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Grinder for Aeropress Coffee / "Espresso"
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FluxCapacitor
Senior Member


Joined: 24 Sep 2012
Posts: 4
Location: Calgary
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Mon Sep 24, 2012, 2:22pm
Subject: Grinder for Aeropress Coffee / "Espresso"
 

I'm just getting into coffee and my drink of choice is a latte, although I haven't tried much else. I'd like to get into home brewing to reduce my "latte factor". I'm definitely not about to drop hundreds of dollars on an espresso machine, so I thought I would start off with an Aeropress. So, with that in mind, I have some questions about grinders for Aeropress and Aeropress coffee in general.

Let's say for now, that my goal is to produce an acceptable latte with an Aeropress. (I understand that an Aeropress will not produce "real espresso").

1) Should use espresso roasted beans versus regular coffee beans? I have read that you can make espresso with any type of beans... Is there a certain type that would work better with an Aeropress?

2) From what I've read, you could use a range of grinds for aeropress, but usually coarser than a real espresso grind. Thus, if I am not concerned with producing such a fine grind, can I get away with a lower quality burr grinder?

3) Are espresso roasted beans harder on grinders than regular roasted coffee beans?

With the above in mind, depending on answers to those questions, I was considering these models (note, I definitely want to stay under $200 CAD):

-Baratza Encore
-KitchenAid Pro Line
-Bodum Bistro
-Breville BCG800XL

For my purposes, which would you guys go with. Or should I consider something else entirely? (I'm not interested in hand grinders BTW).

Question about the encore... It's a good price, but can it handle espresso roasted beans? The reason I ask is that on the website of our local coffee roaster they say: "Although it is capable of achieving an espresso grind, we don't recommend it for espresso due to the wear and tear that espresso is known to have on grinders. It is best suited for brewing drip, french press or Aeropress."

Does that mean it shouldn't be used for espresso beans? Or shouldn't be used to achieve an espresso grind? I assume it means the latter and that I'd be ok going with a Encore?

I would consider a Baratza Virtuoso Refurb, but I am in Canada and it appears they won't ship these outside of the states for some reason.

Thanks for any help!!
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TheSunInsideYou
Senior Member
TheSunInsideYou
Joined: 16 Feb 2012
Posts: 206
Location: NJ and NYC
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Breville BES900XL
Grinder: Laranzato HC-600, OE LIDO,...
Vac Pot: Yama 3
Drip: Hario V60, Chemex
Posted Mon Sep 24, 2012, 5:05pm
Subject: Re: Grinder for Aeropress Coffee / "Espresso"
 

The Encore is the direction I would point you in. I have a Maestro Plus (The previous iteration before the Encore) and an Encore, and both are good at grinding for anything from French Press to espresso fine. The reason it's not suitable for espresso has more to do with consistency than how fine it can grind. The Encore is capable out of the box to grind espresso fine (if not, an easy adjustment would do the trick), but it's just not a good grinder for espresso because the consistency of the grind is just not exact enough for decent espresso. Your shots would be inconsistent.

To answer your questions:

  1. No, you should use any coffee you're going to enjoy. Don't limit yourself by using espresso beans only. There are certain coffees that will work better for you in an aeropress, but the best way to find that out is to use it. The nice thing about an aeropress is that, because you can tweak small things (like grinding coarser or finer, increasing steep time, increasing agitation, messing with the coffee to water ratio, using it inverted, etc...) to bring out certain aspects of the coffee, it's a very versatile way to brew.

  2. You can "get away" with a lower quality grinder than you would use for espresso, but that's oversimplifying things a bit. Besides getting a grinder that's competant with both espresso and non-espresso (I.E. a Vario), Espresso grinders and non-espresso grinders are typically separate. The higher quality and consistency of the grind, the better the product will be; that's a truth that rings true in all types of brewing. But getting a Mazzer Super Jolly for your French Press grinding is a bad idea because it specializes in espresso grinding. That may be too lengthy of an explanation, but the short answer is yes and no: espresso grinders are typically more expensive on the entry level, but cheaping out on a grinder for your aeropress will disappoint you. The Encore is a good, solid choice.

  3. No, but espresso grinding is. This is the nature of grinding so fine, all the time. But you don't have to worry about that with your aeropress. Plus, it being "hard" on the grinder doesn't mean it's going to crap out on you in a year. The Encore can handle plenty of abuse, and Baratza customer service is top notch.

Hope I could help.

-Dave-
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,474
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Tue Sep 25, 2012, 6:42am
Subject: Re: Grinder for Aeropress Coffee / "Espresso"
 

FluxCapacitor Said:

I'm just getting into coffee and my drink of choice is a latte, although I haven't tried much else. I'd like to get into home brewing to reduce my "latte factor". I'm definitely not about to drop hundreds of dollars on an espresso machine, so I thought I would start off with an Aeropress. So, with that in mind, I have some questions about grinders for Aeropress and Aeropress coffee in general.

