Finding a Coffee Grinder

4 mins

What are burr grinders and why do I need one?

Burr grinders utilise two moving abrasive surfaces, burrs, between which the coffee beans are placed. The movement of the two burrs grinds the beans into grounds, providing a consistent grind.

There are two main types of burr grinders. The first, Conical Burr Grinders. These are the industry standard, featuring a cone-shaped burr in the centre and an outer serrated burr. Something to bear in mind is that not only does it provide a well ground coffee it is energy efficient and has a high heat resistance. Due to a slight inconsistency with the particle size of the grounds, some may prefer to use the next type of burr grinder for coffees like espresso.

The second type of burr grinder is Flat Burr Grinders. The difference between the two is, aside from the shape of burrs, that Flat Burr Grinders produce grinds with uniform size each time. However, they have some drawbacks: they are noisy, less energy efficient than Conicals, and produce more heat. Unless you require precise and consistent grounds, a Conical Burr Grinder will serve you well.

Burr grinders allow you to tailor your grind to your machine, leading to less issues, and a more consistent quality of coffee.

  • A final type of automatic coffee grinder is the Blade Grinder. These work on the same principle as a blender with a rotating blade at the bottom of the grinder which grinds the beans using gravity to feed the beans into the blades. While these grinders are common, and often less expensive than a burr grinder, they do not offer consistency in grinds and this can lead to under or over extraction which leads to a sour or bitter flavour cup of coffee.

What about hand grinders?

Hand coffee grinders are present in many home kitchens. Hand grinders are actually burr grinders. They perform just as well and consistently as an electric burr grinder. There are benefits of a hand grinder that make them seem more attractive than an electric grinder. The most notable one is price. While an electric grinder can be in the high hundreds, if not thousands, a high end hand grinder is a fraction of the cost.

Another positive is the lack of a need for a power outlet, this means that your coffee grinder can be used wherever you need it to, aided by the fact that hand grinders are smaller than electric grinders so you can travel with it. Also, due to the lack of an electric motor, hand grinders do not heat up your beans when grinding, and are quiet. This means that the taste of your coffee is not impacted.

High End Option

Wilfa Svart Aroma Precision Coffee Burr Grinder

This offering from Wilfa not only has style, but also has substance. This is perfect for filter coffee, whether it is a blend or a single origin.

The first positive here is how simple it is to use. The grinder features an easy to understand interface that allows you to adjust grind size, and to engage its steeped brewing option for espressos. On top of this there is a “set and forget” option which means you can set the grind time, walk away, and the grinder will stop on its own.

The engine in this grinder is efficient making it a lot quieter than similar grinders. This is due to the burrs grinding slowly, which produces a more precise and consistent grind.

This grinder is easy to clean, and it has a 250g capacity. This is great for grinding beans in advance, and is bolstered by the intelligent grind basket which minimises wastage and mess.

The Right Beans

Below are three offerings of coffee beans that fit any occasion and work fantastically with the mentioned grinders.

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