The Home Coffee Grinder: A Game Changer for Your Morning Brew

The Home Coffee Grinder: A Game Changer for Your Morning Brew

Does a home coffee grinder really make a difference?

A good home coffee grinder can elevate your coffee experience from the very beginning. Grinding your own coffee beans just before brewing your coffee can lead to a fuller and more flavorful cup of coffee. When coffee is ground, it’s surface area is increased but once this happens, the aroma and flavors that were trapped inside the bean begin to release. This is why the smell of coffee is so strong right when it is ground.

Grinding your own coffee makes better tasting coffee because there is less time between grinding and brewing for any flavors to escape, so you managed to capture more. Later, I’ll show you how to grind coffee beans at home but stick with me for a minute…

Freshly ground coffee has more aroma and flavor than pre-ground coffee that has been sitting on a store shelf for days or weeks and so, you get a better cup of coffee.

Additionally, grinding your own beans allows you to customize the coarseness of the grind to suit your preferred brewing method. This is important because the size of the coffee grounds can affect the extraction of the coffee during brewing. This can impact the flavor of the final cup.

For example, a fine coffee grind is typically used for espresso, while a coarse grind is better for drip coffee or a French press. By grinding your own coffee, you can ensure that the grind size is just right for your brewing method. This will lead to a better-tasting cup of coffee.

What are the different kinds of home coffee grinders?

When it comes to making a great cup of coffee with an at home coffee grinder, the quality of the grind can make all the difference. There are three main types of home coffee grinders:

  • Blade Grinders
  • Hand Grinders
  • Burr Grinders

Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages. The type of grinder that is best for you will depend on your needs and preferences. In this section, we’ll take a closer look at each type of coffee bean grinder and help you understand the pros and cons of each.

Blade Grinders header

Blade Grinder

A coffee blade grinder is a type of at home coffee grinder that uses spinning blades to chop the coffee beans into smaller pieces, the same way a food processor has spinning blades to cut up food. The beans are placed in a chamber at the top of the grinder, and then the lid is closed. When you press a button, the blades, which are typically made of stainless steel, spin rapidly to chop the beans into smaller pieces.

Blade grinders are typically less expensive and more compact than burr grinders, but they are not as effective at producing consistent-sized coffee grounds.

While you can make a good cup of coffee with a blade grinder, you are going to get varying sizes of beans. The water won’t extract enough coffee from the larger pieces and will extract too much from the smaller pieces. All this could result in a brew that is both weak and bitter.

One other disadvantage is that the spinning blades can heat up the beans and alter the flavor of the coffee.

As a result, blade grinders are not as popular among coffee enthusiasts and professionals.

Pros

  • Less expensive
  • More compact
  • Can also be used to grind spices

Cons

  • Inconsistent grind size
  • Spinning blades can head up the beans
  • Alter flavor
Coffee Hand Grinders Heading

Hand Grinder

A home coffee hand grinder is a type of manual grinder that is often used for camping or traveling. You can certainly also use it at home, and of course if you have one and you like it, keep using it. It typically consists of a hopper for the coffee beans, a hand crank to turn the burrs, and a chamber to collect the ground coffee.

Hand grinders are similar to burr grinders in that they use two abrasive surfaces, or burrs, to crush the beans into a more consistent size. However, because they are manual, they require more effort and time to grind the beans compared to electric burr or blade grinders. Despite this, many coffee enthusiasts appreciate the convenience and portability of hand grinders, and they enjoy the ritual of grinding the beans by hand.

Pros

  • Compact for traveling
  • No electricity required

Cons

  • Small amount of coffee at a time
  • More effort
  • More time
Burr Grinders Header

(Electric) Burr Grinder

An electric coffee burr grinder is a type of grinder that uses two abrasive surfaces, called burrs, to crush the coffee beans into a consistent size. The beans are placed in a hopper at the top, and then they’re fed through the burrs, which are typically made of ceramic or stainless steel.

This process smashes the coffee to a specific size, ensuring the coffee is ground to a specific size. You get a consistent size grind because in order for the beans to pass through the burrs, it has to be ground to the same size as the distance between the burrs. Once the coffee has been smashed by the burrs, it will fall through, between the burrs, to a receptacle at the bottom.

You can think of a burr grinder the same way you think about a coin sorter. In a coin sorter, the coins move through the machine until they reach an opening that is their size and fall through. With the burr grinder, the two burrs are set apart the same distance you want your coffee ground to be. When the coffee is ground to that size, they simply fall through. The distance between the burrs is ajustable.

