No matter what your favorite method of brewing coffee is, it all starts with the grind. Whether you choose a bean with a low cupping score or one that wins the championships, you can easily end up with a less than perfect cup of coffee depending on what you use to grind the beans.
The blade coffee grinder is perhaps the most commonly purchased coffee grinder for home use. It is small, easy to use and inexpensive. It can be picked up in pretty much any kitchen store or big box store out there.
There are however numerous downsides to using a blade grinder to grind your coffee. They tend to provide a very inconsistent grind, leaving you with large and small chunks of coffee. This inconsistency limits you to which brewing method the grounds will be suitable for. For instance, if you try using these grounds in an espresso machine, the machine won’t be able to extract the coffee properly due to the variable sizes.
Also, as the blades turn at high speeds, it creates friction causing the beans to heat up prematurely, therefore eliminating flavor from your brewed coffee.
Blade coffee grinders don’t have any adjustable settings that can be changed depending on which brew method you’d like to use. You simply get all the sizes at once.
The burr coffee grinder is what you’ll find in coffee shops, espresso stands and in the homes of coffee connoisseurs. For those of us that like to be in control of our grind so we can produce a consistent cup of full-bodied flavor, a burr grinder is the only option.
Using a burr grinder provides uniformity in the grounds which will give you a more balanced flavor. It also allows you to be able to adjust for brewing method, coarse for a French press or fine for espresso machines. Instead of chopping the beans like the blade grinder, the burr grinder truly grinds the beans.
These grinders generally cost quite a bit more than a blade grinder and are usually found more in coffee supply stores versus grocery stores and kitchen stores.
So, does the type of grinder you use actually matter? I believe that the answer is YES!