Discover which burr coffee grinders are best suited to what you require.

Learn why burr coffee grinders are widely regarded as the better grinders!

Grinders can be divided into two basic groups – the blade grinder and the burr coffee grinder. On this page we will discuss the attributes of the burr grinder.

But first....

....grinding of coffee is an important step in the whole process of getting to our perfect cup. Using the wrong grind with any particular method of brewing, will result in a completely different tasting brew.

You never know, you might discover a new sensation!

But seriously though, I guess that over the years the masters have got it pretty much sorted out.

The primary consideration when grinding coffee, is a specific and consistent granule size. This determines the degree to which the flavor is extracted, as well as how the water flows through the granules.

Once the bean has been roasted, a process is started, whereby gas and flavor is lost. Once we grind the beans, this process is vastly accelerated, simply due to the larger areas exposed to the air. With this in mind, it makes sense to grind what you need just before you need it, and only as much as you need.

Another factor is the amount of heat generated during the grinding process. The less heat the better, as too much heat promotes the loss of aromatic oils that enhance the final flavor.

Burr coffee grinders

The burr coffee grinder works on the same principle as "milling". The beans are crushed between two grinding "burrs", one of which is stationary and the other rotates. Most burr grinders can be adjusted to vary the grind size. That allows us to grind specifically for the different brew methods.

This adjustment is made by moving the grinding burrs - the closer the burrs come together the finer the grind. Conversely the grind gets coarser the greater distance between the burrs.These grinders are generally accepted as producing the most consistent and uniform coffee grind.

Burr coffee grinders are sometimes referred to as coffee mills. Personally I like to think of the wonderful little hand grinders as mills, and electric grinders as burr grinders.

Example of burr grinder

Whole coffee beans are loaded into a hopper, from where they are fed into the burrs and broken down into smaller pieces. These pieces are broken down further until they are small enough to pass through the smallest space between the burrs and ultimately out of the grinding mechanism.

One of the added benefits is the fact that because of the consistency, not much "dust" is generated. This is good for two reasons.

  • 1. Dust generated in grinding can clog filters used in the brew.

  • 2. Dust also gives an added and perhaps unwanted bitterness to the brew.

The burr coffee grinder comes in two distinct formats. The flat plate burr gets its name because of the way the burrs resemble two plates stacked on top of each other. The conical burr is a similar set up, but with cone-shaped burrs instead of flat ones.

Both styles are used in home and commercial grinders. The flat plate burrs are used on all qualities of grinders, from the low priced high-speed grinders all the way up to the low-speed direct drive commercial grade grinders. The conical burrs are usually used on the very low-speed gear reduction grinders.

Have some fun!

We can look into so much of this "info", but in the end coffee is about being indulgent!

- It's about having fun!
- It's about relaxing in your particular "haven"!
- It's about experimenting.

Your particular flavor and texture preferences will be different to anyone else. So in the end it is all about what you want and the way in which you get the most enjoyment.

We have lots of fun experimenting with blends, methods, coffee makers and grinders – sometimes we end up with the most awful swill. BUT sometimes we have the most delightful tongue tingling experiences imaginable.

Things to bear in mind......

....... when looking for which burr coffee grinder to buy, remember to check what sort of sound is emitted. Some models purr like a "persian cat" lying on a velvet cushion. There are also some which sound remarkably like my old cat, who in turn sounded much like a badly tuned lawnmower struggling to stop from cutting out. My precious old "Socky" was a bit of a street fighter – and had the scars to prove it!

Depending on what style of coffee you want to grind for, make sure your grinders adjustment settings can cope with that.

Be aware that if you encounter static problems, you could have grounds fly all over the place.

The speed of the grinder can be a factor to look at, as the faster it is, the more likely to increase the bitterness as discussed earlier.

But in the end, we will probably be guided by price. Just know that you will get what you paid for.

Move on to Blade Coffee Grinders

Move on to Antique Coffee Grinders

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