Posted September 24, 2012 link

I can understand about the desire to stop paying the corner coffee shop but how about getting better quality than they can produce? This is the bigger reason to do it yourself, the cost...... when does a hobby ever cost "less" than just buying the finished product?

The Aeropress is a fine brewing device but espresso it is not. You will get a closer to espresso brew from a Moka pot. Click Here (www.wholelattelove.com)
than you will get from the Aeropress. This is the method most Italians use for their daily shots. This is not a knock against the Aeropress, it brews wonderfully and I have two of them but if it espresso that you are trying to get to, the Moka pot is the better choice.


FluxCapacitor Said:

Let's say for now, that my goal is to produce an acceptable latte with an Aeropress. (I understand that an Aeropress will not produce "real espresso").

Posted September 24, 2012 link

Yep, see above.

FluxCapacitor Said:

1) Should use espresso roasted beans versus regular coffee beans? I have read that you can make espresso with any type of beans... Is there a certain type that would work better with an Aeropress?

Posted September 24, 2012 link

You can use any roast you wish but coffee beans are coffee beans (in the 30000 foot view) and the roast affects what you will get from them. The darker the roast, the less you taste the flavors of the coffee and the more you taste the roast. For most people here, espresso roast is burnt and tastes like charcoal. If you like that by all means buy that roast but most here prefer a city to city + roast. The darkest most widely used roast is not dark enough to get oil from the beans, they look dry, but if you like that taste then buy that roast.

FluxCapacitor Said:

2) From what I've read, you could use a range of grinds for aeropress, but usually coarser than a real espresso grind. Thus, if I am not concerned with producing such a fine grind, can I get away with a lower quality burr grinder?

Posted September 24, 2012 link

There are a lot of grinders that are not able to grind for espresso and yet produce a good grind for most all other methods of brewing. I own some of them as well as espresso grinders. For the most part, espresso requires a different grind and most grinders that are not designed for espresso can not do that kind of grind.

FluxCapacitor Said:

3) Are espresso roasted beans harder on grinders than regular roasted coffee beans?

Posted September 24, 2012 link

No, roasted beans are roasted beans. The oil on very darkly roasted beans tends to gum up grinders and the oils go rancid and then gives a nasty flavor to your freshly ground coffee but they are not "harder" than lighter roasted beans.

FluxCapacitor Said:

With the above in mind, depending on answers to those questions, I was considering these models (note, I definitely want to stay under $200 CAD):

-Baratza Encore
-KitchenAid Pro Line
-Bodum Bistro
-Breville BCG800XL

For my purposes, which would you guys go with. Or should I consider something else entirely? (I'm not interested in hand grinders BTW).

Posted September 24, 2012 link

The Encore is fine. I do not advise the others and you can often get good deals on the referb section of baratza. Click Here (www.baratza.com)

FluxCapacitor Said:

Question about the encore... It's a good price, but can it handle espresso roasted beans? The reason I ask is that on the website of our local coffee roaster they say: "Although it is capable of achieving an espresso grind, we don't recommend it for espresso due to the wear and tear that espresso is known to have on grinders. It is best suited for brewing drip, french press or Aeropress."

Posted September 24, 2012 link

That website is a little misleading. The Encore is a good general use grinder but it is not really designed to do espresso and the burrs need to be set VERY tightly for espresso. See my prior grinder comment.

FluxCapacitor Said:

Does that mean it shouldn't be used for espresso beans? Or shouldn't be used to achieve an espresso grind? I assume it means the latter and that I'd be ok going with a Encore?

I would consider a Baratza Virtuoso Refurb, but I am in Canada and it appears they won't ship these outside of the states for some reason.

Thanks for any help!!

Posted September 24, 2012 link

There are lots of people in Ca that have Baratza grinders, perhaps someone there can say how they got theirs.

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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Redbone
Senior Member
Redbone
Joined: 20 Aug 2012
Posts: 12
Location: Mississauga,Ontario, Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Brasilia cappuccino del-1
Grinder: Brasilia BFD flat burr...
Drip: Bonavita BV-1800
Posted Tue Sep 25, 2012, 8:59am
Subject: Re: Grinder for Aeropress Coffee / "Espresso"
 

As far as grinders go. You can always throw the Saeco Titan Conical Burr Grinder and the Capresso Infinity Grinder in the mix. The Kitchen Aide Pro-Line is not available in Canada. It's not an option on the Canadian K.A. site. Being that all the listed grinders are good grinders (non-espresso) and within the same price range, I would start looking at parts and serviceability.
The Baratza offers decent service (according to local friend) and reasonably priced replacement parts.
I have the Encore model. Good grinder with a few quirks.

What I like :
Uniform grind for drip, aeropress, and pour over.
40 setting allows wide variance for grinding for above purposes.
Low noise for a grinder.
Very little static on grinds
Easy to disassemble and clean burrs.

