Why a Coffee Grinder is So Important

If you want that beautiful coffee aroma, flavor, and a delicious cup as result, you must grind your beans right before you brew.

A coffee grinder is the most important piece of your coffee gear because coffee is always better when you grind it fresh. A great grinder will transform your coffee experience.

If you’re interested in powerfully elevating your coffee game, buying a coffee grinder is the way to do it.

The quality of the grind is equally as important as the quality of the beans. Despite how convenient pre-ground coffee is, I tell everyone we should never trade quality for convenience when making our cup.

In this article, I’ll be showing you all the important aspects of a coffee grinder. I’m sure after reading this, you’ll have a better knowledge about it and will be able to make good choices towards a great cup.

Blade Grinders vs Burr Grinders

They work in a completely different way, are in a different price range, and produce very different results but they are both coffee grinders.

Blade Grinders

These are affordable electric grinders. The biggest problem with this grinder is that the blade smashes the coffee, producing uneven particles from powder to some large pieces. This uneven brew won’t be very enjoyable, creating an unbalanced and disappointing cup.

Different sized coffee grounds will dissolve at different rates, leaving some grounds under-extracted and others over-extracted. These under-extracted and over-extracted grounds will add sour and bitter flavors to your coffee.

Another drawback is when you have metal blades rotating at a very high speed. They can generate a lot of heat giving your coffee a burned and bitter flavor.

Pros:

  • Quick and Easy to Use
  • Very Cheap
  • Found just about everywhere

Cons:

  • You can’t control the size of your grind
  • Produce high amounts of heat damaging the coffee
  • Can’t be customized to the brewing method or grind size

Burr Grinders

A burr coffee grinder uses a set of rotating burrs to grind coffee beans in a consistent grain size helping you get the most out of fresh coffee. Unlike a blade grinder, a burr grinder breaks coffee down into evenly-sized particles to ensure even extraction.

Pros:

  • Consistent Grind
  • Adjustable to the brew method
  • Longevity of the grinding mechanism
  • Easy for travel (manual burr grinder)

Cons:

  • More energy (both electric and manpower)
  • Not available in every retail store
  • More expensive

Automatic vs Manual Burr Coffee Grinders

The three most important differences between good quality automatic and manual grinders are speed, the noise factor, and the number of offered grinding settings.

Automatic Coffee Grinders

Electric burr grinders are known for providing consistent grind sizes. One of the main benefits of using electric coffee grinders is convenience. They are simple and fast to use. You just fill the hopper with the coffee beans, select the preferred grind size, and then press the switch. Within a few seconds, you will have freshly ground coffee, which is ready to be brewed.

Automatic coffee grinders are normally very expensive. Prices are related to the quality of the burrs. Low priced automatic grinders are mostly fitted with low quality burrs, fragile parts, and poor wiring. 

About grind type, I believe if you after a Turkish coffee grind (very fine) grind or even an Espresso grind you’ll have more success to achieve these fine grind typer if you use a decent electric burr grinder.

Manual Coffee Grinders

They have become the preferred choice of a growing community in the specialty coffee world due to their versatility, reliability, and “hands-on” appeal.

Manual coffee grinders are great while you’re away. Making your own coffee while you travel is much cheaper than buying expensive cups of coffee at the cafe.

Hand coffee grinders are also useful at home. If you’re an early riser in a house of light sleepers, you want to think about the amount of noise your coffee grinder is making. If noise is an issue for you or your household, then a hand coffee grinder is the way to go.

A manual coffee grinder is not necessarily inferior to an automatic grinder. Actually, some manual grinders are built with extreme quality, offering much better results than a low end automatic grinder.

Grind Size and Coffee Brewing Method

A consistent grind is just as important as buying good quality coffee. Coffee grounds should be the same size so they dissolve at the same rate.

Once you’ve chosen your brewing equipment, you’ll need to ensure you have the grind size to match. I recommended investing in a burr grinder for your coffee. It allows you to adjust the size of your grind, enabling you to fine-tune your brew. You’ll never see a barista using a blade grinder after all, so neither should you.

In general, more expensive grinders have cutting burrs more capable of a more uniform grinding size.

If you’re unsure about grinding size, check our article about brewing methods. Also, keep in mind that coarser particles of coffee should be paired with a longer brewing time (as with a plunger), and finer particles of coffee should have a shorter brewing time (as with espresso).

Are you convinced about the importance of having your own coffee grinder?

Well, by having a grinder in your home and shortening the time between grinding and brewing you stand to improve your coffee.

Different types of brew methods require different grind sizes. They extract the coffee flavors and aromas in different ways, so the type of grind you use is really important. Only with a good grinder, you’ll get the right grind size.

I believe that once you understand the importance of grinding your coffee beans fresh and have the know-how to grind them correctly, you’ll be able to raise your home coffee game to barista-grade.

The road to achieving an awesome cup is not complete without a good quality grinder.

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