A hunt for a drip/French press grinder - Page 2

Coffee preparation techniques besides espresso like pourover.

#11: Post by IMAWriter »

another_jim wrote:If you all stopped pressing down on those presses, you could get a cheaper grinder and better coffee. I always wondered why the coffee I cupped invariably tasted better than when I did the same one FP. Turns out that pressing down adds a lot of overextracted instant coffee bitterness to the cup. If you use an Eve Solo or decant the brew through a sieve, the fines don't matter and the cup tastes better. In fact, I believe most of the apparent grinder differences for brewed coffee go away if the grinds aren't overly disturbed
Interesting. Same with my Cremina. A measured even pull down makes better coffee than a too strong pull down.
That Eva Solo looked good to me (re Mark P's review), the the price seems a biy much for what you get (the warmer thing really raised the price.
I'm not that big a fan of FP, but the process in some way reminds me of the Aerobie press, which I do own. A gentler way to make coffee.
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#12: Post by GC7 »

HB wrote:That may be an indicator of few fines, I don't know, but I grind fairly fine for French press and expect about five pounds (?) of even resistance. If there is little resistance, the coffee is usually underextracted and the body suffers. I follow Sweet Maria's French Press Brewing Instructions, which calls for shorter steeping time and finer grind setting.

I've experimented a bit with grind and with brew times and I've settled on a four minute brewing time with the setting that turns out requires very little downward presure and results in a fairly clean cup for french press anyway. It's what suits my tastes best. I do know that the cup using the Virtuoso is better then one using an Infinity with identical roasts. The infinity results in more fines and requires considerably more pressure to push the filter down.

I believe that the more uniform grind size range produced by the Virtuoso grinder allows a "fine enough" coffee to produce good results without enough overly fine grinds to muck up the filter and the cup.

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#13: Post by peacecup »

Here is a photo of grounds from a MHK German hand grinder. It looks to me like little dust is produced, but I don't know exactly what size to grind for FP. It does not look too uniform - don't know how important that is, but I remember pre-ground drip coffee being more uniform. Maybe I need to go a little finer to test this. i could get some pre-ground for FP to compare size.

I think this grinder would also go down to espresso, but I only tested it once, and it was slow - 100 or more turns for 14g. At FP it went faster.

I could also test some of the more well-known brands to compare with MHK, and also I'll post a photo of the grinder soon

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dsc (original poster)

#14: Post by dsc (original poster) »

Hi Jack,

wow that's not uniform all right. Do you think it's just the grinder or do most hand grinders produce a similar grind? if so I guess I'll have to look for something else.


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#15: Post by peacecup »

I don't know, because I hadn't tried grinding so coarsely before. As I said, that may be too coarse for FP. For espresso, my hand grinders seem to grind very evenly, but I've never photographed them under a microscope to see. The grains are so fine in general that its difficult to compare to the naked eye.

I have professionally-ground drip coffee to compare with. I'll try to match the size of those grinds with a couple of hand grinders, then take photos side-by-side.
LMWDP #049
Hand-ground, hand-pulled: "hands down.."

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#16: Post by HB »

Follow-on discussion split to Break and clean method for French press.
Dan Kehn

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#17: Post by orphanespresso »

Been following this post with interest....I would really like to know some exact rating technique to use to rate a hand grinder for french press. We would be willing to measure some known gram amount of beans, grind them in a hand grinder, sift, if this is the preferred method, through some known and accepted screen size by some standardized method, weigh the fines if present, and report that with our hand grinder restorations. Is quantitative the approach which result in some useful information? Some qualitative measure of a good grind result specifically for french press?
Any comments of some acceptable by all measure would be appreciated.

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#18: Post by SlowRain »

I would love for some sort of basic test or standard to be used when evaluating grinders for French press. Not only for hand grinders, but electric ones as well. It would be interesting to compare the Vario, the new Kyocera ceramic hand grinder, and some vintage ones.


#19: Post by jcj »

Just as a point of interest, there are some particle size distribution graphs on the Marco Uber Project website for the Mahlkoenig Guatemala, Tanzania (Ditting KR805) and the Baratza/Mahlkoenig Vario. The Tanzania (and Guatemala) have a very large, narrow peak in grind size, a profile that I think would be good for brewed coffee. The graph is here:

http://marco.ie/uberproject/wp-content/ ... _vario.jpg

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#20: Post by orphanespresso »

OK, I'm with you here on the micron size of particles and the 3 colored graph, but what we are looking for is just how one evaluates their own setup for grinds other than espresso. Is it a qualatative taste test, or observations about fines making sludge? Being asked the question about press grind enough times has made us wonder just what the accepted criteria for a mid level press grind just is, and how to evaluate it short of some extreme analytical equipment. Is this after all completely subjective? With our hand grinder project we have more or less invented a system of espresso grind evaluation and it would be nice to rather than invent a press grind evaluation whole cloth have some accepted basis for evaluation to build upon.
thanks again for any input.