Last Updated on October 24, 2023 by Pablo Barrantes
We all want the best quality coffee, but this depends greatly on its extraction. Even if you use an exceptional coffee bean and a good espresso machine, the final result can be deficient if you do not have a good grinder.
The good news is that this can be solved; just by using a couple of tools, you can improve the coffee extraction, even to the point of achieving an extraction similar to that you could obtain with a professional grinder.
Here we will analyze 5 of these tools to see which improves coffee extraction and flavor, taking your grinder to a higher level.
Why buy accessories for coffee preparation?
The main reason is that they can improve your preparations. Baristas widely use some of these tools, but they can also be very useful at home for those who want to improve the quality of their coffee.
First, we must understand that when extracting coffee, we are squeezing the oils from all those ground coffee beans, which have really beautiful flavors inside, that come out with the pressure of the machine and the hot water.
That said, if we can extract more of those tasty, juicy flavors, that would be ideal. And it is this that leads us to invest in some of these tools to help us improve our coffee. The question is to know how to make the right investments, buying useful ones to improve the extraction of coffee.
It makes no sense to buy an expensive tool if it is only going to improve coffee extraction by 1%; on the contrary, it can be the case that a cheap tool can improve your coffee by 20%, making it the perfect tool for your home.
5 Accessories that are used to improve the extraction of coffee
Currently, we see more and more people using diverse methods to improve the extraction of their coffee. We see things like beating, distributing, sifting, using funnels, etc., but not all of them guarantee good results, and many times, they still have a terrible extraction.
Some tools can work to improve the work done by the coffee grinder and the coffee machine, raising its level to that of a professional machine. Below, I will talk about the most common tools and their effectiveness in obtaining a better extraction.
Use of a cradle to tamp uniformly
Something very important that influences the extraction and the final flavor of the coffee is to sift it evenly. If you compact the coffee at an angle, more on one side than the other, it will cause some ground coffee beans to be under-extracted and others to be over-extracted. This results in very bad flavors in the cup as a product of the channeling.
This tool was designed to prevent this from happening. The Cradle serves as a support or base to help you keep the tamper perfectly positioned in the filter holder basket. This way, you don’t end up over-compacting or unevenly compacting, so it doesn’t allow you to do anything other than compact flat.
A Chisel to distribute coffee evenly
After grinding the coffee, we place the Chisel on the filter holder basket and rotate it. This will help you distribute the coffee evenly before compacting it. The basic function of the distributor is to settle the coffee to the depth you prefer to avoid irregularities and channeling.
However, this accessory never meets my expectations. Every time I use it with a cheap grinder, I notice that the extraction is uneven and very slow, obtaining rather bitter coffees. So, I don’t think this coffee distributor is the best of these tools.
For me, it has the problem that it only distributes the coffee on top of the basket, in the top five millimeters. But all the coffee in the base might still have uneven parts, so it may not reach deep enough into the ground beans to help spread and mix them around.
A coffee sifter for a uniform coffee grind
This tool allows all the micro granules or particles of the ground coffee to have a specific and ideal size to achieve a cleaner coffee. It is originally designed for sieving and comes with different sieve sizes for you to choose the one that best suits your needs.
A coffee tumbler to distribute the coffee evenly
The Coffee Tumbler is composed of two pieces; one is used as a base, and the other is placed inside this base to move the ground coffee. When the inner piece is removed, lateral and up-and-down movements are made inside the base to distribute all the coffee evenly.
When using this tool, I notice that the coffee is clumped, so I have to use my fingers to distribute it evenly. But I think this is due to the cup’s design, as it only clumps up in certain areas. However, by using this cup, you get a good extraction.
So the coffee tumbler works well, but I must say that they are not economical, require a little more effort, and are more delicate. But I am 100% convinced that this is a tool everyone should use in their home.
Use a needle whisk to distribute the coffee
This tool is essentially a series of acupuncture needles attached to a stand that has been blunted a bit to avoid accidents. The idea is to use it to distribute all the ground coffee manually.
It is important to remember that with this tool, a coffee collector should also be used to give an extra edge to the portafilter and prevent the ground coffee from falling over the edges. The first thing to do is to fill the basket with the coffee, place the coffee collector over the filter holder and then insert the whisk into the coffee to begin to whisk it back and forth.
The coffee becomes light and fluffy as you whisk it because you break up all the lumps that form and distribute the coffee beans evenly. Once you have finished beating, you can proceed to sift.
When I use this tool, I notice that the extraction forms immediately in the center and very evenly. There is not much color variation, which looks better than other methods. So, paradoxically the cheapest tool of all, in my opinion, is the best.
After comparing all these tools, I will stick with the needle coffee whisk, this is my favorite tool, and I recommend it, especially if you want to start with precision coffee.
Even if you have a cheaper grinder, you can combine it with this tool, giving you the best results. Best of all, it won’t cost you an arm and a leg, but it will significantly improve your coffee extraction, and that’s all you need.