7 votes

For aeropress, which one is the better upgrade: Better grinder or temperature control kettle?

Hi, I'm pretty new to browsing coffee at home.

Currently using aeropress, timemore c2 titanium, and electric gooseneck kettle with no temp control.

The coffee I'm making is pretty good (to my novice taste buds) but I'm looking to elevate that. I'm planning on upgrading either the the grinder or the kettle.

From what I understand, grind quality can affect taste, but consistent water temperature should also help improving workflow and taste as well.

Which one do you think is the better upgrade in terms of producing better coffee?

For grinder I'm now considering 1zpresso K-plus. For kettle, I'm looking at Timemore fish kettle.

Thank you.

25 comments

  1. [7]
    knocklessmonster
    (edited )
    Link
    Grind first, temperature can be less precise than you expect, 5-10 degrees of temperature will have less effect than notches/dots/however a certain grinder is indexed, and the resultant grind...

    Grind first, temperature can be less precise than you expect, 5-10 degrees of temperature will have less effect than notches/dots/however a certain grinder is indexed, and the resultant grind size. Also, it will come down to what you think tastes good anyway. But the best adjustment is to get the grind right, especially for a novice. I'm not particularly advanced and keep my budget small (Aeropress, Hario Skeleton with a brace mod that has been incorporated into the new skeleton. Across methods I use from pour-over, Hario V60 (slightly different, faster pourover), moka and Turkish pot, grind, IMO, is the biggest thing to affect quality.

    I don't know anything about the super expensive grinder you're referring to (I Googled it and saw the price), but my point is simple: grind will have the biggest effect, temperature second. As a novice you should probably just with with what you have to find what tastes best, as well.

    EDIT: I stand by my opinion, but was under the impression OP was referring to an expensive hand grinder. The recommendation of an electric is irrelevant, but that would be a grinder I would recommend.

    10 votes
    1. [6]
      cancycou
      Link Parent
      Great insight, much appreciated. Grinder is definitely on the expensive side 😅 but I really like the way it sets grind size setting. It's on the outside. It's an absolute position setting (no more...

      Great insight, much appreciated.

      Grinder is definitely on the expensive side 😅 but I really like the way it sets grind size setting.

      It's on the outside. It's an absolute position setting (no more reset to zero before resetting), should make it much easier to experiment with grind setting. It's also supposedly much faster to grind.

      Although, according to a lot of reviews (who seems to know what they're talking about haha), the Comandante C40 produces the best tasting coffee.

      I guess I need to save up to buy a new grinder haha

      2 votes
      1. [5]
        knocklessmonster
        Link Parent
        Unless you need a top-notch travel setup you may be better served by something like a Baratza Sette 30 for around $300. It's a "starter" grinder but it also removes your hand from the equation. If...

        Unless you need a top-notch travel setup you may be better served by something like a Baratza Sette 30 for around $300. It's a "starter" grinder but it also removes your hand from the equation. If you're getting serious about coffee you'll likely be getting an electric anyway, so you may as well make the jump now.

        1 vote
        1. [4]
          wervenyt
          Link Parent
          The 1zpresso they're looking at has a much better burrset than anything Baratza offers, as far as I understand. An electric grinder which gets as well reviewed as the K-Plus would probably start...

          The 1zpresso they're looking at has a much better burrset than anything Baratza offers, as far as I understand. An electric grinder which gets as well reviewed as the K-Plus would probably start around $500.

          On the other hand, this is aeropress brewing. The aeropress really doesn't need anything fancy, so the Sette would probably make no difference.

          1 vote
          1. [3]
            knocklessmonster
            Link Parent
            Any hand grinder review is usually going to be against hand grinders, which all have varying wobble issues. The best minimize them, but powder happens. Any electric burr grinder will be more...

            Any hand grinder review is usually going to be against hand grinders, which all have varying wobble issues. The best minimize them, but powder happens. Any electric burr grinder will be more consistent than a hand grinder because the motor only moves in two dimensions.

