So, this is hardly going to be the sexiest blog post about coffee, but it's an important and often overlooked process that greatly affects your morning cup of coffee. It's relatively painless and only takes about 10 minutes to do. You will absolutely be glad you spent a little quality time with your coffee grinder. Let's get our hands dirty...
So here is what we are starting with. This is my Capresso Infinity burr coffee grinder that I use at home every day. Can't even begin to imagine how many pounds of beans this thing has ground but it's probably in the billions. All different origins, all different roasts, it's been quite a work horse for me.
First things we want to do is remove the grinds hopper and then the beans hopper(pictured above). The beans hopper you will want to clean with warm soapy water. If your hopper is especially stained from coffee oils(if you are a daily dark roast drinker, chances are this is the case for you), you will want to use a product like Urnex to cut and remove the coffee oils. Simple soak the hopper in a warm water solution with the Urnex for a few minutes and then wash with warm soapy water. Set aside and let dry.
Once you have the bean hopper off, you will want to remove the burrs. Depending on your make and model of grinder, this can be a simple or slightly frustrating process. With the Infinity, you just pull the burr ring right out. It's very simple to use and clean, which is why I like this grinder so much.
As you can see, the burr ring is heavily soiled with residual grinds, oils, and chaff from the coffee it has ground. Sacrifice a cheap tooth brush here(some grinders come with a small brush to do this as well)and dust off as much of the grinds as you can. This will save you time later in the cleaning process if you can get this as clean as possible now.
You are going to want to "sweep" out the grinder here as well. Turn it upside down and give it a few taps as well.
Reassemble the grinder and put the clean and dry hoppers back in. Get yourself some minute rice and set your grinder to it's coarsest setting. Add a few tablespoons of minute rice to the hopper and turn on the grinder.
This is what I got from my first batch of minute rice. Lots of coffee bits in there. Now you want to set your grinder to it's medium fine setting and keep running rice through until you stop seeing coffee particles come through. I used about 70% of a 6oz box of minute rice to clean my grinder. Your mileage may vary, but that seems like a good amount and it cost all of 79 cents.
Here are the burrs after running through the minute rice. Notice the burrs are free of any coffee grinds or oils? The residual coffee oils stuck on the burrs are likely rancid from the coffee your ground 11 months ago, and those same burrs are grinding your fresh coffee every day. See why this is important?
That's better. The next step is to sacrifice some of your coffee to remove the residual particles of rice that are now on the burrs. Run a few tablespoons through and you should be good. Also make sure to clean out the grinds hopper again as well as you won't want and rice getting into your morning cup.
And that's really it folks. Pretty simple and doesn't take all that long. Want to reward your self for a job well done? Treat yourself to some of our freshly roasted specialty coffees! Click here!