Buyer’s Guide for Commercial Coffee Grinders
After picking out the perfect coffee machine for your establishment, it is just as important to invest in a quality grinder, and even more ideally, in quality grinders.
Most good coffee shops will use a larger, primary grinder for regular beans and a smaller, secondary grinder for special beans like decaf.
If you are going to be switching between more than one type of bean than you will definitely need a second grinder as it will be too much trouble to clean out your grinder each and every time you switch between beans.
Grinders and heat don’t mix
If you expect to be pumping out a lot of coffee every day – say between 30 and 50 pounds a week – then your grinder is going to be working more or less non-stop.
If your grinder can’t handle it, it is going to overheat and this will compromise the end result of your espresso pours. You can either get a backup grinder so that each of your grinders gets a rest every day, or you can invest in a high-capacity grinder that can handle the constant stress without heating up too much.
Smaller, secondary grinders
We recommend getting a commercial flat burr grinder for your secondary grinder. Something like the Fiorenzato F4 or F5, or a Mazzer Mini. Bought new grinders like these could cost you between $900 and $1500, or if you can find them used they will cost you between $450 and $800.
These smaller grinders are recommended for a secondary type of bean that isn’t ordered as often, like decaf, or if you have a restaurant that doesn’t get a ton of coffee orders then a smaller grinder like this should also be sufficient.
Larger, primary grinders
If you have a coffee shop with even a moderate level of output, then you are going to need a larger grinder that can handle more use.
There are two varieties of larger grinders to choose from: conical or flat burrs. Larger flat burr grinders will do just fine for most people, and the vast majority of coffee establishments make use of grinders like these. We recommend the Mazzer Major or Fiorenzato F6.
Conical grinders will generally be larger and more expensive than flat burr grinders. They rotate more slowly than flat burr grinders and are thought to produce better results for pure espresso shots, though for milk drinks the difference usually cannot be detected.
We recommend a Fiorenzato F71k, or a Mazzer Kold or Mazzer Robur E. The flat burr grinders should cost between $1700 and $2800 new or $850 and $1350 used, and the conical grinders will cost between $2000 and $5000 new, or between $1000 and $1800 used.
Please don’t be daunted by these sorts of price tags and decide to invest less and opt for a smaller or lower quality grinder.
The quality of your grinder is just as important as the quality of your machine, so don’t expect your machine to do all the work for you, and don’t think of your grinder as something secondary and less important.
Setting the Grinder
A number of different factors go into the quality of your espresso shots, and the coarseness or fineness of your grounds goes a long way in determining the end result.
A perfect extraction is generally considered to be about 25-30ml of espresso with 5-10ml of crema on top poured steadily for roughly 25-30 seconds. Ideally your crema should hold for about 30 seconds.
If you are not coming up with ideal results like this chances are you are not grinding your beans correctly. If you coffee is too course, it is going to pour too quickly and will taste weak or watery, with little crema or crema that disappears too quickly.
On the other hand if your beans are ground too finely, your espresso is going to drip or sluggishly and take far longer than 30 seconds to pour, and it may end up tasting burnt.
So hopefully this gives you a picture of how important it is to have the right grinder and the right settings to grind your beans just right.
Without this, you aren’t going to be serving great coffee even with the best beans and the best commercial espresso machine that money can buy.
Pierro commercial coffee machines are an Australian owned company manufacturing commercial coffee machines specifically designed for the Australian coffee industry.
If you are looking to buy or rent a coffee machine for your work environment which is simple to use and produces 100% pure espresso then our Pierro corporate coffee machine range is perfect for you.
For more information on The Pierro coffee machine range, for purchase or rental, please contact us direct or feel free to visit our Sydney head office and showroom at 8 – 12 Robert Street, Rozelle NSW 2039.