Choosing and Using a Coffee Grinder
Choosing and Using a Coffee Grinder
To take your homemade coffee to the next level, coffee enthusiasts (like us) recommend that you grind your coffee beans directly before you make your morning coffee to incorporate all of the essential oils of the beans before they evaporate. For a complex and flavorful cup o’ joe, you should invest in a coffee grinder — you’ll come to love your morning ritual of preparing the freshest coffee possible outside of The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf® in your neighborhood.
But wait! You’ve just Googled “best coffee grinder” and discovered there are dozens of types of coffee grinders. Yikes! Below is a beginner’s coffee grinder crash course so you can buy the best grinder for your needs.
Types of Coffee Grinders
Here are the most common types of coffee grinders that you’ll be choosing between:
Blade Grinders — Electric blade grinders operate much like blenders, chopping coffee beans with, unsurprisingly, a blade. These are the most economical coffee grinders, but they come with distinct disadvantages.
First, it is exceedingly difficult to get a consistently-sized grind from a blade grinder. Blade grinders produce medium to coarse grinds, but you have to run the blade a few seconds at a time and check the grounds to see how fine they are.
Second, blade grinders can overheat your coffee grounds, which will negatively affect the overall taste of your coffee.
Burr Grinders — Burr grinders are more expensive than blade grinders and much more precise. They are standard in the industry, and if you can afford one, go with a burr grinder for ease of use and a consistent grind.
Burr grinders produce coarse, medium, fine, and very fine grinds. The sky's the limit! Burr grinders also won’t overheat your coffee beans in the grinding process.
Conical Grinders — The two main types of burr grinders are conical burr grinders and disc burr grinders (also called flat grinders).
Burrs are the components of the machine that actually crush the coffee beans. One burr is powered by the motor, while the other is stationary. Conical burr grinders have two cone-shaped burrs with ridges that face each other at an angle.
Disc/Flat Grinders — On the other hand, disc burr grinders contain two identical serrated ring-shaped burrs that face each other and are parallel. Both types of burr grinders are renowned for their quality and consistency.
Manual Burr Grinders — Manual burr grinders require old-fashioned elbow grease to grind your coffee beans, but many people prefer the simplicity of a manual burr grinder. A manual burr grinder is considerably more affordable than electric models. Manual models are also more compact, making them convenient for traveling.
How to Use a Coffee Grinder
Higher-end electric grinders will come with complete instructions — in most cases it’s as easy as dropping your coffee beans into the hopper, choosing the desired setting and grind, ensuring all compartments are locked into place and activating the grinder. When your beans are ground they will be deposited into the catcher or doser.
For blade grinders, pour your coffee beans into the chute and grind for a few seconds at a time, in short bursts. There are no settings, so you will have to eyeball the consistency of your grounds.
What Grind Will Work Best for Your Coffee?
How fine or coarse should you grind your coffee? This depends on the brewing method you plan on using. Once your grinder is filled with beans, grind to the following consistency based on your brewing method:
French Press — very coarse and chunky.
Pour Over Coffee — coarse.
Drip Coffee — medium to coarse, depending on your preference.
Siphon Coffee — fine, in general. Follow specific recipe instructions, as siphons are versatile.
Espresso — very fine, as close to a powder as possible.
If your budget allows, invest in a burr grinder that will allow you to precisely grind coffee beans without creating too much heat. Great coffee, of course, always starts with great coffee beans.
Our Master Roaster utilizes state-of-the-art techniques and his natural instincts to source our 100% Specialty Grade Arabica beans from premiere single-origin growing regions around the world. Order some coffee today to start making high-quality brew without leaving your kitchen.