Conical Burr Coffee Grinder Buying Guide

conical burr coffee grinder buying guideSo you want great pour-over coffee? Maybe it’s time to invest in a conical burr coffee grinder.

If you already have a ceramic cone, filters, goose-neck kettle and your coffee is still not what you expect, maybe it’s time to bite the bullet and purchase a conical burr coffee grinder. Pour-over coffee brewing is a simple, relatively economical way to get the best cup of coffee. You could buy a super fancy drip brewer or even an espresso machine, but it would be silly to fork out that kind of cash when all you really want is good tasting coffee.

Prefect pour-over coffee is a lot about the grind

Improperly ground coffee can result in unsatisfactory results. If the grounds are too course, the flavors will not release and the brewed coffee will be watery and bland tasting. If the grind is too fine, the coffee will taste bitter. Check out this guide for the different grinds.

Blade grinders, while they work in a pinch, unevenly grind the coffee, resulting in inconsistent flavors.

A conical burr coffee grinder can run from $40 for the Hario Coffee Mill Slim Grinder to more than $900 for the Baratza Forte Flat Steel Burr Commercial Grade Coffee Grinder.

With so many choices among conical burr coffee grinders, your decision criteria should be:

  • Price
  • Brand
  • Quality
  • Customer reviews
  • Personal recommendation

Where do you start?

Sites like Amazon.com, Prima Coffee and Seattle Coffee Gear are good places to research and purchase from. Or you can use this guide. Amazon links are provided for convenience.

Prices will range from $50 to over $900

Check out this handy conical burr coffee grinder buying guide

Hario V60 Metal Dripper

Hario V60 Metal Dripper

© Hario Co., Ltd

Now you can take a Hario V60 dripper anywhere, from Mount Kilimanjaro to a luxury hotel on Park Avenue, or even your own back yard. While brewing pour-over coffee is possible when you travel, if you use a class or ceramic Hario V60 dripper, breakage can be an issue. Hario makes a resin V60 Dripper, but it can also crack or break in transit. Enter the metal V60 dripper, durable and lightweight, perfect for packing.

Hario V60 Metal Dripper is easy to take care of

The Hario V60 Metal Dripper is constructed of lightweight stainless steel, available in 3 colors, bronze, silver or black. With a removable silicon base for easy cleaning or packing. You’ll never have to worry about the perfect cup of pour-over coffee when you travel. And with the minimalistic design, the perfect object d’art for the kitchen.

Where to find the Hario V60 Metal Dripper

The Hario V60 Metal Dripper is available at many gourmet and specialty kitchen houseware stores and also available from Amazon, Primo Coffee and other online retailers.

Light Roasted Coffee

Light Roast CoffeeSome of the best things in life are aquired tastes. Like Blended Scotch versus Single Malt, Martini versus 7-11 Slurpee. Sometimes the acquisition of the taste is a long slow-arcing sailing-into-the-bleachers homerun, sometimes it’s a short grounder up the center, sometimes a strike-out. Light roasted coffee may be one such thing.

Maybe the older one is, the longer the arc? Light roasted coffee is possibly more palatable to the unseasoned or new coffee drinker. Just like LSD of the 1990’s was more accessible to the masses over the more potent version of the 1960’s and 1970’s. Who knows? Right now light roast is the coffee hipster rage.

Give it some time

Those who like the medium or even dark roasts might struggle with the light roast, which can be more fruity and, if not brewed correctly and consumed promptly, can sometimes be somewhat sour tasting. Some say it tastes grassy, maybe even raw. These tastes are certainly not what most coffee drinkers are used to. Normally coffee tends to be acidic and can be bitter if not roasted by an artisan roaster.

Temperatures and timing are essencial toward achieving optimal flavor in the bean. Light roasts are finished well before the second “crack”.

