What to look for in a coffee grinder
If you're interested in making rich, delicious coffeehouse coffee right in your own home, there is no more important kitchen tool than a coffee grinder. Why, you may ask? Because when fresh coffee beans are ground, they immediately begin losing their potent flavor and aroma. When you purchase already-ground coffee, the odds are that those ground beans have been sitting around for months. So it should come as no surprise that by grinding your own beans at home in small batches immediately before use, you're unlocking the full flavor potential of each bean, resulting in an unparalleled cup every time.
Types of Coffee Grinders
There are many coffee bean grinders on the market. The basic distinction is between hand coffee grinders and automatic grinders. The former is an old-fashioned device that you crank yourself. The grinding process is quiet and can be done anywhere, including times when you're camping or traveling. Choose between modern all-in-one units and antique coffee grinders, which are operated with a cranking motion using a specially designed food mill.
If you'd prefer a grinder that is easier to operate, an automatic grinder is your best bet. These devices plug in (or are sometimes battery operated) and pulverize beans with the touch of a button. They produce ground coffee quickly and easily, but are louder than old-fashioned crank grinders. Try to look for burr coffee grinders instead of regular blade grinders, because they do a better job of pulverizing coffee evenly using a special spinning wheel called a burr.
Coffee Grinder Brands
Many excellent coffee grinder brands are on the market today. If you're looking at Krups coffee grinders, consider the venerable Fast Touch model, which is specially designed to grind small batches of beans quickly, with no muss or fuss. Or think about a Krups Burr Grinder, which is an upscale burr model that produces the perfect ground coffee every time.
If you're looking at Braun coffee grinders, consider the versatile Aromatic coffee grinder or the Coffee/Espresso Mill. Both of these units can grind whole spices, as well as produce a variety of different types of grind, such as the fine grind required by espresso machines to produce European-style coffees.