Let’s admit it – a coffee grinder is an inventory that all coffee addicts heavily rely upon on a daily basis. It is just as important to them as coffee and is a device that they can’t imagine their sleepy mornings without. The fact that a good coffee grinder helps grind beans without clumping them together and evenly distributes coffee is what makes this kitchen tool mighty important. Plus, it also accentuates the overall taste of the coffee – a huge blessing for all coffee lovers out there.
Owing to its brilliant uses, it is not surprising to see a coffee grinder in every home today. But mind you, while coffee grinders are quite ubiquitous in today’s time, they haven’t always been there, not in their modern styles. History shows that during 800 A.D. Ethiopians discovered plenty uses of coffee; they instantly developed a liking towards coffee as a drink and made sure to grind their beans using a pestle or stone mortar – primitive versions of coffee grinders. Just like today, people prefer different forms of electric coffee grinders, back in the day, different people prefer grinders in their different forms and materials. For example, some opted for them in some stone shape while others in a wooden style. The surprising part is that, in some regions, mortar and pestle methods are still used for crushing coffee.
The first time when a coffee machine was introduced was by the Greeks around 1350 B.C. They came up with the idea of a coffee grinder mill – a machine used to crush coffee beans into a fine powder. Over time, with technological advancements, many impressive and advanced coffee grinders have come about. And in this blog post, we’ll jot down all those different yet common types of coffee grinders.
Table of Contents
- 1. Burr Grinder
- 2. Conical Burr Grinders
- 3. Flat Burr Grinders
- 4. Blade Grinders
- 5. High-Speed Grinders
- 6. Low-Speed Grinders
- 7. Gear Reduction
- 8. Direct Drive
- 9. Dosing Grinders
- 10. Non-Dosing Grinders
- 11. Stepped Coffee Grinders
- 12. Self Holding Coffee Grinders
- 13. Lever Release Grinders
- 14. Stepless Coffee Grinders
Related: All types of appliances
Also known as a burr mill, burr grinders are a grinder that crushes coffee beans into small, uniform sizes, which is necessary for making a delicious coffee. In this product, coffee beans are revolved around two abrasive surfaces, known as burrs, to turn into cocoa bean powder. However, the user is allowed to change the setting of these surfaces. For example, the user can keep the two surfaces apart from one another. Placing them at a distance will help produce coarse and slightly bigger ground material. On the other hand, if the surfaces are set closer to one another, then the end ground result is super flat and fine.
The burr mills are always designed for a single purpose. For instance, coffee burr mills are made only for grinding coffee beans and they are operated by electric motors. On the other hand, burr mills for crushing corns, seeds, spices, and peppercorns are functioned manually.
Burr grinders are, indeed, old-fashioned grinders and also function slowly as compared to other modern types of grinders. There are two types of burr grinders as discussed below:
Conical burr grinders come with two sharp cone-like ridges that crush the coffee into two specific sizes – large and small. Even after the finest grinding, the coffee beans remained pieced into these particular sizes.
While these grinders may not provide an ideal consistency, they cost cheaper, are less noisy, easy to clean and maintain, and produce less heat as well.
As compared to conical burr grinders, flat burr grinders churn out finer and even size of coffee ground. This helps make the coffee smoother and delightful.
That being said, flat burr grinders have a few drawbacks too. For example, these grinders happen to be expensive, noisy, slightly hard to clean and consume a lot of heat. If you’re planning on to invest in these types of grinders, make sure to consider both their advantages and disadvantages, and then make a decision.
Blade coffee grinders are designed using a double-pronged blade that spins rapidly, chopping coffee beans into fine pieces in seconds. Most of these grinders come with a single-press button, when pressed, makes the blade to revolve in a circular motion.
As soon as the coffee beans are hit by the blade, they are chopped into a bunch of fine, small chunks. At times, one grinding session is not enough and may leave some beans half-chopped. In such a case, the coffee needs to be crushed once again. The heat that is produced while grinding coffee beans helps change the flavor of the coffee; the taste becomes more intense and incredible.
Blade grinders offer both pros and cons that interested consumers must know about already. First of all, blade grinders are quite convenient to use. All you will be required to do is add coffee beans in the grinder and push the grind button for a few seconds, and tada! The coffee is milled.
Another great advantage of blade grinders is that they are easily available online, at any grocery store so shopping for one won’t be a chore. The best part is that these grinders are quite affordable; you may find one under just twenty dollars.
With the good comes the bad, blade grinders produce inconsistent coffee grounds, with both small and large sizes. They are also cheaply made which makes them quite affordable. While heating may add flavor to your coffee grounds, in some instances, it may result in the loss of flavors from the coffee grounds.
When looking for buying a coffee grinding machine, you may come across grinders that operate at varying RPMs, an abbreviation of the term “Revolutions per Minute”. Basically, it refers to the number of times the burrs rotate in a minute.
