Brewing 101: Grinders

Grinding fresh coffee beans to finely ground particles can lead to a better coffee flavor. It’s important to select the right type of coffee grinder to maximize the taste of your coffee. Read this guide to find out more about burr grinders, blade grinders, and hand grinders.

What Are Blade Grinders?

Blade grinders are lower-tier grinding devices that operate like a blender. It utilizes a spinning blade to slice coffee beans into smaller pieces. These pieces are not uniform in shape and size, leading to an inconsistent grind. This is a problem when it comes to coffee brewing as coarse grounds and fine grounds require different methods of extraction for optimum results. What ends up happening is that you’ll over-extract the smaller particles and under-extract the bigger particles, leading to a strange taste in your coffee.

What Are Burr Grinders?

A burr grinder generally comes in ceramic or steel. It uses sharp cutting surfaces to cut coffee beans in a consistent and precise manner. Two burrs on each side of the machine oppose one another so beans get stuck between them and get cut by both of them repeatedly. This technology leads to finer and more uniform coffee grounds. Smaller and finer grinds provide a better cup of coffee because their flavors are more easily extracted. This is why burr grinders are preferred over blade grinders.

Fake Burr Grinders

There are many fake burr grinders sold in the market for under $100. These imitations are usually blade grinders that are falsely advertised as burr grinders to trick consumers. Compared to the sharp opposing cutting surfaces in real burr grinders, imitations have wimpy motors and large teeth. They’ll chop the coffee beans into inconsistently sized particles. Make sure to buy a burr grinder from a trustworthy supplier.

Brewing on a Budget

Burr grinders usually cost more than blade grinders, and fancy models can reach up to thousands of dollars. However, it’s still possible to purchase a good burr grinder at affordable prices. At Gaia Coffee Roasters, we have a variety of burr grinders prices below $200. For example, the Capresso Coffee Burr Grinder is priced at $49.95 on Gaia Coffee Roasters’ online store. This coffee grinder has 16 different grind settings from coarse to fine and will fulfill all of your coffee-making needs. It also comes with a one-year household guarantee.

Grinding by Hand

If electric motors are out of your budget, why not consider a hand grinder? The technology of hand grinders has improved over the decades, and they will offer decent grind consistency. For example, the Hario Skerton Plus hand grinder is an economical entry-level burr grinder. It can be used for any brew method from french press to espresso. Since it has a burr stabilizing plate, this hand grinder will provide a more uniform grind compared to other hand grinder models.

Generally, higher-quality grinders will have a higher price point to match. Commercial grinders produce the most unimodal particle distribution since they have higher quality burrs and increased grinding power. This leads to the most uniform extraction of your coffee grounds, providing a consistent taste. If you’ll be drinking multiple cups of coffee a day, consider investing in a commercial burr grinder to brew the tastiest coffee.