As a coffee geek and on the Kaizen quest to constantly perfect the taste of coffee I was hit with bolt out of the blue to run a Blade Vs Burr Grinder Taste Test.
I’d have never thought, all things equal, that the type of grinder that you use will have an effect on the flavors produced by your coffee.
It is incredible, it is notable and it is absolutely true.
If you are in a rush – A Burr grinder will produce the best taste. You’ll need to keep reading to find out why!
What Is A Burr Grinder?
Burr grinders are small grinders that have two revolving abrasive surfaces or mills that are a set distance apart which is set by the person using the grinder.
The two burrs grind the food product, in our case coffee, by using a crushing action.
Burr grinders come in different forms with the best type being ceramic conical burr grinder. The conical design is better for consistency in grind size and ease of cleaning while the ceramic material is much better for heat resistance.
What Is A Blade Grinder
Blade grinders are those grinders that resemble a food processor with those double pronged blade spinning at the bottom of the chamber that effectively chops anything that comes into contact with it.
Another design has flat discs blades that spin at high speed and are moved closer or further apart by the user who wishes to alter the size of the coffee grounds.
The majority are made with stainless steel. The heat produced by the rapidly spinning blades can and will produce heat which will spoil the flavor of your coffee grounds. Due the functionality of this type of grinder an inconsistent grind size is produced.
This is why we do not recommend blade grinders of any type.
Why Are Burr Grinders Better Than Blade Grinders
In a word, or rather a phrase, consistent-sized coffee grounds is the main reason for electing to buy a burr coffee grinder.
Getting an inconsistent grind size means you coffee will extract at different rates and thus you will not get a perfect even extraction of coffee. This not good for brewing coffee.
The other top reasons are the resistance to heat for a ceramic burr coffee grinder. Heat can spoil and “cook” your coffee grounds while they are ground. A material that is highly resistant to heat is obviously a plus point.
Conical shape is preferred due to the ease of cleaning and keeping your grinder clean and free from old grounds and coffee oil.
Is A Good Grinder Important?
Especially if you are dedicated to brewing the best possible coffee that you can and after investing good money in a quality coffee maker you should.
If you are spending your hard earned money on expensive and top quality single origin coffee beans and buying fresher coffee beans then using a good grinder is important, very important as it will help you to get a better quality cup of coffee.
Coffee aficionados and coffee enthusiasts will agree that a consistent grind from a coffee grinder that does not have a problem with heat dissipation will result in a slightly better tasting cup of coffee.
Thus, by definition it make a good grinder, namely a conical ceramic burr grinder an essential piece of coffee equipment. when you visit coffee shops in your locality ask them what type of coffee grinder they are using.
It is most likely a ceramic conical burr grinder. There is a reason for that.
Burr Coffee Grinder Will Heat Your Coffee Beans Less Than A Blade Grinder
When you grind your coffee beans, grind them immediately prior to brewing your cup of coffee as the flavors are fresher and kept, locked in the whole beans. When you start to grind your beans the aroma and flavor of the coffee dissipates from your coffee beans as the oxidation process starts straight away.
Heat blooms and extracts the flavor from your coffee beans and this using a method of grinding that does not heat the coffee beans is a plus point.
When you grind with a stainless steel blade grinder and press the grind button the high speed of the blades spinning chops, slices and cuts your coffee beans which then get spun around the inside of your grinder which creates friction and creates heat and thus the freshly ground beans lose their flavor and aroma.
Burr grinders spin slower and the burrs are not in contact with each other and thus there is no friction, regardless of which material it is made from. The beans slip down the grooves and are crushed and then fall into the area where the grounds are collected.
There is less friction and less heat, even with a stainless steel burr grinder. A ceramic due to less heat conduction offers greater insulation against heat. The beans keep their aromas and flavors and are thus slightly fresher in flavor.
Final Thoughts, Frappe-Ing It All Up – Blade Vs Burr Grinder Taste Test
It sounds so much like a minor change, and it a tiny small change but truly and honestly that small change of switching your grinder from a stainless steel blade grinder to a ceramic conical burr grinder will make an improvement to the taste of your coffee.