If you’re just starting to get into coffee, you’re probably spending a lot of time and money. After all, the only way to get great coffee is by going to a proper coffee shop or cafe, right? Wrong! You can actually get great results at home. And there’s one key benefit to making your own coffee at home: it’s cheaper. Much cheaper. Imagine how much you can save instead of having to go and spend money on a few cups of coffee from the shop every day. It’s not only cheaper, but it’s also far more convenient. Stop having to leave the house to get your coffee fix, brew some at home. You’ll also be able to wow your guests and start producing results that could rival any coffee shop when you’ve got a bit more practice, at a fraction of the price.
If you want to start making coffee at home, you’re in the right place. While you can start by buying in already-ground coffee to take to the next stage of actually brewing the drink, this isn’t necessarily the best way to go about things. After all, those pre-ground blends aren’t always the nicest. The real way to take complete control of your coffee making process and have the freedom to come up with the blends you really want is by using a coffee grinder first. In this article, we’re going to look at how and why you might want to do this. So let’s have a look at how to use a coffee grinder:
1. Source some coffee beans
The real reason you probably want to start grinding your coffee isn’t just because of cost. It’s because of freedom. That’s right, if you start grinding your own beans, that means you’ll be able to choose exactly where your beans are from. Not only can you save money doing this, but you can also come up with some great blends that are just right for you.
Some people spend a lot of time coming up with the perfect blend, and you’ll be able to enjoy doing this too. You’ll also know exactly where your beans have come from, which is another important factor. You’ll know how ethically they were sourced, if they were fair trade or not, as well as any other requirements you might have. This is getting more and more important to some people, and you can’t always tell when you simply head to the cafe for a brew or buy some pre-ground coffee.
With your grinder, you’ll have complete freedom to come up with a blend of beans that suit your tastes, are affordable, and are from sources you’re happy with. So start by finding some beans, there are some great places online where you can start choosing. Test a few and learn what does and doesn’t work for you.
2. Buy a grinder
Once you’ve sourced your beans, you’ll need a grinder to grind them. You can do this step first if you want. There are a few different types of grinders including burr, blade and along with a number of other functions.
Blade grinders aren’t considered as good at creating the right consistency for coffee, so we’re going to look at burr grinders for this article. They’re generally considered better as they crush the coffee better and more consistently. There are good home and commercial grinders and can produce great coffee.
3. Set the grind
Before you start grinding the coffee, you’ll want to adjust your grinder to the right settings. Make sure you’ve checked the instructions and set the grinder up properly. Follow any safety instructions carefully and don’t skip these points.
Set the grinder to the finest setting and then dial it back a bit so that it’s on a medium setting. Learn which way to turn the dial in order to change the burr setting. Depending on what you’re going to actually use to brew the coffee, a different coarseness will be required for the blend. Finer grinds are generally for espresso machines whereas you might use a coarser grind for a coffee press or simpler coffee-making method.
4. Do a trial run
Once you’ve set things up for your first attempt, you should start testing. Don’t worry about wasting a few coffee beans at the start, it’s all part of the learning process. Add some coffee beans into the grinder.
If you’re using an automatic grinder, you can simply press start to get it running. If you’re using a hand grinder, start grinding. When you’ve seen what sort of consistency you get from the grinder, you can make adjustments to the grind settings. Try running the coffee blend through a few times on finer settings.
5. Learn your settings
You might not be able to grind coffee to the finest setting straight away without blending it coarsely a few times beforehand. This will depend on the power of your grinder. It will be easier with an automatic grinder but harder to do with a hand grinder. Learn what settings create the best coffee grind and blend, and which work with your coffee machine (or other coffee making process).
Playing around with the setting on an automatic grinder will give you a varying range of results. You can test different grind times and other settings to find out what works best for you and the sort of coffee you like (and the way you’re going to brew it). This won’t be as easy with a hand grinder, as you’ll generally only have the speeds you’re able to produce yourself. But you can still test different grinder settings and see which is easier to do or produces the best results.
You can still produce good results with a hand grinder, but you might want to consider investing in an automatic one if you’re going to take your coffee making seriously. While the coffee might taste the same, it makes the process a lot easier and more easy to manage. You can grind your coffee while you sit back and relax instead of getting tired and worn out in the process.