Author Topic: Coffee grinder choice, help!  (Read 19279 times)

Joan-eh?

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Coffee grinder choice, help!
« on: December 06, 2014, 01:41:02 PM »
Our blade coffee grinder is broken. To replace it would cost 20$. I've been looking at the burr grinders, which everyone says is superior, but is  the taste difference really worth a 300$ Plus machine ??  DH loves coffee and has a sensitive/advanced  palette.  But really 300+ dollars? I know I should buy used :-)

We can afford it, but is it worth it?

What brands/models does our dear mustachian community recommend?
« Last Edit: December 07, 2014, 03:06:18 PM by Joanie »

TerriM

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Re: Coffee grinder choice, help!
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2014, 03:14:03 PM »
My husband is a coffee snob (TM) and likes this one which appears to be under $100:

http://www.wayfair.com/Capresso-Infinity-Conical-Electric-Burr-Coffee-Grinder-560.01-SSO1023.html

We've had two of them over 15 years, so he must like it a lot otherwise he'd have replaced it with something else the second time.

horsepoor

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Re: Coffee grinder choice, help!
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2014, 03:23:50 PM »
Yeah, you can get a burr grinder for making drip coffee for under $100.  The more fancy pants ones are really only needed to get a very consistent grind for espresso.  With that said, I have this one, what was obviously a pre-MMM purchase, and hope that it will last another decade or two:  https://prima-coffee.com/equipment/baratza/virtuoso?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cse&utm_term=&utm_campaign=586&gclid=CMbvtJi6ssICFROTfgodZ7AAlw

neo von retorch

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Re: Coffee grinder choice, help!
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2014, 03:43:42 PM »
I have a Cuisinart DBM-8. It's currently $45 at Amazon. It's not mind-blowingly good, I guess? I have no complaints about it, but I'm not a grinder snob, either. It's not quiet but it's grinding up beans. As long as you put the lid on, it isn't messy. (If you forget the lid, well, user error!)

starbuck

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Re: Coffee grinder choice, help!
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2014, 03:51:06 PM »
We bought a manual coffee grinder for $20 at a flea market a few years back to replace our electric grinder. Mostly because when we lose power, we have a gas cooktop and a french press, but no way to grind the damn beans. It also looks cool on the shelf in the kitchen.

SimpleGuy

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Re: Coffee grinder choice, help!
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2014, 03:54:42 PM »
I've got a simple Mr. Coffee grinder with a removable chamber that can be had for $20-25.  Never had a problem with it.  But I've never tasted coffee from a burr grinder so I don't know any better.

Spork

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Re: Coffee grinder choice, help!
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2014, 04:06:47 PM »
I have a burr grinder.  I bought it about 20 years ago (and have repaired it 4 or 5 times).   I bought it because I was told all the blah blah, tastes better blah blah ... other grinders get too hot ..  blah blah size of particles is more uniform.

I swear to you I cannot tell the difference.  Maybe I have plebeian tastes. 

I drink a metric shitton of coffee.  I promise you I could not pick out the coffee made with a burr grinder in a blind taste test.

Joan-eh?

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Re: Coffee grinder choice, help!
« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2014, 04:58:31 PM »
Anyone use manual grinders? They seem temperamental. I hear Hario has the least waste in the chamber.

soontoberichteacher

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Re: Coffee grinder choice, help!
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2014, 05:25:31 PM »
I use a manual Hario grinder with an Aeropress. It makes delicious coffee. I wanted a burr grinder but couldn't afford an electric one. And it isn't so bad; I grind enough for a cup while the water is boiling.

When I can upgrade, I will. But for now I am chugging along with this (so far) invincible grinder.

Spork

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Re: Coffee grinder choice, help!
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2014, 06:01:18 PM »
Anyone use manual grinders? They seem temperamental. I hear Hario has the least waste in the chamber.

We had a manual grinder back in college.  (I'm talking nearly 30 years ago.)  It was antique and took 15 minutes to grind a pot of coffee.  I am sure there are better ones out there... but I still have flashbacks to arguing over who's turn it was to grind.

