Thursday, April 12, 2007

Grinding Coffee for Freshness

If you are interested in improving the quality of your cup of coffee, one of the fist things you should focus on is grinding the beans yourself. While the concept of grinding your coffee beans may seem trivial or frivolous, it is actually quite important to achieving that great cup of joe that your looking for. Here is the reasoning:
  • Coffee loses flavor as it oxidizes.
  • The oxidation of coffee occurs much slower if it is a whole bean.
  • Ground coffee will lose its flavor, mostly the desirable aspects, relatively fast after it is ground.
  • Grinding coffee yourself is quite fun!
Of course now you are excited about grinding your coffee at home. So here are a few suggestions. First, you are going to want to get a decent bur grinder. Bur grinders are going to produce a much better consistency, which will allow you to enjoy your cup. Also, you will want to purchase whole beans that have been roasted recently. It is best to enjoy coffee within two weeks of roasting. The best way to do this is to get coffee directly from a roaster, or a coffee shop.

If you have a blade grinder, you will want to time the grinding process. For percolators you will want a coarse grind of 5 to 10 seconds. For drip or French press, you will want a medium grind at 10 to 15 seconds. If you are making espresso, you will want a fine grind of about 30 seconds.

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