Your grinder is the most important piece of equipment you need on your home coffee bar. It’s the single most important factor followed by water temperature that can make or break the taste of your coffee. A great cup of coffee doesn’t have to come from an expensive machine. You can get a better cup of coffee from some basic fresh roasted beans, a pour over basket and a burr grinder. Simply put, a burr grinder will create a more flavorful cup of coffee and will change the way you think about coffee. For years I only used a blade grinder because burr grinders were not widely available for coffee. There are many reasons to buy a burr grinder, but the most important is often the most overlooked.
Burr grinders can vary widely in price but I use an inexpensive KRUPS Professional Electric Burr Grinder I found on Amazon. After doing a LOT of research before I bought my latest grinder, I settled on the Krups model. It was affordable, grinds consistently, and enabled me to start enjoying my fresh roasted coffee right away. Here are five reasons why you should invest in a burr grinder versus a blade grinder:
#1 Grind Size
Blade grinders use a flat metal blade that spins, tossing the beans around the grinding cup until there are no whole beans. Burr grinders funnel the beans through abrasive surfaces that are rubbing together, breaking them into pieces. Those pieces are then broken into smaller pieces as they continue through the burrs. Because the pieces have to be small enough to make it through the next size of the burr, the grind size produced is consistent.
#2 Heat Transfer
Blade grinders produce heat as the blade whirls the beans. The heat allows gases to be released, affecting taste and quality of the beans. Coffee beans are incredibly delicate and have already lost flavor as part of the roasting process. Because of this heat transfer, you will have to use more coffee per cup, creating more waste. Burr grinders will preserve the flavor from roasting, allowing you to use the least amount of coffee to get the best flavor.
#3 Ease of Use
There are several burr grinders on the market depending on what you’d like them to do. For the electric ones, just select the grind size and press the button. It’s really that easy. There are stationary ones like the KRUPS brand or there are ones that are manual for traveling or camping. Whichever one you get you’ll notice a difference in the taste of your coffee.
#4 Grind Adjustment
Different brew methods require different grinds. For example, espresso grind is very fine to allow for water to move through the grounds slowly. French press grind is very large (like coarse sea salt) to allow for extraction via steeping. If you try to grind too finely for french press, you’ll end up with sediment (and thick at that) in the bottom of your cup. Burr grinders have the ability to grind for all brewing methods more precisely.
#5 Ground Coffee Stales Quickly
Oxygen is the enemy of coffee. Grounds begin to stale around 30 minutes after they are ground. Unless the grounds are resealed and all of the oxygen is removed from the bag, they will continue to lose flavor. If you’ve never tasted fresh ground beans, you’ll never know the difference. But I promise, once you grind your own, you’ll find it hard to go back to pre-ground coffee.
So Now What?
There really is a lot of information and variables when shopping for your coffee bar accessories. If you’re putting together a home coffee bar, invest a bit more into quality products that will make you proud to show off your bar when friends come over. Give them a delicious cup of coffee and they won’t want to hang out anywhere else! Check out the review of the Ninja Coffee Bar for another great addition to your home coffee bar! Make sure you’re subscribed to the monthly newsletter and grab your free Roast & Brewing E-Guide!