Goldielocks

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Re: Coffee grinder choice, help!
« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2014, 06:15:29 PM »
I have a Cuisinart DBM-8. It's currently $45 at Amazon. It's not mind-blowingly good, I guess? I have no complaints about it, but I'm not a grinder snob, either. It's not quiet but it's grinding up beans. As long as you put the lid on, it isn't messy. (If you forget the lid, well, user error!)

I have one of these too.. Present from DH for Christmas a few years ago.

Very well conceived and designed.  I don't buy small appliances with my own money, (at least not thrift store) so I would not have paid $45 for it, but it works with no sign of giving up, for several years now.

Are we really discussing small appliances as a frugal purchase?  Mind is drifting into never ever land now.  Very surreal.

stripey

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Re: Coffee grinder choice, help!
« Reply #11 on: December 06, 2014, 06:51:45 PM »
My Breville conical burr grinder died for the second time, it wasn't as easy as bypassing a timing swith, and I have enough excitement in my life without fiddling with motors running off 240V. So a few months ago I purchaed a Porlex tall hand grinder. Very nice little manual grinder! It is a conical burr grinderwith ceramic blades (last longer) and only has about 7 parts. It can be completely disassembled to wash, to eliminate rancid coffee smell, and also makes it a good spice grinder. It will grind anywhere from french press to Turkish, although the finer grinds tend to be a little more consistent. All the components, including the burrs, are replaceable.Can't reccommend this little grinder enough.

The Butler

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Re: Coffee grinder choice, help!
« Reply #12 on: December 06, 2014, 07:30:22 PM »
If you're even asking this question, you can't afford it. If you could afford it, there would no need to mull over $300 because it would be a trivial cash outlay. It's clearly not, so you can't afford it.

Go with the $20 replacement rather than the $300 new item.

Maybe I have misunderstood this post?

In my version of the mustachian approach, I don't spend the money on things, even if I have the money. I can afford it. For me it's a question of value. Spending 300$ to grind coffee beans seems ridiculous, unless the coffee is so much better. This is part of my question.  Is the 300$ burr grinder worth it over the 20 blade grinder?

Excuse me, if I have misunderstood.

This sounds like a case of TDES (http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/12/26/cure-yourself-of-tiny-details-exaggeration-syndrome/).  For $20, this one grinds coffee beans into tiny pieces.  For $300, this one grinds beans into BETTER tiny pieces!

Mr. Frugalwoods

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Re: Coffee grinder choice, help!
« Reply #13 on: December 06, 2014, 08:00:09 PM »
I'm a coffee snob.

I used to have a burr grinder.  It broke.

I replaced it with a $20 blade grinder.  Can't tell the difference.  And it takes up less room on the counter!  win/win.

mlipps

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Re: Coffee grinder choice, help!
« Reply #14 on: December 06, 2014, 08:04:19 PM »
If you don't drink too much coffee, a manual burr grinder is way more reasonably priced and not too much trouble. I got the Hario for my bday and it makes me very happy. However, it takes me 30 seconds to grind 3 tbsp.

MBot

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Re: Coffee grinder choice, help!
« Reply #15 on: December 06, 2014, 09:38:59 PM »
Anothe vote for a Baratza conical burr grinder. I have one. About $120. Beautiful.

mlipps

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Re: Coffee grinder choice, help!
« Reply #16 on: December 07, 2014, 03:23:15 PM »
The Butler! Thank you so much for this reminder link!
(This sounds like a case of TDES) thanks for digging it out!
You've helped me eliminate the higher end.

The TDES post reminds me that "too much choice" can actually lead to dissatisfaction!
It's a little fit of FOMO too!

With the help of everyone, I've narrowed it to 1) manual burr Hario or 2) the Black and Becker blade grinder, currently on sale at Canadian Tire for 14$!!

