Do I really need a coffee grinder?
Grinders grind the whole coffee bean into smaller uniform particles. This should only be done just before you brew to insure you get the maximum flavour, aroma and freshness.
Different brewing methods require different size coffee grounds, for example, an espresso machine will require a much finer grind than a French press. Also different coffees and roasting styles affect the optimum size of the grounds. Even humidity and different batches of coffee require adjustment for optimum espresso extraction.
Does it make a huge difference? Yes, no matter what brewing method you use! At first I thought I would buy pre ground coffee, I soon discovered that the labeled “for espresso” was too coarse and no matter how much I dosed or tamped the coffee ran through too quickly. So I went to the place I bought my espresso machine from and they ground some beans for me. I then had the opposite problem it was too fine and hardly any coffee came out, it was over extracted and bitter.
I eventually bought my own grinder and I could not believe the difference it made to the taste of the coffee, it was surprising. Having your own grinder is a huge advantage. The ones you need are burr grinders. Stay away from the cheap blade type they do a poor job.
Like most things the higher the cost the higher the quality and you will get a more uniform grind which will result in greater consistency in your coffee.
Also the higher quality grinders tend to be quieter have finer adjustments of grind size are faster include automatic dosing, visual styling and last longer.
Which ones? You really need to start spending around $190 AUD like the Sunbeam em480. Check out this great Burr Coffee Grinder Review on entry level grinders. I have upgraded my grinder to a Mazzer mini electronic. It’s a fantastic grinder, quite, fast, accurate and less mess.