If you are looking at potentially purchasing a new coffee grinder, then could we suggest you look at the possibility of buying a burr grinder. We have several reasons why we recommend this style over and above other coffee grinders on the market, but what is a burr coffee grinder, and why is that the case?
— Kendra Little (@Kendra_Little) September 28, 2011
What Do We Mean By a Burr Grinder?
A burr grinder is a popular coffee grinder, but you may also see it referred to as a burr mill. It got its name due to the inside of the coffee grinder containing two burrs.
As the burrs rotate, it then crushes the coffee beans between the burr and the rest of the grinder, which doesn’t move.
Manual vs Electric Burr
You will discover both manual burr grinders and electric burr grinders, and it’s certainly the case that both are capable of producing those coffee grounds. Electric grinders are noisier but faster at grinding, so if you want speed, then they are your best option.
Is It Different from a Blade Grinder?
One mistake people make is they confuse a burr coffee grinder with blade grinders. While they may be of the same size, blade grinders contain two short blades that rotate and effectively smash up the coffee beans.
It's time to break in my new burr mill coffee bean grinder and French press! Oh yes! There will be caffeine!
— Working Author (@WorkingAuthor) May 19, 2010
Reasons Why Burrs are Better than Blade Coffee Grinders
Burr grinders are typically better options than a blade grinder if you are serious about ground coffee. There are several points why burr coffee grinders are so superior.
They Offer Better Control
With a blade grinder, it basically smashes up the beans. Burr coffee grinders are easier to adjust, leading to a different result with your ground coffee.
They are More Consistent
Burr coffee grinders are also more consistent. This applies more to the flat burr than conical burr coffee grinders, but both are superior in nature compared to a blade grinder.
They Produce Better Tasting Coffee
They also produce better-tasting coffee than what you get with a blade grinder. This is because of the grinder’s consistency and the way you can easily control the size of the grind. It means you can determine how bitter your coffee is going to be.
They are More Durable
They are also more durable compared to a blade grinder. A burr grinder is certainly made of sterner stuff. This isn’t to say that a blade grinder is a bad choice. Blade coffee is still going to taste great, but the coffee grounds it produces are just not on the same level when you use a blade to smash up the beans.
When the kids are still asleep but you simply MUST grind your #coffee, fresh, every morning.
— Drinks On Us (@DrinksOnUs960) July 28, 2019
Kinds of Burr Grinders
There’s more than one type of burr grinder to choose from. Let’s discuss them in detail.
Conical Burr Grinder
The first option is a conical burr grinder, and these are often viewed as the best coffee grinders out there.
Conical Burr Features
What you have with conical burrs is a grinder in the middle of the machine that is cone-shaped. Toward the outer edge of the machine, you will see another burr which is raised and serrated. This is known to help produce wonderfully ground coffee beans, and it delivers amazing results each and every time.
A bonus gift, got several pounds of coffee beans, good for perfecting the settings on my new conical burr mill grinder.
— TakoKato (@takokato) December 26, 2010
The Problem with Conical Burrs
However, there is one slight problem with a conical burr, and that’s the even nature of the coffee bean. If you study the grinds closely, you will see that it can be quite coarse. For some, this makes a difference to the brewing of their coffee, so if you want something ultra-smooth, this may not be the best option for you.
Flat Burr Grinder
The other option is the flat burr, and what you get here is a machine with effectively two coffee grinders.
Flat Burr Features
It has two burrs that are slightly doughnut-shaped, and they sit on top of one another. It comes with two revolving abrasive surfaces that will help grind down the beans.
The key thing here is the two blades need to be face to face. They both have sharp edges, but they are designed so that the beans become trapped and stay there until you get an even grind.
From a grinding perspective, this form is pretty powerful. It makes the grinding process as easy as possible, and if you are looking for a consistent grind, this flat version will be the best solution.
@jasonscheltus I think that you really ought to try making espresso with a flat burr grinder to get a sense of it
— Luca Costanzo (@LucaCoffeeNotes) May 7, 2010
The Problem with a Flat Burr
With a flat burr, you have a problem with noise. It is going to be very loud, and that may put some people off using it, especially in the morning. However, trying to grind coffee is never a silent pursuit.
Different Grind Sizes
Burr grinders can be used to produce an amazing cup of coffee. However, grind sizes influence your espresso taste or whatever type of coffee you want to drink.
You see, while different types of coffee beans produce different tastes, the art of grinding coffee also plays a role in the taste. Grinding the beans too much can lead to a bitter taste. It also means you can only make a certain cup of coffee.
One cool thing about burr grinders is the ability to change the grind size. This is done by moving the space between the two burrs. Have them further apart, and you will have a coarse grind.
When using burr grinders, it’s best to keep these next few points in mind depending on the cup of coffee you want to produce. All of these different grinds can be produced by a burr grinder.
Do you grind your own coffee beans?
— ScottPalmer (@ScottPalmer61) May 23, 2021
A coarse grind means the coffee beans are just smashed up, and the pieces are relatively large in size. This is perfect for either a percolator or a French press.
A medium grind is clearly slightly smoother than the coarse variety. This is perfect for those with a drip coffee machine where it uses a flat filter.
A fine grind means it’s very smooth. This is used for a drip coffee machine, but this time it uses a cone filter.
Extra fine is the grind you want to achieve if you are looking at making an espresso at home.
Extra fine ground coffee beans = extra fine coffee buzz.
— Levi Brooks (@levib) August 17, 2010
Is a Burr Grinder Worth the Money?
There’s little doubt that burr grinders are worth the investment, but we would recommend getting a good one capable of producing consistent results with the grinds. Yes, they are more expensive than blade grinders, but it’s a good idea to spend the money on a quality product if you are serious about your coffee.
A quality grind leads to a quality brew. This applies no matter if you want that smooth espresso or going for the French press style for your morning cup.
Enjoy a Fresh Cup of Coffee
What is a burr coffee grinder? It is a machine that uses burrs to grind coffee. Grinding beans is an art form, but there’s no need for you to stress about your coffee grounds. Instead, use a burr grinder and play around with the settings. You’ll be able to produce the perfect cup of coffee each and every time. All you need to do is get the correct beans for your coffee and then sit back and enjoy.
What do you use to grind your coffee? Tell us below.