We had a cheap electric grinder at my last job & it had a short in the cord after only a few months. I don't think they typically last too long. But I might be a bit biased towards my beloved Hario!! :)

Tetsuya Hondo

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Re: Coffee grinder choice, help!
« Reply #17 on: December 07, 2014, 04:06:25 PM »
If you've been using a $20 blade grinder and you've been happy with it, then by all means get another.

Is there a big difference between a blade grinder and a burr? Yep. Blade grinders just hack the hell out of beans with little consistency. But, as others have pointed out you don't have to spend $300. Check out ebay or used items on home-barista.com or coffeegeek.com or Baratza's refurbished webpage or Whole Latte Love or Google refurbished grinders. There's lots of things in between your $20 blade and $300 that would be a big step up. And, there's a lot of interesting and effective hand grinders out there too.

Speaking of, if I were you, I would get a Hario Skerton hand grinder for $40. You'll probably notice an improvement, use some muscle power each day, and not waste too much cash. If you were doing espresso, I might push you towards something more as you would be more likely to notice the difference.

stripey

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Re: Coffee grinder choice, help!
« Reply #18 on: December 07, 2014, 06:13:37 PM »
I vote for the Hario. The Japanese make some absolutely beautifully made coffee paraphernalia.

Turkey Leg

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Re: Coffee grinder choice, help!
« Reply #19 on: December 07, 2014, 08:37:11 PM »
Another vote for the Hario...

(But then again, DH handles 99% of the manual grinding, so keep that in mind if you count my vote.)

Less

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Re: Coffee grinder choice, help!
« Reply #20 on: December 07, 2014, 08:42:52 PM »
I have a porlex mini and love it. Big part of enjoying a manual grinder for me is freshness and portability. I like making coffee using a mocca pot on a camp stove from beans that i pick up at local markets. I'm not really a coffee snob but i love novelty and trying stuff in different places.

stripey

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Re: Coffee grinder choice, help!
« Reply #21 on: December 08, 2014, 12:32:58 AM »
I maintain the most cost-effective way of improving most people's brew is by purchasing top quality beans and freshly grinding them.

Well, that and avoiding drip machines.

SnackDog

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Re: Coffee grinder choice, help!
« Reply #22 on: December 08, 2014, 02:21:18 AM »
http://online.barrons.com/articles/our-gadget-of-the-week-the-coolest-coffee-machine-1416628111

Not frugal, but if you amortize the cost over ten years and stop buying coffee outside the house...well, still not frugal, haha.

Bbqmustache

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Re: Coffee grinder choice, help!
« Reply #23 on: December 08, 2014, 04:11:12 AM »
This is how we roll, a Cuisinart Grind and Brew coffee maker.  Cleanup takes a bit of work, but we've had one for 6-7 years and except for replacing a broken carafe, we have had no problems.

And hey, if you are in central pa, check out this mustachian deal for one of these: http://lancaster.craigslist.org/hsh/4742099258.html

$15.00 for a coffee maker that grinds right before it brews, and you can even set it the night before to wake up to freshly ground, freshly brewed coffee!

Tetsuya Hondo

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Re: Coffee grinder choice, help!
« Reply #24 on: December 08, 2014, 07:45:40 AM »
http://online.barrons.com/articles/our-gadget-of-the-week-the-coolest-coffee-machine-1416628111

Not frugal, but if you amortize the cost over ten years and stop buying coffee outside the house...well, still not frugal, haha.

$12k for a Nespresso machine connected to a fancy aluminum spout. Brilliant!

KBecks2

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Re: Coffee grinder choice, help!
« Reply #25 on: December 08, 2014, 07:45:48 AM »
We have a little Krups that was like $25 that we got for our wedding and it's still going like a champ. 

Of course I am not a coffee snob, and I often buy coffee that has already been ground to save time. 

Scotch & CPA

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Re: Coffee grinder choice, help!
« Reply #26 on: December 08, 2014, 08:08:51 AM »
Anothe vote for a Baratza conical burr grinder. I have one. About $120. Beautiful.

