What You Need to Know Before Buying a Coffee Grinder
So, you’ve decided to start grinding fresh coffee beans. Congratulations! You’re about to embark on a wonderful journey that will lead to fresher, more delicious, more aromatic coffee each and every morning.
Coffee grinders can be a lot of fun—Especially when they start making funny noises a week after the return window closes. So before you reach for your trusty 20% off Bed Bath & Beyond coupon and purchase the first grinder you see on sale, here are a few things you should know:
(We've also selected some top rated grinders on Amazon for you):
Types of Coffee Grinders
There are two basic types of coffee grinders: blade grinders and burr grinders.
Blade grinders are the most common and least expensive type of grinder. They use a fast-spinning blade to chop the coffee beans into small pieces. The problem with blade grinders is that they can be inconsistent, resulting in coffee grinds that are a mix of coarser and finer grounds.
Burr grinders are more expensive than blade grinders, but they are worth the investment. Burr grinders use two grinding surfaces (one stationary and one moving) to crush the coffee beans into uniform pieces. This results in a more consistent grind, which means better tasting coffee.
Conical Burr vs Flat Burr Grinders
Within the category of burr grinders, there are conical burr grinders and flat burr grinders.
Conical burr grinders have two cone-shaped grinding surfaces (one nested inside the other), while flat burr grinders have two flat, disc-shaped grinding surfaces that sit parallel to each other.
Conical burrs are more efficient than flat burrs and are generally considered to be superior, but they can be more difficult to clean.
How do you know what type of burrs your burr grinder has inside? Well, conical burr grinders tend to advertise it as a feature. Generally, burr grinders that don't say they're conical burr grinders are flat burr grinders—but there may be exceptions. (See our review of the JavaPresse Grinder)
Manual vs Electric Grinders
There are also two types of burr grinders: manual and electric. Manual grinders are less expensive than electric grinders and can be a great option for those just starting out. Electric grinders are more expensive but they are faster and easier to use. Since entry level electric grinders are not that expensive, you might wonder if there's any reason to ever bother with a manual grinder. Other than cost, I can think of three good reasons:
- Manual grinders are easier to travel with (and take on vacation)
- Like a manual can opener or a manual corkscrew, they're a reliable backup if your electric grinder stops working or if you're without power.
- Personal preference—some people really enjoy the feeling of grinding their own coffee beans as part of their coffee making ritual. It's definitely very artisan-feeling!
Now that you know the essentials, let's move on to some final things to consider when choosing a coffee grinder.
Other Things to Look for When Buying a Coffee Grinder
When you're ready to purchase your coffee grinder, here are some other things to look for:
- Durable construction
- A solid warranty (1 year seems to be pretty standard, so anything more is a plus)
- An easy-to-use design
- A decently-priced model that fits into your budget
- (Let's be honest) One that matches your overall style (and other kitchen appliances) and looks good on your countertops
Once you've found the perfect coffee grinder for your unique needs, get ready to enjoy fresher coffee at home each and every morning! Just don't forget to clean your grinder regularly to keep things performing (and tasting) their best.
Fortunately, Amazon has a huge selection of coffee grinders for whichever preference you have.
Whether you have a grinder or not, we have a wide variety of ground and whole bean coffees for you to choose from, so be sure to browse our selection!
P.S. – If you're interested in learning more about brewing the perfect cup of coffee, be sure to check out our guides to master your coffee brewing technique.
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