Okay, this may seem odd to put on a booze blog, but I have yet to meet a serious fan of the grain and grape to not also have an enormous affection for the greatest Arabic invention of all time: Coffee!
I’ve been roasting and grinding the stuff for almost 40 years. (Dear God! I’m older than the planets!) I make no claims to being the best coffee connoisseur in the world, but I have a better base knowledge of the stuff than average.
If you’re curious I make, almost exclusively, filtered coffee in a Melitta pot, hand ground via a Hario grinder. My bean of choice, purchased green, is Ethiopian Yrgacheffe. I’ve fooled around with other systems, notably the Chemex. The Melitta filters are easily available, and I like the notion of using unbleached paper.
I REALLY like hand grinding, mostly because I detest the whine of machine grinders first thing in the morning. Also – and you will either have to try this yourself or just assume I’m a (hand) crank – it tastes different and I think “better.” I used to use German hand grinders but they disappeared for a few years from the N. American market. I found the Hario about a year ago. I use the clear grinder with the vacuum base and can’t recommend it highly enough.
The biggest problem with hand grinding is you need a certain amount of wrist strength to hold the grinder still against the resistance of the beans. This is particularly a problem for smaller women, but the grinders still move in my (190 cm, 100 kg, wimpy) hands. The Hario clear has a vacuum base, which lets you grind one handed. Mind you, you’ll need a polished surface like a granite counter top, for the vacuum base to grip. (I use the enamel of the stove top.)
Also the Hario has replaceable parts though at this price I’ll likely just buy another when the burrs show signs of wear.
Anyway, whether you aspire to my middlebrow level of coffee making, or wish to go higher I wrote this post to share a blog I discovered.
Mr. Piotr Jezewski offers regular reviews, great insights including quantifiable measures. (And I think quant tasting is badly needed throughout the food and beverage industry.) The guy and his blog are brilliant! If you want to know about the ultimate cup of coffee, and the ultimate tools to take you there, check him out.
For the record, I’ve never met him, don’t know anything about him other than his posts and I doubt he has any idea I exist.