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Are Burr Grinders Worth It?

Getting the most from your Coffee

We often get asked how to up your coffee game when at home.  Mostly around how do I get it to taste the best! Everyone has different tastes and there are a  variety of different brew methodologies out there that favour certain flavor characteristics, and these are super fun to play with. Espresso, pour overs, all in one solutions, and everything in between. After all, coffee preparation is the second most exciting part of coffee, other than drinking it! This is where we get to  identify aromas, and anticipate the flavors as we meticulously weigh our beans and ensure the water temperature is just so! The coffee turns out good… but is there more to it? For all of the care we take on preparation for our morning ritual, the grinder is often overlooked. In fact, it is the MOST important piece of coffee machinery that you can own. Hands down. Bar none. Don’t believe me? Read this: Don’t Skimp on the Grinder

Blade Grinder

Like any good repeatable process, the grinder’s purpose is to take the variability of ground coffee particle size away and let you focus on the interaction with your coffee. As with any experiment, changing only one variable at a time allows to get the best results. Does it taste best at a 1 to 15 brew ratio or 1 to 17? It’s really hard to tell unless your grind size, and size distribution is consistent. Imagine you have super fine particles, and very large coffee bean chunks.  Whizz bang smashing of beans leads to freshly ground coffee which is good, but the ground coffee is as inconsistent in size as it could possibly be. Coffee particles will be super fine and really coarse every time you grind. This grinder will not be useable for espresso. Sure, there’s the pulse method and tricks to make it better, but it’s definitely the band aid approach in one’s search for the best cuppa joe. They are available everywhere, are inexpensive and are used for a million different things. The question is, does it really do justice for your coffee?

Burr Grinder

Meet the Burr Grinder. Two gears that grind the coffee at a very specific space between them. The burrs are also perfectly designed to give consistent size and shape of the ground particles. Burr grinders have a wide range of adjustability to get the exact space between them for the perfect brew. There are two main types, and I will do a blog on this in the future; Stepped, and Stepless. They work for french press as the most coarse grind, and on good models, down to espresso and some are good even for turkish coffee. They have a long life, and depending on the manufacturer, you can simply replace the part that wears out, which is a good way to keep costs low over time. Downside is the upstart cost. Instead of a $20 bill, they start closer to $200. So… The question is… is it worth it for you? I can only think of one person who can answer your question! At the end of the day, if you are enjoying the nuances of the coffee that you are drinking and taking the time to prepare it carefully and do not have a burr grinder, Give one a whirl. It WILL be the single most effective way to take your coffee to the next level. If you would like more information on burr grinders, DHC would be happy to help you out! We do sell grinders, and alternatively can grind your coffee for you. If you have a blade grinder and do not want to spend money on a new toy, we can grind it at our shop before you get it delivered, just let us know on the order notes! Send us an email at [email protected] to find out more.

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