Step Up Your Coffee Game - Grinder

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Step Up Your Coffee Game - Grinder

Introduction

Many people think the best way to improve the taste of their coffee is to get better coffee beans. There is no arguing that getting a better quality of coffee will make things better, but there is actually something you can do that will have an even larger impact, and that is choosing the right grinder.

 

Grind Immediately Before Brewing

One thing you need to be aware of with coffee is that it's flavors are at their peak about 24 hours after roasting, and then it is a steady decline from there.  Having your coffee pre-ground further speeds up this process, because more surface area of the coffee is exposed.  Ideally you would grind your coffee immediately before brewing. (Spoiler alert: be sure to keep reading, b/c not all grinders are made equal)

 

The Truth about Blade "Grinders"

There are two major types of coffee grinders out there: Blade & Burr.  A blade grinder will typically cost $20 or less. It is about the size of a mason jar, and you typically load it by removing the cap, which exposes the blade. You drop in your coffee, replace the cover and press a button to whip the blade around, and chop up your coffee. Keyword there: CHOP.  I did not use the word grind.  The result is an extremely inconsistent grind with some of the coffee in large chunks, and others pulverized to a fine powder. When you use this “ground” coffee in your brewer, the large chunks will add little flavor, and the pulverized power will be over extracted and contribute only bitterness. The result will taste horrible.  But I can assure you, since you will be thinking this is how I am "supposed" to brew coffee, you will force a smile on your face (even though the coffee sucks) and in your head you will question why all those coffee snobs in their scarves insist on grinding before brewing. 

 

Burr Grinders

Don't fear, there is a way, and that way is using a Burr Grinder.  Where a blade grinder uses a spinning blade to chop the coffee, a burr grinder uses two grooved pieces of metal, one stationary and one that rotates, to grind the coffee in to consistent pieces.  To visualize how this works, make your hands into fists, give yourself a fist pump, but leave your fists together (try this with another person and see who can last the longest).  Next, rotate one of your fists.  Where the two fists (or burrs) come together, that is where the coffee would be getting ground.  The benefit of a burr grinder is that you will get a consistent grind for whatever brew method you intend to use (french press, pour over or espresso), and you will taste the difference.  The downside with burr grinders, they can be expensive.  As with anything, you can spend a lot of money if you want to, but the typical entry price for a burr grinder is $50 or higher (and sometimes much higher).

 

Results

Given what we have gone over, I have a few recommendations on how you can Step Up Your Coffee Game.  First, here is how I would rank the grinding options:

Option 1: Burr Grinder

Option 2: Pre-Ground Coffee

Option 3 (if you are desparate): Blade Grinder

 

Recommendations

I have also linked a few burr grinders at three different price points below.  I have previously owned the Breville Smart Grinder, and it did a great job, and it looked attractive on the counter.  My only complaint, is that it would clog if I was grinding a very dark roast for espresso.  I currently own the Rancilio Rocky Grinder, and it is a tank.  The build quality is excellent, the grind is consistent with a very wide range of grind choices, and it has never jammed on me.  I have not personally used the Cuisinart, but 4 Stars on 5,800 reviews doesn't lie.

Cheers,

Clay  & Eric

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Cold Press

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Cold Press

What Is It

Cold Press Coffee (AKA Cold Brew) is coffee that is brewed with cold water instead of hot water.

What it is NOT

Cold Press Coffee is not just regularly brewed coffee that has gotten cold. 

What Makes It Different

The ingredients for making Cold Press Coffee are the same as making regular coffee: Coffee & Water.  Where Cold Press deviates from hot coffee is that #1 you use cold water and #2 the coffee is in the water for a long time.  Using cold water in the brewing process results in a completely different taste.  This is because certain flavors in the coffee are only dissolvable in hot water; so when brewed with cold water, those flavors are not transferred into the liquid.  Why is the coffee brewed for a really long time… basically because you wouldn’t like it if it wasn’t J.

What does it taste like?

Remember the part about certain flavors not being dissolvable in hot water?  One of those flavors is what gives coffee that bitter taste.  Staple flavors of Cold Press is a smooth taste with chocolaty flavors and no bitterness. 

How is it Made

Making Cold Brew coffee is insanely easy.  As with everything, there multiple ways to accomplish making cold brew coffee.  At a minimum all you need are Coffee, Water, Container & a way to filter out the coffee.  The last piece is the most difficult part, but if you can figure that out, you’ll be enjoying Cold Press in no time.  If you are interested in stepping up your cold coffee game, we use the Toddy Cold Brew Coffee System.  If you are interested, checkout the link below.

Recipe

Here is the recipe we use for our Cold Press Coffee:

Ingredients:

1.     Cold Press Blend Coffee (Available online)

2.     Water

Directions:

In a large container, combine the coffee with water using the following ratio 3 quarts of water to every 1 pound of coffee.  Cover your container to make sure no unwanted things get into your brew.  Let the coffee brew for 12 to 24 hours depending on your desired strength.  We let ours brew for 18 hours.  Once brewing is complete, separate the grounds from the cold brew. 

***IMPORTANT*** The resulting cold brew will be a concentrate.  If you drink this straight you will be up for a minimum of 3 days straight.  You have been warned! 

Before you enjoy your cold brew, you will want to dilute the coffee concentrate with equal parts water or milk (or whatever else you think sounds good).  Then just pour on ice and enjoy!  The cold brew will stay good in your fridge for 2 to 3 weeks, but trust me, it will be long gone before then.

Other Tidbits:

1.     Cold Brew coffee has less acid; so if your stomach doesn’t like acid, it will like Cold Press

2.     Try heating Cold Press for a hot coffee substitute

 

Cheers,

Clay & Eric

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