When choosing the best coffee grinders, you’re more likely to get recommended to a model that utilizes burr instead of blades for grinding coffee. A burr grinder crushes beans with a burr between a surface disk and a spinning grinding wheel.
Burr grinders employ a mix of mechanical force and gravity to grind into a uniform powder. The coffee grounds’ uniform size they produce and the grind settings they offer make burr grinders the preferred choice by most. Let’s find out why opting for a burr grinder is better.
Types of Burr Coffee Grinders
There are two core types of burr grinders that you can use: conical and flat.
For burr grinders, the conical type is regarded as the industry standard. The central burr has a cone shape while the outer burr is perforated to produce well-ground coffee consistently.
They have high heat resistance and are energy-efficient, making them an excellent choice for professional and casual users.
Despite these features, conical burrs do not yield evenly ground coffee. If you examine the coffee produced by it under a microscope, you’ll discover varying sizes of beans.
Still, this microscopic disparity will have little to no effect on the overall flavor of your favorite cup of coffee.
Flat burr grinders have two circular-shaped burrs with razor-sharp edges adjacent to each other.
In contrast to conical burrs, which enable the beans to shoot out and remain partially intact, flat burr grinders have a different design. They allow the beans to stay between the burrs until you ground them up properly and symmetrically.
Flat burrs also tend to be noisier than conical burrs and require more heat and energy during the grinding procedure. They are not highly recommended for commercial cafes or home use. They are the better choice for those who are particular about accuracy.
Burr Grinder Modes of Operation
Here are the types of burr grinders according to how you’ll operate them:
Manual burr grinders are typically conical in form and powered by hand. The handle on these grinders spins the conical burr, which means the quicker you crank it, the sooner you’ll have the coffee grounded.
Burr grinders are always used in manual grinders. Since there is no motor, hand-powered grinders are slightly less expensive than other types of grinders.
Given the amount of manual power and time required to grind beans for one cup of coffee, manual burr grinders are best for home and on-the-go use. It would also be challenging to prepare more than two cups of coffee in a short time since the capacity and rate of grinding are not ideal.
On the other hand, electric burr grinders can be flat or conical, and the spinning burrs are powered by electricity. Since they generate uniform grinds at a high pace, these grinders are perfect for commercial applications.
Electric burr grinders are available in various sizes and exterior materials, offering different interface types, overall capacity, and additional features.
The Advantages of Burr Coffee Grinders
Burrs in coffee grinders are often made of ceramic or stainless steel with ridges or teeth on them, making them more durable than blade models. The ridges begin large and with a wide space and gradually get smaller as you move down.
As such, for the beans to move through the burrs, they must first get through the smaller teeth and fit between the two adjacent burrs. Given this grinding procedure, you have a high degree of accuracy over the resulting grind size.
You have the option of adjusting the grind size with a simple alteration of the grind setting. As mentioned earlier, burr grinders still have some particle size variance, but it’s far less prominent than what you can get in a blade grinder.
Burr grinders also generate fewer fines than blade grinders. Since the coffee beans are not crushed but rather grounded, they produce less dust.
The Drawbacks of Burr Coffee Grinders
Burr grinders might be better than blade grinders, but the former has two distinct drawbacks: price and maintenance.
A variety of factors determines the price of a burr grinder. It may have superior burr construction quality, durable material, and motor cooling function.
Entry-level electric burr grinders can cost about $40, but prices quickly increase. A high-quality model is usually priced between $100 and $500.
Given these figures, a good burr grinder is more likely to be expensive than a standard blade grinder. Also, when compared to a typical blade grinder, washing and cleaning the burrs of a burr grinder could take more time and effort.
The Perfect Grinder for Your Coffee
At this point, it’s hard to argue that burr grinders are far superior to blade grinders and other types due to some key features. Burr grinders allow you to vary the grind size from fine to coarse, provide better consistency, and produce less dust. When you combine these qualities, there should be little to no doubt that the burr grinder is better for brewing coffee.