After a bit of market research,I recently treated myself to a coffee machine via mail order. This one was made by Cuisinart, they describe it as a 'grind and brew'; the machine was able, it said, to use beans and pre-ground coffee. There was a glass serving jug and the machine itself had a neat design.
Because the 'grinder' was designed as part of the water piping system to the coffee filter, it was necessary to dry out the 'grinder' after making coffee whether the 'grinder' was used or not.
If you used pre-ground coffee, the 'grinder' was not used in the preparation of coffee, but as said, all the gizmos associated with making coffee got wet, irrespective of what type of coffee was made.
Beans, good quality beans, did not work well at all; the end product, the coffee drink, had a distasteful flavour. You might consider this strange. I did, and so I set about trying out different approaches to creating an acceptable brew, for example, using less or more coffee beans, less or more water, and filtering more slowly to extract flavour.
The crunch came when I brewed a number of cups from the good beans, when I had visitors. The coffee tasted really peculiar, no-one finished their cups and everyone politely refused top ups.
I have a coffee bean grinder which is more than twenty six years old. Using it, I did the experiment and ground some beans. The resulting grind of beans was then transferred to the machine for filtering. Guess what! My coffee tasted like it should have, and why, because this new 'grind and brew' machine really only functioned acceptably as a basic filter coffee machine, an expensive one at that.
When I queried the abilities of the new machine, I was told the 'grinder' chopped, it did not grind. This was a surprising revelation! Why then is it marketed as a 'grind and brew'? It chops and brews. Had I realised this, I would not have bought the machine. Chopping and brewing.... now I know why the machine produced an unpleasant coffee drink when I used coffee beans. It seems to me, the marketing of the machine relies on ignorance. It is just an expensive coffee filter machine with a chopper in it.
If anyone wishes make a filter coffee brew with their own ground beans, then use a real grinder, one made for the purpose, a burr grinder, manual or electric; then take a jug and use a filter on top, or, use a cafetiere, or buy a basic coffee filter machine. These are much more economic options for obtaining an enjoyable cup coffee than the machine I tried out.
I have learnt a lot about the technicalities of burr grinding, (since the unfortunate purchase I made) and why burr grinding is best for protecting and retaining the flavour and aroma of a roasted coffee bean.