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To grind or not to grind?

It is inhumane, in my opinion, to force people who have a genuine medical need for coffee to wait in line behind people who apparently view it as some kind of recreational activity.
Columnist Dave Barry

There can be little doubt that ground coffee is infinitely better than instant – and don’t even get me started on those so-called cappuccino sachet thingies – bleurgh!

But is there really a difference between buying good quality, fresh ground coffee and freshly grinding your own beans?

Ground coffee, coffee beans

Ground coffee, coffee beans

My 8am cuppa was the time to find out. I got some coffee beans (Countdown’s Signature Range, so nothing fancy), to compare with my regular Avalanche ground coffee. I like Avalanche because it’s a pleasant kiwi-produced Fair Trade and organic coffee which tends to cost the same as most other ground coffees – but I digress.

Ground coffee pack versus coffee bean pack

To grind or not to grind?

I have a little grinder which I use mainly for grinding spices and grains in bread. After a quick blast my beans were finely ground and smelt so good! This is one definite upside to grinding your own beans!

Then they went into my espresso machine, which makes a pretty good long black, though not as strong as a stove-top Moka coffee pot would make.

Both my long blacks looked good, with a nice crema on top.

Long black

Long black – made with freshly ground beans

I would love to say that there was a clear winner in terms of taste. In truth, I enjoyed both of these cups of coffee. The freshly ground one was the one I found myself finishing, so perhaps that’s the winner.

How about you – do you find yourself loving the sensuous ritual of grinding the beans, or is it just too much hassle?


The other winner in this little experiment is my Dosa-Caffè – an Italian device, which I suppose would translate to ‘Coffee Doser’. I brought this one back from my last trip to Abruzzo.

Basically, it’s a container to store your coffee in. But it’s cunningly designed to put a ‘dose’ of coffee in your Moka coffee pot or espresso machine without spilling a drop. You place the Dosa-Caffè onto the Moka and turn the lever. It opens, letting coffee fill the Moka, then closes again, so there’s no mess.

No idea if you can buy these in shops here – but I recommend them to any espresso drinker!


Dosa-Caffè / Coffee-Doser


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