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Monthly Archives: December 2014

Blade vs. Burr Coffee Grinders

  • Steven Hodel
  • December 19, 2014

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Calusa Coffee Roasters Coffee Grinder Fort Lauderdale

Grinding your own coffee beans is a fairly easy way to ensure freshness in your cup of coffee and it also is one of the most important aspects to making great coffee. When customers come by the shop at Calusa Coffee Roasters we are often asked, as they pickup a bag of our whole bean coffee, what type of grinder should they get.  We then explain to them about the different types of grinders, the benefits of each type and finally what we recommend.

So with this blog post here is a short but by no means complete description of what we explain to our customers:

Grinders can be both expensive inexpensive, and as with most things, you get what you pay for.   There are basically two different kinds of grinders: blade or burr.

Blade Grinders

Blade grinders are the  least expensive and use a metal blade to chop up the beans. The blade cuts up the beans, and you control the fineness by how long you let the grinder run. Blade grinders are less precise than burr machines and uneven sized coffee grounds can result in a less consistent drink quality. There also can be significant heat created by the blades which can give your final coffee a burned taste.

Do you have a blade grinder? Ours suggestion: Toss it

Burr Grinders

Burr grinders crush the beans between a moving grinding wheel and a non-moving surface. The coarseness/fineness of the coffee grounds is set by the position of the burr.

There are 2 different types of burr grinders

Wheel Burr – Out of the two types of burr grinder, wheel burr grinders generally cost less. The wheel spins very fast, and these grinders can be noisy. The higher speed rotation also makes these grinders more messy as w

The disadvantages are that they must be cleaned (which requires a little work) especially if you don’’t use it on a regular basis and the beans which are gravity fed from a hopper, can also get stuck pretty often and need to be stirred to get them to flow into the disks again.

Conical Burr – Conical burr grinders are generally accepted as being the best type of grinder available, but they are also the most expensive.The advantages of the conical versus the flat wheel are that they have the most consistent grind.

The burr also spins slower which makes them quieter and less messy. One of the advantages of a conical burr is that you can use it for oily or flavored coffees because its less likely to clog,

Bottom Line:

If you can afford it, then buy the Conical Burr Grinder, but at the very least buy a Wheel burr grinder and by all means stay away from a blade grinder.

The Crema in Espresso Coffee

  • Steven Hodel
  • December 8, 2014

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Cup of Espresso at Calusa Coffee Shop Fort Lauderdale

Crema in Espresso:

To start it might be best to briefly define what is Espresso before we get to what crema is and what part it plays in am espresso shot.

Espresso is both a coffee beverage and a brewing method. It is not a specific bean, bean blend, or roast level. Any bean or roasting level can be used to produce authentic espresso. In addition, Espresso is not meant to be all crema, Crema is just part of the visual lure of espresso, the aromatics, the mouthfeel, the flavor and long-lasting aftertaste or espresso.

There are 5 variables that affect crema in Espresso and they are as follows:

1) Fresh Beans – Fresh beans are key – and keep them whole until just before you want to brew. Don’t pregrind – grind only seconds before you pull your espresso shot.

2) The machine to make the Espresso – There are more technical aspects to look into regarding the machine which are beyond this scope of this simple post but it goes without saying that the machine should be well maintained and clean, especially around the brew head and portafilter.

3) The tamp pressure used – tamping is a variable you must control on your own to get consistently great shots.

4) The Grind – This goes hand in hand with your tamp. You should grind to a fineness that ties in with the tamping pressure.

5) Water – It goes without saying that its always best to you fresh filtered water.

At first, you will have to deal with a certain amount of trial and error, however if you keeping practicing you will get better, just like anything else. Remember when practicing to vary everything: the grind, the amount of tamping pressure you use, and your beans.

With just a little bit of practice, provided you are using good fresh beans ( from Calusa Coffee hopefully) , you too will be pulling the perfect espresso shot with a rich layer of crema floating on top.