When you walk into your favorite coffee shop and you look at the menu, it’s not always easy to know what you’re looking for. But don’t worry, it happens to all of us! Coffee is such a beautifully complex beverage and it comes in many forms, sizes and yes, sometimes colors. No matter what your preference is, your coffee must always go through a basic brewing process. We explain in this blog about the five key factors: Ratio, Water, Turbulence, Time, and Grind Size (this is where Baratza comes into the process!)
“Taste is the ultimate criterion, and taste differs wildly from person to person."
-J Michelman & Z Carlsen
Sprudge Founders from The New Rules of Coffee
Baratza proudly offers multipurpose specialty coffee grinders. That means that they can serve you well for a fine grind or let you adventure into coarser realms. But how do we define that in terms of coffee brewing methods without grouping everything in the wrong place? According to the SCA (Specialty Coffee Association), there are three categories in brewing: Immersion, gravity, and pressure. To keep it simple, think of it as French press is immersion, pour overs are gravity, and espresso machines are pressure. All of these perform the same action - extract the flavors of the bean to a specific concentration of it in a cup, with adjusted grind sizes. See this blog for a better exploration of these terms and how they can affect your brew.
Now that we have that out of the way. Let’s go back to grouping all of those coffee styles and methods. Because all coffee preparation has one thing in common, filtering, it is hard to separate or associate any of the methods using this term “Filter”. We want to simplify the numerous ways to make coffee without limiting the possibilities of each. So in order to help our customers better understand what kind of brewing they can achieve with our multipurpose coffee grinders we have narrowed it down to two concepts - espresso and brewed coffee.
Based on what the specialty coffee community has experienced and learned over the years, these two sets make great sense. Espresso is everything produced by a mechanism that uses pressure and requires a finer grind to extract a perfect concentration of coffee |insert your preferred recipe here|. Brewed coffee is all other extraction methods(i.e Aeropress, v60, Kalita wave, automatic brewers, Chemex, French press, etc.) that use immersion or gravity to produce your favorite cup of joe. This helps narrow the grinding range to two groups with multiple ways of brewing coffee. Dialing your grind to each method will help you define it even more.
The outcomes may vary
Now nothing is perfect and we cannot say this is the absolute standard. Because of this, many people can approach things differently. Take an Aeropress for example - this is one versatile brewing method that could, at any given moment, fit into either category. Perhaps a category of their own? I’ll let you be the judge of that 🙂
Ultimately, it all depends on your taste and decisions you take towards the flavors you desire to obtain. If you google “Aeropress Recipes” you will find that no one is like the other. And there’s a whole world championship just for this one brewing method with tons of different styles. The range is too wide to limit it and it truly is a blank canvas for coffee.
With that in mind, next time you think of your Baratza grinder, think of it as a crafting tool. It enables you to unlock the potential of your coffee beans on your preferred brew. Whether espresso or brewed coffee, the multipurpose range will help you find the best approach to your golden cup. Choose your grinder wisely, it’s kinda like a brush.