What I'd like to see improve :
Poor grind consistency for larger grind setting (Press Pot Settings) of 18+
Electrical Cord holder with built in clip on prong head
More sturdy bean holder cap, pops off easy.
Solid floor below grounds container (holes on floor leak dropping grounds from chute and make mess).
Concave grounds holder or similar to make it easier to grip and re-install. Direction arrow on grounds container.

Hope this helps
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FluxCapacitor
Senior Member


Joined: 24 Sep 2012
Posts: 4
Location: Calgary
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Tue Sep 25, 2012, 10:05pm
Subject: Re: Grinder for Aeropress Coffee / "Espresso"
 

Thanks to the three of you for your great replies. Your replies gave me the answers I was looking for, as well as a lot to think about!

So, based on your advice, I will probably go with the Encore. Sadly, Baratza does not ship grinders outside the US, or I would definitely go for a refurb unit to save a few bucks. I can get a new one here no problem, but not refurbished as far as I'm aware. I'm surprised that two of you are very against a few of the options I was considering. They all seem to be quite well reviewed both here at Coffee Geek and on Amazon. At any rate, the Encore is also well reviewed and is lower priced than the KitchenAid and Breville. Plus, given the other info you guys have provided in this thread, it should be perfect for my purposes.

The point about the Moka pot is a good one. I hadn't given it any thought at all. I'll definitely do some research into that and consider it. Maybe I'll get both!!

Thanks again!
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chex
Senior Member
chex
Joined: 27 Mar 2008
Posts: 67
Location: Fairview TX
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Q M Silvano, Gaggia Espresso
Grinder: 2xMazzer SJs, Major, WW2 era...
Drip: Hario pourover, presses,...
Roaster: Behmor, stovetop...
Posted Wed Sep 26, 2012, 10:45am
Subject: Re: Grinder for Aeropress Coffee / "Espresso"
 

How about another choice of grinder for the Aeropress???
Since it's such a nice compact, portable coffee maker that produces a nice cup, why not pair it with a Hario Skeriton ceramic burr grinder?
I ordered one for my first deployment out at sea and found it nice and compact and functioned well with the Aeropress. Since it was adjustable, you can dial in your grind settings to what you find best. I haven't used it on french presses, or anything else since I accidently left it onboard the ship when I flew back to Lemoore. But to this day, I still use my zassenhaus manual box grinder as my method of choice for the aeropress since it just works really well and is extremely compact and quite nerdy.
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didiee
Senior Member


Joined: 30 Sep 2012
Posts: 34
Location: CT, USA
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sun Sep 30, 2012, 7:32am
Subject: Re: Grinder for Aeropress Coffee / "Espresso"
 

chex Said:

How about another choice of grinder for the Aeropress???
Since it's such a nice compact, portable coffee maker that produces a nice cup, why not pair it with a Hario Skeriton ceramic burr grinder?
I ordered one for my first deployment out at sea and found it nice and compact and functioned well with the Aeropress. Since it was adjustable, you can dial in your grind settings to what you find best. I haven't used it on french presses, or anything else since I accidently left it onboard the ship when I flew back to Lemoore. But to this day, I still use my zassenhaus manual box grinder as my method of choice for the aeropress since it just works really well and is extremely compact and quite nerdy.

Posted September 26, 2012 link

Sorry to hijack the thread a bit.
Long time reader, first time poster.
Hario ceramic burr can be flown in from Japan.  Somewhat reasonably priced, or you can get it from OE for 10-15 dollars more than from ebay.

Not sure this is the right place to ask, but anyone has personal experience with less than $200 grinder for french press.
I know the hand grinder may actually be a good choice here, but I am not sure a vintage (Puegoet) vs let's say a Capresso Infinity vs. modified Kyocera is the way to go.
I suppose it is all depending on the burr, and the craftsmanship, since I am not after a  "fine grind."  But I'd love to hear any suggestions/inputs.

If this a "here we go again" question for you, I apologize in advance.

D.E.
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Redbone
Senior Member
Redbone
Joined: 20 Aug 2012
Posts: 12
Location: Mississauga,Ontario, Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Brasilia cappuccino del-1
Grinder: Brasilia BFD flat burr...
Drip: Bonavita BV-1800
Posted Mon Oct 15, 2012, 10:52am
Subject: Re: Grinder for Aeropress Coffee / "Espresso"
 

It really comes down to automated or hand grinder. For the price of let's say a Capresso Infinity, Baratza Encore or Bodum Bistro which are all well under the $150 mark the question stands "why bother with a hand grinder" I would justify a hand grinder under to circumstances only. 1) Need a travel grinder or 2) Only grind small amounts of coffee for one or two people at a time.  Otherwise difficult to justify the high cost of a good hand grinder vs the decent powered units above that give you more flexibility and are easier on the wrists.
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