Whether you have been brewing your own coffee at home for a while or have just gotten started, if you are in the market for a new coffee grinder to take your morning coffee routine to the next level with vibrant flavors and a wide range of different brewing methods, choosing between either a burr or blade grinder is going to be the first decision you will need to make.
What’s a grinder? There are two kinds of coffee grinder available – burr grinders and blade grinders. However, most stores that sell coffee machines and accessories will only offer one – the type that you want to avoid. One type of grinder is durable, consistent, and produces uniform coffee grounds that are perfect for a balanced cup of coffee. The other is cheaper and often draws you in with the price, but it is not as controllable, doesn’t produce uniform coffee grounds, and could end up with you spending even more money replacing your grinder after a short amount of time due to the fact that your coffee just tastes awful.
When it comes to burr vs blade coffee grinders, it’s important to know what you’re buying. Keep reading to find out more about these two different types of grinders, what to avoid, and what to look out for.
Blade Coffee Grinders
Blade coffee grinders all have the same design. They work by rapidly spinning a double-pronged blade at the bottom of a chamber, which chops up everything that it touches, including coffee beans. Most are powered with a single button that spins the blade when pressed. When the coffee beans are hit by this blade, they will be cut up into a bunch of pieces that are different sizes. The finer grounds will fall to the bottom of the chamber, where they are hit by the blade and chopped up again. The larger grounds stay at the top and are not hit by the blade as often.
As a result of this grinding style, you will get coffee grounds that are a range of different shapes and sizes. Sometimes, you might get a mixture of very fine grounds along with halved beans. Along with this, the rapid spinning of the blade produces heat that can change the flavor of your coffee grounds, removing some of the fresh coffee flavors that leads to the great taste.
Once you brew the coffee that has been ground with a blade grinder, the risk of an imbalance is much higher since the differently sized grounds will brew at various rates. While blade grinders are cheap and easy to find most of the time, they are not going to provide you with great coffee.
- Convenient and easy to use with one-press operation
- Easy to find in grocery and household stores
- Inexpensive to buy
- Can be used for grinding other things like spices
- Inconsistent grounds lead to unbalanced extraction and poor-tasting coffee
- Most are cheaply made and will not last, although you can get some coffee grinder ceramic blades that will be more durable compared to other options
- Heats up during grinding, which can remove some of the flavor from the coffee beans
- No option to choose the grind size
Burr Coffee Grinders
Compared to blade grinders, even a cheap conical burr grinder will provide a very different experience. If you want to learn more about good cheap grinders, it is always worth paying a little more for a cheap burr grinder compared to getting a higher-quality blade grinder. The best small coffee bean grinder options are always going to be burr grinders, and the best budget burr grinder will produce better coffee grounds for brewing compared to a high-end blade coffee mill grinder.
A burr grinder works with two burr pieces that funnel the beans in small groups through a grinding area, where they are ground to a uniform size. Define grind? It refers to the process of grinding the coffee beans into a powder, known as coffee grounds, that can be fine-coarse and water passes through, extracting flavors and oils when brewing to make your cup of coffee. With a burr grinder, you will get grounds of a uniform size, which will produce a much more balanced brew since the grounds will all be extracted at the same rate.
Typically, burrs are made from stainless steel or ceramic, and have a much better performance and longevity rate compared to cheaper metal blades. In addition, the grinding process with a burr grinder generates very little heat, if any, so there is no risk of the taste of your coffee being impacted.
A good burr coffee grinder will allow you to adjust the closeness of the burrs to adjust the size of your coffee grinds. This is ideal if you like to brew your coffee at home using a range of different methods since different methods of brewing coffee tend to work better with different grind sizes. For example, you will need finely ground coffee beans for brewing espresso, while coarser grinds will get you a better result when using a French Press. With a burr grinder, you will also be able to make minimal grind size adjustments to get your grind size just right for your brew.
Despite the fact that they will cost you more compared to a blade grinder, a burr grinder is always the better investment as you can rely on them to prepare coffee grounds that are going to result in a balanced and fresh cup of coffee every time. You can use them with a wide range of different coffee brewing styles.
- The coffee beans are ground to a uniform size, reducing the risk of unbalanced coffee through over- or under-extraction
- You can easily adjust the burr distance to grind coffee to a range of different sizes, making it easy to use with a wide range of different coffee maker options and brewing styles
- Burr grinders tend to have quality builds that are designed to be durable and last for a long time
- They are harder to find than blade grinders and you’re less likely to find them in your local grocery store
- Higher power cost if you choose an electric burr grinder
The Main Reasons Why It’s Worth Investing in a Burr Grinder for Coffee
If you want to make your own coffee at home, then using freshly ground beans for each brew is the best practice. While getting pre-ground beans does save you money, time, and effort in the long run, you are not going to be able to enjoy your coffee fresh and tasty since the ground beans are going to have started losing their flavor already, before you have even purchased them.
No matter what style of coffee brewing you want to use at home from the simple French Press to an espresso machine with all the bells and whistles, getting the grind size right is an important step in the process of making the ideal cup of coffee for you. This is something that will simply be hit and miss if you get a blade grinder since you have no control over how the coffee beans are ground. As the blades whir around, some beans are always going to get hit more than others. And when you brew these grounds, some are going to be extracted more than others, which could result in a cup of coffee that tastes bot acidic and bitter at the same time, which is the last thing anybody wants when they are trying to get going in the morning.
A burr grinder might take a little bit more looking for compared to a blade grinder, and it’s likely going to cost you more – but it’s all worth it. By putting in a little bit more effort and money to get a durable and high-quality burr grinder, you can ensure that your coffee grounds are the perfect coarseness and consistency no matter how you are about to brew your coffee. And the best part is that there are lots of good cheap grinders that are now available, so you can certainly still get a great quality burr grinder on a budget for making your perfect cup of coffee.
What to Consider Before Buying a Burr Grinder
Clearly, the burr grinder will win over the blade grinder every day since it’s the best way to make sure that your coffee grounds are perfectly prepared for brewing. Before you go out and buy a burr grinder, consider the following:
- Burr Size: How much coffee do you want to grind? This will determine the burr and hopper size that you choose. Think about how much kitchen space you have, too.
- Durability: The good news is that most burr grinders are built to last. Before you buy one, though, do your research to make sure that you are getting a durable and reliable model.
- Grinding settings: Finally, if you want to use a burr grinder for brewing different styles of coffee, then one with lots of grind settings will be perfect for you.
When it comes to choosing the right grinder for your coffee beans, a burr grinder is the only option to consider!