A Guide to Burr Coffee Grinders

Burr Coffee Grinders are known for their better flavor, more even grind and their ease of use compared to blade coffee grinders. If you follow this blog, you have likely already read How to Choose a Blade Grinder and A Comparison Between Blade Grinders and Burr Grinders where I talked about how burr grinders are superior to blade grinders.

Coffee lovers all know that a cup of freshly brewed coffee needs to be brewed with freshly ground coffee beans. If ground beans are not used within minutes of grinding, the flavor is very quickly lost. That is why it is really important to have a coffee grinder at home.

Before getting into more detail about grinders, let us look at some basic information regrding different grinding levels.

There are three main grind sizes: course, medium and fine. Turkish grind is also often discussed as a fourth grind size. Course ground coffee has the largest coffee granules while the Turkish grind is the finest.

Apart from espresso, medium grind works well with most coffee makers. For espresso machines, a fine grind is necessary. Course grind is recommended for coffee presses and percolators.

You don’t need to buy an expensive burr coffee grinder with loads of different settings, a simple grinder will do the job. If you are grinding for less than three people, a blade grinder will be fine.

Turkish grind is the finest of the four grinding levels mentioned above and is used with Turkish coffee brewers. Turkish grinding requires a particular type of grinder and generally won’t be achievable with a domestic coffee grinder.

Types of Burr Coffee Grinders

There are 2 types of burr coffee grinders:

  • Flat Burr Coffee Grinder
  • Conical Burr Coffee Grinder
Flat Burr grinder vs Conical Burr grinder

Conical grinders are quite popular right now, but flat burr grinders are also great. With so many makes and models out there, it is difficult to say what type of grinder is better. So here we are not going to compare these two types of grinders, we are just going to list some features of both so that you can buy the grinder that best suits your needs. It really does not matter whether you go for a conical or flat burr grinder as long as you get the grinder that is right for you.

The Speed – there are two standard grinding speeds: high and low, powered by either a high or low speed motor. The price for high speed grinders is similar to that of high-end blade grinders. The motor is smaller than low speed grinder motors. As the motor in these grinders is required to operate at a pretty high rate, some heat may be created and transferred to the beans which isn’t good for optimal coffee extraction and can result in bitter coffee. Low speed grinders produce less heat and are also more quiet. Choose a low speed grinder if your budget allows for it.

Noise level – the quiet the better. Burr grinders are quieter than blade grinders and lower speed grinders are quieter than fast grinders.

The design – there are three points we want to pay attention to when it comes to design: how the grind is adjusted, whether or nor the grinder has a doser and finally, whether or not the design fits with your kitchen decor.

Personally, I prefer stepless grinders (grinders without reference options) as they give complete control over the size of the grind. Stepped burr grinders are good too, as it is easy to remember the exact setting for your coffee grind. This is particularly useful for espresso machine owners.

A doser automatically measures out a portion of ground coffee. Non-dosing grinders are not ideal for espresso but are fine for all the other brewing methods such as a drip coffee or French press.

No matter what kind of Burr Coffee Grinder you choose, there is no need to over-complicate things. A cup of fresh coffee is all we want.