The Top 10 Best Burr Coffee Grinders of 2016

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Burr Coffee Grinders: Questions & Answers

What is a burr coffee grinder?

A burr grinder (or burr mill) is designed to grind small food like nuts, spices, and coffee beans into fine or coarse uniform pieces. The other type of grinder commonly used is the blade grinder, which differs from the burr in that it uses slender blades to “chop” the beans. Burr grinders work by using two spinning, abrasive surfaces (called burrs). The further apart these burrs are, the coarser your beans become. You have control over the burr distance. Most burr grinders today are operated by electric motors so you don’t have to grind by hand.

What are the benefits of a burr coffee grinder?

The main advantage of burr grinders over blade grinders is that burr coffee grinders grind the beans into a uniform size, resulting in better-tasting coffee. Blade grinders do not have this type of consistency and produce uneven particles. With burr grinders, you also don’t have to deal with clogs as often and you can better choose the exact coarseness (or fineness) of the beans. Though blade grinders are cheaper, they don’t produce as high of a quality of coffee as burr grinders do, so if you consider yourself a coffee expert, you definitely want to go with a burr grinder.

What are the disadvantages of using a burr mill?

Problems with burr grinders tend to vary depending on the quality of the grinder. Most of the really good burr grinders are very expensive, so if you are like most people you’ll have to decide if you really love coffee enough to justify the purchase. If you choose to go cheaper on a mill, you often run into problems with clogging, overheating, and static caused by the grinding friction. The static causes the beans to cling to the bean hopper (where the beans sit and wait to be ground). In general, the faster that the motor operates, the more static is produced. Faster motors also tend to mean a louder grinder.

What kind of coffee can I make with a burr grinder?

There are a wide variety of coffee beverages you can make with burr grinders, like espresso, french press, drip, and so on. The consistency of the bean (fine or coarse) is what determines the kind of coffee drink you create. Not all burr grinders offer the same choices. The Mr. Coffee BVMC-BMH23 automatic burr mill and Cuisinart DBM-8 Supreme Grind mill both have 18-position selectors that range from extremely fine to coarse. This is more than the KitchenAid, which has 15 choices. The Breville BCG800XL smart grinder has a whooping 25 grind settings for every kind of coffee imaginable. If you like to be extremely precise with your grinds, the Baratza Vario-W 986 has 10 settings that lead into 20 micro adjustments, so you can fine tune every cup.

How long should I grind the beans?

Most of the burr grinders available today allow you to set the amount of coffee you want and then automatically grinds it. The Bodum Bistro electric burr grinder has a timed grinding feature and quick grind button so you don’t have to count out the seconds. The Cuisinart Supreme Grind has 6 settings for each grind type (ultra-fine, fine, etc) and is automatically set at medium grind so it takes 40 seconds for 12 cups and 55 seconds for 18 cups. However, when you want a fine grind, it’s best to play around with the grinder and set the number of cups at a higher number than what you might think is necessary. This is because fine grinds are compact and produce less cups than a very loose grind would, using the same amount of beans.

How much coffee can I grind?

The amount of coffee you can grind varies by machine. The grinders that hold a lot of coffee tend to be more expensive, so bear that in mind. The Mr. Coffee BVMC-BMH23 holds up to ½ pound of coffee in its hopper. The Cuisinart Supreme Grind can grind as little as 4 cups and as much as 18. The Braun KSM2-BLK is in the middle with 12 cups. For a unit that makes a lot of coffee, there’s the Rancilio Rocky. It can grind up to 7.7 pounds in just an hour.

How to clean a burr coffee grinder?

Grinding beans can be messy and you do need to keep the grinder clean. If you don’t clean it out, it will get clogged and the leftover bean bits can become rancid. Some mills are tricky to clean because they don’t come apart easily, while others, like the Cuisinart Supreme, has dishwasher-safe parts. Just be sure to put the pieces on the top rack and never let the electrical part of the grinder (the base) get wet. Just wipe the base with a damp rag. Many mills even come with dusting brushes and cleaners, like the Capresso Jura Infinity. These handy extras walk you through the cleaning process so you know exactly how to keep your burr grinder in top-notch shape.

Are there any quieter grinders?

A common complaint about burr grinders is that they are very loud. This limits you in terms of when you can grind without disturbing everyone in your home. There are two burr grinders that are quieter than the competition. The Rancilio HSD-ROC-SD Rocky has a quiet-operation motor. The Baratza Vario-W is another option. The motor turns slowly, which results in a quiet grinding experience that also produces very little friction and static. If you’re looking for quiet grinders beside these two, check and see how fast they grind. The faster the speed, the louder the grinder tends to be.

Is it possible to grind other things with a burr grinder?

Most burr grinders are designed with one purpose in mind. However, there are a few that are multi-purpose, so you can use them to grind your coffee beans, nuts, and so on. The KRUPS Electric is equipped to grind a variety of small foods like grains, nuts, and spices. The Braun KSM2-BLK Aromatic is also able of grinding nuts in addition to coffee beans. Grind whole almonds, walnuts, and so on for baking and breadings.

How much does a burr grinders cost?

Burr grinders are not cheap, at least the good ones aren’t. There are some cheaper ones that can get the job done, but expect more clogging and static, they start from around 50$. The more expensive the grinders get, the quieter they tend to be. The most expensive, high-quality grinders are the Baratza and Rancilio Rocky. These are both commercial-grade grinders. They cost upwards of $500 and are intended for serious lovers of coffee and espresso.

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