We’ve said it for years: your coffee grinder is arguably the most important piece of kit in your coffee shop. You might have the perfect location, it might look great, and you might have an all-singing, all-dancing espresso machine – none of that matters if you can’t make consistently good coffee!
Investing in the right coffee grinder is about maximising consistency, and also making sure that your staff are comfortable with the equipment they’re using. Here, we’re looking at some of the options out there, and what we recommend for a variety of locations.
What not to buy:
There’s really just one thing to say here – don’t buy a doser grinder! We’re only interested in ‘on demand’ grinders – those that will grind the exact amount you need for each cup, and no more. Doser grinders come with a big chamber attached to the front – the idea being that you pre-grind a lot of coffee in one go, and then let out enough for one cup at a time. There are two main problems here:
Freshness is the first issue that comes to mind with doser grinders. Unless you are super busy, you’ll soon be left with stale coffee inside the chamber of the grinder, which no customer deserves to be drinking. Once ground, coffee quickly loses its volatile aroma and flavour compounds, and all the deliciousness of your beans will be gone before the customer even receives their drink!
Secondly, doser grinders don’t allow you to easily make adjustments. Espresso can be a fickle beast, and you need to be able to switch up your grind during service to make sure that you’re always dialled in. If you’ve ground a chamber’s worth of coffee, you won’t be able to do anything about it, if your espresso starts to misbehave!
On-demand grinders are a must, as far as we’re concerned. We would recommend something like the Anfim Practica for low/medium volume sites. Its 65mm hardened steel burr set will happily get through around 5kg of coffee a day, and will grind a standard shot in around 4 seconds.
- Combines traditional Italian design with fresh on-demand grinding.
- Hands-free operation through start-stop automation and equipped with a user-friendly interface.
- Provides presets for individually programmable recipes.
- Easily adjustable, and features a lock function to stop any unplanned changes.
Higher volume sites will need a grinder that can keep up with the pace. Typically, you’ll find larger burr sets, and faster grinding times with these models. We recommend the Victoria Arduino Mythos One and Mythos II here – both will be able to manage around 18kg of coffee per day, with staggeringly quick (and consistent) grinding times.
- Anti-static grinding, thanks to the Mythos’ innovative ‘clump crusher’
- Clima Pro technology allows the Mythos range to grind without any build-up of heat, ensuring that the coffee being ground always tastes as its best, even in busy periods.
Easy to UseDialling in a grinder is not the simplest task in the world, we know. It’s one of the things we spend the most time teaching, and it’s often a challenge as a business owner to make sure that staff training is up to date, and everyone is comfortable dialling in.
The revolutionary Mahlkönig E65S GBW makes dialling in easier than ever, grinding the right amount of coffee with every dose. Instead of setting the grinder to run for a set time, and adjusting this with every change of the burrs, with the E65S GBW, you just need to either make your grind finer or coarser, to go slower or faster. Simple as that. We’re sure that this technology will become industry standard before long, and it’s a huge time and money saver in a real-life setting.
Keeping your grinder in tiptop shape is also important for consistency. You must clean your grinder well; a build-up of old grounds and grease can affect the taste of your coffee, and the longevity of your machine. Keep your hopper clean, keep a paintbrush (or even a small vacuum cleaner) next to your grinder, and make sure you regularly check your burrs – they have a set lifespan too! Each burr set is different, but check to see how much coffee is recommended to pass through them, so you know when to install a new set.
In short, you probably want to pay a bit more attention to your grinder choice than you had first thought. It really can make or break you when it comes to consistency, so take some time to research our above suggestions, and get in touch if you’re ready to take the next step and invest!