How to Pick the Right Burr Coffee Grinder in 2020?

Every coffee enthusiast will surely agree, that the foundation of the perfect brew is the correct technique of grinding of the beans. To achieve that we first need to have the right coffee grinder. How to pick one that will grind the coffee just right? Do you need a manual or an electrical one? What should you focus on when choosing your perfect grinding companion?

Why Grind Coffee at Home?

Before we settle the question about grinders, let’s talk about why you should own one in the first place. It is simple – coffee absorbs the air and the moisture around it. In fact, it does it so well, that the grains can oxidase just within an hour and the taste vanishes for good.

Even when you have your coffee ground at your local cafe, the battle is far from won, by the time you come home, the aroma might have already disappeared Read here our 6 Tips on How to Store Coffee to Keep it Fresh.

The only way to win for sure is to grind the coffee yourself. Grinding coffee at home just short of its preparation will prevent the coffee from losing its aromatic properties.

How to Pick the Right Grinder?

To choose, let’s start with the question whether to pick a manual or an electrical coffee grinder.

How much coffee will you grind? Do you simply enjoy the occasional cup? Or are you preparing coffee for a family celebration? If the latter is the case, your elbow will surely not thank you for using a manual coffee grinder. Compared to that, the electrical grinder handles everything quickly and comfortably without imposing any elbow related injuries 😊

For those who tend to oscillate between good old fashioned French press, Bialetti, and other types of coffee, the option of adjusting the grinding roughness will surely prove to be an interesting selling point.

With the manual hand grinder, the roughness adjustment is very easy, you simply either pull or pull off the grinding stones. For its electric equivalent, it is typically the adjustment of the lever or the settings on a display. If you are unsure what roughness of coffee is right, try consulting the pictures below. 

Different preparation, different results

Manual Coffee Grinders

The traditional way of grinding coffee still remembered by our grandmothers can easily become a beautiful part of a coffee ritual. Hand-grinding your coffee every morning can take you back decades, and the gorgeous sound of crushing beans accompanied by the rich aroma can be just the just right way to start your day.

If you prefer minimalist modernism, you will definitely choose from the offer of Porlex or Hario.

Grinding coffee with a manual coffee grinder can be a nice workout!

Electrical Coffee Grinder

As we mentioned before, the electrical grinder offers significantly more comfort than its old-fashioned cousin. There is no need to turn the lever for minutes on end, everything is ready for you in a matter of seconds. You don’t even have to measure the amounts; everything is easily adjustable.

The important factor when choosing an electrical grinder is the grinding mechanism, which can consist of either steel knives or grinding stones.

Professional Electrical Grinder

When coffee is ground with steel knives, the metal heats up and can burn the beans. The knives also don’t grind the coffee evenly, which affects the extraction of the taste and can easily ruin the final result. They are however easy to maintain and, very financially attractive.

Compared to the steel knives, ceramic grinding stones grind the beans noticeably more evenly. When it comes to perfect uniformity, choose conical grinding stones. The flat ones have a larger proportion of the dust component in the resulting coffee, which harms the extraction of the taste.

Professional electrical coffee grinders

For a true coffee lover, the ideal combination is an electric coffee grinder with conical grinding stones. However, fulfilling this demand comes with a price tag; more time-consuming maintenance, shorter service life, and of course, higher cost.

Be cautious of grinders that have a plastic body, they are significantly cheaper but tend to be quite short-lived.  Moreover, when they become faulty, it is nearly impossible to find a service willing to repair them. 

As mentioned above, electric grinder offers convenience. You don’t have to turn the handle until your elbow gives out; everything is done in a few seconds. You also don’t have to estimate the doses you’re grinding – everything can usually be automatically set.

Maintenance of Grinders

The grinders must be cleaned ideally after each grind, otherwise, you risk that the residual oils from the coffee beans will negatively affect the next dose. All you need is a toothbrush and you can start cleaning the grinding mechanism. Once clean, simply blow through it.

If you’re looking for a more interesting way that does not include buying an extra toothbrush, try using rice. Grind some rice grains once a month through your grinder; the rice binds the oils from the grinding mechanism and keeps the mechanism clean.

For those wary of rice, there’s a variety of special cleaning tables made from corn and wheat flour that can be used instead.

The rest of the grinder should then be cleaned with a cloth, preferably without the use of water.

Make sure to find out how difficult it is to service the grinding stones before the purchase. If you are unsure whether you can handle the replacement yourself, ask the service center for advice

In Conclusion

The manual hand grinder will not burn the beans, is cheaper, and has its own charm. The electric grinder is faster and more comfortable, but difficult to maintain and costly.

And as with everything, you have to watch out for duds. Make sure to be thorough when researching your grinder, and feel free to use reviews on the Internet to help you purchase the best grinder for the perfect cup.