Coffee culture seems to have reached its peak by staking its claim all over every kitchen in America.
Grinders and espresso machines have been made readily available to the masses by some incredible companies that produce high end coffee equipment.
But what if you’re devoted to your coffee, but don’t have the dollars to backup your beverage choices? Is there coffee gear that is as frugal as they are fabulous?
Have no fear, there are companies that provide products for those of us who aren’t necessarily posh, but do appreciate a good strong cuppa.
And if you are wanting to step up your quality of coffee within the comfort of your own home a quality grinder is the best place to start.
Why you should switch from pre-ground coffee to freshly ground coffee.
If you go to your local grocery store and purchase pre-ground coffee, you are likely sacrificing flavour.
The moment coffee is ground, it begins to go stale.
By taking that extra step to grind your coffee before every brew, you release the oils and complex chemical compounds that create the flavours we love so much.
But not all grinders are created equal. A committed love of coffee demands that we go burr or go home.
Though blade grinder is the most common of the home café appliances, they hack and chop at our precious beans– rendering them inconsistent.
Delicious cups of coffee are the result of carefully manipulated variables and chemical reactions. And the easiest way to ensure that you are getting the best of your beans is to make sure that they are ground specifically for the way you make your coffee.
Because it takes different methods different amounts of time to brew, the size of each little ground must beuniform or their acids and flavonoids will infuse into the water at different rates– rendering bland or bitter coffee.
This is where the burr grinder comes in.
Burrs are two metal (or ceramic) plates that have teeth-like ridges along them. As the motor powers them to spin, the beans break down into identical pieces until they reach your desired grind size.
You may be thinking that this process is too all-consuming, but the two grinders I want to tell you about today have fool-proof designs that won’t break the bank.
Let’s look at the least expensive of the two first: the Mr. Coffee Automatic Burr Mill Grinder.
Mr. Coffee has been a household name for decades, but a standard 10 cup drip carafe is usually the picture that pops into your mind.
But he has set his standards higher than the diner setting we’ve seen him in.
The Mr. Coffee Automatic Burr Mill Grinder is small, stylish and easy to use.
It stands at 11.26 inches tall and is 6.3 inches wide, so it will fit in with your kitchen. But if you are limited on counter space, it is light enough to move in and out of cupboards. Since it’s made of mostly durable plastic, it weighs only 3.85 pounds!
Who would have thought that something so affordable, could provide so many options!
With a twist of its rotating 8 oz hopper, you can choose from its 18 grind settings.
With 6 micro-settings per grind “type,” you can tailor the strength of each batch to your specific preferences.
As your coffee beans make their way from the hopper and through the flat burrs, the grounds are caught in a container that is big enough to hold enough coffee to make 32 cups!
That number is specifically for the medium grind settings you would use for a drip coffee maker.
The average times that are listed in the manual are also for medium grinds. It takes about 40 seconds to grind enough coffee for 12 cups.
The designers made it really easy for the users to take advantage of its full range.
Not only can you knob to change the grind settings, you can also preset the volume for 4-18 cups.
This is a big plus for people who are always multi-tasking because it’s handsfree. Just push the button in the center of the volume nob to turn it on, and the machine will turn off automatically!
As an added bonus, it’s very easy to clean!
All of the different components: the hopper+lid, the tray and the container all pop out and are easy to wipe down!
You might be thinking, the Mr. Coffee Automatic Burr Mill Grinder sounds like the perfect grinder for me. Are there any cons?
The biggest complaint is that it is incredibly loud. Since the entire casing of the machine is made of plastic, you get some serious noise.
But if that isn’t a problem for you, the Mr. Coffee Automatic Burr Mill Grinder is the perfect starter grinder!
But before you make your decision, let me show you the ins and outs of another great entry level grinder: the Cuisinart dbm-8.
You’ll notice that this grinder and the Mr. Coffee are very different at a glance, but have essentially the same capabilities.
The Cuisinart dbm-8 is a little smaller than the Burr Mill we just discussed.
It is 10.75 inches tall. And it’s a little sturdier at 5.6 pounds.
The dbm-8 is also made up of hard plastic, so even though it is slightly heavier, it is easy to move around as you clean or rearrange your kitchen.
But because of this material choice, this machine is as loud as the Mr. Coffee.
A notable difference in this model is that it has a few safety features that the Burr Mill does not.
First off, the base is hollow with a piece of plastic molding to wrap the cord around underneath the machine to hide cord if you unplug appliances after each use or don’t want extra length of the cord hanging off the back. You’ll also notice that there is a gap that tuck the cord into so that the rig doesn’t wobble.
On top of that, the rig won’t even start if the grounds container and hopper are not clicked into place properly.
This model also has a rotatable hopper that holds 8 oz of whole beans.
To change set the coarseness or fineness of the grounds, you twist it until you hear the flat burrs click into place.
From there, you simply push the volume button to tell the machine how long to run the motor.
This depends on how many cups of coffee you will be brewing. The Cuisinart dbm-8 can grind enough coffee for 4-18 cups.
Then you depress the power bar that sits on the face of the machine to turn it on.
Regardless of how loud it is, there is no denying that this little grinder is very powerful. and incredibly fast. It can grind enough coffee for 4 cups in 20 seconds, enough for 12 cups in 40 seconds and enough for 18 cups in 55 seconds!
The grounds are collected into a chamber that can hold 32 oz of grounds.
And as an added bonus, there is a place to store the scoop that comes with the purchase underneath the lid. It’s important to keep in mind that the scoop is designed for drip coffee measurements of medium grinds.
As if there weren’t enough great things about this machine, it is super easy to clean.
The hopper and grounds container are both removable, so you can wash those with soap and water. And it comes with a brush that is small enough to get in the burrs!
When it all comes down to it, there is no going wrong with these two machines!
I hope that this run down will help you decide between the two. You can click on either product when you’re ready to make that purchase.