As many coffee experts can attest, purchasing a high-quality grinder is crucial if you want to pull good espresso shots. Although the espresso machine itself is undoubtedly important, grinders are crucial in ensuring that your coffee tastes as wonderful as it possibly can.
After ground, coffee loses a substantial amount of volatile aromatic chemicals as well as up to 70% of the carbon dioxide it had held. In the end, both of these point to a very instantaneous loss of freshness.
More and more manufacturers are starting to incorporate innovative technology into their grinders in an effort to lessen this as much as feasible. They not only keep coffee fresher for longer, but they can also lessen waste and give baristas more consistent dosing.
Coffee quality and freshness are inextricably related, but why? How does it impact grinding, too?
Coffee that has been roasted is far more unstable even though green beans can stay fresh for up to 12 months. This is so that gases, primarily carbon dioxide, which are trapped inside of the coffee beans as a result of the roasting process, cannot be released.
As soon as coffee is ground, a significant amount of carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere, making it far more prone to oxidation.
Coffee can start to taste rotten and old after just a few minutes of exposure to oxygen. Although ground coffee can be kept fresh by being stored in airtight containers, it is advised to grind coffee freshly for each shot in order to fully appreciate its flavors and aromas.
Each type of grinder that is offered on the market affects how fresh the coffee is in a unique way. The majority of grinders either use a predetermined weight or duration to deliver ground coffee.
Timed grinders are the term for the first group. While utilizing this kind of grinder, a barista must know how long it will take to grind an 18g quantity of coffee for their espresso recipe, for example. The barista can then program the grinder to dispense coffee grounds for that period of time once they have determined this (usually around 5 seconds).
Theoretically, this should yield 18g of coffee, but a number of factors, like as changes in the grind size and grind retention, can prevent you from dosing precisely day in and day out. When this happens, stale, old coffee grounds are still in the grinding chamber and on the burrs, which may cause more bad flavors to extract into the coffee.
Some coffee professionals use volumetric grinders with fixed weights for dosing to aid in reducing grind retention. They balance the ground coffee as it is poured into the portafilter, and when the goal weight is reached, the motor shuts off automatically.
Volumetric grinders have their own difficulties even though they are typically more accurate at dosing than timed grinders. There are a lot of variables that can affect the uniformity and precision of ground coffee measurements, regardless of the type of grinder you use.
For instance, the amount of beans in the hopper can affect how accurately the dose is administered. Because of the weight of the beans, which pulls them down into the burrs and into the grinding chamber, a hopper with more coffee beans will typically produce more accurate doses than one with less beans.
Moreover, the heat generated by a grinder’s motor can degrade the freshness of coffee. Ground coffee is more likely to lose its volatile aromatic chemicals to the air around it as a result of heat absorption.
More and more grinder manufacturers are beginning to create new preventative technologies in response to the impacts of grind retention and dose irregularities on coffee freshness.
Since coffee is ground right before extraction, these technologies not only enhance workflow but also help keep it fresher for longer. It’s also crucial to lessen grind retention, and technologies that can do this are rising in popularity. For instance, the X-Always ONE’s Empty chamber releases as many retained grounds as possible after each dose to minimize the extraction of stale, old grounds in order to ensure that the least amount of coffee is retained.
Also, to ensure that ground coffee absorbs less heat, more grinders now use thermal regulating technology.
The rate of volatile component loss from ground coffee nearly doubles with every 10°C rise in the grinding chamber temperature.
In the end, maintaining a consistent temperature helps coffee retain more of its volatile ingredients so that consumers can enjoy the complete spectrum of flavors and fragrances.
You must make sure that your coffee is freshly ground each time you brew if you want to get the most flavor out of it. You won’t be able to fully appreciate the coffee’s flavors and fragrances if you don’t do this.
Getting the most flavor from each cup of coffee requires the use of a superior grinder. By making the correct grinder investment, you can guarantee that your coffee is flavorful and fresh, and that your baristas will extract the greatest possible espresso from each and every shot they pull.