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How to Choose a Coffee Grinder

Catalogue

Are you a coffee lover that can't imagine a single day without it? The current trend is to grind coffee beans in a mill, whether manual or electric. You'll learn about which options are available and which milling option is best for you in this article.

Coffee grinders are an indispensable tool for coffee enthusiasts. Grinding your coffee just before you make yourself a cup is an important step to making the coffee taste exactly right. You have a choice between two options: classic manual grinders and modern electric grinders. Which type is more suitable for making a greater amount of coffee? And what should you pay attention to when choosing a grinder to make sure that your coffee won't get burnt?

Jak vybrat mlýnek na kávu
First, answer the following questions:
  • How many cups of coffee do you drink each day?
  • Do you prefer a coarse or a fine grind?
  • What does coffee mean to you? Is it just a dose of caffeine or a personal ritual?
  • How much money are you willing to pay for your coffee grinder?

Types of Coffee Grinders

Mlýnek na kávu

Manual Coffee Grinders

  • Suitable for 1-4 cups of coffee a day
  • Suitable for a coarser grind
  • Makes coffee preparation a ritual
  • Easy grind-size adjustment
  • Uniformly sized grind using burrs

Manual coffee grinders are definitely not a thing of the past. Many people actually appreciate the authenticity and the ritual of preparing their coffee themselves, one of the reasons being that when you grind your coffee in a manual grinder, the whole room fills with a wonderful aroma. Manual grinders also have a longer service life than electric grinders. They're most often sold in stylish wooden or plastic designs and use a burr mechanism. Burrs don't burn coffee in the process of grinding and never spoil the taste. Manual grinders are suitable for preparing about 4 cups a day, mainly because grinding more coffee requires more effort.

electric coffee grinders

Electric Coffee Grinders

  • Suitable for 5 or more cups of coffee a day
  • It's easy to set a precise grind size
  • They're not as stylish, but faster and more comfortable to use

The main advantage of electric coffee grinders is their speed and convenience. You can easily grind coffee for five or more cups a day and handle family visits without having to slave over a manual grinder. They're nevertheless not as stylish as their manual counterparts and also cost more money. The grinding mechanism uses either burrs, ceramic blades or steel blades. However, steel blades sometimes burn the coffee and spoil the taste, so we definitely recommend electric coffee grinders with burrs or ceramic blades.

Important Parameters of Coffee Grinders

Grinding mechanism

Grinding Mechanism

Blade grinders - mostly steel but occasionally also ceramic blades. They're used in cheaper coffee grinders where they cut coffee beans into uneven pieces. The big disadvantage is that blades cutting at high speeds can burn the coffee and spoil its taste and aroma. The advantages are the long service life and easy maintenance. They're also more versatile, so they can be used to grind things other than coffee beans.

Burr grinders - either flat or conical. Both types grind coffee evenly, helping to extract more essential oils from the beans. Conical burrs also have a longer service life. Burrs produce less heat, which means you won't burn the coffee beans and you will get to appreciate their full potential in your cup of coffee. The disadvantage of burrs as compared to blades is that you can only use them to grind coffee beans and they're more difficult to maintain.

Degree of coarseness for coffee grounds

Grind Size

Electrical coffee grinders often indicate grind size in degrees. The scale can have different values ​​depending on grinder type, e.g. 1-20 or 1-60. A bigger range presents you with greater choice in terms of the coarseness or fineness of the grind.

Manual grinders require you to change grind size manually by adjusting the distance between burrs.

Tray size

Hopper Capacity

This indicates the volume of coffee beans in grams that the hopper can take at once.

30 to 80 grams - small grinders suitable for preparation of 1-2 cups a day.

80 to 250 grams - medium grinders that can handle beans for about 2-3 cups a day.

Over 250 grams - large grinders that can handle even 3 or more cups a day. Suitable if you drink coffee often or tend to have more people over at the same time.

Frequently Asked Questions About Coffee Grinders

Why should I get a coffee grinder?

Only by grinding coffee beans yourself, just before you brew a cup, will you make sure that your coffee tastes exactly right. Coffee absorbs air and moisture really well, so oxidation starts quickly after several dozen minutes and ground coffee goes stale fast. This eliminates much of the flavour and taste. You will enjoy your coffee more if you prepare a cup within ten minutes of grinding the beans. Ground coffee still retains its properties in that time frame.

How do I adjust the grind size?

  • For manual grinders the grind size is controlled by adjusting the distance between burrs. Smaller distance makes for a finer grind, and a bigger distance makes for a coarser one.
  • You set grind size for electric grinders by either using a lever or a display, in the case of more expensive machines.

Which brands produce good coffee grinders?

  • When it comes to classic manual grinders, we recommend the Czech brand Lodos. The tradition of this brand dates back to 1923 and they produce quality wooden and stainless manual grinders. Worth mentioning are also the Japanese brands Hario or Porlex that specialise in plastic and stainless steel grinders with several sizes and designs on offer.
  • If you're after an electric coffee grinder, you can't go wrong with Phillips, De'Longhi, or Graef. You can also get more features and settings depending on how much you're willing to pay.

How often do I need to clean the grinder?

Ideally every time you've used it. The coffee bean residue can affect the aroma and taste of your next cup of coffee. You can use a common toothbrush to clean the grinding mechanism. If cleaning the grinder every single time seems too demanding, clean it at least once a week. You can also use special cleaning tablets made of corn and wheat flour.

Glossary of Terms - Voffee Grinders

Blades

Grinder blades are usually steel but occasionally also ceramic. They're used in the mechanisms of cheaper coffee grinders that grind beans into uneven pieces.

Conical burrs

This is a grinding mechanism where coffee beans are ground evenly, which helps to extract more essential oils from coffee beans.

Glossary of terms
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