I am fixated by coffee. If I don’t get my “fix” I’m not happy and not too functional. This is an addiction, though it’s one I am currently working on ie. reducing my overall daily caffeine intake.
For now I have no intention of giving up coffee.
I do, however, like to try different types of coffee. As I’ve mentioned previously, there are some really nice gourmet coffees out there.
Most people, including me, buy either instant coffee or ground coffee. Buying coffee beans for home use isn’t that common, at least in Ireland. If you have a look at what you can buy in most major supermarket chains you’ll see that pre-ground coffee is the norm.
So is grinding your own coffee worth it?
Does it taste different?
Is it labour intensive?
Up until quite recently I’d probably have said no to all of those questions. I really did not appreciate the difference.
In the office we have “bean to cup” machines, which produce nice coffee, but you grow accustomed to it and don’t really notice the difference.
Recently I picked up a moulinex coffee grinder. It’s a very simple device. You put the coffee beans in and close it and it grinds it all up. Simple.
But the aroma is amazing.
Even coffee that I ground up a few days ago smells better and fresher than any of the coffees that you can pick up pre-ground.
The key to avoiding the “labour” is to just do everything in tandem.
If you want to make coffee you need to boil water, so you can easily grind the coffee while waiting for the kettle to do its work.
And if you have good quality air tight containers there’s no reason why you can’t store ground coffee for some time.
This morning I made myself a pot of coffee using my French press. The coffee was ground a couple of weeks ago in my kitchen using my grinder.
The aroma? Strong and rich. The taste? Rich and deep.
I love it!
One million percent agree. I recently got a grinder attachment for my Kenwood Chef and the difference in the coffee’s aroma and depth is incredible.
How much was the attachment?
Twas €36 in Currys sale recently. Goes for €50ish not on sale. It’s a blade grinder.
That’s pretty expensive 🙂 I picked up the Moulinex grinder for about the same price – possibly less 🙂
Yep but the Kenwood attachment comes with 4 jars (you grind directly into the jar) and I got it as a small food blender/spice mill. That it grinds coffee is just a bonus 🙂
Ah – you hadn’t mentioned that, so I assumed it was just the grinder 🙂
The moulinex grinder I got is very good, but incredibly simple. It doesn’t come with anything beyond its basic functions. It grinds. That’s all.
Consider purchasing beans that are freshly roasted, from day 3 to day 10 is the sweet spot for brewed coffee, after that the flavour degrades a bit, but can work better for espresso.
I can highly recommend hasbean.co.uk, coffeeangel.ie or coffeemojo.ie as good sources.
Once you grind your coffee it starts going off, even if you have an airtight container as its already hit the air and oxidisation is occurring.
While geared towards espresso, http://www.chemistryviews.org/details/ezine/694285/Espresso__A_ThreeStep_Preparation.html is worth a read as most of the theory stays true for french press.
If you feel you’re ready to step it up, consider getting a proper grinder.
Blade grinders are terrible for grinding coffee as the particle size is inconsistent.
This leads to the smaller particles over extracting and the larger ones under extracting.
Also have a look at http://brewmethods.com/ and http://www.hasbean.co.uk/blogs/brew-guides/6552901-french-press-brew-guide for resources on refining your technique.
What would you consider as a proper grinder?
I believe conical burr grinders are what true coffee connoisseurs prefer. I’m not that into it… yet…
http://coffeeangel.com/product/baratza-encore/ would be pretty good without breaking the bank.
I use a similar type of one for making filtered coffee and have another for espresso.
It can get expensive fast when you’re trying to get that perfect cup!