Whether you need to stock your café or home coffee bar, a high-quality grinder should be a nonnegotiable piece of equipment. Although the espresso machine often steals the show, a grinder is essential in ensuring a delicious end result.
Interested in learning more about coffee grinders and why investing in a good one is so important? Here, we discuss the details and theory behind grind size and how it affects the flavor of your espresso:
Grind Size Impacts Extraction
If you’ve wondered why whole beans need to be ground before making coffee or espresso, it’s because this practice increases the surface area that water passes through. By creating more surface area for water to come into contact with, the coffee beans’ flavor profile is more fully extracted.
The grind size you need is dependent upon the type of bean you’re grinding and the method of brewing you’ll be using. Choosing your grind size requires a delicate balance, since large, uneven particles can cause under extraction, while too fine a grind can lead to over extraction.
To achieve a balanced extraction that maximizes the beans’ robust flavors, you’ll need a coffee grinder that’s capable of producing uniformly shaped and sized particles.
Types of Grinders
Investing in a quality grinder is the first step in unlocking the best flavors within coffee beans. There are two primary types of grinders available, including blade and burr.
Blade grinders are often considered an entry level product. Although fresh coffee beans always beat pre-ground, blade grinders work by roughly chopping beans into uneven particles. The longer you operate a blade grinder, the smaller the pieces will become. Since blade grinders need more time to produce finer grinds, the heat released can impact the quality of the flavor.
Burr grinders are the gold standard for producing the best results. Burrs are often made of stainless steel or aluminum and work by crushing beans against a stationary surface. The fineness or coarseness of the grind is determined by the positioning of the burrs, and most burr grinders have multiple settings.
Burr grinders come in two different styles: flat and conical. Although there’s no clear winner between flat and conical burrs, the general consensus is that flat burrs are preferred in busy commercial settings. This is because flat burrs are faster and more capable of producing that uniform grind that’s so critical in consistent extraction.
A great coffee grinder is every bit (if not more) important than an espresso machine. We’ve just scratched the surface of the theory behind extraction here, but the bottom line is that a great grinder will help you create the best possible coffee drinks.
Whether you’d like a top-of-the-line flat burr grinder or something a bit more budget-friendly for large-quantity daily use, we’ve got you covered. If you need assistance regarding must-have coffeehouse supplies, we’re here to help. Please contact our customer service team with any questions you may have.