High-speed grinders are high-end performing grinders that have flat burr sets and beefier motors. But that’s not it. These grinders come with the highest RPMs, which means that they are able to crush coffee beans in a very short amount of time.
The coffee ground produced by high-speed grinders is even and consistent in texture – an ideal preference for every coffee lover/drinker. The reason why these mills are able to produce such fine ground material is because of their flat burrs that offer a spacious surface area for beans to grind. The flavor of the coffee also remains intact and that’s because the coffee is processed faster before it is affected by unwanted grind fiction.
With low-speed grinders, you have two options – either to go for a flat burr low-speed grinder or conical burr low speed one. Both of these grinders, as the name suggests, operate at a slow speed which means that they have a low RPMs. There are a few reasons why their rotation is slower than a high-speed grinder. That’s because they consist of small burrs in a conical shape.
Since they function slower, their heat buildup is also considerably lower. In addition to producing less heat, these grinders do not create noise or maintenance issues as high-speed grinders. However, bear in mind that low-speed grinders may not give out even coffee ground consistency like high-speed grinders. They aren’t as efficient and therefore are cheaper in their price range.
Low-speed grinders can be divided into two main types which are discussed as follows:
7. Gear Reduction
The gear reduction coffee grinder consists of a speedy motor that is attached to a set of multiple gears, reducing the speed of the burrs as a result. This product uses the DC motor instead of using AC power. This contributes to the longevity of the coffee grinder.
A gear reduction grinder is always a better choice than high-speed coffee grinders; that’s because a gear reduction with a high-speed motor is faster and more durable. They also create less noise than high-speed grinders and consume less heat – all the way more reason to invest in them.
8. Direct Drive
The high-quality direct drive grinder tends to be one of the most expensive grinders, present for home or commercial uses. Instead of a high-speed motor like in gear reduction grinders, direct drive grinders have a low-speed motor which is connected to the burrs. This allows both the motor and the burrs to revolve at the same time.
Since these grinders have a low RPM, they operate slowly and hence produce less static or heat. Since they produce less to no heat, they are extremely durable and no amount of heat is transferred to the coffee directly. There also won’t be any static in the grinds which will allow the machine to work for a long time.
The best characteristic is that these coffee machines are whisper quiet. They produce no audible sound and hence create no disturbance while making coffee. Owing to their many benefits, they are commonly found in professional and commercial industries.
Dosing grinders are specifically designed to collect ground coffee in a container known as a “coffee ground container” and then it is converted into a receptacle (portafilter). The ground coffee container is comprised of six equally divided sections. And when the ground coffee shoots through the chute, it drops into these sections.
These divided sections spin around and move toward the front of the grinder. The coffee then passes through a hole and lands into your receptacle. Keep in mind that the rotation is controlled by a handle so it is up to the user to tailor the speed of the rotation. Also, the sections can only accommodate 6 to 7 grams of coffee.
Dosing grinders are popularly used for making espresso, in which dosing the coffee is as important as it gets. Too much coffee or too little, both can be problematic. But with the help of dosing grinders, the amount of coffee needed can be measured and added in the grinder.
Non-dosing grinders come in a few distinctive designs and styles. Some of these grinders grind coffee beans into a portafilter from an espresso machine while others crush ground coffee into its own container. Whatever the case may be, by using a non-dosing grinder, you don’t get to measure the amount of ground coffee in a machine. This, often times, result in an overdose of coffee beans.
Moreover, crushing coffee in a non-dosing grinder is a simple and quiet process. Unlike dosing grinders, it doesn’t create churning sounds and hence it is ideal for everyday use. Non-dosing machines are simple in their built and easy to use; therefore, these grinders are cheaper than dosing grinders that can be slightly expensive.
Stepped coffee grinders come with the “stepped” adjustment which means that they allow locking in your coffee setting once the adjustment is done. Otherwise, there are chances for the grind setting to change during the grinding process.
There are two types of stepped coffee grinders:
12. Self Holding Coffee Grinders
In self-holding grinders, the user is supposed to press or turn the adjustment knob known as the bean hopper for grind setting.
As you turn the adjustment knob, you will hear a click sound which will be an indication that your grind setting is changed and ready to be locked. Please note that with every click, you will be changing the grind setting.
13. Lever Release Grinders
When it comes to lever release grinders, the user has to push a release lever in the downward position and then press/turn the bean hopper to lock the grind setting. Unlike self-holding coffee grinders, the lever release grinder doesn’t make any “click” sounds.
Unlike stepped coffee grinders, stepless grinders don’t have any pre-settings. In fact, the user can choose their coffee setting from a wide range of setting options. The adjustment can be made as little or as much as you prefer.
Choosing the right coffee grinder is crucial in order to make the most of your daily cup of freshly brewed coffee. Before you invest in a coffee grinder, ensure that you have gone through its pros and cons.