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People often spend thousands of dollars on a brand new, top of the line coffee machine, but forget to invest in a grinder. What many people don’t realise is a good grinder is just as important, if not more important than a good coffee machine. A good grinder will give you a consistent, even grind that doesn’t clump together, allowing for beautiful extraction every single time.
Uneven grinds will often result in a sour or bitter tasting coffee as water will flow quicker and slower in different places. While it’s not quite as important for the more forgiving brewing methods like a plunger or filter, espresso machines aren’t as lenient due to their much shorter extraction time.
Ground coffee loses its oils much faster than whole beans due to their higher surface area. So when you buy a bag of ground coffee, the flavours and oils will only last up to a couple of weeks, whereas a bag of whole beans can be stored for up to 6 months and only lose up to 30% of their oils. Grinding your coffee as you need it will ensure the flavours last as long as possible.
Investing in your own grinder will also give you the opportunity to fine-tune the grind to suit your espresso machine perfectly.
The Baratza Sette 270 ($515 AUD) is an excellent grinder if you can afford it. It provides you with plenty of settings and is so easy to make micro-adjustments on. The design of the machine itself is awesome, fulfilling all your aesthetic kitchen dreams. On top of all this, it grinds very quickly. The only downside to this machine is there have been a few reports of mechanical failures.
The Breville Smart Grinder Pro ($370 AUD) is also a great grinder, and slightly on the cheaper side if you’re on a smaller budget.