Like most people, I enjoy a good cup of coffee in the morning. For all of its proposed benefits, coffee is a relatively simple process. For one there are only two ingredients, coffee and water. In addition, brewing coffee can be as easy as pressing a few buttons or slightly more involved if you prefer a manual brewing method like a pour-our or French press. Regardless of your choice of brewing method, the most important piece of coffee equipment isn't the actual brewing device itself. No, the most important piece of coffee brewing equipment is a coffee grinder. Yes, that loud and possibly obnoxious device that wakes everyone up in the morning while seemingly pulverizing your coffee beans into brown dust.
So why is a coffee grinder so important?
The main reason is consistency. A consistent grind is important for ensuring your coffee tastes great every morning. There's a term in coffee that we use called coffee extraction, which is important in the brewing process. Coffee extraction occurs when you pour hot water over ground coffee beans, which dissolves a lot of the coffees flavor. Using a cheap coffee grinder can make it difficult to consistently grind your coffee beans and result in either under-extracted coffee or over-extracted coffee.
Under-extracted coffee occurs when too little of this coffee flavor we'll call it makes its way into your cup. The result is a coffee that is lacking in character and often tastes sour, lacks sweetness, and has a quick finish (no nice lingering coffee flavor on your palette.
Over-extracted coffee occurs when too much of the coffee flavor makes its way into your cup and is often the result of grinding coffee beans too finely. Over-extracted coffee is typically bitter and astringent, obviously not characteristics people are looking for in a good cup of coffee.
So how does a good coffee grinder solve these problems?
Quality coffee grinders not only have better blades to ensure a more even grind, but they also have the ability to grind to more exact specifications. This does two things. For one, it makes it so that your coffee can be ground evenly and to the same size that you're looking for. It also gives you the ability to adjust your grind size to your brewing method, which helps you achieve optimal extraction.
If you're interested in a new coffee grinder to really get the most out of your coffee, I recommend the Baratza Encore is a conical burr coffee grinder that provides consistent grinds for brew methods from espresso to French Press with 40 individual grind settings. This gives you a lot of control over the fineness or coarseness of your coffee. It's also affordable at a price of $150 and is a great entry-level coffee grinder for all-around home brewing.
For more information on coffee grinders and other brewing equipment, check out our Brewing Equipment collection at www.lannacoffeeco.com.