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Coffee comes in a variety of guises from the lovely instant stuff you can get from the supermarket, to the expensive milk laden latte’s from Starbucks/Nero etc to the normal freshly ground coffee you can make yourself at home. This is where the Dualit comes in.
I have loved coffee since I was very young and now as a twenty three year old it plays an even bigger part of my life! Yes, I am aware that it’s not that healthy to drink that much of the stuff, but at least if you are going to drink it then you want it to taste good!
I have owned an espresso machine for a number of years now and more recently I have upgraded to an all in one bean to cup machine, which I shall review separately. Prior to that I had a stand-alone machine, which required me to either use pre ground coffee or purchase a grinder to grind fresh beans.
Initially I purchased a normal grinder from Starbucks, which cost around £10. This was a simple grinder that required you to place the beans in the top and then turn the machine on whilst a blade whirred round and chopped and diced the beans up. On reflection this was a bad purchase. It was noisy and messy and wasted lots of coffee as you could never get it all out from under the blade. It was also unreliable and coffee would often fly out from the poorly fitted lid. A change was in order!
I returned to Starbucks who sell the Dualit Burr Grinder, albeit in a starbucks branded guise. It is the same machine and is made by Dualit and retails for £35 compared to the £70 for the actual Dualit branded item. These machines are identical apart from the name. It’s up to you how much of a brand whore you want to be but a 100% increase for a name didn’t seem worth it to me!
I purchased the grinder and took it home. Instantly as you remove it from the box it becomes apparent that the build quality is fantastic. The machine feels solid and all of the components fit well and feel as if they will last. The machine has three parts. On the top is the hopper where the beans are stored. Although this can contain a large number of beans it is better to keep them in a sealed container for freshness and add, as you need. There is then the machine itself, which contains the burr grinder. Finally there is a small pull out collection box for the ground coffee. This makes the process of maximising your ground coffee a lot easier and makes the transfer to the machine a lot simpler.
After removing the item from the box, setup is easy. All parts drop and clip into place and away you go. After placing the beans in the top there is a small dial under the hopper, which rotates. This determines how coarse you want the beans ground. Depending on your machine be it filter, cafetierre, espresso etc, you can change the coarseness to suit. As I use espresso it needs to be very fine.
Once you have chosen the coarseness you simply turn the dial on the side, which is numbered, based on the amount of cups you will be making. As you turn the dial the machine whirrs into action and grinding commences. The dial will rotate backwards to a stop position once enough coffee has been ground up. You then simply remove the little box and transfer the coffee to your machine. Job done!
Cleaning is also simple. A damp cloth is all that is needed to wipe out the coffee collection area of any loose grounds and then the machine can be put away. It really is that simple.
Why purchase an expensive burr grinder compared to a cheaper blade grinder? You will often hear coffee enthusiasts talk about how you must have a burr grinder for the coffee to taste any good and this really is a noticeable difference. A blade grinder will literally just chop at the beans in a rough fashion until they resemble coffee grounds. There is no uniformed grinding process and the beans will lose a lot of their flavour as they are chopped up in this way. A burr grinder operates with three main burrs. As the beans are pulled through the burrs work together to crush the bean smoothly into an even ground that makes the taste more consistent. As they are crushed rather than chopped the bean retains a lot of its flavour, making the coffee taste that much better.
So in closing I would purchase a burr grinder over a blade grinder anyday. If you also want the quality of the Dualit grinder without the price then opt for the starbucks grinder available in all starbucks stores. If you prefer to have a posh piece of branded kit on your worktop then go for the Dualit which is available in all department stores, Whittard etc. It really is down to you, but if you do get one of these you surely won’t regret it.