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Grinding overrated?
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Discussions > Espresso > General > Grinding...  
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itsjustaboutcoffee
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Joined: 10 Nov 2012
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Location: montreal
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Posted Sat Nov 10, 2012, 1:51pm
Subject: Re: Grinding overrated?
 

Fair enough, and yes I will go and get a grinder, still probably on the cheap side like the gaggia MDF or something in that range. I know my title was bold, but just wanted to put things in perspective. I don't think it's fair to say to someone getting into espresso making that the grinder is more important than the coffee machine, cause you can't make espresso with just a grinder, but you can definitly make good espresso with pre-ground coffee. What you can't do without a grinder is the PERFECT espresso, all the time, over, and over.
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Coffeenoobie
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Posted Sat Nov 10, 2012, 2:07pm
Subject: Re: Grinding overrated?
 

Please revisit this thread after you have tried our suggestions for 6 months or so and give us your thoughts then.  I am willing to bet an espresso you will have changed your mind.  If I am wrong I will punish myself by having a *$ espresso plain.  I can't even drink them with tons of milk and flavors any more.

 
Coffeenoobie

Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.

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itsjustaboutcoffee
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Location: montreal
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Posted Sat Nov 10, 2012, 2:26pm
Subject: Re: Grinding overrated?
 

I actually don't think we disagree, I know that it will make a big difference, so don't punish yourself, but what's not gonna change 6 months from now is the fact that millions of people worldwide are actually enjoying too cold, or badly extracted coffee from auto machine that do grind, consistent but boring and too weak nespresso shots, or coffee from major chains, all of which are far inferior from something you can achieve grinder less, no offense.
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randychar813
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Posted Sat Nov 10, 2012, 3:22pm
Subject: Re: Grinding overrated?
 

If your mark is Starbucks you are not setting the bar high at all.  But as you say if you are happy with what is in your cup and coffee why change?

The only reason you would do something different is you noticed something different and you were looking for improvement.  

The issue I had was after having really good coffee elsewhere, I determined I could and would create that bit of splendor for myself everyday of my life because it is important to reward myself for all the unpleasantness I face each day.  With carefully buying, roasting, cupping, blending, using sound equipment: IAD2, MM E type A; I believe I have the best coffee in the area.  In fact after trying all coffee joints in the area the only place for me to have a cup is my home as I know there is none better for me.  

The only person I am in competition with is me.  Remember coffee is food of the moment; the moment deserves the best, for it is soon gone and all that remains is the sweet aftertaste and the elevated mood.
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al_bongo
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Posted Sat Nov 10, 2012, 11:15pm
Subject: Re: Grinding overrated?
 

itsjustaboutcoffee Said:

Fair enough, and yes I will go and get a grinder, still probably on the cheap side like the gaggia MDF or something in that range. I know my title was bold, but just wanted to put things in perspective. I don't think it's fair to say to someone getting into espresso making that the grinder is more important than the coffee machine, cause you can't make espresso with just a grinder, but you can definitly make good espresso with pre-ground coffee. What you can't do without a grinder is the PERFECT espresso, all the time, over, and over.

Posted November 10, 2012 link

Can the grinder be over emphasised? Maybe it can be a little bit of a doctrine on here. I might even agree that you could make something drinkable using pre-ground coffee.

What you can't do is make good espresso, by most standards, consistently without a grinder and an espresso machine. Being able to adjust the grind is the main way to alter the length of the pour (using the pressure of the tamp provides a relatively subtle effect compared to altering the grind). Even the most modest restaurants, cafes or greasy spoons generally wouldn't attempt to serve espresso without grinding the coffee first. That fact alone should give most people pause for thought.

At the budget end of the market you need a balance. Buying a Mazzer to use with a DeLonghi machine doesn't make that much sense to me either, but it makes way more sense than buying a LaMarzocco GS3 and using pre-ground coffee.

It's simplistic to a certain extent to say the grinder is more important than the machine but it does for the most part mean that fewer people are disappointed with the results from their Gaggia Classics and Rancillio Silvias than would other wise be the case.
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frcn
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Posted Sat Nov 10, 2012, 11:39pm
Subject: Re: Grinding overrated?
 

