If you’re a coffee aficionado, you will be knowing the importance of a good manual coffee grinder. Whether you’re running errands in the morning or having a nice evening break, a good cup of coffee will always uplift your mood and keep you charged throughout the day.
But the process of preparing coffee is the most important part. From grinding fresh coffee beans to brewing properly, you must have a sound understanding of the way a manual coffee grinder works.
Did you know that the rich flavor comes from the oil in the coffee beans? If you want to extract the flavor in the best possible way, you need a good quality manual coffee grinder. There are numerous manual coffee grinders available in the market. Each of them has different specifications and features.
Choosing the right one for your household can be a hassle. Well, don’t worry because we are going to give you a detailed overview of how to choose the best manual coffee grinder.
Why choose a manual coffee grinder?
While grinding beans every morning might be a bit too hectic for some people, you’ll be intrigued to know that coffee made through hand is more pure and effective. Here are some of the reasons manual coffee grinders may be a worthwhile addition to your lifestyle.
With a manual coffee grinder, you grind fresh beans every day before brewing. In this way, you can preserve the flavor of the beans. Also, you don’t have to worry about any harmful preservatives.
You can use any type of brewer according to your preference. For instance, you can choose between pour-over, French press, or siphon brewer. You can tweak the grinder settings by the type of brewing
Manual grinders are quite affordable as compared to the electronic ones. You can enjoy great functionality with a good value for the price. Moreover, there is no need to deal with those pesky wires when using a manual coffee grinder.
Before rushing to the mall, the following are some things you must look for in a manual coffee grinder.
The grind size is the most important feature to note down. It will have a drastic impact on the overall taste of your coffee. Grind size is the thickness or the thinness of the grounds. If you brew with finer grounds, the water will not filter them easily. Fine grounds are suitable for Turkish coffee or espresso. On the other hand, thicker grounds are much better. The water filters them without any hindrance. Thicker grounds are generally used for French press, drip coffee, or pour-over.
The amount of coffee you consume daily will have a direct impact on the size of the manual coffee grinder you buy. For instance, some grinders have a capacity of about 20-30 grams of coffee. This is fine for a regular serving. But if you’re brewing a large amount of coffee every day, you might want to choose a grinder that has a 30-40 gram capacity. The capacity you opt for will affect the overall size of the grinder. Depending upon your usage, you can choose the right size that fits nicely in your cabinet or countertop.
Quality of material
Nowadays, manual grinders come in three types of materials- 1) plastic, 2) ceramic. 3) Stainless steel
Each material has a different level of potency and durability. Let’s have a quick overview so you can opt for the right one.
- Plastic- even though the plastic material is not very appealing to the eye, it still does the required work. You can expect to wear and tear due to the scratches and dents after few months of usage.
- Ceramic- ceramic coffee grinders have a very trendy and flashy look. Overall, there are quite durable and perform well. But you if don’t handle them properly, the ceramic might break.
- Stainless steel- we all know steel is the most popular material when it comes to kitchen appliances. The steel body of the grinder is robust as compared to plastic and ceramic. If you’re looking for a manual coffee grinder for long term use, make sure it’s a steel one.
Length of the handle
Some coffee grinders come with a small handle while others may have a longer one. The length of the handle is important so that you can have a proper grip. Make sure to choose a handle that is not too short. Otherwise, you might end up breaking your manual coffee grinder.
Burr or blade grinders
Choosing between burr or blade grinders will affect the whole brewing process.
Burr coffee grinders come with two sharpened plates that are called burrs. These plates will crush and grinds the beans efficiently rather than cutting them. The burrs will give you finely crushed and equal-sized grinds.
You have the option to adjust the distance between the burrs so you can maintain consistency. If you want the ultimate oil extraction from the beans, burr grinders will be your best pick. Burr grinders are highly recommended if you want that coffeehouse style experience.
Blade coffee grinders are also called as propeller grinders. They unevenly cut the beans rather than crushing them. This is why the coffee flavor will not be as rich and delicious. If you’re tight on budget and looking for something that will fulfill your daily dose of caffeine, the blade grinders are still not a bad option.
Conical vs flat burr
You might be wondering about the possible difference in the conical and flat burr grinders. Well, it’s the shape of the rings. The conical grinders use the two cone-shaped bladed rings. The beans are put through either the hollow or the solid rings. The beans are fed in a vertical direction with a slight bend. The flat burr grinders have two horizontal burrs. One of the face upwards while the other one faces downwards. The coffee beans are passed between the burrs while making two 90 turns.
How to use a manual coffee grinder?
- Unscrew the topmost part of the grinder that is also called a top nut. Remove the top nut, the handle, and the locking ring
- Next, hold the middle shaft and turn the grind adjustment ring. Remember that a clock-wise turn is used for a fine grind, while counter-clockwise turn will result in a coarser grind.
- Put back the locking ring to secure the grind setting you’ve chosen.
- Place the handle and the top back into their respective places
- Now, you can add the coffee bean into the grinder for a quick trial.
Know-how about the coffee beans
Just like any other food product, coffee beans must be stored well to preserve the freshness. It is scientifically proven that coffee beans may lose their aroma and freshness just after 30 minutes of grinding. Now imagine whether pre-grounded beans are going to perk up your mornings?
Always remember to but the coffee beans that are vacuum-sealed and put them in an airtight container as soon as possible. You will find the ‘roasted date’ usually on the packet. Make sure to get the most recent ones so you can use them for a few weeks. As soon as you open the seal, you will find a sheen oil on your beans. That’s the sign of freshness and good quality.
You also need to identify the type of beans according to your taste. If you’re one of those who prefer a powerful, strong flavor, then dark roast coffee beans will be perfect. If you like a mild flavor, then medium roast coffee beans are the ones for you. However, if you’re skeptical about which coffee beans to try, you will have to go through a trial and error process. You can buy different types of coffee beans in small quantities and experiment with them. In this way, you will most likely find the one that suits your taste buds.
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How to clean and maintain your coffee grinder?
Now that you know the mechanism of a manual coffee grinder, it’s time to learn how to clean and maintain it. If you care for your kitchen appliances, they will surely last long.
It is often advised to clean your grinder at least once a week but practically, it depends upon your usage and preference. If you like to keep your kitchen spic and span, you are most likely to clean it every day.
The reason why it is emphasized to clean your manual coffee grinder is that the oil from the beans tends to stick and disrupt smooth grinding. It might also make your grinder smelly and brown, giving it an unpleasant look.
All in all, if you’re machine stays dirty, it will not work efficiently. For that, try soaking it in detergent for a few minutes followed by a rinse. Make sure to dry it properly before operating it.
There you go! Now you know all the details from choosing the right manual coffee grinder to keep it clean. We hope you have a nice time brewing your coffee.