When you’re serious about getting coffee flavor right, there’s only one way to do it, and that’s to use a burr grinder and Baratza Encore is one of the best.
Burr coffee grinders are precise, giving a reliable, uniform grind size. The 2 revolving ceramic or stainless steel ‘burrs’ that crush the beans achieve the uniform bean size and this is reflected in the resulting flavor of coffee.
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Why use a Burr coffee grinder and not blade?
The reason we don’t recommend a blade grinder is because of the metal blade used to cut (or slice) the coffee beans. This results in uneven sized beans which affects flavor extraction.
But there is a another problem with blade grinders. And that’s friction.
Friction generates heat which causes the metal blade to heat up. The heat then affects the beans.
So whether you prefer to use an automated or a hand grinder, we suggest choosing a Burr coffee grinder.
You’ll have the ability to truly tailor the size of the grind using small incremental clicks. Such is the precision of each click.
Baratza Encore White or Black
The Baratza Encore conical burr grinder is excellent value for money. It has 40 steps or grind settings. Experiment with the coarse grind settings to find just the right one for your taste.
Available in 2 colors – black or white. This workhorse is a reliable kitchen appliance and easy to use.
Backed by Baratz support and 1 year product warranty.
Check out this manufactuer video showing how to set up and use the Baratza Encore, with some handy tips.
Watch this video to see the full range of burr grinders from Baratza. It gives a good overview of their impressive products.
Baratza Encore is the ‘value for money’ proposition and a reliable workhorse. It’s highly rated and a top seller.
But if your budget allows, check out the Baratza Virtuoso+. It’s a quieter grinder with the ‘nice to have’, but not essential, extra features.
The Baratza Virtuoso+
A step up from Baratza Encore and an excellent choice if you’re wanting a little more from your grinder. It’s quieter than the Baratza Encore and offers those ‘nice to have’ extras. It’s more durable and heavier than the Encore.
Virtuoso + comes with a digital timer that can be programmed. This is a handy feature for when you find ‘your’ perfect grind. It just streamlines the process a little more.LCD light, and 40 different grind settings, like the Encore.
IZpresso JX-pro manual Coffee Grinder
Nothing here wobbles or feels loose. It’s a solid grinder.
If you prefer a manual coffee grinder, we recommend the 1Zpresso JX. It’s ideal for a course grind. And yet it works just as well if want an expresso grind. This product does it all well.
You’re buying a quality manual coffee grinder. And we all know, at the end of the day you get what you pay for and with this one it’s excellence.
A durable, quality conical ‘burr’ system fixed in place. Choose from 40 grind clicks to get your perfect blend. (And 20 clicks for an expresso grind.)
- Portable, easy to take away with you
- Fast and efficient operation
- 1 year warranty
- Doesn’t take up bench space
Automatic coffee grinder vs hand grinder
Automatic grinders save you time.
Let’s use the example of making a fine coffee grind. If you’re using a cheaper manual grinder it may take 2 or 3 minutes to manually grind enough coffee for 2 to 3 cups. An automatic grinder will take less than 30 to 45 seconds; (depending on brand and model you have).
Just think for a moment about the value of saving time first thing in the morning when you’re in a rush to get to work.
These are other points, pros and cons of each type of grinder.
How do I make rich, bold coffee
When acids are balanced out with base flavors, ever so slightly sweet, and the aroma is vibrant, that’s the harmony we’re looking for. And the coffee will taste amazing.
To achieve the rich bold coffee flavor we love it comes down to these 3 basics.
- right grind size
- right coffee ratio for the French press, and
- right brew time for the best flavor
When making a brew we’re aiming to find the perfect balance where taste and aroma are rich and vibrant.
Experiment with ratios and brew time to find your sweet spot.
Coffee bean grinding for French Press
Adequately grinding coffee in preparation for a coffee brew is one of the most often overlooked factors. And the importance of getting this right surprises many.
Even though it takes a little time, the quality and grind of your coffee beans determines the taste and richness of the end product.
So, after you buy your Coffee Press, the next thing you need to do is buy a batch of quality coffee and a good coffee bean grinder.
Wake up 20 minutes early if you have to. Put the coffee beans in the automatic grinder or grind them manually with your hand grinder. This is because the beans will start to lose their flavor, as well as aroma, a few seconds after you start grinding them. So, grind a batch and immediately use.
Note: Don’t grind and store the ground coffee.
True French press coffee lovers prefer their grind to be coarse and even. By coarse we mean the size of peppercorns or sea salt.
Recommended coffee to water ratio is 1:12. That is 350 grams of water : 30 grams coffee.
Coarse grinds reach the sweet spot in harmony after steeping 4 minutes.
You can experiment with the size of the grind. Beans can be ground a bit bigger or smaller, but they have to be coarse. It’s just the degree of coarseness that depends on your taste preferences.
If you’re looking for a smooth and silky cup of coffee, the grind can be a little more powdery – but not too powdery.
What happens if the grind size is wrong?
Different sized beans brew at different speeds. When coffee is brewed too fast, or too slow, flavor is affected.
There is another problem if the grind is too small. You’ll find pressing down the plunger is difficult as the coffee grounds get stuck in the filter.
Why shouldn’t I pre-grind coffee?
Why shouldn’t I buy pre-ground coffee?
Generally, the grounds are not the correct size to use in a French Press. For the same reason pre-ground bought coffee is not recommended, (it’s not ideal), for an Aero Press either.
Why is my coffee bitter?
Relationship between grind size and brewing time
My coffee tastes bitter – try a making the grind more coarse
My coffee tastes sour – try making the grind finer
Quick Brew in a French Press
If you don’t want to go through measuring your ingredients every day but still want to make a good cup of French press coffee try this recipe.
Take a full tablespoon of your favorite coffee grounds and a single cup of water for a ratio to start.
French pressed coffee is usually enjoyed stronger than this so you can increase the amount of coffee as per your preference. For example, there are coffee lovers who would take a full tablespoon of coffee grounds and just half a cup of water for a strong and rich taste.
Boil and let sit for a minute so water cools to around 190-195°F.
Steep and Bloom Time
The next step that most home baristas neglect, or just simply ignore, is steeping the coffee and letting it bloom. It doesn’t take more than 5 minutes, but our busy schedules sometimes don’t even allow us that little luxury.
Flavor can’t be rushed. If you’re a coffee lover and need that power boost in the morning, you’ll get up a few minutes earlier. It’s well worth it.
The total steeping time for a great cup of coffee in the French press machine is 3 to 5 minutes.
Let the coffee bloom before fusing. You do this by first pouring about 20% of the water over the coffee grinds and stir for around 20 seconds. This helps absorb all that aromatic oil, improving the extraction process.
Next, pour the rest of the water and stir gently.
Close the lid and prepare the plunger handle at the top of the lid. Don’t plunge the liquid yet!
Let the coffee ‘steep’ for another 3 to 3 1/2 minutes. This allows time for flavor to be released.
Then give it a gentle plunge, nice and easy. Press the plunger evenly, allowing the coffee to pass through. Grinds will be compressed at the bottom.
Take time to enjoy your full-flavored French Press coffee .