In lieu of a good “you”, I’ll be settling for a good cup of coffee for the time being.
The parentals got me a conical burr grinder for Christmas this year. No, they did not divine that my deepest unfulfilled desire was to shave coffee beans into perfectly uniform granules. If they would have taken the mind reading route, they would have given me solid gold bullion this year. But the conical burr was on my list, so it was either that or a bluray player, which is far less delicious.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with a burr grinder, think of those tubs of coffee beans on top of the espresso machines at Starbucks. That’s part of the grinder, which is built into the monster of a brewing system Starbucks has set up. Essentially what the burr grinder does, which your run-of-the-mill grinder does not, is achieves an identical size/shape for each grain of coffee that you grind. Normal grinders just chop and dice any which way, and you’ll notice that even if most of the grains are finely ground, there’s always those few odd chunks that seem to escape total pulverization. While normally I’m no fan of eliminating uniqueness, it really matters in making a good cup of coffee. It has to do with surface area. The smaller grains have more surface area per volume of bean, so they let out flavors faster – including the bad flavors you don’t want. The bigger grains have a smaller surface area relative to the volume of bean in that particle, so it doesn’t get all of the good flavor out. What you’re left with is a cup of coffee that has different flavors that don’t necessarily taste so great together. That’s where the burr grinder comes in to save the day.
As you can tell, I’m a huge coffee nerd/snob/aficionado? We’ll go with aficionado. That sounds way less needy. But if you’d like to try a really good cup of coffee sometime, let me know. Maybe it’ll give us both the warm fuzzies.