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and I love stovetop coffee:

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Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Electricity In My Coffee Beans

Following up on my last post, I did a Google search on "statically charged coffee". Seems I'm not the only one with flying coffee beans! Click the title of this post to read the whole article.
Electricity In My Coffee Beans
Have you ever rubbed your head really fast and watched the hair on your head standup? Perhaps you have walked across the carpet in your socks dragging your feet and when you touch a doorknob you get zapped. This is static electricity and it will be present almost any time two objects or elements move past each other. In the winter when the air is cooler and dryer, static electricity becomes more prominent.

Our guide will talk about the different types of coffee grinders giving most of the mention to burr grinders. Static electricity can be a problem when using some high-speed burr grinders because they will produce “statically charged” coffee grounds, which cause them to literally leap out of the grinder onto your counter, or at least stick to the inside of the coffee grounds catcher. The good news is that you never have to worry about getting zapped by your grinder because the amount of static is so low, it only affects to coffee grounds. Moisture and warmer climates typically reduce static electricity. Statically charged coffee grounds can be an annoyance, but the reward of good coffee makes it worth the hassle.

There are a couple of remedies that will reduce the static problem if you are becoming annoyed by it. First consider using darker roasted coffee beans because the added moisture will help dissipate the static causing electrons more quickly. Some folks suggest moistening a few beans (with water or a spray bottle) and throwing those in the mix of beans before grinding. Yet others suggest taking a dryer sheet like Bounce or Snuggle Soft and rubbing the outside of the grinds catcher before opening. Moistening the grounds was really the only thing that worked for us, but I suppose the dryer sheet is worth a try.

The bottom line is that static electricity is a problem for a lot of coffee grinders, but we find it to be less of a problem with higher quality grinders.



Blogger Colleen Macleod said...

Cut a piece of tinfoil about an inch wide and as long as the roll of tinfoil. Drape this half in and half out of the container where the coffee falls when after it is ground. This almost eliminated the flying coffee grounds. Just shake the grounds off the piece if foil hanging inside the container.

12:36 PM  

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