You can make a pot of coffee with some coffee beans, a pot, a source of heat, water, two flat rocks, and a clean sock.
Espresso is far more complicated than that. For those of us who have tasted the very best that espresso has to offer, we know. It is an amazing beverage when at its best. I have made some very nice espresso using a $12 thermoblock, thrift store espresso machine when paired with a Rocky (or my Kony). I would be hard pressed to use a whirly-blade grinder trying tog et something palatable from a Vibiemme double.

Having a grinder on hand gives multi-faceted benefits:
- Fresh ground counts! minutes makes a difference, and day-old ground, in terms of espresso, is compost.
- Particle size distribution. Grinders designed for espresso do not give a consistent particle size, but a range of sizes. Think basketballs, baseballs and ping pong balls all mixed in a box, and how much more efficiently the space is filled than if it were just basketballs.
- Adjustment- the ability to adjust the grinder in fine increments is critical. To be able to compensate for bean age, roast level, and the machine itself, not to mention the taste.

But I will advise you to read the grinder reviews here as well as on home barista.com and ask before purchasing. You would do well to start with a look around at www.baratza.com and be sure to check the refurbished grinders.

People thin I am crazy when I tell them that I have a $1200 grinder... until they taste my coffee.

 
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NobbyR
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Posted Sun Nov 11, 2012, 2:45am
Subject: Re: Grinding overrated?
 

frcn Said:

Are you using an enhanced portafilter? ...

Posted November 10, 2012 link

itsjustaboutcoffee Said:

standard basket

Posted November 10, 2012 link

The standard basket that comes with the Gaggia Baby is a pressurized one, so called perfect crema system. With that you don't have to care about grinding and tamping correctly. You get seemingly good results without it. But the crema is nothing but a fake, just foamed coffee.

The chances of the fineness of pre-ground coffee being right are like winning the lottery. Besides all aspects of freshness, that's one of the major reasons you need a capable grinder. But above all, the espresso simply tastes better when made from freshly roasted and ground beans. I sounds to me that you don't really know what great espresso can be like.

So the importance of a good grinder is bar far not overrated. But if you're happy and contend with your current set-up, just go ahead. However, you'll never know what you're missing out on.

itsjustaboutcoffee Said:

... I will go and get a grinder, still probably on the cheap side like the gaggia MDF or something in that range ...

Posted November 10, 2012 link

The steps of the Gaggia MDF are too wide to be able to dial in the grinder correctly in all situations. You won't get very lucky with that one. One shouldn't skimp on the grinder.

 
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itsjustaboutcoffee
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Joined: 10 Nov 2012
Posts: 6
Location: montreal
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Sun Nov 11, 2012, 8:44am
Subject: Re: Grinding overrated?
 

My portafilter and basket are non-pressurized,  and it will stay that way, and I'll refer to my previous post for the not knowing what an espresso taste like, and again, I'm not saying that It couldn't be better with a good grinder
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NobbyR
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NobbyR
Joined: 10 Jul 2011
Posts: 1,991
Location: Germany
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Poccino Opus One, Ariete
Grinder: Eureka Mignon Istantaneo
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Posted Sun Nov 11, 2012, 10:16am
Subject: Re: Grinding overrated?
 

By the way, there's a mod available that renders the MDF step less: click here

 
***
"This drink of the Satan is so delicious that it would be a shame to leave it to the infidels." (Pope Clement VIII on coffee, when he was urged to ban the beverage)
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JasonBrandtLewis
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Posted Sat Nov 17, 2012, 12:43pm
Subject: Re: Grinding overrated?
 

Pierre, welcome to CG.  Your entire post boils down to this:

itsjustaboutcoffee Said:

do I really "need" a grinder? considering I'm happy with my coffee?

Posted November 10, 2012 link

The short answer is "No."  

Some people are also very happy with drinking Nescafé instant coffee, too -- why should they buy a coffee maker?  Some people are quite happy with frozen pizza, or instant Ramen, or pre-made salad dressing in a bottle . . . why should they go to all the trouble of going to that fabled Italian restaurant with the wood-fired pizza oven? to the Japanese restaurant famous for making their own noodles? or making their own salad dressing?

Now . . . IF you want to improve the coffee you're drinking, then you'll get a grinder.  But, you know, ignorance is bliss . . .

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
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