Blade vs. Burr Grinders
Ever wonder why coffee shops produce higher quality beverages
than in your home. Here is one of the reasons. The benefits of
a burr grinder over other blade-type grinder are quite noticeable
to the espresso enthusiast! First, the burr grinder can produce
more consistent and precise grinds. The blade-type grinder produces
grinds inconsistent in shape and size. Second, the blade-type
grinder produces and places more heat onto the grinds than a burr
What does all this mean? Well, to produce flavorful espresso-based
beverages, grinds consistent in shape and size must be used so
that that water can evenly and equally extract the flavor
out of the grind. Grinds inconsistent in size and shape will
be extracted inconsistently; Therefore, they will produce
a cup flavored with bitterness and/or with a very weak flavor.
With respect to heat, the heat usually produces a more bitter
or burnt flavor in the cup.
Please note there have been new introductions of burr grinders.
Those selling under $100.00 US usually have smaller burrs that
sometimes produce a slightly inconsistent grind, and since the
burrs are much smaller, they tend to overheat - which negatively
affects the grinds. Although we sell some sub-$100 grinders, they
are available to be selected where there is very minimal demand
for coffee beverages (say, one cup/pot/espresso pull per day).
This is why some manufacturers have integrated "conical
burrs". These conical burrs are typically larger than the
smaller ones found on grinders under $100. The "conical burrs"
do perform well since they grind more consistently and the shape
(like a cone head) dissipate the heat rather well.
We also stock hand cranked coffee grinders that have conical
burrs. Although they can take forever (well, seems like forever
when grinding for 5 minutes), the hand cranked coffee grinders
achieve a consistent grind without any heat built up (except for
the blood and sweat created in cranking the lever). : )
The more expensive coffee grinders ($200 and up) primarily use
flat burrs. The reason is that the burrs on these units are much
larger than that found on the sub-$100 grinders. The flat burrs
tend to grind very fine (getting as close to Turkish grind - a
very fine powder of coffee) and they have very powerful motors.
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