In ur kitchun, grindin ur coffee
A number of people have wanted to know about some of the kit I use around the kitchen, so it's probably about time I do so. As such, I figure the best way to start is by talking about how I start the morning – coffee.
Generally, I'm in the "first cuppa joe just has to work" camp, but particularly on the weekends, there's just something really damn nice about starting the day with a really good cuppa. Currently, we're drinking a lot of Peet's Coffee Major Dickason's Blend because Costco had it on sale for a ridiculous price, and I think I bought 20 pounds of it. It's a good darkish-roast blend, and if you're familiar with Peet's, they'll blow the doors off Starsucks any day of the week.
But this isn't about the coffee, this is about making it. I'll talk about our coffee maker at some later date, but first I want to talk about actually preparing the coffee.
So, about a month and a half ago, I threw out our old coffee grinder (the name isn't important) in disgust, and went searching for a new one. Turns out, coffee grinders these days are Serious Business, and you can spend anywhere from around $50 to $300+ on one. And, good lord. I can't imagine spending $300 on a coffee maker. I could have a barista drop off two large lattes every day for that.
So, after a lot of poking around and a lot of coffee angst, I found this Capresso Infinity Burr Grinder. At ~$100 I placed it at the low end of "reasonably good coffee grinder" range
It's certainly snazzy enough, and looks good hogging up our extremely valuable counter real estate, but what's more important is that it actually works, and more or less as advertised.
First, I'll throw out one down-side. It's a burr-grinder. If you use it daily like we have been, you'll want to take it apart and give it a proper cleaning about once a month (you can get away with longer if you use light roasted coffee, but still). Also, like any burr grinder, the finer the grind, the more you'll have to clean it, and also there's the static issue which I'll touch on in a minute.
But with the first grind, the thing that impressed me most was that, unlike a lot of grinders in this class, it didn't sound like two cats making love, where one cat was extremely vocal about what the other cat was trying to do. This baby just purrs away like a Broadway musical. It just sounded happy to be making me the sweet, sweet coffee grounds that I was lusting after.
This brings up the second down-side – the manual gives almost no guidance so far as settings are concerned. This really isn't the fault of them or the machine, though. The perfect Grind is a combination of process, preference, and roast, so it's pretty impossible to say what is going to work best.
So, it took me a couple of days to dial it in. Honestly, I think that's to be expected. There's a lot of reviews here and there on "what do I set", but seriously, what I set is not necessarily what you set. The documentation could give a little more guidance than it offers. FWIW I've found the "medium" grind shy of "coarse" makes for a pretty damned good cuppa in my drip machine. And if you're not careful may cause heart palitations. For a full pot of coffee (ten cups), I spin the wheel to just over "8". but for six cups I dial it to "6" with that coarseness setting.
Before I wrap up, I should talk about static. If you've ever used a burr grinder, you'll know what I mean when I say "coffee everywhere". Capresso claims that their reduction gear thingy cuts down on that, and so far it holds up to snuff. A couple of taps on the catch chamber and all the coffee comes out. I haven't tried espresso grind, but I don't have anything to compare it against and I suspect finer grinds = more static just because of the size of the particles. So, YMMV. But for my use, it's about a 1000% improvement so far as the kitchen counter is concerned.
But, when it comes down to brass tacks, would I buy this again?
Hells yes. I've had a number of burr grinders over the years, and I don't think I could do better at this price point – it's certainly proved itself worth stretching our meager budget, and it's held its own against daily use.
Note: this is not a solicited review by Capresso, Amazon, or any other company. However, in full disclosure, if you click the links and buy something, I get a pittance from Amazon to help fund this website. But, I do these things because I like the product, not for any financial gain as with the rest of this website.