Why owning a good grinder is essential

Why you should own a coffee grinder

Baratza Virtuoso coffee grinder

Initially some customers find it unusual that we don’t offer any of our coffees pre ground. We did when we first started roasting coffee but after about a year we decided to remove the option of pre ground coffee to focus only on whole bean. There are some very simple reasons for this:

1. Freshness

Coffee goes stale fairly quickly. Perhaps not quite as quickly in whole bean form as a slice of fresh bread but it doesn’t have the shelf life that many people have been lead to believe. Ideally coffee beans should be used within 1 month of roasting and should always be stored in a sealed container in a cool, dark place. Ground coffee on the other hand goes stale within a much shorter time frame due to exposure to oxygen. Pre ground coffee properly stored can still taste good but it becomes very difficult to extract the subtle flavours that are present in high quality, speciality grade coffee. Once the bag is open and exposed to the air pre ground coffee will stale much faster than a bag of beans due to oxidisation of the increased surface area. When beans are exposed to the atmosphere the oxidisation process is greatly slowed down as there is less surface area in contact with oxygen.

2. Extraction

Coffee should always be ground for the intended brew method. A cafetiere needs a course grind while an espresso machine needs a fine grind. If the coffee you buy is pre ground for a certain brew method it becomes difficult (sometimes impossible) to interchange those. If you try to use a coffee ground for cafetiere in an espresso machine the results will be very thin and watery with little or no body or flavour. By owning a grinder the user can practice and experiment with the best grind settings for their intended brew methods.

We sell a range of grinders on our website. These include affordable hand grinders made by Hario as well as two electric models, the Encore and the Virtuoso. These are made by Baratza and are excellent burr grinders for home use. All models allow the user to experiment with different grind settings to suit their brew methods. If you haven’t yet invested in a good burr grinder we can promise you that it will significantly improve the quality of the coffee that you are able to make at home!