Once upon a time, people had manual coffee grinders in their homes that they proudly filled with beans bought from a grocer’s or a roastery every time they made a cup of coffee.
Modern technology makes life very easy for us because superior blends come in marvellous modified atmosphere packaging that keeps them in good condition in the medium term.
However, that’s not enough for everyone.
When people’s tastes grow more refined, their palates get more demanding. Whether you choose a moka pot, espresso or a filter for your morning coffee, the secret to real luxury nowadays lies in reviving old traditions.
Perhaps it’s down to the appeal of coffee grinding as a kind of ritual and the enchanting idea of coffee beans being ground into a powder and then brewed into a delightful drink. Whatever the case may be, we’re witnessing a return to the old ways, with concrete data to back it up.
The first thing to bear in mind is that coffee is an extremely delicate substance that starts to oxidize when it comes into contact with external elements such as oxygen, moisture, heat and light, leading to changes to its sensory characteristics. In addition, ground coffee is more permeable so the impact of contact with these elements is greater and it loses its characteristics due to oxidation more quickly. 15 minutes after it has been ground, it will already have lost approximately 60% of its aromas.
So whether you feel the appeal of the process or not, grinding coffee just before you make each cup is the best way to savour all of the characteristics of our beans.
Having said that, not all types of freshly ground coffee give the same results. On the market, you can find amateur and professional electric coffee grinders and modern versions of the classic manual grinders.
Traditional manual grinders are still the most practical option for household use. For a reasonable price, you can get a long-lasting piece of kit that doesn’t need much maintenance: you simply have to clean the grinding chamber after each use.
The most important thing to remember is not to grind the beans too finely to avoid getting burnt and bitter notes in your coffee, but at the same time they mustn’t be too coarse either or the water won’t be able to extract the sensory qualities of the coffee.
As you will have gathered, there’s an ideal grind for each brewing method. If you’d like to know more, the Sapere Coffee Academy runs a Brewing course all about alternatives to espresso.
We’re full of beans at the Manuel Caffè e-shop, where the range includes CAPRICCIO (an incredibly creamy blend of select Arabica and Robusta beans with a chocolatey aftertaste), DECAROMA (decaffeinated coffee with a full body and a rich aroma), DOLCEVITA (a refined, mellow 90% Arabica coffee) and SORRISO (100% Arabica coffee with a delicate body and aromatic complexity that’s just waiting to be discovered). Take a look around the shop – here’s the link.
It’s time to grind!
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