I'll put another vote in for the Baratza Conical Burr.

My GF has the Hario burr manual. It is cheaper at approx. $40, however, there it does take a bit more time to grind. I've found the grind consistency to be very good, but I prefer the quick and easy electric grinder.

neo von retorch

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Re: Coffee grinder choice, help!
« Reply #27 on: December 08, 2014, 01:00:27 PM »
The Cuisinart is currently just $25 at BuyDig.com
http://www.buydig.com/shop/product.aspx?sdtid=7484688&sku=CUIDBM8RB&omid=200&ref=cj

I've had mine for at least 5 years and it's still working great. I'm interested in those manual grinders though. Manual grind. Aeropress. Now if I can just find a way to manually boil the water :)

JJsfr

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Re: Coffee grinder choice, help!
« Reply #28 on: December 08, 2014, 02:33:35 PM »
The hario hand crank is great and what I use for camping.

The encore conical burrs are great and what I have in my kitchen.

The krups burr (non-conical) from costco is great for non-snobs, but still makes good coffee.

I have a blade grinder in my kitchen. It has been my spice grinder for years.

Conical burr >> burr >>>>>>>> blade

windypig

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Re: Coffee grinder choice, help!
« Reply #29 on: December 08, 2014, 02:41:32 PM »
Buy a used Zassenhaus grinder off ebay, they last forever and can be had for under $50. The wall mount ones are ideal but the hand held ones are good too. Get some lower arm workout while you are at it.

Spork

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Re: Coffee grinder choice, help!
« Reply #30 on: December 08, 2014, 03:21:50 PM »

So to all the "buy burr people"...

Can you honestly say that you'd be able to pick 10 out of 10 in a blind taste test of burr vs blade grinders? 

Yes, I believe you can tell the difference between perk vs drip vs pressed etc.   
Yes, I believe you can visually tell the difference between blade/burr.

But *same* coffee, *same* coffee maker and approximate same grind size* do you think you can tell the difference?

I absolutely know I cannot.   

I'm not saying you can't tell the difference.  I'm saying I can't.  I'd love to hear semi-scientific results of something like "identify grinder for each of these 10 cups of coffee in a blind tasting."
---
*yes, I understand the grind is not as even.  Approximate is a key word.

Runge

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Re: Coffee grinder choice, help!
« Reply #31 on: December 08, 2014, 03:37:07 PM »

So to all the "buy burr people"...

Can you honestly say that you'd be able to pick 10 out of 10 in a blind taste test of burr vs blade grinders? 

Yes, I believe you can tell the difference between perk vs drip vs pressed etc.   
Yes, I believe you can visually tell the difference between blade/burr.

But *same* coffee, *same* coffee maker and approximate same grind size* do you think you can tell the difference?

I absolutely know I cannot.   

I'm not saying you can't tell the difference.  I'm saying I can't.  I'd love to hear semi-scientific results of something like "identify grinder for each of these 10 cups of coffee in a blind tasting."
---
*yes, I understand the grind is not as even.  Approximate is a key word.

I can't offer the semi-scientific results, but I can tell a difference. Even if you have the same approximate grind size, blade grinders produce a lot more powder. Depending on what kind of brew process you have, the extra, finer powder can really throw off the coffee. For example, I have a french press, and the blade grinder that I used to have produced a lot of powder no matter how long or short I set it. This powder is too fine for the mesh on the press, therefore it doesn't get filtered out leaving a gritty, acidic taste in the coffee. Gross.

In you run-of-the-mill drip coffee maker, it doesn't matter as much, but when using french press, aeropress, , basically any method that requires a course ground, a burr grinder will produce a more even grind, thus limiting the amount of powder or grit that gets in your coffee.

If you can't tell the difference, then just keep it simple and stick the the drip-coffee maker and grinder (if you even choose to grind) that you can buy on the cheap.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Coffee grinder choice, help!
« Reply #32 on: December 08, 2014, 03:54:04 PM »
I am on blade grinder #2 over ~8 years of making coffee. When this one dies, I will go with a Hario grinder. Combined with my AeroPress it is a lovely low-tech way to make coffee.

