Grand Larseny

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Grinding Perfection

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

So there’s been some substantial news and hubbub in the coffee world that I love so dearly. Mark Prince, high priest or the people’s best friend, announced the imminent availability of a scale-driven grinder from quality home enthusiast manufacturer Baratza. This is big news.

For a long time now (at least the couple years I’ve been paying attention) the coffee world has been pushing the importance of knowing the mass of coffee and water used when brewing. We’ve heard talk of integrating scales in espresso machines, in water boilers (and has happened), and now there’s the first bit of momentum with scale-enhanced grinders.

But not all is wine and roses. Cool heads have looked to pour cold water on good enthusiasm. Steve Leighton has his eyes on the prize, wanting the industry to put its resources into grind quality:

I really wish someone would build a great grinder before producing an ok one with a set of scales built in

He’s right, of course. Sizzle sells, but the steak matters. There are other ways, many other ways, to weigh ground coffee. You can time it, grind a pre-weighed amount, or even weigh after grinding. The point is, we can get around a lack of scale-based grinding on our own. We cannot get around poor grind quality.

But this isn’t a zero-sum game. There’s more than one grinder manufacturer! So, Baratza is making a scale for their grinder. Great! Uber is making a better grind.

And that’s how a healthy industry operates. Way to go, team!

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