At the hub, we are obsessed with coffee; that’s why we’ve put the time in to create this comprehensive guide to choosing a coffee grinder. Coffee is a complex product so take the time to prepare it properly with a good grinder. Like buying a car, you want to make sure it’s a good quality for the price, lasts for a long time and looks great to show off.
Table of Contents
at a Glance: Our Top 3 Picks for Coffee Grinders
We love coffee, and we love learning everything about it so much that we are going to tell you never to buy a blade grinder great! Topic over and nothing more to say.
Why not buy a blade grinder?
Grinding is all about consistency, if your grinds are not all the same size, then some of them will be over-extracted, and some under and the result will be well…disgusting.
The second reason not to use a blade grinder is heat, yes that’s right they spin super-fast which cause the blade to heat up, and your coffee is already heating up which results in overcooked beans.
Why buy a burr grinder?
Burr grinders provide a consistent grind for good quality extraction.
Reliable coffee requires a reliable foundation; the most important element to making coffee is your grinder. It means you are chopping your coffee the same size and same shape every time.
Yes, they are inexpensive, and yes they get the job done – however, due to physics as that blades spin the beans near the centre are chopped a lot more than the coffee beans on the outside giving you a wide range of coffee grinds, its either too fine or course.
The really fine stuff will quickly dissolve whilst the course stuff will take a while break apart, and this massively affects the taste of your coffee.
We will always taste the gross stuff more than we’ll taste the good stuff.
How does a burr grinder make consistent coffee grounds?
Conical burrs are small on one end and bigger on the other. It’s a cone; gravity feeds coffee into the burr, there is a centre burr that spins slow and pushes the coffee beans against the outside burr and those blades fractures it, it cracks and falls down to the next size blade until it reaches the void for the coffee to fall through giving you a consistent grind.
Flat disk burr grinders do the same thing, but they are slightly better – as it falls down in a cone the angle can shear the beans and sometimes a bigger chunk escapes – only consider this if your selling coffee and want to make sure you have a perfectly consistent grind every time.
Seven coffee grinds for different coffee drinks
The size of the grind can have a massive impact on great coffee and lousy quality coffee. Seven grinds are most used for grinding different coarseness of coffee for mixed coffee drinks.
The Final steps of considering a coffee grinder is the material
Stainless steel vs ceramic
Stainless Steel is a bit softer and very cheap – you don’t need to sharpen and simply just need to replace it if it breaks – They are very strong though so this never really happens. We highly recommend a steel grinder for cost.
Ceramic is harder than steel but more brittle. It will stay sharper for longer, and it has different thermal inertia. If you’re grinding lots of coffee, then you’ll want a ceramic burr that will slowly increase temperature compared to stainless steel. We highly recommend if you’re obsessed with brewing the perfect coffee.
As we just said, heat can affect coffee grinding.
Here are three things that affect coffee when grinding
When you grind your beans, it starts the oxidation process, which is a good thing; however, it only lasts about 30 minutes. Oxidation gives coffee its unique flavours and aroma. By grinding your coffee at home, you’re maximizing the intensity of these Flavours and aromas before they diminish.
Coffee contains soluble oils meaning they dissolve in water. To enjoy coffee beans, they need to be ground with a coffee grinder as soon as you grind coffee, the surface area increases, exposing more coffee and reducing the moisture—the less moisture from your coffee, the less flavour. The less time between there is between grinding coffee and making it will maximize the taste of the coffee.
3. Carbon Dioxide Depletion
Carbon Dioxide is the primary agent that transfers coffee beans oils into your coffee drink. As per point 3 on moisture, the more surface area created when grinding coffee exposes each coffee bean to more CO2, which is a good thing when you plan to brew right away.
If you grind coffee and leave for longer than a few hours, they quickly lose most of their CO2
The Price of a coffee grinder
Finally, the last consideration is then cost – well it depends on your requirements, we wouldn’t suggest a hand grinder if your opening a coffee shop and wouldn’t suggest a commercial grinder for the home. We’ve selected three grinders to choose from: