Weight - the metric that should have been used all along, for perfect coffee flavour.
Stripped back to their most basic elements, recipes for a great cup of coffee will usually begin something along the lines of:
(x) grams of coffee + (y) millilitres of water + (z) amount of time
Of course, any barista can attest there’s quite a lot more to it than that! It often involves an exacting amount of precision, one common aspect of which involves weight (x) and when preparing the perfect cup, best practice is to carefully weigh your grind output prior to tamping.
Here’s the problem though... Until only a few years ago, coffee grinders mostly operated on a timed basis (e.g. 11-second intervals). This rarely guarantees identical weight outputs and often gives inconsistent results. It’s a bit like making toast when you’re on holiday – you might know your toaster at home will prepares the bread perfectly at the no. 3 setting; but the same setting elsewhere leaves you with charcoal!
As such, the exacting barista will weigh their output separately, every time; if the weight is incorrect, the process is repeated until satisfied - a time consuming and potentially wasteful endeavour… and this is where a grind-by-weight (GBW) coffee grinder comes to the rescue! With built-in scales, a GBW grinder will grind to an adjustable pre-set weight - not just saving time and reducing wastage but helping to ensure that crucial consistency of your coffee’s flavour.
Some of the best examples recently have been the Fiorenzato F64 XGi and F83 XGi grinders, their sleek design encompassing high-tech advances that ensure fast and efficient espresso at no compromise of quality. However, there is another machine that has eyes already turning to the horizon: the Mahlkonig E65S GBW is due to arrive (in Australia) next month, and the reports of its robust construction that handles high volume workloads and delivers a silent grind, has accrued great anticipation within the professional community.
Notably, both the Fiorenzato and the Mahlkonig are compatible with PuqPress attachments (the M3 and M4 models respectively), allowing for further enhancement of workflow consistency and improvement. This compatibility, and the none-too-late shift from timed grinding to GBW, are just further examples of evolving standards within the industry, that are helping baristas maintain flavour perfection in every cup of coffee.
What are you're thoughts on GBW grinders? Let us know in the comments below.