One of the most common questions our sales reps are faced with concerns the necessity of having a grinder. It sometimes feels as though grinders play less than even second fiddle to their espresso machine and coffee counterparts. Understandable, as espresso machines have a certain "wow factor" to them. They look great on the countertop and never fail to impress.
On the other end, there's a certain romanticism associated with coffee and espresso, due to its exotic origins, diverse blends and roasts. Often described as bright, full-bodied, robust, fragrant, and so on…coffee could easily overshadow the humble grinder.
But, as one of our senior customer service agents puts it, the question of whether or not you need a grinder oftentimes boils down to how much care you have for your espresso. A reliable grinder is really fundamental to great espresso. While you may be able to get decent coffee from a blade grinder, if you choose to go with a coffee maker or French press, espresso is a whole different arena.
Achieving the proper grind fineness and consistency for espresso usually requires a burr grinder. Whereas blade grinders "chop" coffee beans, their conical and flat burr counterparts actually "grind"—trapping beans in between two burrs and literally crushing them into uniform, usable coffee grounds. Conical burr grinders make use of two cone-shaped burrs. Flat-burr models use dual serrated, parallel rings to get the job done. The Baratza Virtuoso is one of our most popular conical burr grinders, while the Gaggia MDF and Rancilio Rocky are both solid contenders in the flat-burr camp. For a higher price point, brands like Mazzer and Ceado offer commercial quality grinders for maximum control and efficiency.
For those new to home brewing, Whole Latte Love offers convenient espresso machine and grinder packages. While you may not need a grinder, most people consider it to be essential for quality espresso. Why not take a look around and see what's available?
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