But like Spork suggests up thread, it's only worth it to replace a broken one, not to upgrade.

To the OP, go with a manual machine IF you won't mind the manual nature. Otherwise, it is probably "worth" getting a moderately priced electric one like the Cuisinart one up thread or the Baratza Encore (~$100).

Zoot Allures

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Re: Coffee grinder choice, help!
« Reply #33 on: December 08, 2014, 04:09:08 PM »
My personal experience: When I switched from a blade grinder to a burr grinder, the taste difference was very significant. I was finally making coffee that had the richness and balanced flavor (strong but not bitter) that I'd been longing for.

I decided to get a manual burr grinder because I liked the simplicity of it, and I didn't want an expensive appliance.

My first burr grinder was the Hario Skerton. It's great, but not a super high-quality product. There's some wobble in the burrs that causes inconsistent particle size. I live in Portland, where coffee is a religion, so I decided to buy a professional-quality manual grinder that would either last for the rest of my life or hold its value in case I ever want to sell it.

I bought the Lido 2 grinder, hand-assembled by Doug and Barb at Orphan Espresso in Idaho. There is something of a cult around the Lido 2 and I can see why. It's a beautiful, very solid, satisfying piece of equipment. Well worth the $175 I paid for it, in my opinion. I get a lot of pleasure from my morning coffee ritual.

For what it's worth, I'm a devotee of the Hario V60 pourover method.

mlipps

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Re: Coffee grinder choice, help!
« Reply #34 on: December 08, 2014, 04:40:27 PM »

So to all the "buy burr people"...

Can you honestly say that you'd be able to pick 10 out of 10 in a blind taste test of burr vs blade grinders? 

Yes, I believe you can tell the difference between perk vs drip vs pressed etc.   
Yes, I believe you can visually tell the difference between blade/burr.

But *same* coffee, *same* coffee maker and approximate same grind size* do you think you can tell the difference?

I absolutely know I cannot.   

I'm not saying you can't tell the difference.  I'm saying I can't.  I'd love to hear semi-scientific results of something like "identify grinder for each of these 10 cups of coffee in a blind tasting."
---
*yes, I understand the grind is not as even.  Approximate is a key word.

Personally I can't notice a taste difference. I just didn't want to keep replacing an electric blade grinder, which seem to be cheaply made. Also, as PP mentions, the consistently larger grind does save me from silty crud in the bottom of my French pressed cup. Oh, and I wanted to be able to make coffee in the morning without waking the dead... The blade grinders are SO loud!

Philo Beddoe

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Re: Coffee grinder choice, help!
« Reply #35 on: December 08, 2014, 05:50:49 PM »
A couple of thoughts,

I too LOVE coffee. I was very recently not a mustachian, and purchased a Breville grinder (http://www.brevilleusa.com/the-smart-grinder.html) after my blade grinder broke (the plastic part that the blade was attached to shrapnelled.) I love it. It has lasted a year so far and works flawlessly. This is more than I can say for my last 3 grinders: 1 blade and 2 burr grinders before it. What I like most is the huge hopper and the convenience of not having to measure out my beans every time I brew coffee (you select the number of cups and it grinds the appropriate amount of beans...adjustable to your preference.) And, static is very low.

Would I buy it again now that I'm trying to be a mustachian? Maybe. I think having a grinder at home is a must, because sometimes I like to buy my beans green and roast at home. I would likely look for a used commercial one (but they are quite large unless you get one made for espresso, which is a PIA.)

If you really cannot tell the difference in taste, grind the beans at the store before you take them home. I can tell the difference (hint: it's slight.) Or, just buy the stuff that's already ground.

