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A question for the coffee aficionados

Discussion in 'The Pub' at netrider.net.au started by Mr Flibble, Oct 13, 2014.

  1. I'm over pre-ground supermarket coffee.

    But I don't drink that much that I can justify the expense of a decent electric grinder. The Hario hand grinders seem to get pretty good reviews, some saying they do a better job than a lot of electric ones. You can pick up the mini mill for less than $40 on fleabay...

    Anyone got one? The Mini Mill or Skerton? How long does it take to grind a dose?

  2. Gave my brother a Porlex one (main difference is the metal body vs plastic) a few years back, takes a minute-ish per dose.
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  3. whats wrong with beer?
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    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. Haven't used a hand grinder, do you have a blender you can experiment with? They can be extremely fast.
  5. #5 Mr Flibble, Oct 13, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 14, 2014
    Nothing. That's why I need the coffee.

    Oh dear.
  6. If you're using an espresso machine, then getting your grind right is pretty crucial I've found. Also the convenience factor of a proper grinder is worth the cost in my opinion.

    Those hand grinders do a pretty decent job. Definitely better than getting that pre-ground supermarket stuff. Have you tried to find a roaster near you?
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  7. I'm just using a moka pot at the moment, I might get a small espresso machine later on - perhaps the Rancilio Silvia or similar.

    Plenty of roasters in Canberra. I go up there pretty regularly.

  8.  Top
  9. Something wrong with that idea? For the record I use an electric grinder years and years old.
  10. Grinders don't need to be expensive. I got a DeLonghi kg100 which normally retail for only $169. Recommended by Choice magazine though it is cheaper than many others.
  11. Blenders and blade style grinders can be quick but don't give you even particle size. You can get away with that in a French Press but it will make getting the grind right for an espresso machine very difficult if not impossible. In our FP it caused a lot of silt to get through the strainer where more even particle size gives a more consistent brew with much less silt in your cup. If that doesn't matter to you then by all means get a blade grinder.
    I have a conical burr grinder (electric, not hand) that cost about $150. I know that might sound pricey, especially compared to a $20 blade grinder, but I don't regret spending it and the coffee is much better for it. You can spend a hell of a lot more if you choose to and get a unit with ceramic burrs and all sorts of other features, but I'm happy with mine (Breville with steel burrs) and if you can manage the entry fee I'd highly recommend getting one in a brand you like.
  12. You can use a small spice grinder as well. They are pretty cheap and easily available from Kmart etc.

    Just grind a small batch and use it for a few days. Just put it into an airtight container.
    • Disagree Disagree x 1
  13. Just get the roaster or deli you buy from to grind it for you at the time of purchase. Buy smaller lots and keep it in an airtight container.
    Smaller lots = more frequent purchase = more opportunities to try different varieties and blends.
  14. I would dispute whether you can get away with a blade grinder for plunger brewing (surely on a .au forum we can call a French press a plunger). I think that the fines you end up with will be quite bitterly over extracted in comparison to the larger grounds that are desirable for that brewing method. Plus there's the mud.

    My advice to the OP is to start home roasting: pick up a popcorn popper for about $20 (if you don't already have one). Then you can buy good quality green coffee for $10~20/kg instead of paying that much for 250g roasted. In no time at all you'll have saved enough to cover the cost of a decent $200 burr grinder which will last you a decade+ with light use and will be good enough to not have to replace if you move up to an espresso machine. Plus you'll never have stale coffee again and really get your hands dirty on the artisan side of the drink! It does take a borderline-dysfunctional degree of commitment, however.

    I am curious though, from a portability perspective, to hear of anyone's experience with a good hand-powered grinder.
  15. Well ... "get away with" is a pretty broad term. If someone doesn't mind the result they can "get away with" some pretty poor grinds that would really annoy others. Personally, I don't like mud (which I referred to as "silt") in my coffee. Others don't care so much. To each their own.
    You're right about calling it a "plunger". That's what they get called here at home, I just stuck with the term to save confusion as it was already being used.
    I have a spice grinder as well. It's used for milling chia seeds, almonds and things of that nature. Never coffee.
    I have a friend who owns a hand grinder. It has a wooden frame, which turned out to be it's downfall. The wood absorbs the oils from the beans and grounds and they go rancid over time and spoil fresh coffee. I'd suggest using a hand grinder that's either all metal or all plastic and as washable as possible.
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  16. You can also cooking oil in your engine... ;)

    Unideal; the longer coffee sits around ground up, the more flavour it loses.

    Which brings me to another point: Coffee is so often treated as a dry good, but it's more like fresh produce, as it's flavour peaks within the first week or two* and then goes downhill. You can get a good coffee out of older beans, sure, but for a great cup it needs to be fresh.

    *Some might say it's straight after roasting, others (probably more) say it takes a few days to develop.
  17. @FatBoy_T@FatBoy_T - I don't have a "borderline-dysfunctional degree of commitment", so I can't really see myself going down the home roasting road :geek: (not yet at least).

    I'll get the mini mill ($34 incl postage - bargin) and see how it goes from there.

    BTW, while looking for roasters, I discovered "Australia's best coffee" is in Nowra of all places :wideyed:. Perhaps we should organise a coffee ride. I have to go nearly twice the distance as any Sydneysiders, but that's a cross I can bear...
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  18. Supermarket pre ground seems to be too fine. It works in our stove top percolator if not tamped too tight but tends towards too bitter.

    Bought a mill burr grinder from esold a little while back. Works a treat. I keep beans in the freezer, grind a few serves at a time. It's finest setting results in an even grind that is larger than supermarket pre package grind and makes a decent brew with the percolator.

    No creme though in a stove top percolator, just black heart starting coffee.
  19. As the years go by my youthful enthusiasm for the 'best' coffee and all associated faffing about with the right equipment has waned. I have a super expensive barista sitting in the laundry in need of a $20 maintenance fix, can't be arsed to get it done.

    The Aldi machine works perfectly well for me, they have single source pods which are quite acceptable to my aged palate and take little time to make a perfectly good coffee.

    And for a fresh roast in perfect condition I then have the best possible excuse to jump on the bike to ride to the Moto Bean Cafe for one of their brilliant brews (y)
  20. <Shrug> There you go then.....

    The Boss and I are quite happy with the supermarket vacuum packed 1 kilo packages, ready ground.

    It works fine, for us, in the filter machine, for the morning heart starter, and in the espresso machine, too. (Espresso ground)

    The ground coffee, once opened, is kept in the fridge, and, because of the amount of coffee we drink, it doesn't sit there very long.

    As for the Turkish/Greek coffee business, while we both like it, and, while we do have several vrikis handy and a Greek person qualified to make it, it is only on very infrequent occasions that we bother.

    Anyhow, Heli, don't the big BMWs, like the LT, come with an espresso machine in the top box?
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