As you know…here at Two Chimps Coffee, our ethos is FRESH IS BEST!
From farm to cup, we want you to enjoy the freshest coffee possible.
Are you looking to grind your coffee at home?
Freshly ground coffee is not only enjoyable but rewarding too.
Grinding your coffee fresh at home is absolutely the best way to enjoy your coffee and not just because of the incredible smell, but it will also make a huge difference to the taste of your coffee. Wholebean coffee stays fresher than its pre-ground counterpart as the surface area of whole bean is smaller. When ground, the surface area increases, allowing the freshness to escape quicker. Grinding at home keeps the freshness locked within the bean, plus, you can grind what you want, when you want it.
If you’ve not already, investing time (and money) in getting your grind size right will be extremely rewarding and give you the best possible tasting coffee.
So, let’s look at grinders. There are two main types of coffee grinder on the market:
The blade grinder
These have a metal blade attached to an electric motor, which when turned on smashes the coffee to pieces. It works, but you will always end up with some tiny pieces of coffee and some very large pieces and everything in-between. This inconsistent size will have a negative effect on the taste of your coffee, no matter which brewing device you use. This is because coffee pieces of different sizes will extract at different times. If left for the same amount of time, the smaller pieces will over-extract, while the larger pieces will under extract.
The burr grinder
These are extremely popular and can be purchased as both electric or manual models. They have two cutting discs, called burrs, and one spins against the other to grind the coffee. The distance between the burrs is adjusted to give you the different grind sizes. A burr grinder keeps the grind to a uniformed size as the pieces have to be the size set by the grinder to pass through the burrs to the collection chamber. This, in turn, gives you a very even grind size making for a better-tasting cup of coffee as all of the pieces can be extracted in the same time.
The grinders we use to grind your coffee before it leaves the roastery are Deli coffee grinders. These are burr grinders and have a large burr, allowing them to grind fast, without raising the temperature of the ground coffee. These also give us more accuracy and flexibility when it comes to grinding the right size for our customers.
For grind at home grinders, a grinder with ceramic burs is definitely recommended over a steel blade grinder. The ceramic burr has been known to produce flavours in the cup that are more complex than when grinding with steel blades.
The manual grinder which we recommend and have available on the online shop is the Hario Skerton Plus hand coffee grinder. With this, you can change the grind size with ease. From a coarse grind, ideal for a filter, to a finer grind for espresso; a hand grinder makes your whole bean coffee order multi-purpose. These new and improved hand coffee grinders have become the most popular coffee grinders over the last few years, due to their longevity, durability, versatile characteristics and now, it’s ‘steady burr’ stabilizer plate.
The great thing about grinding yourself is that you can experiment with slightly different grind sizes and figure out which is best for you. Below is a basic guide to the grind sizes you should be aiming for using your brew devices at home:
Cafetière – Medium/Coarse grind – Caster sugar consistency
Pour Over (V60) – Coarse Grind – Rough sugar consistency
Stove Top (Moka Pot) – Coarse grind – Rough sugar consistency
Espresso – Very Fine grind – Soft brown sugar consistency
Aerobie AeroPress – Medium grind – Table Salt consistency
Cold Brew – Medium grind – Table Salt consistency
So, why is the grind size so important? Here is where extraction comes in to play. Let’s do a little experiment. By all means, play along at home guys. Grind 15g of coffee super fine. Now grind 15g of coffee much coarser. Boil the kettle and pour 300ml of water over both. Leave both for 1 minute, then stir. Leave for a further 3 minutes. Take a spoon, and submerge the spoon in the top of your coffee as to not get any coffee bits, just the liquid. Taste both. Remember, the only thing different between the two is the grind size. The superfine ground will taste bitter, while the coarse grind will taste sour. That, in a nutshell, is how the grind size can make a difference to the taste of your coffee.
The superfine coffee has over-extracted – it has spent too long in contact with the water, whereas the coarse grind has under-extracted as it has not spent enough time in contact with the water. Between the two is a sweet spot and that is what we are looking for. Grinding at home allows you to tweak your grind size slightly to suit your palette perfectly.
As mentioned above, different devices require different grind sizes. This is to allow for the brew time of the device. For instance, learning from what we have just learned, if you were to make a filter coffee with espresso (super fine) coffee, the taste would be over-extracted; having a coarser grind compensates the brew time.
Are you ready to start grinding your coffee at home?
Great. Order some whole bean coffee to go with your new grinder, and you will be sure to taste the difference.