Healthy Drinks

‘I’m a Coffee Expert, and This Is Why You Should Grind Your Beans With a Burr Grinder’

Francesca Krempa

Photo: Getty Images/Boy_Anupong
A few months ago, I was casually chatting with some friends about buying a new coffee grinder. Before I could even get the words out, one of my friends chimed in with, "Whatever you do, get a burr grinder." My reply was simple: "What's that?"

An at-home coffee buff, my friend explained that these "burr grinders" magically made a better brew. He couldn't tell me why or how, he just said that if I was serious about my brew skills (which, I was) I better get a burr. Thus, I was sent down the rabbit hole of all things burr and it turns out, these grinders are beloved within the coffee community. I perused tons of articles on the topic, which all echoed my pal's sentiment: burr grinders equal better tasting coffee.

That's because, unlike conventional blade grinders, burr grinders allow for a smoother, more even grind. Cary Wong, coffee educator at Partners Coffee, explains that the consistency these gadgets offer is what makes them standout. "The biggest advantage of burr grinders is that they produce consistent ground particles, resulting in a better balance of flavors in your final cup of coffee," says Wong. "Other grinders produce different particle sizes, resulting in less consistency and less balance of flavor."

6 burr coffee grinders that'll give you a perfect cup every time

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Baratza, Encore Coffee Grinder — $170.00

This is the grinder Wong uses at home. It’s a conical grinder that uses commercial-grade steel burrs to turn beans into grounds in a flash. With 40 different adjustable levels, you can change the texture with the click of a button, giving you full control over your flavor profile. Whether you’re pouring over or brewing a cup of espresso, this powerful gadget can handle it all. Available in black or white.

Fellow, Ode Brew Grinder — $299.00

Another recommendation by Wong, this sleek grinder doubles as a work of art. It’s a flat burr grinder that uses cafe-sized blades to get the best blend. As for features, there are 31 grind settings that can be adjusted with a few clicks of its dial, allowing you to personalize your grind to your liking. There’s also a grind knocker to sweep off extra grinds and easy pour fins to reduce clean-up.

Oxo, Conical Burr Grinder — $235.00

Another hardy option is this streamlined conical burr by Oxo. In addition to the powerful blades, each grinder comes equipped with a built-in scale that automatically measures your coffee grounds, ensuring the best flavor in every batch. There’s also an LED screen that allows you to customize your grind based on the cups you want, plus a UV-resistant hopper for keeping beans fresh.

Cuisinart, Touchscreen Burr Coffee Grinder — $70.00

You don’t have to break the bank to get an excellent cup of coffee. This burr grinder is just $70 and has all the bells and whistles you want out of your device. The LED touchscreen control panel lets you explore 18 different settings, each designed to maximize taste and aroma. There’s also a scoop, cleaning brush, and a countdown timer that tells you when your roast is ready.

KitchenAid, Burr Coffee Grinder — $200.00

Coffee aficionados—if you want to really experiment with grind options and speeds, check out KitchenAid’s model. It features 70 different settings to explore, ranging from coarse and choppy to ultra-fine. It also does the work for you, adjusting the grind time to match the weight of the beans in the hopper. Available in matte black or chrome grey.

Braun, FreshSet 12-Cup Burr Grinder — $85.00

Another affordable option is Braun’s burr, which offers 15 customizable options to elevate your brew game in every batch. The hopper fits enough beans for 12 cups of coffee. From there, you can select how many cups you want to make, and presto—the machine automatically grinds the right amount to give you the right quantity. It’s easy to use, simple to clean, and a wallet-friendly option if you’re on a budget.

Capresso, Infinity Conical Burr Grinder — $100.00

Capresso makes another great grinder at a budget-friendly price. This conical burr allows you to choose from 16 different settings, while its gear reduction motor makes for a low grind that ensures the beans keep their flavor. Available in black or stainless steel.

Uh, so what is a burr coffee grinder anyway?

Let's back things up—what actually is a burr grinder? Wong explains that these coffee grinders use two abrasive surfaces that work together to crush roasted coffee beans more evenly, ensuring a more uniform grind, overall. Other grinders, especially conventional blade grinders, chop up the roasted coffee in different shapes and sizes, altering the consistency which can diminish the taste and quality of your morning cup of joe.

Before you go running out to buy a burr grinder (or, ahem, clicking one of the links above), know that there are two main types you can choose from depending on your bean juice-drinking preferences. The difference comes from the shape of the grinders, aka, the burrs, which revolve together to turn your beans into grounds.

There's the flat burr, which Wong praises for its consistency and grind distribution, but can be pricey to buy. Then there's the conical burr, which are typically cheaper and more commonly used at home. "Flat burr grinders are more expensive and commonly used in barista competitions or cafes," Wong says. "Lower-priced burr grinders are usually targeted for home use, while higher priced burr grinders are targeted for commercial use, like in cafes. But any burr grinder will achieve the best grind for your coffee beans, leading to great ground coffee."

Ready to ditch the hand-me-down electric grinder for something legit? Scroll to shop premium burr grinders that'll transform you from coffee amateur to at-home barista.

 

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