company - education - coffee

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Grinder Dynamics

You are probably expecting a big amazing post about grinder function and design which isn't coming. Frankly, as hardcore as you can be about every little detail, the state of a grinder's blades are something that escaped me the other day. We were comparing shots of two espresso down at Simon's and one grinder turns out to have much older blades. Not completely dull but just enough to smooth out the character and add some weird mid tones.

I loaned him one with a timer mod because his switch broke, it's not unlike the one pictured in the previous post but with a different style and push button. Pulling a shot on that was a revelation on how much the blades have an effect on your coffee. Same class grinder, new blades.

While so many shots in town are pulling 20 second gushers on dead -never been changed- blades, I realistically might be able to count on one hand the shops that change them on their own here. There are many shops, the kind where you can't adjust the grind because it's so worn into a groove, any change will make unpullable shots.

Most of us have been there who have worked at more than one shop. I followed (some would proffer instigated) the whole series of upgrades at Simon's from replacing the utterly shot blades on an SM90 right up to the current row of Mazzers. The clarity of fresh blades should be something I would be used to but it's rare times when you are forcefully reminded of the difference.