Oh look it’s coffee o’clock!
Life can bring you situations where you may have a “Y” in front of you and have to choose what road to take; either left or right. You may say, “Which way should I go?”. You see, the coffee life brings us to situations where we too may be presented to a “Y” and are forced to make decisions. Among those decisions comes the topic of choosing a grinder. As a subtopic to grinders there is a “Y” decision to make, burr or blade grinder.
…and no, you can’t just grind coffee in the food processor. 🙂
Today we are going to talk about this – why burr grinders are better than blade. So if you have questions regarding this subtopic of grinders, then you have come to the right place.
Burr Coffee Grinders vs Blade Coffee Grinders
Any barista or coffee enthusiast will tell you that in the assembly line of a perfect cup of joe, one of the most important piece of equipment is the grinder. Coffee professionals tell us that we should be buying our grinders first.
Regardless of your opinion on this suggestion by coffee professionals, the point is that we should be focused on and prepare ourselves to the end product of our cup of coffee. When people think this, they reckon the coffee beans to be the most important part. As you see, we fail to realize that poorly ground coffee beans will bring you problems in the taste of your coffee. Good beans need and deserve the right grinding for the right process.
What’s the Difference Between Burr and Blade Grinders
A blade grinder is pretty easy to explain. They have a propeller-looking blade in the center of the grinder itself. It is a lot like one that you would find in a blender.
A burr grinder is made up of two abrasive surfaces that revolve (those are the burrs), in between which the coffee beans are ground most likely a few beans at a time.
Flat & Conical Burr Grinders
There are two different kinds of burrs found.
The flat burrs, as you see above, are different from the conical burrs but they both do the same thing: grind coffee. The distance between the burs can be changed which will change the size of the coffee bean grounds. Conical burr grinders have two cone shaped burrs with ridges that grind (a more correct word would be-crush) the coffee beans, while the flat burr grinders have two flat, identical, and face-serrated rings; these are the flat burrs. One of them is stationary. The other one is turned by the grinder motor. Conical burr grinders are leaned on by experts and I believe I agree with them on this.
What One Is Better?
Coffee professionals lean more on burr grinders over blade because more uniformity in the grounds is achieved. Not only that, but you have more control over the uniform size with burr grinders than you do with blade grinders. A consistent grind is much harder to achieve with a blade grinder, especially if you want a coarser ground of coffee bean. Experts highly recommend burr grinders, especially for anyone who is making coffee using the french press method or even the pour over method. Although blade grinders are cheaper than burr grinders, the coffee-educated people will express the need of going to burr. Blade grinders aren’t very consistent in their grinding of coffee beans and doesn’t make quality coffee. You never know what you will get with blade grinders. You may get variations in your coffee bean grounds; anywhere from powder/dust to chunks. On top of that the coffee grounds get static. That means that now the coffee will have a tendency to stick to EVERYTHING. As you can conclude this may come to be a huge mess to clean up. This is why I don’t recommend you getting a blade grinder. Now here is another “Y” in our coffee life:
High Or Low-Speed?
High-speed burr grinders tend to heat up the coffee beans up kind of like the blade grinders. That is not a good thing. But the upside of high speed grinders is that they give the user more control over the grind size. They tend to be pretty consistent. They are often called “direct drive” grinders because the motor is directly connected to the burrs and so both the motor and burrs turn at the same speed. The downside to high-speed is that it has more of a tendency to create dust or powder, but still are way better than blade grinders. They also tend to cause problems with static.
The most desired among the coffee lovers are the low-speed burr grinders. These offer very little to no static charge. Also they are very quiet in their operation and produce very little heat to the beans. They have options of “direct drive” or “gear reduction” grinders.
Now To The Point Of My Article
In my research I have found that in general, burr grinders are hands down the best for making coffee. Of course they come in different shapes and sizes. So if you are looking for a more sleek and compact look you may want to look into manual burr grinders. There are manual and electric burr grinders.
In my coffee journey, I have found several burr grinders that do you right, both in price and in quality:
Phew! I know this was a lot to take in. By now your brain may be mush but I really hope you took the time to educate yourself by reading this article. My aim was to clearly explain why burr grinders are better than blade and to explain things within that topic that haven’t really been considered. Both you and I can now come to the realization and conclusion that burr grinders are definitely better than blade grinders. Thank you for reading and letting me help you achieve the best cup of coffee that you can offer yourself. As I always say, I hope that you are now more educated and equipped to face the world of coffee with great boldness and confidence.