Ceramic vs Steel burr coffee grinders.
by Barbara Chacon
A Chemex brewer and Kyocera hand coffee grinder.
I normally use a French Press and just yesterday bought an Aeropress. It's just my husband and I at home, but for when company comes I was thinking of getting a large Chemex.
1) I watched your video on the Kyocera ceramic grinder and wanted to know if you prefer that model over the typical steel grinders that sit atop a wooden box. I would like to start grinding my own beans so that I have the correct grind for whatever brewing method I am using.
2) Would the Chemex use the same grind as the French Press?
First, let me apologize for being so incredibly slow to answer your question. I print all the questions out, as they come in, and somehow yours got totally lost – for over a year!
Sorry about that!
Anyway, you pose a good question. The answer may come too late for you, but hopefully other readers will appreciate both the question and the answer.
In answer to your first question, I do prefer the Kyocera to the traditional box-like grinders with steel burrs. For a couple of reasons.
Ceramic burrs run a little cooler than steel burrs, and there are some coffee experts who think the extra heat burns off some of the oils and impacts the flavor of the coffee. I haven’t noticed this myself, and I’m not sure the argument would even apply to hand-grinding.
For me, the bigger issue when it comes to small, hand coffee grinders is the control – or lack of control - over the fineness of the grind.
The Kyocera gives you fantastic control. By adjusting the screw at the top you can adjust the distance between the burrs a tiny bit at a time. This is great for when you want to switch between grinding coffee for different brewing methods.
My experience with the box grinders is that everything feels a bit looser, and some don’t let you adjust the grind size at all.
As for your second question, no I wouldn’t user the exact same grind for both a French press and a Chemex. For the Chemex you want a grind that is about mid-way between what you would use for a drip brewer and a French press.
In other words, the grind for the Chemex should be finer than what you use for the French press.
My apologies again for the delay in responding!