little maintenance.
If you love coffee then try grinding your own beans. Stop by Compliments to the Chef, your Neighborhood Kitchen and Cutlery Store, located at 33 Railroad Place to check out various options for grinding your coffee beans. Remember my Foodie Friends, “Life Happens in the Kitchen.”
John & Paula