The majority of high-end coffee grinders used for espresso dose by time, yet all official SCA standards are defined by weight. Commercial manufactures have started offering Grind By Weight grinders to ensure dosing is done more accurately and efficiently.
Are Grind By Weight coffee grinders worth the extra cost? The Barista Technology team investigated the pros and cons of Grind By Weight (GBW) grinders to see if they are worth considering over conventional time-based grinders.
When considering the most basic elements, recipes for a great cup of coffee will usually begin with:
(x) grams of coffee + (y) milliliters of water + (z) amount of time
Of course, any professional barista can attest there’s quite a lot more to it than that! It also involves an exact amount of precision, one common aspect of which involves weight (x). When preparing the perfect cup, the best practice is to carefully weigh your grind output prior to tamping.
Until recently, coffee grinders mostly operated on a timed basis (ex. 11-second intervals). This rarely guarantees identical weight outputs and often gives inconsistent results. It’s a bit like making toast – you might know your toaster at home will prepare the bread perfectly at the no. 3 setting; but the same setting at your work leaves you with charcoal!
A barista will weigh their output separately, every time; if the weight is incorrect, the process is repeated until satisfied - a time-consuming and potentially wasteful endeavor. This is where a grind-by-weight (GBW) coffee grinder comes into play! With built-in scales, a GBW grinder will grind to an adjustable pre-set weight - not just saving time and reducing waste but helping to ensure that crucial consistency of your coffee’s flavor.
Examples of GBW grinders include the Fiorenzato F83 GBW grinder, it's sleek design encompasses high-tech advances that ensure fast and efficient espresso at no compromise of quality. The Mahlkonig E65S GBW grinder offers a robust construction that handles high volume workloads and delivers a silent grind, which has accrued great anticipation within the professional community.
Both the Fiorenzato and the Mahlkonig grinders are compatible with PuqPress attachments (the M3 and M4 models respectively), allowing for further enhancement of workflow consistency and improvement. The shift from timed grinding to GBW is just one example of the evolving standards within the specialty coffee industry that are helping baristas maintain flavor perfection in every cup of coffee.