I've also seen those industrial sized grinders on Craigslist for around $200...they will never break. 

pagoconcheques

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Re: Coffee grinder choice, help!
« Reply #36 on: December 08, 2014, 06:34:51 PM »
This reminds me of MMMs piece on the clown car, except that this is more like the clown coffee-grinder.  You do not need to own one. I say this having been a coffee gourmand/snob since the mid 1970s before it was fashionable and before places like Starbucks were even a dream/nightmare. 

We buy our coffee at Trader Joe's (French Roast) and I grind it in the store using a grinder that probably cost much more than any grinder mentioned in this thread.  We keep it in the freezer, and since we go through a whole container every two weeks or so it always tastes fresh.  Seriously, just buy good coffee beans and grind them where you buy them. 

Another big bonus to not grinding your own is that the noise doesn't wake people up.  I can't speak for everyone else, but I don't like my alone time in the early hours interrupted by an angry sleepy family member who couldn't sleep through a coffee grinder.....

Zoot Allures

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Re: Coffee grinder choice, help!
« Reply #37 on: December 08, 2014, 07:54:50 PM »
I say this having been a coffee gourmand/snob since the mid 1970s...We buy our coffee at Trader Joe's (French Roast)...We keep it in the freezer

Does not compute. Cannot reconcile statements. :)

horsepoor

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Re: Coffee grinder choice, help!
« Reply #38 on: December 08, 2014, 08:01:23 PM »

So to all the "buy burr people"...

Can you honestly say that you'd be able to pick 10 out of 10 in a blind taste test of burr vs blade grinders? 

Yes, I believe you can tell the difference between perk vs drip vs pressed etc.   
Yes, I believe you can visually tell the difference between blade/burr.

But *same* coffee, *same* coffee maker and approximate same grind size* do you think you can tell the difference?

I absolutely know I cannot.   

I'm not saying you can't tell the difference.  I'm saying I can't.  I'd love to hear semi-scientific results of something like "identify grinder for each of these 10 cups of coffee in a blind tasting."
---
*yes, I understand the grind is not as even.  Approximate is a key word.

I don't think I could, in a blind taste test.  I do pour-over drip with a 13 year old plastic Melitta cone, and it's great.  However, I find my fancy $200 grinder is easy to use when I'm brain-dead in the morning.  I just turn the dial to 2-o'clock and let it go.  Honestly, if it dies for some reason, I'll probably go back to a blade grinder, but I don't miss cleaning those out when the finer grounds get packed into the bottom below the blade.

RapmasterD

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Re: Coffee grinder choice, help!
« Reply #39 on: December 08, 2014, 08:28:26 PM »
I drink Trader Joe's Instant Coffee. It increases my virility and makes me feel like a better man. At least the first sentence is true!

catccc

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Re: Coffee grinder choice, help!
« Reply #40 on: December 08, 2014, 08:32:07 PM »
I say this having been a coffee gourmand/snob since the mid 1970s...We buy our coffee at Trader Joe's (French Roast)...We keep it in the freezer

Does not compute. Cannot reconcile statements. :)

lol!  I agree, and I'm not even a coffee snob, I'm just married to one.  I was going to suggest a manual grinder, I think DH has the Hario.  Porlex is also a good one, a little more expensive, but a very nice one.

pagoconcheques

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Re: Coffee grinder choice, help!
« Reply #41 on: December 09, 2014, 06:57:26 AM »
Does not compute. Cannot reconcile statements. :)

I see what you did there.  ;-)

Still, you got there the same way I got to my coffee budget, which is more than it would be if I settled for coffee I believe to be inferior.  We're both justifying more expensive choices, but you have gone farther down the road. Part of the clown mentality is believing that things must meet some (often mythical) quality standard and that it's OK to spend more, even a lot more.  From the tenets of mustachianism I infer that the consumption component is mostly about identifying what is good enough, buying that, and saving the balance toward FI. 

So, I grind the coffee at the store and make it in the 6-year-old drip coffee maker I bought on sale to replace the previous one I bought on sale that lasted 21 years.  When this one fails I'm going to just get a French press; strangely, they are commonly available at thrift stores.  Still not getting a grinder though.....

