Back to the grind...
Just like selecting any keen coffee gear, a discerning eye is needed. Luckily we have compiled a handy coffee grinder buying guide to highlight the differences and details that will help you to select the best grinder for your coffee needs. Not all grinders are created equal and knowing these unique and nuanced differences will mean the difference between an ideal and just passable grind! There are a few assorted main types of grinders to be aware of. Burr and blade as well as automatic and manual grinders.
Burr vs blades
When it comes to choosing a grinder, usually the first determining choice will be between burrs or blades. But what exactly is the difference between these two grinder options?
- Blade grinders - As its name suggests this grinder uses, well, blades to grind up your coffee beans. However, the results of using such a grinder can be beans that come out a bit uneven. Uniformity is oftentimes not a strong point for blade grinders. But this doesn't have to be a drawback necessarily! This makes a blade grinder more ideal for preparing larger grinds for say, Dutch or Cold Brews for example rather than the fine silty espresso grinds. Or for lovers of a good pour-over brew, a blade grinder should do the trick. Blade grinders are usually a bit cheaper compared to burr grinders as a result of their less exact grinds.
- Burr grinders - While blade grinders consist of propeller-like blades, the burr grinder has two serrated plates that can be adjusted to accommodate for grind type. The world is your oyster with a good burr grinder! Do you have bigger grinds in mind a la French Press? Or the fine and silky grind of an espresso? Either one of these options and most anything in between is attainable with this sort of grinder. The resulting grinds are generally more uniform when compared to blade grinders, too. Burr's are a bit pricier due to their more exact and higher quality grinds that come as a result. But do be aware you are getting a very nice grind for your beans.
Automatic vs. Manual
The next thing to consider when choosing a grinder is whether you'd like an automatic grinder or a manual one. This dichotomy comes down to whether you prefer the fast, efficient and convenient or the slower but more artisanal method of coffee preparation. Both of these have their virtues. And the deciding factors will often come down to your lifestyle and how you intend to use your grinder.
- Automatic - Automatic grinders are the more modern of the two choices. focusing on speed, accuracy, convenience, and ease of use, this grinder type is keen to provide uniform grinds in a jiffy. Automatic grinders come in burr or blade varieties and so if you'd rather do without choosing between burrs or blades, this may not be the grinder for you. But top of the line and state of the art automatic grinders are out there and so you will certainly be in good hands with an automatic grinder by your side.
- Manual - Slow food, artisanal coffee, crafted culinary delights. These are major themes that come as part and parcel for the manual grinder category. You won't have to choose between the burr and the blade camps with a manual grinder. But you will certainly have to put in the time and work to grind your beans. This is a plus, however, as the feeling of accomplishment and intimacy of grinding your beans as you brew them into your coffee is certainly enriching and a fulfilling practice to take part in. Once you grind out a few beans and experience the flavor, aroma and sheer joy of the brewed results you will understand why manual grinders are certainly a match for the speed and efficiency of automatic grinders!
Commercial vs Home Use
Another important aspect of choosing a grinder includes how you intend to use it. Depending on your venue of choice, your ideal grinder options may change a bit. Or possibly be narrowed down or simplified, depending on your perspective of course!
Do you run a busy cafe? Is time of the essence? Do you handle many customers at a lightning-quick pace? Or do you enjoy a more slowed down cafe experience? Do you focus more on pour-overs and Dutch brews? Artisinal cups of coffee hand made delicately with care? Depending on your answer this will sway your decision more.
For faster cafe environments, choose a burr grinder or possibly blade grinder. These will provide expertly ground beans at a fraction of the time it would take to hand grind the beans.
While for the more relaxed, chill environment out there. The cafes that capitalize on expertly crafted and detailed brewings, opting for manual grinders may be the best choice. Not only do manual grinders provide a more artistic preparation in the cup but they add to the decor of one's cafe, too.
Now for those seeking a grinder for personal use, the same sort of questions still apply. Do you rush around in the morning? Do you focus on more quick brews or possibly even espresso type brewings? If this is the case, opt for an automatic grinder. But for those who like to take their time when preparing coffee. Possibly the early birds or individuals who like to make their coffee by hand, then manual grinders are here for your grinding needs!
Picking out the perfect coffee bean grinder can be a tough decision. But with a proper understanding of the different types of grinders out there, perhaps you can make a more exact choice! Consider variables like your lifestyle and how you intend to use your coffee bean grinder.
Seeking a grinder for your business? Consider your place of work's culture and the speed and flow of customers there. Or are you looking for one for personal use only? What sort of brews do you normally opt for in the morning or your chosen brewing times? Do you have the extras time to use a manual grinder? Do you prefer a more fresh and full-bodied grind?
What type of beans do you normally use? Do you prefer dark roasts? Then an automatic grinder especially burr would be ideal. Do you enjoy a lightly roasted bean? Then go for a manual grinder or blade grinder.
Choosing the perfect grinder all comes down to one very important variable; you. So choose wisely and may you always enjoy happy brewing!