            I also somehow took a wrong turn and found a $350 grinder looking it up, but I would still say it would be better to learn the great grinder one has on hand, and focus on finding the perfect grind, especially if one is simply looking at another grinder in the same price point as what one already has.

            1 vote
            1. [2]
              wervenyt
              Link Parent
              I mean, plenty of people compare high end hand grinders favorably to low end motorized grinders. Yeah, a great electric grinder will be better than a great manual one, but if you want to make...

              I mean, plenty of people compare high end hand grinders favorably to low end motorized grinders. Yeah, a great electric grinder will be better than a great manual one, but if you want to make espresso, for example, you're not gonna get a decent motorized grinder under $300.

              I would still say it would be better to learn the great grinder one has on hand, and focus on finding the perfect grind[...]

              I don't really follow. What do you mean, learn the grinder? Dial it in?

              1 vote
              1. knocklessmonster
                Link Parent
                Yeah, I mean dial it in, especially since OP is talking about two similarly priced grinders. My comment was written when I'd somehow thought the OP was referring to a $300 manual grinder.

                Yeah, I mean dial it in, especially since OP is talking about two similarly priced grinders.

                My comment was written when I'd somehow thought the OP was referring to a $300 manual grinder.

  2. [4]
    scrambo
    Link
    I'll echo what knockless said, as well as drop a link to a video James Hoffman did a couple years ago comparing some of the hand grinders. Grind is the next most important aspect to control after...

    I'll echo what knockless said, as well as drop a link to a video James Hoffman did a couple years ago comparing some of the hand grinders. Grind is the next most important aspect to control after the coffee beans.

    I switch from Aeropress to V60 and back depending on how much effort I want to put toward coffee that morning. I would imagine kettle upgrades are more about workflow than coffee taste. I'm thinking about upgrading my kettle situation, since I can't pour a damn V60 without losing a 3rd of the kettle to water tension drips.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dn9OuRl1F3k

    5 votes
    1. [3]
      cancycou
      Link Parent
      Thanks, I also looked at Hoffmann's channel about brew temperature. https://piped.kavin.rocks/watch?v=K_r5kpXPRYo Seems like brewing with boiling water is pretty much ok for light to medium roast...

      Thanks, I also looked at Hoffmann's channel about brew temperature.

      https://piped.kavin.rocks/watch?v=K_r5kpXPRYo

      Seems like brewing with boiling water is pretty much ok for light to medium roast coffee. So I guess I'm gonna sticking with my electric gooseneck kettle haha.

      3 votes
      1. [2]
        knocklessmonster
        Link Parent
        A good rule of thumb I've found for tea and coffee is when your water gets loud (you'll hear it), your water is ready, and somewhere around 165-180. The size of the bubbles on the sides of the...

        A good rule of thumb I've found for tea and coffee is when your water gets loud (you'll hear it), your water is ready, and somewhere around 165-180. The size of the bubbles on the sides of the kettle also sort of indicates temperature, but you can Google that. Typically you don't want boiling water (I'm not sure of when Hoffman says to ever use it that hot), but you can get away with it.

        Run your kettle and listen for it to start going WOOOSSSHHHHH. If you take the temperature at this point you should be somewhere between 165-180.

        1 vote
        1. stu2b50
          Link Parent
          Hoffman actually quite often suggests boiling water, especially for lighter roasts. For instance, there's a video he made straight up with the title Brew your coffee with boiling water - coffee...

          Hoffman actually quite often suggests boiling water, especially for lighter roasts. For instance, there's a video he made straight up with the title

          Brew your coffee with boiling water - coffee brewing temperatures explained.

          Now, I think that's mostly for pour-overs, where the water will naturally cool off quite quickly, although I believe he does boiling for french press as well.

          Of course, you'd never want to do espresso at boiling but you wouldn't be using a kettle for that.

