To grind or not to grind? (And what's a blade grinder?)

So you just dropped a few hundred (or thousand) on your new coffee machine and you're thinking "do I also need to invest in a coffee grinder?" Or maybe you're happily using a plunger but you're considering whether a grinder is worth it?

It is.

Grinding coffee fresh is high up on the priority list.

In 'Espresso 101', there are four main factors that make the espresso and one of them, macinazione, (pronounced ma-chee-naht-zee-oh-neeh,) is all about the grind. So if that coffee's stale, you're in trouble!

Once coffee has been ground, the rate that it releases its aromas grows exponentially, so why would you want to miss out of all of those lovely smells?

One way you can think about coffee freshness is like vegetables:

  • They keep for a few weeks if you store them correctly
  • You only prep/cut up what you need
  • It doesn't matter how good quality they are if they're too old

Coffee's pretty similar, except it smells and tastes way better.

Convinced that you should own a grinder but don't know where to start? Let me tell you a few of the factors:

Burr or blade?

Simply put, burr grinders produce a more consistent size grind but are more expensive, while blade grinders are cheaper, but the grind size will vary.

Blade grinders are like mini food processors which makes the consistency of the grind hard to control, but using one is far, far better than nothing! Grinding with a $50 blade grinder over using pre-ground coffee turns an 'meh' coffee into a 'yeah!' coffee. I recommend getting one of these if you're tight on the budget front and you're into the soft brew game.

If you're an espresso machine owner, however, I recommend you get yourself a burr grinder. The consistency they provide is vital. Some burr grinders can even control the dose (quantity of coffee that is ground) to a precise amount. This is great for the espresso machine owners, meaning you'll have a more consistent coffee, and less wastage.

Now if you're interested in getting a coffee grinder, I'd recommend Breville's Smart Grinder Pro. You can get them from a Harvey Normal, Noel Leeming, JB Hifi, etc. and when they're on special, it's a hard deal to best.

If you're wanting some more info, check out the reviews of other grinders: and feel free to let me know your thoughts either comment here, or email me:





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