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Grinder Revisited
Home >> Coffee >> Grinder Redux
Maestro grinder with cup

Somewhere else on this website, I detail the importance of a grinder when it comes to espresso. Many times when speaking to coffee aficionados, they will tell you that the grinder isn't as important if you're brewing filter drip, or press pot coffee, or vacuum brewed, or the like. I'm here to tell you that ain't true. The grinder is a crucial tool in the crafting of any coffee beverage. Don't skimp, don't let it fade away. And put away that store bought pre ground.

Coffee is a demanding thing. The bean is ready to offer you something that tastes completely out of this world, but only if you let it. Only if you use it right. The coffee grinder is your essential tool to doing this.

Many people skimp on the grinder. It's viewed as the boring afterthought. Or there's a mentality of "hey, who's crazy enough to spend $200 or more on a grinder when you can pick one up at Target for $15?". While this is true - you can get a grinder for $15, you have to also realise you get what you pay for. Often people will blow $150 or more on a coffee maker, $12, $15 or more per pound of quality coffee, then they get it ground at the shop they bought it from, or use a blade grinder (aka the whirleyblade or weedwacker grinder) to get the grounds needed to brew.

Stop the insanity. Please

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Grinders I like
There's a lot of good grinders on the market today that do the job they are assigned - providing an even grind at various levels of fineness needed for a specific brewing job. The key is only burr grinders will do, and some burr grinders aren't as good as others.

Solis Maestro - probably the best all around grinder on the market right now. Can handle espresso to press pot (coarse) with ease, and look good doing it. About $129 or less.

Bodum Antigua - not nearly as good as the Maestro, but will do in a pinch. Has problems with espresso level fineness, but can be tweaked (look for tweaking tips online at Ken Wilson's site).

Starbucks Barista - again, has problems with espresso grinding, but a good performer, looks good too. Ken's site also has tweaks for this model.