Before we start with this article. Do you know what is the difference in coffee taste between an espresso machine that costs SEK 20,000 and an espresso machine that costs more than SEK 50,000? The answer is no. Believe it or not, both espresso machines use robust materials with quality that will last the rest of your life. The difference is in ease of use, extra equipment and features, better finish, etc. but when it comes to the actual espresso taste, they do not differ from each other. What determines if you get complex flavors, different shades of espresso, is the choice of espresso grinder. The choice of grinder determines whether you get the different flavors that are in the bean. So what is it that makes the grinder good or less good? The criteria that are important to keep in mind are not to buy a coffee grinder that produces uneven coffee particles with static energy and heat.
3 important aspects when it comes to choosing a coffee grinder
- The size of the grinding wheels
- The shape of the grinding wheels
- Engine power
The size of the grinding wheels
The size of the grinding wheels is the easiest way to distinguish between the different coffee grinders. It is usually said that the bigger the records, the better, but that is not the whole truth. The larger the grinding discs, the larger the cutting surface for slicing the coffee beans. Thus, larger diameter of the slices also means that it can grind the beans faster compared to slices of smaller diameter that will need to grind down the same amount of beans with more rotations of the slices. This means that larger slices require a smaller number of rotations and can grind the beans faster compared to a grinder with smaller grinding slices. More laps also means that it creates static energy and heat, which we do not want in coffee. Coffee with static energy creates unevenness and often clumps, which results in a poor extraction of espresso. Therefore, one can conclude that larger grinding wheels are always better, but it also comes with a more expensive price tag.
Conical or flat grinding wheels
The shape of the grinding wheels goes hand in hand with the shape of the grinding wheels. Conical grinding wheels have a larger cutting surface compared to flat grinding wheels that have the same diameter. The advantage of conical grinding wheels is that they do not have to rotate as fast as flat grinding wheels as they do not rely on the centrifugal force that the flat grinding wheels need to dispense the coffee. So can one conclude that conical is better than flat? No, unlike the size of the grinding wheels, the shape of the grinding wheels does not determine which is better than the other, but rather personal preferences. Because conical grinding wheels have a larger cutting surface to work with, it creates several extremely fine particles. The small particles dissolve faster in the cup and give a brighter, and more floral taste properties. However, conical grinding wheels do not come with only benefits. The disadvantage is that it creates with unevenness in the grinding compared to plate and can cause an uneven extraction and creates channels in the coffee puck. Unlike conical, flat grinding wheels give a smoother grinding result and thus a more uniform particle size. Flat grinding wheels tend to give you a smoother extraction and a more consistent result. This gives a more traditional and balanced espresso taste.
Simply put, the larger the engine with higher power, the better the espresso result.
Although many people contact us to upgrade their espresso machine, we first and foremost recommend upgrading the coffee grinder. Because the better the coffee grinder, the more nuances and complex flavors you can experience from the beans with a more precision safe espresso grinder. When you buy a coffee grinder, try to use about 40% of your total budget for a coffee grinder.