Smart electric coffee grinders: technology

What are smart coffee grinders? Today I'm going to tell you about innovations in coffee grinding technology. What you may encounter with electric coffee grinders and why you want these features in your grinder too.

Where did the electric coffee grinder come from?

To start, let's take a quick roundup of the history of electric coffee grinders. We start counting these from 1903, when an Ohio company: HobartElectric Manufacturing Company sells its motors to dealers, who, with the help of Hobart representatives, attach them to large flywheel hand grinders. The first electric coffee grinders are born.

It is an absolutely basic electric grinder technology, with the grinding stones gradually gaining in tooth edge quality. Ventilation is added, and over time manufacturers work their way up to the electric grinders we know today.

On this time line, I would add the date 1920, the founding of the legendary Italian Eureka. Aurelio Conti, founder of Conti Valerio srl. whose brand Eureka, or rather those mills, is known all over the world, started a century ago with the production of home appliances with an emphasis on quality handmade "Made in Florence". And this is still true today.

Then we have 1924, when Mahlkönig starts to set the rules in the world of quality coffee grinding. Let's quickly recall 1954 - Ditting realised that he was better with coffee grinders than with cars. In 1981,Anfim entered the world of espresso grinding. Ditting and Mahlkönig agreed on this and in2000 the Hemro Group was formed.

And to make it complete, the Mythos grinder reigned supreme in coffee shops in the new millennium. It appeared back in 2013 and has been coming in new and more refined models ever since. As is the custom of the Simonelli group, or rather their Victoria Arduino brand.

Features of electric coffee grinders

The basis of the grinders:

  • coffee hopper with closure
  • adjustment of grinding coarseness (step, micrometric)
  • start/stop button
  • holder for portafilter

Coffee grinding on time

The first clever feature beyond the necessary basic equipment of electric grinders is automatic coffee dosing. This is determined by the grinding time, or you set how long it takes for the grinder to stop grinding.

The grinding time is usually enteredusing a designated button or knob. With display grinders, setting the grind time, and thus the coffee dose, is easy. You add or subtract seconds on the grinderscreen.

Grind by Weight

A more interesting dosage setting is a function referred to as GbW (Grind by Weight) or Gravitech or gravimetrics. The amount of coffee ground is determined by its weight, not by the grinding time.

Measuring the coffee dose by actual weight has undeniable advantages over conventional grinders with timers. First of all, it is faster calibration of the grinder, which also saves coffee waste caused by fine-tuning the correct grinding time.

Next, it's all the grinding changes during the day, like

      • adjusting the coarseness of the grind,
      • heating up the grinder,
      • the amount of coffee in the hopper.

Each of these things directly affects the amount of coffee ground. If the grinder is not governed by the resulting weight ofthe coffee - gravimetry, then the grinding time for the same gravity of coffee at the output changessignificantly.

The disadvantage of gravimetry in grinders?

That will be the need for greater care when handling the grinder. This is to avoid affecting the weighing if another object leans on the weighing mechanism.

DDD? Disc Distance Detection Technology

The three "d's" stand for an innovative technology that reads Disc Distance Detection throughout its name. It is a function to detect, check and adjust the true distance of the grinding stones.

Adjusting the fineness of the coffee grind is more precise with this technology. You don't change the grinding grades, you change the actual spacing of the grinding stones.

Coffee grinder with smartphone

Apps. Where would we be today without smartphones with apps? That's why grinders are also learning to communicate even more effectively and enjoyably than just in the interface of their small display (if they have one). Via Wifi and your smartphone with the Mahlkönig app, you can discuss the ideal coffee recipe with your X54.

Blow Up System for coffee grinders

In recent years, the coffee world has been dealing with grinder retention. That is, what the grinder "eats" out of your coffee. To prevent coffee residue from accumulating inside the grinding mechanism, coffee technology manufacturers have come up with ideas to minimize coffee grinder retention.

There are a number of ways of improving grinders in this regard, with varying degrees of effectiveness. These include perpendicular or inclined positioning of the grinding stones combined with manual knocking out. But also the use of purging the grinding chamber. This is where the hoppers with rubber folding attachment, the so-called Blow Up System, come in. When the attachment is pressed (these are single dose mills or hoppers), air is forced through the mill and thus cleans the grinding chamber.

The future? Dual and multiple grinding

The way forward in the development of electric grinders is to think first and foremost about consistency in the ground coffee. This is why more and more perfect grinding stone materials and geometries are being developed. But also multi-grinding technology is being developed.

The idea is that you achieve better homogeneity in the ground coffee by grindingto several degrees of coarseness continuously in succession. Such a grinder contains multiple grinding stones, between which the coffee passes gradually. It is ground coarsely in the first grind, and finely at the end according to the preparation requirements.

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