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Dr Mike J Smith
Kingston University

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Coffee Grinders

Fri, 02 Dec 2005

As a footnote to the earlier blog on good places to buy fresh coffe, it goes without saying that coffee beans remain fresh far longer than ground coffee. Good coffee means coffee beans, which means a coffee grinder.

There are quite alot of grinders (or add-ons for blenders) available around the 20 mark, however they are all based around blades that chop the beans up. Although it works, it generally produces a poor ground coffee for two reasons. Firstly, it generates quite a lot of heat which starts to "cook" the beans releasing essential oils (you might notice the beans becoming oily). Secondly, it is actually quite difficult to get a consistant (and fine) grind. The (recommended) alternative is to get a burr-type grind which crushes the beans. These are (naturally!) more expensive but produce a reliable grind. I personally use a Dualit Grinder which has been faithful.

By the way, for a good laymans guide to all things coffee I highly recommend The Joy of Coffee by Corby Kummer.

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