If you want to improve the flavor or freshness of your coffee, besides buying higher quality coffee beans, grinding your own beans is the way to go. While there are more elaborate models, a small basic coffee grinder is a handy and affordable kitchen tool for the coffee lover.
Types of Coffee GrindersThough we call them coffee grinders, they're also used for grinding flax, grain and nuts. They are sometimes referred to as food mills, but the traditional mill is much more elaborate in design and used more for processing grains and hard spices. There are electric and manual models with electric being the most popular since less effort and time is required to grind. Coffee grinders should not be confused with larger meat/food grinders which have a different function. Grinders have been available for years, but the gourmet coffee craze has made them a must-have kitchen appliance for the coffee lover.
What Influences the Price of a Coffee Grinder
The most common and economical coffee grinders are very basic in design, with a simple blade operation - simply operate to the desired consistency. Other models include a choice of grind sizes, more expensive grinding assembly and additional features to enhance the consistency of the grind. Construction materials also affect the cost as well as durability. And there are a few coffee makers that have built-in grinders for the ultimate fresh coffee experience. From the basic single-step operation to the more detailed full-featured model, coffee grinders range from just over ten to several hundreds of dollars.
Best Coffee Grinder Features
Coffee grinder features include choice of grind, blade or more expensive burr grinding assembly, bean storage, cool-down processes to slow the grinding for more consistent grinding results, bean-to-cup measurements or automatic conversion to remove the guesswork of just how many beans to grind for so many cups. You can save money by choosing a model that offers some features while keeping it affordable. The most common features are grind choices and bean storage with the more detailed designs suitable for those with gourmet coffee machines. To save on a coffee grinder, choose the features that matter most to you.
Maintenance ConsiderationsExcept for coffee makers with built-in units, all grinders produce messy grind residue. While basic blade grinders require minimum maintenance, it's the additional features that tend to add to the clean-up, which may be a consideration when choosing features. Burr grinders tend to require a lot more care and cleaning with a small brush, to keep them in good operating condition. If you want to minimize clean-up and you're not too fussy as to grind consistency, go for a basic blade grinder. On the other hand, if you're particular about your coffee and want the finest grind possible, be prepared for the extra work.
Being able to store beans in the grinder and releasing as required for grinding, provides bean storage and added convenience - this can save you time as well. If it's time to replace your coffee maker, one with a built-in grinder may be a good choice to reduce your overall cost and save counter space. Likewise if you're looking at buying a food processor, some are designed for grinding coffee beans. You may also want to consider warranty details, whether to get an extended service contract on a more expensive model, as well as space required for the coffee grinder on the counter or in a cabinet.
Coffee Related Resources
Learn more about coffee makers and coffee related articles and tips. Find great online sources for coffee beans and coffees.
Before you throw out the box, make sure to keep the product manual - you may need it later. Not satisfied with your purchase? Even if it's not feasible to send it away for repairs if the cost was low, the manufacture should know why the product is not performing well.