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Jan 18, 2007 04:51 PM

Coffee grinding at home

Last week I purchased 1/2 pound of coffee from a local place with a very good product. I had 1/4 pound ground for drip and the other 1/4 left as beans. 1/2 pound is the minimum they will sell. Since I am the only regular coffee drinker, the 1/4 lasted me about 4 days and I enjoyed it alot. The portion I ground this week using a burr grinder with variable settings that cost me about $40 several years ago was no where near as good as the coffee that was ground for me, even comparing it freshly ground to that professionally ground 4 days previously.

I have gone on a coffee site and see that you can spend $200 for a grinder and don't want to do that. Since 1/2 is the minimum they will sell just wondering whether it is better to buy and have all ground professionally or buy a better grinder myself. Also if I do that should I store it in refrigerator, freezer, or at room temparature. Also what make grinder under $100 would you suggest? Thanks.

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  1. It is always better to grind your own beans, preferably just before you brew. as for storing your beans, gawd, you are opening a can of worms among coffee geeks. Some say it's ok to freeze, all agree refridgerating is a no no. Most agree that storing beans in a airtight container in a darkened location is best.

    As for grinders, sadly all burr grinders aren't created equally, and you are correct about the cost of top grinders. Some of us morons actually spend up to 500 for a grinder. My first decent grinder was a Solis Muestro plus that can be purchased for about 130. Also, there was talk of a Kitchen Aide Burr grinder for about 99.

    Before I stop babbling I should ask whether your grinding for espresso? If your not, most grinders around $100-150 should be ok.

    1 Reply
    1. re: chipman

      Thank you. I am not grinding for expresso. Just looking for a good cup of automated drip.

    2. The texture of the grind matters, not the grinder or how much you spend on it. You should be able to find a $20 grinder that works fine. Bear in mind that if you bought super-fresh coffee, it won't taste as fantastic a few days later. That could explain the difference. I'm skeptical this is a home vs. commericial grinder problem.

      Somebody--Cook's Illustrated?--did an article over the past year that sort of debunked the idea that ground coffee lasts a lot less long than whole beans. I think that the magic of truly fresh coffee does fade pretty quickly, though.

      1. Thank you. I know I read something either on Chowhound or somewhere else on the internet that had detailed information on coffee grinders, containers in which to store coffee, etc. If anyone knows what I am talking about and you can copy, it would be greatly appreciated. Again I am not an expresso person but just someone looking for a great cup of coffee.

        1 Reply
        1. re: FayeD

          Coffee grinders and other kitchen equipment are discussed on the Cookware board, so we suggest you take a look through that board. If you don't see the answer to your question, we suggest you post there to ask for advice on grinders and storage containers.

        2. Having owned a coffee house with my wife for a couple of years I can tell you that there are as many opinions about coffee grinding as there is coffee. I will say that if you are comparing whole bean that was ground at the store and used asap versus the other half being used a week or so later, a good coffee lover will be able to tell the differance. Try to grind for every pot. On the issue of storage, never ever store in freezer. Think of the oils in coffee beans kinda like freezing mayonaise. The oils will seperate and never come back together when thawn. The best way to store is in an airtight container in a dark place...Good luck and best beans to you..OBX

          1 Reply
          1. re: obxspiritdreamer

            Thank you. I had been storing beans in the freezer and after reading will stop doing that.

          2. If you're looking at just drip or press and you're the only coffee drinker, you might want to consider a conical burr hand grinder from Zassenhaus (although supply has been iffy the past 16 months - might need to go to eBay).

            You'll get a little exercise and you won't wake anyone up. Cheap burr grinders tend to sound like small jets taking off, not to mention providing an uneven particle size.

            If you have a blade grinder, here's a trick for getting a better drip grind: as you're grinding, pick it up and shake the living heck out of it. It works pretty well if that's you're only option.