What grinder do you use?
When it comes to brewing excellent coffees I always highly value the quality of the grinder. In fact, for a long time, I’ve argued that I’d happily make compromises on the rest of my equipment (kettle, machine, etc.) but the grinder is always the centerpiece of brewing in my opinion.
At this stage, there are only a few grinders that I really love using: the Comandante C40 and Kinu M47 for manual grinders and the EK43 as an electric grinder.
I like these grinders because they grind coffee is a relatively uniform and consistent way. This means that most of the pieces will have a similar size and shape which will help to create evenness in the extraction. I always make the comparison with cooking – if I cut my vegetables in different sizes and shapes then they will cook at a very different pace. Smaller pieces will be likely to dry and burn and bigger chunks might still be raw inside. A very similar thing happens when you brew coffee with particles of very different sizes.
When I want to test a grinder against another one I don’t usually rely on figures, graphs or curves but I’d rather trust my tasting abilities. I’d generally look for balance, complexity, and clarity for a grinder – the ease of usage is also something I rate highly!
As to which grinder you should get for yourself if you want to brew awesome coffee at home, I’d say it all depends on the level of expectation that you have for your coffee but again, I would not compromise on the quality of a grinder. Before buying my first Comandante I owned 4 different cheaper, lower quality hand grinders with ceramic burrs/ They all broke within a few months and also never produced anything great as the grind was always very uneven.
My advice: do yourself a favor, spoil yourself and get a high-end grinder that will last for years.