New Outlets Lead to Better Sounding and Tasting Coffee

Coffee aficionados always grind their coffee before brewing. You should start the grinder first, and then pour the beans in. This ensures the motor is up to speed before it starts, ensuring an even grind and reducing stress on the motor.

Most mornings I’m pretty desperate to taste the first sips of coffee in order to function at all during the day, so I usually start the coffee brewer before the grinder has finished, so that there’s almost no delay between the last grind and the first hot water hitting the top of the pile.

One oddity I had noticed when I first moved in was that turning the coffee pot on slowed down the grinder. The reason seems straightforward. The pot draws ~ 1475 watts, or around 13 Amps. Far more than my entire stereo rack combined, which only gets close to this when I turn the amp on, and otherwise plays around 3 Amps, including the TV!

Anyway, turn on the coffee pot, and the coffee grinder slowed down. Makes sense. The high current draw was causing the voltage to sag (drop) under load. It did however concern me a little so I decided to upgrade all the kitchen outlets. Mind you, this 17 year old house had suffered some use and abuse from prior tenants which made me want to replace switches and outlets anyway. Charred contacts and plastic bits stuck in corroding outlets demanded rehabilitation.

The kitchen outlets were on a 20A circuit, but daisy chained and back-stabbed. Replacing them all with Eaton commercial/residential outlets (including GFCI where required) has in fact had a meaningful improvement in my coffee experience. Now when I turn on the pot the grinder doesn’t slow nearly as much as it used to. Not sure if I can taste the difference, but I can sure hear it and it makes me sleep more comfortably knowing that there’s less heat and loss in the circuit.

Of course, I’ve done the same in the home theater / stereo room as well. Can’t say I’ve measured a difference, but knowing that the poor connections and old outlets are gone makes me happy.

I’m not ready to recommend boutique outlets to anyone, or boutique wiring methods. I am however saying that getting well made (at least Residential/Commercial), modern outlets that are not back-stabbed for an old home is probably more than worth it.

My next step is making sure my microwave and coffee pot are on the same circuit so there's no voltage mismatch.... 🤣🤣🤣🤣


Score one for erik_squires.  It's the little things that sometimes give us the greatest pleasure.  Basic things like stable power in our homes will enhance the performance and longevity of equipment from refrigerators to speakers.  Underdesigned electrical circuits in homes is too common place.  I grew up in an old farm house and in 1972 my mom got her first microwave oven.  This house predated electrification.  The wiring wasn't the best and had to be upgraded but if the washing machine was running and my mom used the microwave, the transformer on the pole down the road would blow a fuse.  After losing power so many times the power company moved the transformer closer to the house.  Problem solved.  Those were the days...

Well done, Eric. I, however, have gotten lazier and after years of grinding my own beans, I have the brewer do it for me in a two pound bag. I've found that at my rate of one cup of coffee a day, it doesn't matter if I grind to beans to preserve freshness or not as it loses its freshness and potency at about the same rate (a week at most). 

After one week, the pre ground coffee tastes the same as if I grind it fresh, once a day. I think what works in my favor is that the beans (or grinds) are roasted the day before I pick them and not sitting on a store shelf waiting to be taken home. Talk about being spoiled.

All the best,

Coffee beans in many cases taste better after resting a few days to a few weeks after they are roasted.  Once ground, they start to go stale after a few minutes.  But this might only apply to higher quality beans and roasting.

Put the grinder and all motors on the dirty leg of the panel. Good Java in my house is mission critical and deserves hospital grade outlet at minimum……

Nuclear attack survivable…would be better….

@sbank  may have more advice…..

"My next step is making sure my microwave and coffee pot are on the same circuit so there's no voltage mismatch"

Microwaves require a dedicated 20A circuit. Apparently, the requirements of a microwave are similar to those of any other heavy-duty appliance such as a refrigerator. You should also include AFCI protection.