RetiredAt63

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Re: Coffee grinder choice, help!
« Reply #42 on: December 09, 2014, 07:34:43 AM »
I was buying pre-ground until I saw a fancy coffee in the bean at Costco for a great price and brought it home.  Costco does not have a coffee grinder.  So I found a "fancy" blade grinder where the degree of fineness and quantity of beans can be set and the container can be removed for washing, and it holds a decent amount.  I get the fine stuff at the bottom out with a pastry brush.  Since I use a cone and paper filter, the fine stuff is not a problem.

Honestly, if it dies for some reason, I'll probably go back to a blade grinder, but I don't miss cleaning those out when the finer grounds get packed into the bottom below the blade.

Tetsuya Hondo

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Re: Coffee grinder choice, help!
« Reply #43 on: December 09, 2014, 07:56:24 AM »

I bought the Lido 2 grinder, hand-assembled by Doug and Barb at Orphan Espresso in Idaho. There is something of a cult around the Lido 2 and I can see why. It's a beautiful, very solid, satisfying piece of equipment. Well worth the $175 I paid for it, in my opinion. I get a lot of pleasure from my morning coffee ritual.


Ah, the Lido 2 is a sexy beast. I'm the very happy owner of it's sibling, the Pharos. But, is it a clown car hand grinder? Hmmm.

In my defense, I'm an obsessive espresso drinker, which is much more finicky and unforgiving of bad grinds. With espresso, the grinder is more important that the espresso machine itself. So, when shopping for a grinder, I set out to see how I can maximize my bang for the buck. The Pharos is about a sixth of cost of the big conical burr grinders. It uses no electricity. There's no motor to burn out and it's built like a tank. I fully expect this thing to last for the rest of my life and to never buy another grinder. With it, I have fewer wasted shots and I'm really, honestly blown away by the difference it makes. But, is it a clown car grinder? I think it all depends. If I suddenly quit drinking espresso in a year or so, then yeah. But, if my morning ritual continues over the next few decades as it has over the past decade, then I think it will be a good buy for the enjoyment it brings me (and the lack of frustration with other grinders I've used), and for requiring no additional costs (e.g., replacements, new burrs).

All that said, I wouldn't spend that kind of money for a grinder for drip coffee. I still wouldn't use a blade, but I would stick to the lower end or buy used.

One more thing, I love using a manual grinder over the electric. It provides a sense of involvement and connection to the process that an electric cannot give you.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2014, 08:08:22 AM by Tetsuya Hondo »

starbuck

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Re: Coffee grinder choice, help!
« Reply #44 on: December 09, 2014, 08:30:04 AM »
(But then again, DH handles 99% of the manual grinding, so keep that in mind if you count my vote.)

Mine does too since he's up first in the morning. He half-heartedly complained that he was going to develop tennis elbow because we drink so much coffee. I told him to switch hands. :)

FarmerPete

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Re: Coffee grinder choice, help!
« Reply #45 on: December 09, 2014, 08:57:57 AM »
Such a timely post.  I just received a Habro hand grinder in the mail last night.  I've been buying preground coffee.  I personally think preground tastes fine.  I can't really complain.  I just got the hand grinder so that if I see a good deal on whole beam coffee, I can buy it.  The $20 in grinder costs should be recovered with a few cheaper bean purchases.  It's also quieter and can be more easily locked up.

Zoot Allures

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Re: Coffee grinder choice, help!
« Reply #46 on: December 09, 2014, 09:32:06 PM »
Still, you got there the same way I got to my coffee budget, which is more than it would be if I settled for coffee I believe to be inferior.  We're both justifying more expensive choices, but you have gone farther down the road. Part of the clown mentality is believing that things must meet some (often mythical) quality standard and that it's OK to spend more, even a lot more.  From the tenets of mustachianism I infer that the consumption component is mostly about identifying what is good enough, buying that, and saving the balance toward FI. 

