There is no denying that a finely brewed cup of coffee can make a great difference to the taste and aroma of the coffee. Every coffee connoisseur would vouch for the fact that the best cup of coffee is rich, aromatic, and truest to its flavor profile.However, unlike the popular notion that the only way to improve the taste of the coffee is by buying better and more expensive coffee or getting a sophisticated coffee machine.
The true magic of the rich aroma and the fine taste of coffee can be unlocked by the process of grounding the coffee beans correctly rather than brewing.
The process of grinding coffee truly exposes all the subtle flavors and aromatics concentrated inside a coffee bean perfectly.
Importance of the coffee bean grinder:
- A good-quality coffee grinder is a perfect tool to improve the flavor, taste, and the quality of the coffee. Grinding your own coffee beans before brewing them can enhance your coffee experience completely
- Since the extraction of coffee in whole bean form is not as possible and some needs to be grounded prior to being brewed, the process becomes really important
- Purchasing pre-ground coffee is definitely an option but there is a chance of losing the full flavor potential of the coffee in that case
- A coffee grinder is the perfect solution for grinding the coffee in whole bean form just before brewing it to enhance the flavor of the coffee
Function of a coffee bean grinder:
Whole coffee beans generally have a very hard surface and the form does not allow hot water only to extract all the flavors and aromas of the coffee
The surface of a coffee bean acts as a protective shell to retain the natural oils and aroma of the coffee.
The function of the coffee grinder is to break or grind the coffee bean’s surface to expose the surface area inside the coffee bean allowing the bean’s rich aromas and flavors to come out distinctly
The importance of a good coffee grinder cannot be overemphasized here. It helps in producing uniform particle size, allowing the coffee to extract evenly. If the coffee is not grounded properly, it will result in under-extracted and over-extracted coffee particles in the form of ‘boulders’ or ‘fines’, altering the taste of the coffee
While brewing the coffee, the water extracts and captures the grounded coffee beans’ oils, aromas, and flavors to make a savory cup of rich coffee
Grinder option: Blade Grinder VS. Burr Grinder
It is important to do proper research and understand all the pros and cons of available coffee grinders in the market since all coffee grinders are not the same.
Two of the most common types of coffee grinders available today are blade grinders and burr grinders. Here is the comparison between the two types to help you make an informed decision.
Blade Grinders are a type of low-cost, coffee processor where the blade inside the unit whirls around in quick motions to convert the coffee beans into pieces.
The blade grinder functions using a rotary blade that grinds and chops up the coffee beans inside the bowl of the grinder.
However, this grinder does not have the ability to control the grind size and it is difficult to get the desired grind size of the beans.
The motion of the blades is normally too fast, which results in producing a mix of boulders (large and uneven particles) and fines (extremely fine powder).
This leads to the uneven extraction of the coffee beans, affecting the flavor and aroma of the coffee. The over-extracted coffee brings the prominent bitter flavor in your brew whereas under extracted coffee tastes salty and sour as the flavor does not come out finely.
Both forms will affect the overall coffee experience. The over-extracted coffee will be unpleasantly bitter, overwhelming the senses, while the under-extracted coffee will taste flat and lack complexity.
Pros of the blade grinder:
- Relatively inexpensive
- Compact in size
- Easily available in the market
Cons of the blade grinder:
- Grind quality is not up to the mark
- Poor grind quality leads to uneven extraction of the coffee thus affecting the taste
- Offers more power for faster grinding, resulting in uneven coffee grounds
Burr grinders are the best coffee grinders with fine, consistent results. A burr grinder is made up of two revolving abrasive surfaces, also known as burrs, in between which the coffee is ground.
The functioning of the Burr grinders involves putting the coffee beans between two grinding discs or burrs to grind them to an even consistency.
The coffee beans are crushed between a moving grinder wheel and a non-moving surface in burr grinding.
Generally, there are two types of burrs available:
- Flat burr grinders
- Conical burr grinders
Although both of these burr grinders produce a consistent grind, the conical burrs are used on a low speed while the flat burrs are used on all qualities of grinders for getting a constant size and more control over the process of the grind.
Since the burr grinding helps in crushing the coffee beans in a consistent manner, resulting in uniform and even-sized grounds, the quality of the coffee extracts during the brewing process is much better.
Burr grinders are the best coffee bean grinders that results in an even extraction of the coffee particles thus retaining the true flavors of the coffee.
Pros of the burr grinder:
- High quality and uniform grind of the coffee beans
- Easy to adjust and use
- Consistent results with fine tasting coffee
- Can be easily adjusted for use across multiple brewers
- Option of adjusting the distance between the grinding discs to make a coarse or fine grind of coffee
Cons of the burr grinder:
- Simply put, the better tier burr grinders can be quite expensive
Maybe you’re still wondering…
…which grinder should I get?
Well, the final choice is still with you. Blade grinders are definitely a more inexpensive option than burr grinders.
However, it is always recommended to go for a burr grinder to enjoy the authentic and fine taste of the coffee.
For getting the uniform size, the blade grinder needs to be used in spurts, whereas with the burr grinder the options are endless with many shapes and sizes, which make them the better coffee bean grinder.
Curious about the size your coffee grind should be?…
…then check out, The Last Coffee Grind Size Chart You’ll Ever Need.
To make your choice of the burr grinder easy, the general rule of thumb is to go with larger grinding burrs with heavy weight and low-speed grind.
Also, if you want to experiment with different types of grinds such as coarse or fine grind, choose the grinder which has the option of changing the settings.
If you are a coffee lover and have been using pre-ground coffee, you might be losing out on the subtle flavors of an authentic coffee brew.
If you truly want to enjoy the rich, aromatic flavors of a gourmet coffee, grinding whole coffee beans at home immediately before brewing is the way to go moving forward.
A burr coffee grinder is the perfect choice for grinding your coffee beans for a coffee maker or an espresso machine, whichever you prefer.
If you are interested and in the market for a new coffee bean grinder:
Check out my informative, best coffee grinders review. Where right now…
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I guess all that is left to say:
Happy coffee grinding!