Coffee people are spritzing their beans with water before grinding them. For a while now, any sort of spray bottle was intimately wound up with hand-sanitiser in my head (gosh darn pandemic), so I am happy to have a way to reframe it, however odd it may seem.
Now, I don't know about you, but one of the main pieces of information I was fed about grinders when we started in the industry, is that you shouldn't use water to clean them, because moisture is the enemy. So, when I saw this trend, it took me a second to get my head around it.
I began to ponder what I know about water interaction with beans before you brew them.
I know that spritzing is a thing when hot beans come out of a roaster, to help cool down beans quicker before storage. So ok, there's some moisture there.
I know that beans shouldn't be stored in the fridge for fear of moisture and need to be properly sealed when freezing to avoid it too.
And I now know that coffee professionals around the world whom I respect are purposefully spritzing a fine layer of water over their beans before grinding to reduce wastage and help with weight accuracy from beans to grinds! How? Well it reduces static which means grounds don't get stuck on the walls of your grounds chamber as they come through the burrs.
Ok, so things to note when trying this at home:
The spraying should only be done on the portion of coffee you are about to grind. It's an immediate kind of thing otherwise the coffee will in fact be negatively impacted by the moisture.
You should spritz before you put beans into your grinder funnel, otherwise sticking can happen
It could be a small and inexpensive change to your home coffee brewing routine that freshens up your brewing a bit!
James Hoffman, always entertaining, explores the final details below.