As a premiere sales and service company for commercial espresso equipment, one of the easiest ways to determine the category of espresso machine someone should consider is by discussing the grinder they will be using with their machine. Often under-valued, the type of espresso grinder will determine the challenges a barista will face when attempting to deliver a quality consistent product. For many, the grinder seems to be a very simplistic machine and therefore, not as imperative. Ultimately, the espresso grinder can, and often will, undermine even the best espresso machine. A lot of the basics about espresso grinders are covered in our article “Commercial Espresso Grinder Guide.”
For many, the grinder is a simplistic machine and therefore, not imperative
Consider the La Marzocco GS3 espresso machine. You can take a look at it here. By far, this espresso machine offers home baristas superior tools and is considered one of the best home model espresso machines offered in the U.S. The most significant feature of the GS3 is its ability to define brewing temperature. For years, baristas have battled consistency in their beverages because of temperature variations. The GS3, and other precision espresso machines , solves this problem by integrating a tool, often referred to as the PID however, there are also other technologies, which allows baristas to set their exact brewing temperature.
Temperature variation is, now, all but a thing of the past. The problem that inhibits most from the GS3 and almost any other precision espresso machine with this feature is cost. The GS3 comes in at a price close to $7000 and pricing only goes up from there. If the expense for precision temperature brewing is impractical for your operating volume or business model, you are not alone, but here is the good news, consistent brewing temperature is a very important aspect to espresso style brewing, just not the only aspect.
Dosing weight, water volume and brewing time are also equally important and two of those aspects are addressed first, during grinding. Your espresso grinder is the piece of equipment that is not only responsible for dosing weight, it also impacts brewing time by the even cutting of the individual beans. Dosing weight and brewing time, two of the four aspects of your roaster’s profile.
A common misconception is that the cost of an espresso grinder should proportionally decrease with the price of an espresso machine. There are two types of grinder dosing styles, traditional or manual, which utilizes a dosing chamber and on-demand, in which beans are ground only when needed for brewing.For the traditional dosing chamber to dose effectively, the dosing chamber needs to be full. Unfortunately, unless you are producing a lot of beverages, this will typically mean, your grounds will be left to age and deteriorate in the dosing chamber.
A common misstep in thought is. the cost of an espresso grinder
should proportionally decrease with the price of an espresso machine
If you have yet to close out the GS3 page, go back and view the grinders La Marzocco is suggesting with their GS3. Did you notice what was missing? Grinders with dosing chambers. La Marzocco and many other manufacturers understand that if consumers are placing a higher value on their coffee by selecting machines such as the GS3, accurate measured dosing and product freshness, found with the espresso grinder, will be obligatory.
If you cannot afford a precision espresso machine such as the GS3,
does it reason that accurate measured dosing and product freshness are no longer important to you?
The next prevalent misunderstanding is considering the purchase of a smaller grinder to save money to afford the best espresso machine. Trying to save money by purchasing a grinder too small for your application only means your grinder will quickly over heat. Heat is very bad for a food product, especially fresh coffee beans that have been roasted to perfection. If your grinder is too small or not made for commercial use, the best espresso machine and barista will only compensate for so much. Ultimately, your beverages will be inconsistent and taste bad, too.
There is a lot to consider when selecting a commercial espresso grinder, such as dosing style, thermal elements and size.
The point to all this is, that you will never be as satisfied with any espresso machine unless
you place careful consideration with your espresso grinder.
Before you select the best espresso machine, first, select the best espresso grinder. As you begin shopping for espresso equipment, declare a budget, know your traffic or potential traffic patterns and speak with a knowledgeable sales and service person. Acknowledging your espresso grinder’s significant role in espresso style brewing, is your first step in greater satisfaction in the espresso machine you ultimately select?
If you missed the first part of our series “The Best Espresso Machine” you can take a look here: The Best Espresso Machine Series – Your Coffee or continue on to part 3 “The Best Espresso Machine-Your Barista”