Art of the Grind

Brewing coffee, like brewing craft beers or making a fine wine, is a process. Understanding that process is half the battle, making or perfecting your own unique process is where the fun comes in.

This specific segment I am going to call the Art of the Grind and it’s all about the details. Mostly what I want to share with you guys and gals in this educational segment is that grinding or choosing the right grinder is a key element in releasing the unbelievably complex flavor of your newly purchased bag of 5AM REV, 5AM REV ESPRESSO, MONROE BLEND, SUNRISE SERENADE, WEEKEND BLISS, MORNIN’ MUDD, and our world famous STUPID GOOD coffee.  Altering or manipulating grind sizes, techniques and consistency absolutely affect the overall fullness and flavor of your next cup or pot of coffee.  So my advice to my customers is to experiment, have fun, and understand the huge dynamics of the gourmet coffee bean, the uniqueness of different roasts, grind techniques and brewing processes.

There are several different kinds of grinders and techniques used on the market these days.  I would like to briefly speak on two of them.

Blade grinder vs. Burr grinder

The blade grinder is super-fast and inexpensive, but the the blade grinder is also extremely unpredictable and inconsistent.  If you are using a drip coffee maker, it could do a great job on one pot of coffee and the next batch may be too fine or too coarse.  This is because the blade grinder actually chops and does not grind.  Why do they call it a grinder??  I don’t know….it actually works just like the blender in your kitchen; they should call it a blender. 😉

This so-called grinding process actually causes inconsistencies that can and will greatly affect your overall flavor. The burr grinder on the other hand, in my opinion, offers a much more consistent and mechanical approach to the grinding process.  The metal discs and the conical cone-shaped cogs give the burr or mill grinder the ability to control with pressure the shape and consistency of the grind and does not leave anything to chance.  Example:  If you put hot water on whole coffee beans you would still get a dark cup of coffee, but it would take hours and hours and it might taste fruity and nutty and maybe kind of like bark from a tree.  A far cry from your acquired taste for your normal cup of Joe.  We actually grind our coffee beans to achieve consistency and greater water saturation to the bean, cutting down the time it takes to brew our pot of coffee. For example, the espresso grind is a fine powder 200 microns or smaller.  Without getting all scientific on you guys, this brew takes super-hot 200 degree water and only seconds to brew, and the end result is a super-strong, super-concentrated, super-bitter shot of espresso.  Where, another example, your drip coffee maker grind may be as big as 800 microns and it brew process for complete saturation chugs along at 8 to 12 minutes for a pot of Joe.

In closing, for a great cup of coffee you need the right grind for your taste, and being able to add consistency to your process is important.  The wrong grind can actually change a coffee’s taste.

Enjoy your  organically grown, fair trade Original Pilot House Coffees.