So, I'm exploring how to make great coffee.

The thing about making great coffee is that it means something different to everyone.  Here's what it means to me:  The coffee is dark and flavorful.  It doesn't taste like it's watered down.  It has a great aroma and makes me smile when I drink it.  I guess this blog is really about how to maximize the 'smile' factor.

I'm no coffee pro or snob.  Just a guy who wants better-than-average coffee.  My colleague Jeremia, who knows a heck of a lot more about coffee than I do, just informed me the other day that the lighter blends actually have more caffeine than darker blends, because the caffeine is roasted out of coffee the longer it roasts.  Now there's a guy who knows his coffee.  To thank him for that pearl of knowledge, I just bought him some raw Luwak coffee, straight from Indonesia.  We'll see what he does with that bad boy.

Today I tested three burr coffee grinders to figure out which one was best: the Capresso 560 Infinity Conical Burr Grinder , Bodum Bistro Electric Burr Coffee Grinder, and Mr. Coffee BVMC-BMH23 Automatic Burr Mill Grinder .  Previously we had been using the Capresso 464.05 CoffeeTeam GS 10-Cup Digital Coffeemaker with Conical Burr Grinder but the coffee just wasn't coming out with enough flavor.

So here's the new plan: Test these 3 burr grinders, pick the one that grinds the best coffee, and then use a Zojirushi Premium Thermal 1.85 liter Carafe, Brushed Stainless Steel carafe along with a No. 6 filter size plastic filter cone (which fits perfectly inside that model carafe) and boil water on the stove to run through it.  (My guess is that the CoffeeTeam GS didn't make "high smile factor coffee" because it didn't ge the water hot enough.  Just speculation on my part though, all I can say is that it wasn't as good).

This new plan is actually going back to the old plan -- my wife and I were boiling water and running it through the filter cone + carafe before with great "smile factor" results, but the burr grinder we had been using, the Black & Decker CBM210 Stainless Steel Burr Coffee Mill/Grinder , was a pain because we had to hold the button down while it was grinding.  It also made inconsistent sized grounds. So after trying the CoffeeTeam GS because I thought it'd be easier (wake up timer!) I'm back to the manual original burr grinder + boiling water + filter cone + carafe approach.  This time, hopefully, with a better burr grinder.

The winner for me was the Bodum Bistro Electric Burr Coffee Grinder because of its hardened steel burr grinding mechanism, ability to easily turn it on & off, and glass holder receptacle.  The  Capresso 560 Infinity Conical Burr Grinder was quieter, but annoyingly, the timer can't be stopped -- you have to wait for it to time out.  The Mr. Coffee BVMC-BMH23 Automatic Burr Mill Grinder was a total fail because of its inferior burr grinder design.

Please leave your own opinions and comments below!  Especially if you have tips on how to make higher smile factor coffee.  Oh and by the way, I put agave sweetener in my coffee instead of sugar (available at Costco).  Lower glycemic index = happier body.

Here's a video where I put the three grinders through the test: