Electric Coffee Grinders

Electric Grinders

There is a wide range of electric coffee grinders available for the domestic market, most with some sort of receptacle or space for catching the ground coffee, which never needs to hold more than enough coffee for a day or two. There are two general designs for domestic grinders - those which simply cut the beans with a propeller-type blade, and those which truly grind the beans between metal discs.

Blade, or propeller grinder

The most common kind of home coffee grinder is the rotating blade, or propeller grinder. This type, which sometimes comes as an accessory for a blender or some other food processor, is almost useless when it comes to coffee. The first problem is that it is nearly impossible to get uniformity of grind, which means that the coffee liquid will be very unevenly extracted. The larger chunks are wasted if they are too coarse for the water to penetrate. The fine powder particles will quickly saturate and yield bitterness, and can also clog a filter basket and create sediment in cups of plunger-pot coffee.

With a blade grinder it is best to grind small amounts of beans, shaking them up and down in the hope that the propellers will get to all the particles. Running the machine in short bursts will help you avoid scorching the beans from overheating. Al least it is relatively easy to keep a blade-type grinder clean and avoid contamination with rancid coffee oils. With the machine unplugged, use a damp cloth or sponge to wipe the chamber and the blades. The plastic lid is washable, but must be carefully rinsed, so as not to leave a soapy taste for the beans to absorb.

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