          2 votes
  3. Rocket_Man
    Link
    I'll go against the grain and recommend a temperature control Kettle. It might not be the biggest thing to improve your coffee. But something like this gooseneck Kettle makes it much easier to...

    I'll go against the grain and recommend a temperature control Kettle. It might not be the biggest thing to improve your coffee. But something like this gooseneck Kettle makes it much easier to experiment with temperature. It also allows for easier consistency if you're not just boiling water. Plus it's essential if you're ever going to try drinking tea.

    4 votes
  4. stu2b50
    Link
    Definitely a better grinder. Grinder is incredibly important for coffee. Now, Aeropresses are more forgiving than most brewing methods for this - even with a bad grinder, or a grinder that only...

    Definitely a better grinder. Grinder is incredibly important for coffee. Now, Aeropresses are more forgiving than most brewing methods for this - even with a bad grinder, or a grinder that only gets to fairly coarse ranges, you'll still make good coffee since the immersion is more forgiving in how coffee is extracted.

    But grinder is probably one of, if not the most, important variables in making coffee. If you ever switch to a v60, for instance, or certainly something like espresso, not being able to grind fine enough is an easy way to make a light roast taste like a sour mess.

    I don't think temperature matters as much comparatively, and it's much easier to just splash in some cold water to bring the kettle temperature from a boil to 90F or 80F.

    4 votes
  5. [3]
    wervenyt
    Link
    For an aeropress, you don't need a temperature controlled gooseneck kettle OR a grinder that'll run you over USD 100. Boil the water, let it stand for a minute if the coffee is a dark roast, and...

    For an aeropress, you don't need a temperature controlled gooseneck kettle OR a grinder that'll run you over USD 100. Boil the water, let it stand for a minute if the coffee is a dark roast, and let the brews steep for 4+ minutes, and you're gonna get a near identical brew with that K-Plus as you would a Hario Skerton.

    If you plan on going further into coffee as a hobby, into pourover, espresso, Turkish, etc, then buy the grinder. If you like hot beverages in general, coffee, tea, yerba mate, etc, then buy the kettle. You'd need both for "proper" V60 brewing anyway, but you only need the grinder for drippers with a slower drawdown.

    EDIT: Sorry, completely missed your second sentence. If you have a Timemore C2, the 1zpresso isn't gonna be a noticeable improvement in aeropress brewing.

    3 votes
    1. [2]
      cancycou
      Link Parent
      Thanks. I just went through Hoffmann's YouTube channel, and it does seem like immersion brew is much more forgiving on grind size and quality. https://piped.kavin.rocks/watch?v=09fNvoQMlGw I guess...

      Thanks.

      I just went through Hoffmann's YouTube channel, and it does seem like immersion brew is much more forgiving on grind size and quality.

      https://piped.kavin.rocks/watch?v=09fNvoQMlGw

      I guess if I do upgrade to 1zpresso,what I'll improve is more on speed and workflow (grind setting, magnetic catch cup, etc)

      1 vote
      1. wervenyt
        Link Parent
        Yeah, it looks like a generally very nice grinder. I'd consider it if I didn't already have a Lido 3. Remember, the coffee is what you should be splurging on. Equipment is mostly marginal outside...

        Yeah, it looks like a generally very nice grinder. I'd consider it if I didn't already have a Lido 3. Remember, the coffee is what you should be splurging on. Equipment is mostly marginal outside of silly things like V60 brewing and espresso. Silly, wonderful things.

        1 vote
  6. [9]
    tomf
    Link
    Like others said, you don't really need a temp controlled kettle. Your grinder is fine. If you want to improve it, you could upgrade the burrs. One thing you might want to try is a metal filter. I...

    Like others said, you don't really need a temp controlled kettle. Your grinder is fine. If you want to improve it, you could upgrade the burrs.

    One thing you might want to try is a metal filter. I have this one and like it. Metal filters are nice because they let the oils through, which leads to a richer cup. A lot of beans benefit from this.