That's a good analysis. I can see the clownish aspect of my $175 hand grinder. However, I think it's important to note that for me, grinding my coffee by hand is not a chore--it's a satisfying life experience that I get to have every morning. Even Jacob from ERE spent freely on martial arts lessons, did he not? I used a cheap hand grinder for several months before upgrading to the Lido 2. The difference in quality is significant. Mustachians do not accumulate unnecessary toys, but when we do buy things, I think we often choose more expensive, higher-quality items that will last a long time. But there's certainly a limit. I would never go down the path of thinking that the only thing standing between me and perfect coffee is some $5,000 machine. $175 seems pretty reasonable to me. The real luxury is being able to walk three blocks to the market here in the Pacific Northwest, where I can choose from a ridiculous variety of high-quality coffee beans. It's an embarrassment of riches. I can't help myself. I drink coffee like a king, but otherwise happily eat like a peasant.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2014, 09:42:22 PM by Zoot Allures »

Zoot Allures

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Re: Coffee grinder choice, help!
« Reply #47 on: December 09, 2014, 09:41:09 PM »
One more thing, I love using a manual grinder over the electric. It provides a sense of involvement and connection to the process that an electric cannot give you.

Agreed. I love the process, too. But I totally get that people have other priorities, especially people who have hectic mornings and/or small children and just need to suck down some caffeine. Not everyone has the luxury of being able to contemplatively prepare a cup of pourover coffee every morning (I didn't even mention the scale, thermometer, and timer) as though they're in a Portlandia sketch.

Also, as shown in this thread, some people are just fine with their pre-ground, auto-drip coffee, and all the power to them. Obviously you can still make very good coffee this way. Mustachians don't try to keep up with the Joneses or the Baristas.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2014, 09:46:05 PM by Zoot Allures »

Joan-eh?

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Re: Coffee grinder choice, help!
« Reply #48 on: December 10, 2014, 10:32:56 AM »
Zoot Allures, thanks for insights In your posts- maybe I'm now deciding between hario canister and lido-2 manual burr grinders- would you, could you make direct comparison?  Did I read correctly, that you prefer lido-2?  We use hario pour over too.

Zoot Allures

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Re: Coffee grinder choice, help!
« Reply #49 on: December 10, 2014, 07:11:38 PM »
Zoot Allures, thanks for insights In your posts- maybe I'm now deciding between hario canister and lido-2 manual burr grinders- would you, could you make direct comparison?  Did I read correctly, that you prefer lido-2?  We use hario pour over too.

I haven't used the Hario Canister but it seems pretty similiar to the Hario Skerton, which is what I used before I bought the Lido 2.

The Hario is a great little grinder. The main issue is that the ceramic burrs wobble around a bit while grinding, especially at coarser grinds. When you grind very fine for espresso, it's not much of an issue. But when you loosen the burrs for a coarser grind, e.g. for pourover or french press, the burrs wobble and you get inconsistent particle size--some chunks, some fine powder, and some ideal-size particles. In a single cup, you end up with over-extracted, under-extracted, and properly extracted coffee.

People have figured out various upgrades to fix this problem (just google hario skerton modification), but I decided to get the Lido 2 because I knew I would enjoy having a high-quality hand grinder, and I love the fact that the "factory" responsible for these grinders consists of two Idahoans named Doug and Barb. (The parts are machined in Taiwan, however.) The Lido 2 has stainless steel burrs that are mounted to a central shaft for a more consistent grind.

In sum, the Hario feels like a decent, cheaply made tool that gets the job done. The Lido 2 feels like a professional product. It's heavier, the action is smoother, and it's easy to disassemble and clean. A decent analogy would be a hammer: if you don't need one very often or you're not particular about how it gets done, you'll probably just buy a cheap one. But if you hammer something every day and you love the act of doing it, you're probably going to spend the money on a hammer that feels good to use and doesn't have any known flaws.

Final note: there are tons of YouTube videos about coffee grinders and brewing techniques. Very useful for research.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2014, 07:17:28 PM by Zoot Allures »