It is important to choose the right coffee grinder for your church coffee ministry. How coffee is ground is crucial to the brewing process and different coffee brews require different grinds. If you are concerned with serving great church coffee then you need to make sure that the coffee grind matches the desired brewing method you are planning on using.
If you are going to use a brewing method that exposes the coffee grounds to the heated water for a long time, such as a french press, a coarser ground coffee is best. If you use too fine a coffee grind, this method of brewing will result in a bitter-tasting cup of coffee. However, if a coarsely ground coffee is not exposed to the heated water long enough, the coffee will be weak and flavorless.
First, you’ll need to decide if it is even worth it for your church coffee ministry to do your own grinding. You could choose to use already ground coffee in order simplify the process. But, fresh ground coffee will always make a higher quality cup of coffee. If you’re going to grind your own mixer grinder, which I recommend, then you need to begin by selecting the right grinder.
Let’s get started with the basics. There are two main types of coffee grinders for you to consider:
Blade Grinders – These type of grinders are the most commonly used in people’s homes because they are inexpensive. They use a metal blade to chop up the beans. Most of them have a way to set how finely the beans are chopped directly based upon how long the grinder runs. But unfortunately, the sizes of the grounds often vary greatly, leading to an inconsistent brew quality. Also, if some of the grounds remain near the blade too long they will end up with a burned taste because of the heat created by the blades. Blade grinders are great for basic coffee drinkers, but not the best choice for the high quality result that you are striving for at your church.
Burr Grinders – Burr Grinders operate differently than their bladed counterparts. They operate via a moving grinding wheel and a non-moving surface. The beans are gravity-fed from a hopper above the grinder. The setting/positioning of the grinding wheel determines the size of the ground. This allows for a more regulated and consistent coffee ground. In the burr category there are actually two different types:
Wheel Burr Grinders – These are the less expensive of the two. These are a noisier, messier grinder because the wheel can spin very rapidly. They can also be more difficult to clean.
Conical Burr Grinders – These are the best grinders that you can get. They function similarly to the wheel burr grinder. They produce the least amount of friction of all the grinder types, producing a less burned grind. They preserve the coffee oils producing the best flavored coffee. They can also be a challenge to clean, but still better than the alternatives. This is what the best coffee brewers use and it really makes the difference between average and great coffee.
Another major reason in making sure that you purchase the right coffee grinder for your church is the price. Coffee grinders come in a wide spectrum of price points. They can cost anywhere from $20 for a standard blade grinder, up to over $1,000 for a commercial grade grinder like a coffee shop might use. Your church will likely decide on a grinder that falls somewhere in the mid to low price range. Churches will typically only use their grinder a few times a week at most. If you plan on opening an actual coffee shop and bookstore that will be open daily, I would recommend that you consider purchasing a professional grade grinder that is built to endure constant use.
You might also want to consider having two grinders on hand, one for regular coffee and one for flavored. Flavor extracts infused into the beans are nearly impossible to avoid having them carry over into the next batch that you grind of regular unflavored coffee. Some grinders even come with dual hoppers to keep different roasts and flavors of coffee separated.
If you want to make a great cup of coffee for your church members and guests while encouraging interaction and fellowship, then I recommend getting a good coffee grinder. It will improve the quality of your church coffee and it will leave a positive impact on any people who attend your church that do appreciate a good cup of joe. God bless you and your coffee grinding endeavors!