Coffee Roasting styles:

  • Light – Cinnamon or Half City
  • Medium Light – City Roast
  • Medium – Full City or American
  • Medium Dark – French or Viennese Roast
  • Dark – Italian or Espresso Roast
  • Very Dark – Spanish Roast

Good roasting brings out the best qualities as well as the flaws in a particular bean. Some beans like to be light, medium or dark roasted, it all depends on the quality of the raw bean, other factors like plant type, growing region, farming techniques, bean processing and storage can effect flavor. A good roaster, through test roasting and cupping, can find the roasting profile best suited for that particular batch of beans.

What to expect

Light roast coffee will not taste like what you expect coffee to taste like, there are new flavors that will be encountered. Descriptions like butterscotch, orange blossom, maple syrup, red grape are used to describe flavor notes. Unaccustomed, some drinkers might be put off. When brewing at home consider these factors; First, don’t use an automatic drip brewer. Secondly, pour-over is the preferred technique. Having the correct equipment can make a world of difference, a ceramic or glass cone dripper, a gooseneck style pouring kettle, a digital kitchen scale, some kind of temperature measurement device, and, of course, proper technique will ensure success. Anything short of that will result in poor taste and you may even reject light roast all together. Many coffee houses offer pour-over, if you are curious, that would be a place to start.

Do it right

Either get the proper tools and learn the technique and make it at home, or try some light roast coffee at your favorite coffee house that both offers the pour-over coffee method and light roasted coffee, and you might be pleasantly surprised. If you don’t like the taste you saved yourself lots of money. Of course investing in making pour-over coffee at home will make brewing medium and dark roasts so much better, so it’s not such a wasted investment.

Online merchants that offer Light Roast Coffee beans

Intelligentsia Coffee

Handsome Coffee Roasters

Blue Bottle Coffee

It’s Pour-over Coffee Baby!

Coffee is one of those things that if done wrong, can ruin a whole day! It’s very hard to recover from a bad cup. If getting good results is more miss than hit and all you really want is good flavor, home brew can be disappointing. Why do you think Starbucks is so popular? People know they can get a decent cup, not the best, but pretty good, but for a price. Save the cash spent on expensive equipment and drinks. The pour-over coffee method is here to save you from coffee hell and damnation!

Stop suffering

If Mr Coffee has been letting you down, and bad-taste is wreaking your day, it might be time for a new technique, and what better way than the hand pour-over method? It’s cheap compared to a new Bodum Bistro or espresso machine from the local gourmet supply store. The pour-over is so easy you’ll kick yourself for not hearing about it sooner, but go easy on yourself, you’ve found the right place to mend your broken ways.

Pour-over coffee is easy

Why pour-over? While there are many ways to make great coffee, it is one technique that consistently gives the best results for so little money, time and effort required to get great results. For a little up-front cash you can buy a Militta, Chemex, or Hario v60, (to name a couple) dripper and filters. If you’re rich like Mitt you could purchase a Hario Buono Drip Kettle for precise water pouring control, and a XGS-60TB V60 Range Server. But just a mug, a container for poling water in, dripper and filter are all you need. But don’t forget you’ll need a high-quality freshly roasted coffee bean, ground just before pouring.

The pour-over coffee revolution is sweeping through kitchens across the planet, chances are your local coffee shop is offering pour-over (check out Starbucks). There are posts and pages here to guide you on your journey into coffee heaven.

My first pour-over coffee memory.

I remember it like it was yesterday. Over Christmas 1980 my late mother removes a Chemex Drip Coffee Carafe from the cupboard, places it on the kitchen counter, unfolds this funny square filter and puts it into the cone part. Then grinds some fresh roasted beans that she had purchased at the Pike Place Market, (fresh roasted beans, at that time, were not widely available like today). She pours some boiled water over the grounds and I watch in fascination as the grounds swelled in the water and slowly their brown elixir begins to seep out of the paper point and into the pot.

After the coffee had all dripped into the pot she poured a cup for me, then her, added some cream. She used a heavy cream, I remember the fat of the cream floating on the surface that disappeared as I gave it a stir. One sip and I was hooked (forever).