Difference between burr and blade grinders: which one is ideal for homebrewing?

Difference between burr and blade grinders: which one is ideal for homebrewing?

If you are a coffee lover, you know how crucial it is to have the right equipment, including coffee roasters and grinders. This article will explore the possibilities with two types of coffee grinders called burr and blade grinders. Let us begin with the burr grinder.

The Burr Grinder
Most people will tell you that burr grinders are better at maintaining consistency, quality and flavour than blade grinders.
Also known as a burr mill, this machine has two revolving ‘burrs’ which grind the coffee. The moving grinder wheel and a motionless surface crush the coffee beans. These come in two variants - conical and flat burr grinders. While both are excellent devices, each one has its own specialties, which can help you decide.

Conical burr grinders
These industry-grade machines have a cone-shaped centre burr and an outer serrated burr to grind coffee beans. It is energy-efficient and heat-resistant, making it an ideal option for professional settings. While the coffee grounds are high-quality, you will notice some inconsistency if you squint. The size differences are so minuscule that they do not affect the overall flavour of your beverage, but it is a deal-breaker for some individuals. You will need more uniform grounds if you plan to use an espresso machine later, so some prefer flat burr grinders.

The Flat Burr Grinder
These coffee machines gained popularity following their introduction in the 2013 World Barista Championship. Two sharp, doughnut-shaped burrs face one another and grind coffee beans into a uniform powder. The design ensures that the beans stay in place until they turn into equal-sized, symmetrical bits. This quality gives rise to an even flavour in your beverage. However, flat burr grinders need more energy, heat and generate a lot of noise.

Blade Grinders
These are the old-school grinders commonly used in households. They are cheaper and easily accessible, but lack consistency and method.These grinders chop coffee beans instead of grinding them with a blade in the centre that looks like a blade in a food processor.
It is fast and convenient, with the drawback of uneven pieces that may result in a combination of flavours, ranging from bitter to bold in single coffee cups. These grinders also get overheated, affecting the taste of your bean.

Burr or blade? Which is better?
The answer to this depends on your priorities as a homebrewer. However, if you are a coffee enthusiast eager to understand the brewing process intimately, burr grinders are ideal for you. The aim of manufacturing these grinders is to achieve greater control and consistency over the grinding process.

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