Single dose: (1) beans in, then grinder on or (2) grinder on, then beans

Grinders are one of the keys to exceptional espresso. Discuss them here.

#1: Post by Katran »

I have a Ceado e37z hero grinder and it's single dose. Here's a beginner question. When preparing one espresso, do you (1) put the grinds in before you turn the grinder on, or the (2) reverse?

The way I see it, in (1) the beans will hit the burrs at a lower speed and more controlled, but the speed of the burrs will be lower for the first second or so. For (2), the beans will hit the burrs at speed and they will be more sparse, definitely harder to control, but the burrs will have constant speed.

Which one is the preferred method?



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#2: Post by shawndo »

(2) grinder on, then beans
is gentler on the grinder, but most are sturdy enough these days that it doesn't matter either way. This is also the most popular as far as I am aware.

Most important thing is that you do it the same way every time for consistency in the grind
Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra

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#3: Post by another_jim »

I think it might depend on the grinder. The Niche can't be fed beans while running unless you hack it. The early Versalabs were a lot happier to be fed while running, since the belt was prone to slip. I tried an early Monolth flat with a Mazzer burrset that was happier having the beans in before starting, because it would popcorn severely if fed while running -- this is dependent on the burr set and is probably different in later models with burrs more attuned to single dosing.

Bottom line, I would recommend trying it both ways to see which one gets you a smoother and more consistent workflow.
Jim Schulman
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#4: Post by one_good_coffee »

I think that feeding the beans while the grinder is running is the best way to do it because all beans are pretty much processed the same way, if you're slow enough with the pour.

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#5: Post by Peppersass »

another_jim wrote:I tried an early Monolth flat with a Mazzer burrset that was happier having the beans in before starting, because it would popcorn severely if fed while running...
Popcorning might not be a bad thing. Check out this James Hoffman video on regrinding coffee. While he's not so sure about regrinding being a great idea for most grinders, at about the 9 minute mark he suggests an experiment in which you pour in the beans slowly while the grinder is running. This produces fewer fines, allowing a finer grind and better extraction, despite the popcorning.

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#6: Post by another_jim »

I admit I never feed the beans slowly or one by one. First off, I appreciate a smooth workflow; second, the purported taste improvements of fewer fines in espresso are for me in the princess-on-a-pea, emperor-has-no-clothes, and I-saw-it-on-YouTube realm.

This is especially true since for every YouTube maven that says popcorning produces less fines, there's one who says it produces more. What you won't find in the great YouTube fines witch hunt is any blind taste testing. It's not as if this is difficult, Collect about 1/2 gram of fines (roughly ten times the normal amount) and sprinkle the in one out of three brewed cups. Randomize, and taste. Not at all easy to pick out even with ten times the extra fines. That's in brewed and filtered cups (no peeking) In shots of espresso, no way!
Jim Schulman


#7: Post by Govind10 »

I imagine the motor would handle the beans being added after it is turned on better but I also doubt most grinders are designed to be used that way. I wouldn't worry too much about that. Hoffmann has an interesting video about the impact of these feeding methods on grind uniformity though, which is interesting.


#8: Post by Eiern »

I have thought about this and it seems like my Super Jolly gets up to max speed pretty quickly, so if there are no beans inside the burrs and it needs some speed for the beans to want to enter and start crushing I'm not sure how many beans get ground before it's fully up to speed. Same with my EK, I always start it before I dump the beans in, but I also guess it takes the auger a little time (especially my Titus with slower feed) to break the beans and bring them to the the burrs, so I'm not sure how big impact it would have. But it seems best to start the motor and then dump the beans if possible. Especially for espresso grinds.