Workflow With a Single Dose Grinder vs Traditional Hopper Style

Workflow With a Single Dose Grinder vs Traditional Hopper Style

What is a single dose grinder?

Simply put, a single dose grinder differs in two main ways from traditional grinders. First, they do not have a container (like a hopper) to store beans. The intention is that the user only puts into the grinder the beans that they intend to grind right away, no more, and certainly no less (thus a single dose). The second main difference is that they are designed to reduce the retention of grinds so that when you put 18 grams of whole bean into the grinder, you get 18 grams of ground coffee out. Many grinders retain up to a gram of ground coffee inside the burr chamber and the grind chute and that ground coffee will sit and quickly lose aromatics and go stale.

Why use a single dose grinder?

Single dose grinders have become incredibly popular for home coffee enthusiasts in the last few years. In general, storing beans in a hopper is less than ideal as it exposes them to light and oxygen which speeds the process of the beans going stale. In a commercial setting, this issue is not of great concern because with the volume of drinks they produce, beans never sit in the hopper for too long. The average home user, however, is not turning over beans fast enough in their hopper to avoid the effects of degradation over time.  To solve this problem new grinders have come to the market to make single dose grinding practical.

What differences can I expect in my routine if I switch from a traditional grinder to single dose?

This is an important question because we want you to know what to expect when you buy one of our grinders. You need to know that a single dose grinder requires a slightly different routine or workflow. Naturally, each user might approach their routine differently, but this is a breakdown of what we have found produces the best and most consistent results:

  1. Weigh your beans: many people use a dosing cup for this, or some users prefer a ceramic bean tray. If you don’t already have a scale, we highly encourage you to buy one regardless of whether you use a traditional or single dose grinder. Read more about scales in our article Demystifying Coffee Accessories.
  2. Ross Droplet Technique (RDT): This step is optional, but a few spirts of water with a spray bottle has proven to reduce the mess caused by statically charged grinds.
  3. Grind your beans: pour the beans into the grind chamber. Some people argue that it is best to hot start the coffee grinder, this just means to turn the grinder on and pour the beans in while the burrs are spinning.
  4. Transfer to portafilter: If you are grinding into a dosing cup you would transfer the grinds to the portafilter
  5. Distribute grinds: No matter what grinder you use, traditional or single dose, using a distributor can help tremendously in achieving consistency in your espresso. Read more about distributors in our article Demystifying Coffee Accessories.
  6. Tamp: Pack those grinds nice and tight.
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