A good coffee grinder is an essential tool for any home barista. A conical-burr coffee grinder is a popular choice because it provides a finer, more consistent grind compared to a traditional blade grinder, even the nicest ones. The coffee beans are crushed and ground between two rings of burrs, which results in a more consistent grind.
Flat-burr grinders are similar to conical-burr grinders but typically more expensive, where the beans pass through the burrs as they grind. The grinder action pushes the grounds out of one end, and the beans spend more time in contact with the burrs, resulting in a more consistent grind. Conical-burr grinders are just as good for home brewing, but they require more maintenance and don’t result in consistent-down-to-the-micron-scale grounds.
On the other hand, blade grinders have a chopping blade that spins around like a food processor. However, blades don’t produce even results, and the coffee beans will be unevenly ground, resulting in an inconsistent, unpredictable brew. Although blade grinders are cheap, using fresh beans in a blade grinder is far better than buying ground coffee. However, it is important to note that blade grinders require more effort to ensure that the grind is even.
If you can afford it, it is highly recommended to go with one of the burr grinders that have been listed. The machinery in a high-quality burr grinder is more complex, and it is built to withstand greater wear and tear. In budget burr grinders, the burrs will usually get blunt from regular use, and the flimsier motors may burn out in a matter of months.
It is important to note that pre-ground coffee should not be put into a burr grinder. With a burr grinder, the pre-ground coffee gets stuck inside the burrs, and the user needs to disassemble the machine to set it right. In conclusion, choosing the right coffee grinder is essential for a superior coffee experience, and investing in a quality burr grinder is worth the additional cost for consistency and convenience.