Grinding at Home vs. at the Store
There’s no doubt grinders are fun gadgets for coffee-lovers, but do you need a home grinder? That depends.
The upside: they are great if you buy more than two week’s worth of beans at a time. The coffee’s flavor will last longer if the beans are kept whole, then ground right before brewing.
The downside: it can be messy takes a little longer.
The bottom line: you can always get it ground where you bought it–coffee will maintain great flavor for up to two weeks. But, there is something to be said for indulging in the ritual of preparing each cup of coffee, beginning to end. “Because it’s fun” is as good a reason as any to grind fresh beans each morning.
The Daily Grind
To get started with your home grinder, purchase a small amount of beans, ground for your machine, to use at home as a reference point. If you don’t have a sample, test by grinding a very small amount of beans (one tablespoon is plenty), then put them in the palm of your hand. Squeeze into a fist, and when you release your hand you’ll want to see different results depending on your brewing method:
- French Press (coarse grind): the grounds should not stick together.
- Automatic Flat Bottom (medium grind): some of the grounds should stick together, but most should fall away.
- Automatic Cone, Gold Cone, and Steam-driven Espresso Machine (medium-fine): most should stick together, but you should still be able to see individual particles easily.
- Pump-driven Espresso Machine (fine): most grounds should stick together, possibly falling away in clumps, but they shouldn’t be so fine they appear to completely melt together.
- Information courtesy of allrecipes.com