FEATURE: Why grind your own?
Why Grind Coffee On Demand?
We’ve all stood in front of the supermarket coffee shelf wondering what coffee to buy, why it’s so old and not 100% Arabica? The promise of flavours from far and exotic lands never materialise and the taste just gets worse no matter what we do. Well the answer is freshness. Regardless of the tastes promised on the pack coffee deteriorates at a rapid rate after it is ground for brewing. In fact it starts to lose its flavour within 10 minutes of grinding due to oxidisation and no amount of fancy storage can stop it. All those subtle tasting notes promised by the roaster never materialise. As a rule of thumb and if stored correctly, green unroasted coffee can last around 18 months, roasted whole bean around 3 months and ground coffee less than 10 minutes. Therefore it makes sense to leave grinding as late as possible to when we want to brew. You’ve paid a premium for some of the world’s best coffee so why let it become substandard? This means having some method of grinding our precious coffee beans to extract the best flavour we possibly can.
What Coffee Grinder? There are probably as many coffee grinder types as there are coffee varieties so lets keep things simple and in budget. Cost wise the range is enormous, you can be grinding fresh coffee from as little as £10 for most filter brew methods up to thousands of pounds for the best electronic espresso grinders. Another rule of thumb (we like rules of thumb!) for espres-so is to spend at least as much on your grinder as you do on your espresso machine. This alone tells you how important grinding coffee is to the fin-ished brew. You are at the very end of the coffee supply chain, the beans are grown, harvested, processed, shipped, and roasted before they reach your home brew cupboard which takes 3—6 months from harvesting alone before you pick it up from the shelf or take delivery by post.
Hand or Electric? This is a balance between budget and volume of coffee you want to grind. Personally in a morning I use a relatively low cost hand grinder (Porlex £45 approx) that I grind my dose of 15g of beans to brew a single cup Hario V60 to start my working day. Weekends or when I have guests with multiple espresso based orders to pull. I then switch to a professional standard Mazzer Mini (Electric espresso grinder (£600 approx) that is paired with my espresso machine. If you drink one or two coffees at a time then a hand grinder is probably all you need however if you are brewing several coffees or making a large filter pot then a good electric burr grinder will probably be required. The choice is so widespread that I will save the detail for another time however if you want any advice on grinder choice please get in touch through email or social media, we’d be only too happy to help.
Final Words I often get asked the question, “What can I do to significantly improve the taste of my coffee?” and my answer is always the same. If you don’t grind your coffee fresh for every brew then start to, there is no bigger leap in the quality of your brewed coffee than to start grinding fresh. For this reason we only sell whole bean coffee and advise you to grind your own and discover what you've been missing.