What is a Coffee Grinder?
A coffee grinder is a specialized machine used for grinding whole coffee beans powered either electrically or manually. There are different grinding burr technologies used by various manufacturers of coffee grinders. While a manual coffee grinder uses muscle power for grinding, an automatic or electric grinder uses an electric motor to run grinding burrs for the best outcome. Both types use a grinding container designed in a way that the flavor of the bean remains intact.
Asides from choosing between electric or manual grinders there are two main grinder types to consider, blade or burr, both are meant to grind, crush the whole bean into the ground coffee we know.
Why is Owning the Best Home Coffee Grinder So Important?
Once the coffee is ground, it advances the deterioration process. The beans are coated in an oil like matter, and once the shell is broken down, oxidation begins. Store bought coffees are packaged in a vacuum sealed container or bag to help slow down this process but once opened it goes stale relatively quickly. When consumers complain that certain coffees are too bitter or lack flavor it is generally because of the amount of time the tiny particles of the coffee grinds have been exposed to air.
Investing in a good grinder will allow you to grind your beans fresh every day saving you money on wasted coffee. Daily grinding in the morning when you want quiet and are still half asleep may seem like a chore but coffee grinders of today work very quickly so don’t be deterred, that perfect cup of joe in the morning will be worth it.
Coffee Grinders: What Features Should I Learn about?
Blade and Burr There are two main types of coffee grinders: blade and burr grinders. Many professional cooks and experts will try and sway you from a blade grinder. Blade grinders produce uneven particles and this non-uniform grind will not produce a predictable brewed cup of coffee each time. The blade grinders are cheaper and more affordable for those who cannot afford a more expensive burr grinder. And all our panel testers agreed a blade grinder will still produce a better cup of coffee than stale old pre-ground.
What do you want to use your grinder for? The type and size of grounds you need will depend in part on the type of coffee machine or pot you use. You will want to have coarse grinds for cold brews and French Press or Percolators. A medium grind works best in drip machines and pour-over pots. Fine grinds are typically used in espresso. There is also a Turkish grind though not as common which will produce a light powder, this cannot be used in most machines on the market
Flat and Conical – Both a flat or conical burr perform similarly and are at the same price point. The difference is just how the beans enter the grinder. In conical burr, the beans are ground in a cone and a ring. In a flat burr, there are two rings parallel to each other that cut into the beans.
How much speed do you want to grind your coffee? Having the option of a quick grind for when you are in a hurry, or a low speed which many think helps to maintain the flavor of the bean, are both good features to consider when searching for your next electric grinder.
Burr build material:
Steel or Ceramic – Steel is the most common as it is the most affordable material for a burr, but the steel breaks down quickly so you will have to invest in a new grinder sooner. Ceramic although it lasts longer, is only found in a few styles of grinders, such as manual coffee grinders and those specifically for espresso.
Electric and manual. Electric as we discussed will deliver a more consistent and even grind than the manual grinders which use your strength to break down and crush the beans.
Choosing the Best Home Coffee Grinder
When you start your search think about the different features and options available in today’s coffee grinders. Some points to consider:
1. Motor Type:
Although grinders are available in manual and electric versions an automatic electric one will produce a more consistent uniform grind than manual models.
2. Grinder Type:
As we mentioned there are two types: burr and blade. Burr grinders offer a truly authentic and full-flavored brew. Blade grinders also work well and are seen in the more affordable, low-cost price points in our research.
3. Grind Levels:
A more basic model may not have any grind adjustment levels. But purchasing a grinder that can offer different textures from fine to coarse will allow for more range of brewing methods and machine types.
4. Size and weight:
Buy one that fits the kitchen or wherever you want to place the grinder. A good grinder with quality material should not be too light or too heavy.
Most companies provide warranty coverage for 1 year, and in some models, up to 3 years. However, we found a handful that provides guarantees of two years. You will want to compare your guarantee and warranty coverages versus price to determine what works best for you.
6. Other advanced features:
Electric timer, safety lock, stainless steel styling, automatic shut-off, hide-away cord storage, quiet function, programmable grinding, LED indicator, Borosilicate glass container, silicon band, LCD display, Versatile stainless-steel blade, One touch control, DC motor and more.