Coffee Grinders – Top 5 Features To Look For

If you’re looking to buy a coffee grinder, you are probably pretty serious about the coffee you drink.  From espresso, to long black, to latte – and everything in-between – there are a wide range of coffee drinks.  This article will discuss key features which a prospective purchaser should look for, and why.

1. Grind Type
The type of grinder will have the most impact on the output of your ground coffee.  There are two main types of grinder commonly available for home use; Blade or Burr. 

  • Blade grinders use strong blades to continually slice the coffee, until it is fine enough to be considered ground.  These work in a similar way to a food processor, so if you’ve seen a food processor chop up a carrot you’ll know what’s going on inside.  This type tend to be cheaper because the output does not produce a uniform particle size – you’ll end up with some larger pieces and some smaller than the output you’re looking for.
  • Burr grinders use two moving surfaces to crush the bean until it reaches the size of the gap between the two surfaces.  Once this happens, the ground output can move through the blades and out of the machine.  This type gives a very consistent particle size output, because if the particle is too big, it stays within the burrs.  However, a particle cannot be made too small, as once it can fit between the burrs it will drop, or be swept out.

Burr grinders can be broadly split into two kinds; Wheel or Conical.  This refers to the internal mechanism of each respective machine.
Wheel grinders use two turning wheels to granulate the coffee.  Whereas a conical burr uses an inside surface which is cone shaped, hence the name.  Generally, conical burr grinders are preferred because they can operate at a lower speed, which reduces the heat required for the process.  Excess heat during grinding can lead to the flavour bleeding out of the ground particles before we introduce the water where we want to capture that flavour.

2. Grind Settings
This setting will allow you to choose the size of the output particle.  Having the ability to easily change this setting is a key feature to look for.  Depending upon the brewing method, you will need the ability to select from Coarse all the way through to Very Very Fine.  If you have all these settings easily available, then you can simply change based upon which brewing method you’ll be using.  For a method such as French Press, a coarser output is recommended.  Whereas for an espresso or similar, a finer paticle is preferred.

3. Dosage Selector
Ideally, you should grind the coffee as close to the time of brewing as possible.  This will ensure all the flavour is still in the bean, ready for the hot water to capture it.  Therefore, a dosage selector is an ideal feature to have available to us.  With a dosage selector, you can determine how much coffee you are going to grind at that point in time.  Should you be preparing coffee just for yourself, or a small…

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