Hi guys!

I am going to be putting a pourover bar in our new shop and would like to hear what choices I have as far as grinders are concerned. Will I be able to use our bulk bean grinder? Thanks for any help you have to offer!

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Hi Suzanne, the short answer to your question is, Yes, you can use your bulk grinder for a pour over bar. Depending on what kind of grinder it is, it might even be very good.

What you are looking for in a pour over grinder, or really any high quality grinder for that matter, is consistancy in the particle size of the ground coffee and robustness/reliability of the grinder mechanisim itself. Our shop uses a "bulk" grinder for our pour over, a 20 year old Mahlkonig VTA-6 "R2D2". It's big but it does a great job. I also think a Grindmaster 875 is a fantastic all around grinder. It won't do espresso so well but does a great job on the courser grinds and is well built. If you are using fresh roasted coffee and have done a bit of experimentation to dial in the coffee/water ratio then there is no reason that you cannot achieve good results in your pour over method of choice with the grinder you already have. What you have to gain by going to a precision grinder is a cleaner cup profile because the extraction will be more even from the consistancy of the particle sizes. It really depends on how the coffee tastes right now and how much you want to spend to make it taste different. One thing that people over look is that small differences in coffee preparation will have a big impact. Before you go buying a new grinder make sure your preparation technique is dialed in and consistant. A gram plus or minus on the dose will make a differance. An ounce more or less of water will make a differance. 3 degrees and less in water temp will make a difference. Spending $3000 on a grinder is not a guarantee of great coffee. Start with what you have and let the coffee lead the way.
Thanks so much! We have not yet opened or purchased any equipment so I have some freedom in what grinder we choose. I think our equipment list right now calls for just a Bunn bulk bean grinder for retail coffee grinding. I don't know if that can be precise enough for pourover. I assume I could use the grinders you mentioned for the retail coffee grinding as well?

Thanks!

Mike Sabol said:
Hi Suzanne, the short answer to your question is, Yes, you can use your bulk grinder for a pour over bar. Depending on what kind of grinder it is, it might even be very good.

What you are looking for in a pour over grinder, or really any high quality grinder for that matter, is consistancy in the particle size of the ground coffee and robustness/reliability of the grinder mechanisim itself. Our shop uses a "bulk" grinder for our pour over, a 20 year old Mahlkonig VTA-6 "R2D2". It's big but it does a great job. I also think a Grindmaster 875 is a fantastic all around grinder. It won't do espresso so well but does a great job on the courser grinds and is well built. If you are using fresh roasted coffee and have done a bit of experimentation to dial in the coffee/water ratio then there is no reason that you cannot achieve good results in your pour over method of choice with the grinder you already have. What you have to gain by going to a precision grinder is a cleaner cup profile because the extraction will be more even from the consistancy of the particle sizes. It really depends on how the coffee tastes right now and how much you want to spend to make it taste different. One thing that people over look is that small differences in coffee preparation will have a big impact. Before you go buying a new grinder make sure your preparation technique is dialed in and consistant. A gram plus or minus on the dose will make a differance. An ounce more or less of water will make a differance. 3 degrees and less in water temp will make a difference. Spending $3000 on a grinder is not a guarantee of great coffee. Start with what you have and let the coffee lead the way.
Hi Suzanne, you can definatly use the Bunn grinder. It's right in the same caliber as the Grindmaster 875. I'm assuming that you are looking at a G1, G2, or G3. I would suggest getting your Bunn rep to loan you one for a day and make some coffee on it to see what you think. Like I mentioned, how precise you are in your technique will make a huge difference in the final cup quality. In order to dial in your technique you will need to use the same grinder for a while. One question I would have is what is your budget? Can you realisticly step up a notch in your grinder or are you already maxed out? You might also see about socking away some cash reserves so that as you get immersed in the coffee world you will have the ability to upgrade your equipment if it seems neccesary. The biggest improvement you can make on quality is in how much attention you pay to the equipment you have. Regardless of whether it's "cool" or not. Or well regarded by "coffee geeks". Use what you have. Get to know what you have. Make the best coffee you can with what you have. At that point, when you can no longer get better results from what you have, you can upgrade. If you wait for that point then you will not waste your money. People make really bad coffee all the time with expensive equipment.

And vise versa.
Thank you!

Mike Sabol said:
Hi Suzanne, you can definatly use the Bunn grinder. It's right in the same caliber as the Grindmaster 875. I'm assuming that you are looking at a G1, G2, or G3. I would suggest getting your Bunn rep to loan you one for a day and make some coffee on it to see what you think. Like I mentioned, how precise you are in your technique will make a huge difference in the final cup quality. In order to dial in your technique you will need to use the same grinder for a while. One question I would have is what is your budget? Can you realisticly step up a notch in your grinder or are you already maxed out? You might also see about socking away some cash reserves so that as you get immersed in the coffee world you will have the ability to upgrade your equipment if it seems neccesary. The biggest improvement you can make on quality is in how much attention you pay to the equipment you have. Regardless of whether it's "cool" or not. Or well regarded by "coffee geeks". Use what you have. Get to know what you have. Make the best coffee you can with what you have. At that point, when you can no longer get better results from what you have, you can upgrade. If you wait for that point then you will not waste your money. People make really bad coffee all the time with expensive equipment.

And vise versa.

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