A common saying in the coffee industry, ‘get only the best’ when it comes to coffee accessories, Coffee grinders are one of the most important pieces of coffee equipment you’ll own. Yes, that’s true, a good grinder changes your coffee experience for the better. The grinder gives you the ability to be able to determine your coffee’s flavour and strength. Your coffee will be more flavourful and delicious.
First thing is first, how many types of grinders are there anyway? We have three main types of grinders used currently:
1. Manual Grinder
2. Burr Grinder
3. Blade Grinder
As the name states, we grind manually using this grinder by turning a crank or lever when grinding. We do not need any electric power source for this so for camping lovers, this is a life saver!
This grinder uses a blade to cutup the beans into small granules through a high speed propeller with blades. Here the longer you grind the finer your coffee grounds become. This usually generates a lot of heat and uneven grind that it affects the consistency and overall taste of your coffee. If you want something that’s less expensive simple and don’t need a lot of adjusting and settings, this one usually does it for you.
Here, coffee is ground through pressure as it passes between two surfaces or burrs and is crushed against these static surfaces with a grinder wheel. Position of the burr determines the coarseness or the fineness of coffee grounds. This technology is heaven sent to the coffee industry as now, we can control and determine the kind of coarseness which we want (as different brewing methods have different coarseness)
Nowadays, you can even set the amount of grams which you desire.
There are two main types of burr grinders: Flat burr grinder and conical burr grinder.
a) Flat burr Grinders are made up of two donut shaped burr rings that lay flat on each other with angled horizontally aligned grinding teeth between the rings. The distance set between these rings determine the coarseness size of the grind. This design allows the coffee beans to stay between the burrs until they are perfectly and symmetrically ground up. flat burrs are usually loud and utilize more energy and heat during the grinding process, this usually works against them in their competition against their brother the conical burr grinder. However when it comes to precision, the flat burr grinder is the master.
b) Conical Burr Grinders have cone-shaped centre burrs with an outer serrated burr that helps produce well-ground coffee time and time again. Here, one burr sits inside the other and grindings vertically. The conical Burr has less noise, and produces less heat when its grinding which is an advantage it has over flat burr grinders. If put under a microscope, conical burrs do not grind evenly ground coffee, there is different sizes of bean in the mix. While this won’t impact the overall taste of your cup of coffee, some people count this as a disadvantage.
Overall, burr grinders are usually the go to option for professional baristas and coffee enthusiasts to get the best out of their coffee. You can adjust the grinder according to brewing method and taste you want to achieve, there is consistency in the grind, and durability and good quality grinder. However not many grocery stores or retail stock carry these in stock and some of them can be quite pricey.
Using the right grinder with the right grinder settings will significantly improve your coffee experience. In a nutshell, one should get the best quality grinder they can afford. Thanks to technology and the manufacturing industry, there is a couple out there.