Since manufacturing has become cheap to do and coffee has started to fill every household, blade grinders have become popular.
Blade grinders have a double-pronged blade in the center of the grinder that looks similar to that of a blender. It spins rapidly breaking whatever it hits into smaller pieces, usually with one button and one speed.
What often ends up happening is the finer grounds sift to the bottom while the larger boulder-sized grounds end up on top, barely getting hit by the grinder.
Leaving you with a mixed bag of coffee grounds and a very inconsistent mixed bag at that.
Varying size of coffee grounds makes it hard to judge brewing time, brewing method and a lot more.
Burr coffee grinders differ a lot from the traditional electric blade grinder found in most retail stores.
In one sense it is the old school grinder that you would find at your grandmother’s house, and in another, the most accurate way to grind coffee beans.
There are two types of burr grinders wheel grinders and conical grinders.
Both use two burr pieces to funnel the beans into the grinding area where they are ground to pretty uniform size.
Wheel grinders rotate at a higher speed, are louder, and can be a bit messier. (They also are the cheaper of the burr grinders.)
Conical grinders, on the other hand, are very consistent, grind at lower sound levels, and can handle most coffee whether oily, old, or what not.
The burrs are typically made of ceramic or stainless steel, leaving barely any heat to be produced during the grinding process ensuring that the coffee beans stay at the highest level of quality.
Burr grinders allow you to move the burrs closer or further apart allowing you to choose the exact size of the grind for the brewing method that you are going to use.
All in all, burr grinders are what professional baristas, coffee enthusiasts, and anyone looking to experience new flavor in their coffee opt for.
The team at Able Brewing recently conducted a blind tasting to answer this question. Was freshness or grind consistency more important when brewing coffee?
The team of testers took a freshly roasted batch of coffee and ground half with a high-performance burr grinder. They left the other half as the whole bean and sealed both samples in air-tight coffee bags for one week.
On the day of the tasting, they ground the whole bean coffee with a blade grinder and then brewed the two samples side-by-side. Not knowing which coffee was which, a group of coffee professionals and consumers tasted both coffees and gave their opinions on each.
Unsurprisingly, neither cup of coffee came out great. However, when the tasters gave their recommendations, they couldn’t decide which cup was better. The fresh, inconsistently ground coffee from the blade grinder was just as bad as the week-old pre-ground from the burr grinder.
This test is a little jarring given the importance we place on fresh coffee. It proves that it’s not only essential to grind your beans fresh, but you need the right type of coffee grinder to do it.
Burr grinders hold one thing as the critical outcome for their grind.
That means, whether you are aiming to drink an Ethiopian Yirgacheffe or your local french roast, you’ll get a consistent grind for your brewing method.
Burr grinders also give you the ability to change the grind.
One of the essential features for a grinder to have, especially when coffee enthusiasts are testing different brewing methods.
Brewing great coffee demands a consistent grind, no matter which brewing method you use. Handground was created by a community of thousands of coffee enthusiasts to make it easy to achieve a consistent grind for any brew method.