A coffee grinder is one of the most prominent kitchen apparatuses coffee lovers own, or at least everyone who adores a good cup of coffee from freshly ground beans. But with the various grinders on the market, one question lingers in most coffee lovers' minds: Do different types of coffee grinders make a difference?
The answer is yes. The difference might be slight and unrecognizable to a beginner in homemade coffee, but a barista notices. Other grinders vary in grind uniformity, coffee retention, and grain size.
Why is the type of coffee grinder important?
If you adore flavorful coffee like we do, you'll appreciate a good coffee grinder in your kitchen. A coffee grinder makes your life better in two ways:
- Aroma. Freshly ground coffee grains make a more aromatic and delicious cup of coffee than the pre-ground stuff. Whole coffee beans preserve the oils, chemicals, and aromas, giving you an exciting experience while preparing and drinking your morning fix.
- Variety. A grinder lets you choose the grain size to match your morning cup of joe. You can adjust your grinder depending on what you want to make: French press coffee, espresso, cappuccino, etc.
What are the different types of coffee grinders?
Any coffee grinder you find in the market falls under the following categories: Blade grinder and Burr grinder. The two categories are further subdivided into grinding options according to the type. Here are a few options for Burr grinders:
A blade grinder has an oscillating blade that slices the beans into tiny grains. A manual blade grinder requires you to spin a handle continuously until you get the grain size you need. Older model blade coffee grinders don't typically have a grain size mechanism. The coarseness or fineness of the coffee grains depends on how long you spin the handle.
The electric version of a blade grinder requires little effort on your part. You add the beans to the grinder, connect to a power source, switch it on, and the blade slices the beans the way you like them. These grinders are usually more of an investment than burr or manual.
In a burr grinder, two sets of serrated plates swing back and forth as they grind your coffee beans. You can buy a manual or an electric version, and, like blade grinders, they each provide you with a satisfying brew of coffee.
To grind beans with the manual model, you put the beans in the holding compartment and set the grain size by turning the burrs clockwise or counterclockwise, securing the lever, and spinning it. Manual burr grinders are cheap, durable, and you can carry them outdoors.
The electric burr grinder is automatic. You'll add the beans to the grinder, set the grain size on the knob, and switch on the equipment. The beans will grind, and after achieving the set rain size, the grinder stops. It yields uniform grain size, giving you a coffee with a balanced flavor.
Drawbacks to burr grinders are their loud noises and sometimes a lack of durability.
Conical vs. Flat Burr Grinders
Burr grinders fall under the conical and the flat burr category. In the conical burr grinder, the two grinding plates are not identical. The outer one is serrated, while the center plate is cone-shaped. A conical burr grinder is cheaper, quieter, and produces less heat. The coffee product of such a device contains a mixture of refined and courser grains, making such grinders great for espresso.
On the other hand, a flat burr grinder has two flat doughnut-shaped plates with serrated edges. The two plates move back and forth, pressing on and grinding the coffee beans into uniform size grains. One thing that makes this grinder unpopular is the loud noise and increased heat when grinding.
But the uniform grains of the ground beans produce a proportional flavor, giving you the perfect beverage.
Ceramic vs. Steel Burr Grinders
Burr grinders, whether manual or electric, can come in two forms: the traditional steel burr and the modern ceramic burr grinder. Ceramic burr grinders are cheaper and more attractive. However, they chip easily, especially if your coffee beans contain harsher minerals and you grind them together mistakenly.
Steel burr grinders are more affordable than ceramic ones. On the downside, they dull quickly, making you replace your grinder sooner. They also overheat, which could change your coffee's flavor.
Grinding Out the Perfect Cup
The type of coffee grinder you have makes a world of difference. Be careful when choosing which type of grinder is right for you. Remember to look for convenience, durability, and overall blending capability. One cup of coffee can make or break your day, so choose wisely.