10 Things to Know about Coffee
5. The blade vs. burr debate. Blade grinders chop beans into bits, yielding grounds of varying sizes, leading to an inconsistent brew. Burr grinders, little millstones, grind beans to a uniform size between two plates. And you can adjust grind size according to your own brewing method. Coffee aficionados like the more costly burrs for that reason.
8. Check your pot's math. A standard cup measure is 8 ounces, but it's obvious to the eye that many 8- and 10-cup coffeemakers use a different measure. Some use a 6-ounce standard; some, even less. Check the manual or test your pot because you want to use the right coffee to water ratio. See #7 above.
Medium Grind: best for auto-drip machines.
Fine Grind: best for espresso or cone filters.
10. Who gets fair-trade dollars? Fair-trade coffee is certified to come from small farmer cooperatives that are paid a premium of 10 cents per pound (20 cents for organic). You absorb that cost—plus another 5 to 10 cents for the certifying agency.