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Personal Coffee Grinders for Light to Heavy Home Use

When it comes to coffee grinders, "you get what you pay for" is generally true, but there are a few caveats that go with that, depending on how you use your coffee grinder. In general, the heavier the coffee grinder, the better. That's because large & heavy motors in coffee grinders produce lots of torque at a relatively slow speed. Coffee grinders with large motors have enough power to grind the coffee beans without heating them up. Of course, heat will damage the flavor of the coffee.

If you are just grinding coffee for yourself, or just for yourself and a partner, a smaller coffee grinder in the $100-$200 range will be adequate. But if you intend to grind lots of coffee, you will burn out the small coffee grinders much sooner than you will the large coffee grinders. The very inexpensive coffee grinders are meant more for occasional (not daily) coffee grinding, or for the regular grinding of spices and other condiments.

So heavy weight in a coffee grinder is good, but a small coffee grinder can be adequate, depending on how much coffee you intend to grind. The final caveat is about the "dosing" function in coffee grinders. While the dosing function seems to be an "added feature" in a coffee grinder, and hence, "better," this might actually be a bad feature in your coffee grinder depending on your lifestyle. See the text following the icons below for a word about the dosing feature in coffee grinders.


Should You Get a Coffee Grinder with a Doser?

Some coffee grinders are "doserless" coffee grinders, and some coffee grinders come with a "dosing function." In fact, there are many coffee grinders that are sold both ways, with the "doser" being an added feature. A doser is a mechanism within the chamber of the coffee grinder that will dump a fixed dose of ground coffee out of the coffee grinder chute with the pull of a lever.

If you look into the chamber of a coffee grinder, you will see the dosing mechanism. The dosing mechanism is at the bottom of the chamber. It is basically a rotating cylindrical disk having (usually) six triangular dosing compartments in it. The loose coffee grounds in the chamber of the coffee grinder will fill these dosing compartments. Each compartment in the coffee grinder holds one dose of ground coffee.

Pulling the dosing lever on a coffee grinder simply causes the dosing disk to rotate one sixth of a revolution (60 degrees) so as to discharge the coffee in one of the six dosing compartments from the coffee grinder. A dosing compartment should hold ounce (7 grams) of ground coffee. For the dosing function of a coffee grinder to work correctly, the chamber of the coffee grinder needs to have plenty of ground coffee in it (more than half a dozen doses).

In coffee shops, where they make hundreds of coffee drinks and espresso drinks a day, the dosing function is a very convenient feature to have in all coffee grinders. All that the barista needs to do is to pull the dosing lever on the coffee grinders to get the right amount of coffee.

At the end of the day, the ground coffee remaining in the chamber of the coffee grinder has to be removed and discarded. (In many shops, they will use the leftover ground coffee to make iced coffee.) This lost coffee is not much overhead for a coffee shop selling hundreds of coffee drinks.

But if you are using a coffee grinder to grind coffee at home for yourself, you are probably better off with a doserless coffee grinder. After all, the entire reason to buy a coffee grinder is so that you can have freshly ground coffee.

You would not want to grind a half dozen doses of coffee in the morning with your coffee grinder just so that the dosing function in your coffee grinder will work. Especially not if you are just going to make two or three cups of coffee. You would be much better off having a doserless coffee grinder, and grinding exactly the amount of coffee that you intend to use. This way, you will not have ground coffee left over.

So if you are just buying a coffee grinder for your own daily personal use, skip the "dosing" feature, and save some money.

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