Until a few decades ago, every family knew only too well how to grind coffee at home because this was common practice in Italian homes. They would buy their coffee in beans from grocery stores or directly from the roasting houses and only grind it when they fancied a delicious cup of espresso.
Then, gradually things changed and packaging became more and more sophisticated, capable of preserving the aroma for longer. For example, The Espresso Macinato Fresco by Caffè Aiello, has a special flavour-seal valve, designed specifically to protect its unique flavour for a long time.
Resuming this ancient ritual is a treat, not only because you’ll rediscover an all-Italian tradition but also because you’ll then be able to taste an excellent coffee! The reason why is simple: 15 minutes after coffee is ground, most of the aromas have already disappeared. Instead, the whole beans keep all their aromatic properties intact.
Grinding coffee for the moka
Here’s how to grind coffee beans at home and a few secret tips to ensure your technique is perfect:
- Using a manual coffee grinder.
A manual coffee grinder is preferable to the many electric models available, which might be cheaper but struggle to ensure a good result. A manual coffee grinder, costing at least about 130/140 euro, is a long-term investment. All you need to do is load the hopper with the coffee beans and turn the handle that starts the burrs inside.
- Degree of grinding.
The ideal texture of ground coffee is similar to that of table salt. Try touching the powder with your fingers: it should be fine, but retain a slightly coarser component too. If the texture is too fine, the coffee could pass through the holes of the moka filter and end up in the bottom of the cup.
- The right times.
There are two opposing points of view: on one hand those who believe that the beans should be ground and used immediately to make the coffee. On the other hand, there are those who prefer to wait a few seconds. A lot depends on when the coffee has been roasted. If it has been freshly roasted it will contain more carbon dioxide and it is therefore advisable to leave the powder to oxidise slightly and eliminate the quantity of CO2. Ideally, you should aim to use coffees roasted at least two or three days before.
- The quantities.
For each cup of coffee you make, you’ll need a quantity of between 7 and 9 grams of coffee beans, about 2 tablespoons. But it’s also a question of taste: if you like strong coffee, with two tablespoons of beans you can make 180 ml of coffee; instead, if you prefer a milder taste, two tablespoons are enough to make 240 ml of coffee.
How to grind coffee without a coffee grinder
Not everyone has a coffee grinder at home, in fact very few people do. But don’t worry! Here are three valid alternatives:
- The blender.
Put the coffee beans in the jar of the blender and switch it on to obtain the texture you need. With this system you’ll probably only be able to obtain a coarse or medium texture, which is fine if you have a French coffeemaker.
- Mortar and pestle.
Put the coffee beans in the mortar and crush them with the pestle until you obtain the texture you want. It will be hard work but you’ll be rewarded with delicious coffee.
- The hammer.
If all else fails, you can put the coffee beans between two sheets of parchment paper, then hit them with a hammer until you have crushed them to your desired texture.
Now that you know how to grind coffee beans at home to perfection, only one thing is missing for a sublime cup of coffee: a high quality blend. Discover Home Espresso in grains, created with the exclusive Secret Recipe of Gaetano Aiello, to savour he one and only real Italian espresso.