I have a kindergarten coffee grinder. It is a basic blade grinder that gives you a mixture of textures within any grind you try to achieve. This includes fine powder in a coarse grind which does not make for a very nice French Press experience. I am ready to graduate.
In my quest for a grinder that fits my wants, needs, and most importantly my budget, here is what I have found. Before we begin, letís talk about the types of grinders available.
The blade grinder is the least expensive and, as we all know, we get what we pay for. This type of blade cuts the beans. The length of time you run the grinder will determine the coarseness. This method is known to create a burned taste due to the great amount of speed and friction. But alas, grinding with this method is still a step up in the flavor department from pre-ground.
Wheel Burr Grinder
In this method, the beans are crushed. There is less friction, slower speed and no burned taste. There is also more control in the type of grind you are trying to achieve.
Conical Burr Grinder
This is touted as the best of the three. It is quieter, the taste is great and it is also easier to clean. Of course it is the most expensive, but if you are going to drink coffee, why not purchase the best?
Can you say financial meltdown? While a few months ago, I might have run with the idea of purchasing the best, my question right now is how much of my precious funds (currently needed for unimportant things like food and shelter) am I will to part with for a coffee grinder?
I first wanted to see how much a wheel burr grinder would cost. While this would not be the best, it would be an improvement over the basic grinder I have now and possibly give me more control. Here is one that I found for a decent price:
HEARTHWARE SUPREMO Burr Coffee Grinder + Artisan Roasted Coffee $39.95
17 position selector gives option to grind from very fine, Turkish and Espresso, to coarse for Press Pots or cold water brewing systems.
-Removable burr grinding wheel for easy cleaning.
-Clear visible markings.
-Grinds beans for 1 to 12 cups of coffee automatically.
-Large 1/4 lb. Capacity hopper.
-Powerful 130 watt motor.
On the other end of the spectrum, I came across another wheel burr grinder that could set me back (this does not sound less expensive to me).
Rancilio Rocky Doser Espresso Grinder
Detailed Product Features
-Commercial Quality Grinding Burrs
-Handy Dosing Lever - set up to dispense approximately 7 grams of ground coffee with every pull on the doser handle.
-Coffee Bean Hopper
-55 Different Grind Settings
-Quiet, Powerful and Safe
This has 55 grind settings? Amazing. I thought there were only three: Coarse, Medium and Fine. Shows you how much I know. While this grinder has many wonderful features, I personally donít need anything this heavy duty right now-on to conical burr grinders.
I can see that no matter what type of grinder you decide on, you can find them in most every price range.
Baratza 585 Virtuoso Conical Burr Coffee Grinder
The standard features of this grinder include:
-40 Grind Settings
-60-Second Timer for Automatic Grind Control
-Front-Mounted Pulse Button Allows for Manual Control
-Powerful, High-Torque 480-Watt DC Motor
-Slow Speed for Cool, Quiet Operation with Reduced Static Generation
-Unique Gear and Electronic Speed Reduction System Controls Rotation of the Burrs
-8-oz. Clear Bean Hopper
-5-oz. Grounds Bin
-Removable Bean Hopper Exposes the Grinding Chamber for Easy Cleaning
For $100 less, I could have the Breville BCG450XL Conical Burr Grinder Coffee Grinder.
-Holds Ĺ pound of coffee beans
-Removable bean hopper
-Imparts minimal heat to the beans (heat can destroy the flavor)
-Easy to read settings
Surprisingly, to me at least, there are many choices that cost even less. Take a look at the la Pavoni La Moka Burr Grinder.
At a cost of $49.95 I can have features that give me the conical grinder plus a large 8.8 ounce bean hopper with seal tight lid, 2 to 12 cup automatic dial setting, and nine grind settings from coarse to fine.
This sounds like the one for me. Wish me luck.
PS-If you have any suggestions, by all means please send them my way.