How to Choose A Coffee Grinder
The secret to getting the freshest and most flavorful taste from your coffee lies in buying highly quality coffee beans and grinding them correctly. In light of this, you will need a basic coffee grinder to make your work easier in the kitchen. In fact, every coffee enthusiast needs one in their kitchen, and it doesn’t have to be a high end model, either.
Coffee Grinders Available on the Market
Even though “coffee grinders” is the common name used to refer to these kitchen appliances, these useful machines can also be used to grind other things such as grain, flax, seeds, or even nuts. These products can also be referred to as food mills, even though traditional mills may be a bit more elaborate in function and design, and thus may be used to process a variety of grains and spices. (Note that it is NEVER recommended to use the same machine to grind both spices/nuts/seeds and coffee. A dedicated coffee grinder should always and only be used to grind coffee, or you may contaminate every future batch of coffee with small particles of spices, seeds, or nuts left behind.)
There are two types of these kitchen appliances — electric and manual. Electric grinders are mostly preferred because they save time and effort when grinding. Again, coffee grinders must not be confused with larger food grinders (such as a meat grinder), because these have a different function altogether.
Grinders have been used for ages. However, grinders specifically meant for coffee have been chosen by people who love the beverage, and these connoisseurs see the grinder as a must-have tool in the kitchen.
Why the Prices of Coffee Grinders Differ
If you go for the most basic of all the grinder styles, you’ll find that they are not elaborate in design. The basic units have only a single blade system. These are geared towards simple operation to produce a ground product quickly. However, there are higher quality grinders with diverse features geared towards enhancing the consistency of the grind.
Durability and materials used to manufacture the item will also affect the final retail price. A few coffeemakers will feature built-in conical burr grinders to guarantee the ultimate taste in coffee. That’s the reason you can find coffee grinders ranging from tens to hundreds of dollars.
The Best Features in Coffee Grinders
The choice of blade, grind level, bean storage capability, bean-to-cup measurements, cool-down processes (which enhance consistency of the grind), and automatic conversion that measures bean-to-cup ratio are just some of the features you should expect with some popular brands.
As a buyer, you’ll save money if you go for a model that offers the most features for an affordable price. You should pay attention to bean storage and grind level choices (especially ideal for those with gourmet coffee machines). You should only go for a model that has the features you need, and pass up the models with add-ons that will waste your money.
Basic coffee grinders will require minimal maintenance effort, while more elaborate ones with multiple features will require more maintenance. Additional features will mean more cleaning of the parts. For instance, burr grinders will need more cleaning with a special brush in order to keep them in good working order, as compared to blade grinders.
If you don’t pay particular attention to the overall grind consistency, and you want to minimize the effort you’ll put into cleaning, choose a basic blade coffee grinder instead. On the flip-side, if you are very specific about grind quality and consistency, then be prepared for the additional work of maintenance as well as the higher price tag of a burr grinder.
Other Things to Consider
You might need to consider the bean storage capabilities of the machine you buy. If it can accommodate a large amount of coffee beans, the better it is for you. This means the machine is convenient. A quality coffeemaker often includes a built-in grinder, because it minimizes the overall cost of maintenance, plus the combined machines are low on space consumption.
You may want to look into food processors, too. Some have the capability to grind coffee beans sufficiently. Warranty details are also important, as the terms and conditions will vary. Lastly, you may want to consider the location where you’ll place the coffee grinder — inside a cabinet, or on top of the kitchen counter.
Burr vs. Blade Coffee Grinder
Generally speaking, burr coffee grinders can produce finer coffee dust than Blade coffee grinders, and they are more expensive. Burr grinders are vastly superior to blade grinders in the area of consistency, but blade coffee grinders are much easier to use and maintain. More comparisons between burr coffee grinders and blade coffee grinders can be found here.
We hope this information is helpful. As always, thank you for reading!