    You can also get into making your own water if you really want to tweak something. You can look up remineralized water recipes -- there are a lot. Most involve making a mix of bicarb, epsom salt, and distilled water, then cutting that with more water. [more info]

    3 votes
    1. [8]
      cancycou
      Link Parent
      Thanks. I actually also have Fellow Prismo, but I usually still add paper filter on top of the metal filter. I'll try to brew without the paper filter. Also thanks for the water info, that's very...

      Thanks.

      I actually also have Fellow Prismo, but I usually still add paper filter on top of the metal filter. I'll try to brew without the paper filter.

      Also thanks for the water info, that's very interesting.

      2 votes
      1. [7]
        tomf
        Link Parent
        oh nice. How is the Prismo? I know one guy who has it, but doesn't like it. It seems like a good idea. For metal vs paper, I find that paper is better for brighter, lighter roasts with citrus,...

        oh nice. How is the Prismo? I know one guy who has it, but doesn't like it. It seems like a good idea.

        For metal vs paper, I find that paper is better for brighter, lighter roasts with citrus, floral, etc notes, where the metal is better for chocolate, tobacco, earth, etc. That being said, I've had either work well with the other.

        My recipe / method -- 17g / 250g, just below salt grain, 208˚ water (tap, but really good quality), 3m30s w/ 30s press into a mason jar then poured into my warmed mug. Its a longer extraction than most people do, but I like it and it works well with most beans.

        2 votes
        1. [6]
          cancycou
          Link Parent
          I don't use Prismo for its intended use, I think haha. I use it mostly to replicate inverted brewing, but without the flipping. Thanks for sharing your recipe. I'll give it a try ☕

          I don't use Prismo for its intended use, I think haha.

          I use it mostly to replicate inverted brewing, but without the flipping.

          Thanks for sharing your recipe. I'll give it a try ☕

          2 votes
          1. [5]
            tomf
            Link Parent
            haha. I think that's how everybody is using it. I'm still waiting for my eventual flip disaster. :)

            haha. I think that's how everybody is using it. I'm still waiting for my eventual flip disaster. :)

            2 votes
            1. [4]
              NaraVara
              Link Parent
              I've been flipping for at least 5 years now and haven't dropped it once. (Watch me drop tomorrow). The bigger issue I usually run into is agitating too enthusiastically and getting some coffee...

              I've been flipping for at least 5 years now and haven't dropped it once. (Watch me drop tomorrow).

              The bigger issue I usually run into is agitating too enthusiastically and getting some coffee grounds spilling over into the threading which then stops the filter holder from screwing into place properly. So then I'm fumbling trying to get those little granules of coffee out of that little groove and by the time I finally get the filter screwed on it's already been extracting for like, 2 extra minutes and oh God where did all the clean mugs go?

              2 votes
              1. tomf
                Link Parent
                I never understood how the flip spills happen. I always put the cup on top and flip it all together, though. The Clever Dripper looks neat, but its basically what we're doing.

                I never understood how the flip spills happen. I always put the cup on top and flip it all together, though.

                The Clever Dripper looks neat, but its basically what we're doing.

                2 votes
              2. [2]
                wervenyt
                Link Parent
                My flipping disasters have only ever been caused by an excess of air expansion in the chamber. If you want to stay safe, don't leave >1/3 of it empty.

                My flipping disasters have only ever been caused by an excess of air expansion in the chamber. If you want to stay safe, don't leave >1/3 of it empty.

                1 vote
                1. NaraVara
                  Link Parent
                  Yeah. I get that it makes people anxious but unless you have tremors or something I don't know why it would give you trouble. If you can hold something in one hand and turn a doorknob with the...

                  Yeah. I get that it makes people anxious but unless you have tremors or something I don't know why it would give you trouble. If you can hold something in one hand and turn a doorknob with the other it shouldn't give you trouble.

                  1 vote