Coffee Grinder for Aeropress
- cowboyardee Feb 16, 2012 11:36 AM
So, I've switched over to the Aeropress, for its nice mixture of convenience and quality in a single cup coffee maker. Been playing around with it for a couple weeks now, and I dig it. Thumbs up.
Problem is I need a new grinder for it.
I have two grinders already. One is a blade grinder I use for spices. Since I generally don't want my coffee smelling like cumin and cardamom and cloves, that's out. The other one is an affordable electric burr grinder. It can grind to varying fineness, and set to fine it produces a nice cup of coffee in the Aeropress. Problem is it sprays coffee grounds all over my kitchen. Some kind of design or manufacturing flaw. It still works - I've suffered through it for years - but I've decided that I just can't justify cleaning half my kitchen every time I want a cup of coffee or else operating it inside a garbage bag.
So I want a reliable grinder. It doesn't need to grind a lot of coffee at one time - usually it's just me drinking. Cost is a factor.
But I haven't yet worked out exactly what works best for the Aeropress. I know that a fairly fine grind from a burr grinder works well (with a very quick extraction). And that a VERY coarse grind is less than ideal. But I don't know much beyond that yet. I've heard that the Aeropress deals well with a variety of grinds - better than most methods. So for those of you who've played around with the Aeropress:
- How important is the grind?
- Is the dust or slight unevenness from a blade grinder a problem?
- While I'm at it, what kind of grind seems to work best for you?
I'm looking at this blade grinder, for a hopefully reliable low-cost option:
Here is an affordable burr grinder of dubious quality:
Then there are grinders like this - manual grinders that are reputed to have a very consistent grind. I have no experience with these at all.
Back in the last century I bought a manual grinder for coffee and used it for that precisely once. It was not something I wanted to use first thing in the morning. It is, however, a very good spice grinder for later in the day and smaller quantities of smaller things.
I use a blade grinder when traveling with my AP. It works quite well yet I don't use it at home due to the better grinders on the counter. I tend to grind pretty fine for the AP so the blade works well there and unlike espresso it's not as finicky to grind consistency.
I have a Krups blade grinder like the one you posted and can vouch for it but have never used the Mr. Coffee burr grinder. I think I remember some big static/mess issues on reviews at coffeegeek which is where you need to go for reviews or home-barista
I'm not a fan of blade grinders for coffee, but since the AP uses cooler water it appears it isn't as sensitive to the mash-up of grinds they produce. For your price range, I'd say stay away from "affordable" electric burr grinders.
Both the Hario Mini & Skerton manual grinders get decent reviews over on CoffeeGeek. As a bonus, it would also allow for a compact & simple travel coffee setup.
Otherwise, a refurb'd Baratza ($70-$80?) would be my first choice for consistent, effortless grinding over a huge grind range.
I bought the aeropress expecting something not all that different from a french press. But adding pressure and a filter to the equation seems to have a surprisingly large effect on the end result and what kind of brewing makes for an ideal cup.
I'm definitely leaning against the 'affordable' electric burr grinder, in part because that's what I'm currently having problems with. Though i wondered whether it was just my particular model.
Right now my main considerations are the cheap blade grinder I first linked to or else a manual grinder like the one I last linked to. Does anyone have any first hand experience with the latter?
Thanks for the mention of the Hario Mini and Skerton grinders. I'll look into them.
I think the Mini is basically the same one you linked to. The Skerton looks like it'll do a larger batch of beans at one filling, which may be moot for your purposes.
Unfortunately, I can't recommend the Cuisinart DBM-8. I used one in an office for a while & it was extremely inconsistant for grind quality. (In 2DD's defense, the office environment might've trashed it out beyond its useful life.)
I forgot to ask: what's causing the grounds to end up all over the kitchen? Is it "static fling" when opening/dumping the grounds bin? Or do they just get thrown out during grinding? Or something else?
By the way, I guess I should mention which burr grinder I have that has given me problems. It is this grinder by Melitta.
That's what I get when I don't research my purchases. Even a quick look at Amazon would have sent me in another direction. Serves me right.