If you’re currently wondering how to select a coffee bean grinder to suit you and your kitchen then you probably already know that there are various options open to you. In simple terms most coffee grinders will be spilt into two camps – blade grinders and burr grinders. So how do you choose between the two?
First, it’s worth noting that you can buy both types of grinder as both electric and manual options if you wish. It’s becoming more popular for people to buy electric machines on the whole as there is a big added convenience here so, for the purposes of this guide, we’ll be focusing on electrical options rather than manual ones.
In simple terms the final decision you make when it comes to working out how to select a coffee bean grinder will, in most cases, come down to budget and to how seriously you think about coffee so this is worth bearing in mind as you read through this article.
So, let’s take a look some of the pros and cons of the two types of grinder.
Blade grinders – as the name suggests – use a blade to chop up your coffee beans until they are ground. Most of these machines work on a simple principle – the longer the machine grinds, the finer the grind will be.
- Generally cheaper than burr grinders.
- Do an effective job of grinding your coffee beans.
-Can’t give a completely consistent or even grind (this can have an adverse effect on the taste and quality of the coffee you drink).
-The blades on some models may overheat – especially if they are left on longer for a finer grind – which can again alter the actual taste of your coffee.
A burr grinder – often also referred to in some circles as a mill – works on a different principle to a blade grinder. Here the beans are crushed between the machine’s moving wheel and its static surface. You decide on the level of grind by using pre-specified settings on the burr. Models vary between doser and doserless for coffee bean storage in the actual grinder.
- A burr grinder will give you a consistently even grind with no problems.
- These grinders and their grinding pres-sets are easy to use.
- A burr grinder will generally cost you more than a blade grinder.
- Some models clog easily and can be harder to clean.
So, when you’re deciding how to select a coffee grinder – as you can see – you need to consider how important the quality of your grind and the resulting taste of your coffee is to you as an individual to a certain extent. This is what will dictate whether you opt for a blade grinder or a burr grinder at the end of the day.
Most blade grinders users will simply like a regular cup of coffee that has been ground at home for optimum freshness. If you simply like grinding your own beans for basic coffee drinking use then there’s no real reason why you should waste money on a burr grinder when a blade grinder will suit your needs just as well.
It’s very important to remember here that a blade grinder may give a more uneven grind but it still does an effective job. But you may not get the best grind – and therefore the best tasting cup of coffee – from the beans you buy in this case. One good tip that many blade grinder fans give is to give the grinding machine a little gentle shake every now and then as this will help distribute the bits of cut beans more evenly which may help your grind’s consistency.
If, however, your cup of coffee is real important to you and you want consistent brewing results each and every time you grind your beans, then you will probably be better off looking at buying some sort of burr grinder to meet your needs. These grinders are adored by coffee aficionados simply because they treat your coffee beans and the grinding process consistently and will therefore bring out the best taste for every cup by making sure that each grind is even across every single coffee bean.
It’s real simple to source and buy each kind of grinder – both in stores or over the Internet. Major coffee maker manufacturers such as Braun, Capresso, Alpina, Mr. Coffee, DeLonghi, Russell Hobbs, KitchenAid, Krups and Solis will all have a grinder line of some sort to choose from.
You may find – if you shop around a little – that you may be able to afford to buy a more expensive grinder for your budget as there are often great bargains and discounts to be had all year round. For this reason it’s certainly worth while not rushing out and buying the first grinder you see but doing some price comparisons first to see what savings can be made.
It’s equally important to read reviews to find out how specific models have worked for other people in the past. The Internet is a great source for these kinds of user reviews so once you’ve identified a few models you can log on and see how these machines have worked for others in their homes rather than just relying on manufacturer’s ‘blurb’. This will give you a real useful idea of how well a model/models may actually work in your own home rather than having to wait to find out once you’ve purchased a grinder.
There are certain things to look out for in these kinds of user reviews. For example, you should be looking to discover if other grinder users have found that their grinder:
- Gets clogged or blocked easily.
- Gets beans stuck in its mechanism.
- Overheats and leaves a bitter taste on the coffee.
- Is easy to clean and maintain.
- Gives a really even grind consistently.
- Is excessively noisy.
- Has a problem with static electricity.
- Gives you an easy way to pour out your ground coffee.
- Is well made and won’t fall apart after a couple of uses.
If you can get the right kinds of answers to these questions then the chances are you’ll find the kind of grinder – either burr or blade – that’s right for you.