There are two main types of burr grinders available for home.

  • Flat burr grinder
  • Conical burr grinder

Pros

  • More consistent grind size
  • Better extraction of coffee flavor
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • More expensive
  • Larger and more bulky
Flat Burr Grinder Header

Flat burr grinder

Flat burr grinders, available for retail purchase, can tend to do more “Chewing” than “Cutting.” Think of this chewing process as more of a dull pounding on the beans than a more precise and direct cutting of the bean. This chewing process can increase friction on the bean and, as a result, heat. Additionally, while the grind consistency will be better than a blade grinder, it will produce more inconsistency than a conical burr grinder. Remember, with inconsistent. grind sizes, you risk getting bitter (from the smaller pieces) and weak (from the larger sizes) coffee.

Pros

  • More consistent than blade grinder
  • Less expensive
  • More accessible

Cons

  • “Chew” vs. “Cut”
  • Cause friction and heat the bean
  • Not consistent
Coffee conical burr grinder

Conical Burr Grinder

A coffee conical burr grinder uses two cone-shaped abrasive burrs, one inside the other, to cut the coffee beans into a consistent size. The same as a flat burr grinder, the beans are placed in a hopper at the top and fed through the burrs (ceramic or stainless steel). Rather than the beans being moved through flat burrs, where the bean is forced out through centrifical force, in a conicall burr grinder, the beans are fed by gravity.

Conical burr grinders are considered to be superior to other types of burr grinders because the conical shape and the cutting action of the burrs allows for more precise and efficient grinding. Conical burr grinders are commonly used by coffee enthusiasts and professionals to make high-quality, delicious coffee.

Pros

  • The most precise grind of the options.

Cons

  • More expensive
  • Larger and more bulky

An good video that describes the different burr grinder types:

How To Grind Coffee Beans At Home

To get started I’ll give you a simple rule for how to grind coffee beans at home. When coffee beans are ground, they have more surface area. This allows water to extract more from the coffee. Ideally, you want to extract about 20-25% of the coffee out of the bean. If the beans are ground too coarsely, the water may not be able to extract enough flavor and the coffee will be weak and possibly acidic. On the other hand, if the beans are ground too finely, the water might extract too much flavor and the coffee will be bitter.

When brewing coffee there is a balance between grind size and the time the coffee is in contact with the water (The time the water has to extract flavor from the coffee). The greedy water will want to pull out every bit of coffee it can and if it gets more than (roughly) 25% it will begin to pull bitter flavors.

Coffee Brew Time Grind Slide

A simple rule

If your brew time is long, you want a larger grind size, faster brew, smaller grind size.

Generally, the longer the water and the coffee grounds steep, the more course you’ll want the grind to be. If the grind is too fine and the water and coffee will sit together longer, allowing the water to extract a more bitter flavor from the coffee.

A home coffee grinder puts you in control

A home coffee grinder allows you to adjust the size and consistency of the grind, so you can achieve the perfect grind for your brewing method. This ensures that you get the exact amount you want out of your beans and enjoy a delicious cup of coffee every time.

Overall, a home coffee grinder is an indispensable appliance for any coffee lover.

The perfect size coffee grind for espresso

The perfect size coffee grind for espresso is a fine grind, which is slightly finer than granulated sugar. This grind size allows the water to extract the maximum amount of flavor from the coffee beans. The short amount of time that it takes to make an espresso shot requires this finer grind size. A fine grind also creates a rich, velvety crema on top of the espresso. The crema on top of the espresso is a key part of the flavor and texture of a well-made espresso.

The Perfect Size Coffee Grind for Drip Coffee

The perfect size coffee grind for drip coffee is a medium-coarse grind, which is slightly coarser than granulated sugar. This grind size will extract flavor from the coffee beans given the longer brew time. This will also allow the water to flow through the filter and into the coffee pot. A medium-coarse grind also helps to reduce the amount of sediment that ends up in the final cup of coffee. Excess sediment can make it taste bitter or gritty.

The Perfect Size Coffee Grind for a French Press

For a French press, you’ll want to use a coarse grind size. This is because a French press uses a longer steeping time than other brewing methods. A finer grind size would result in over-extracted and potentially bitter coffee. A coarse grind size will allow the water to go between the coffee grounds more easily.

The perfect size coffee grind for cold brew coffee

For cold brew coffee, you’ll want to use a coarse grind size. This is because cold brew coffee requires a longer steeping time than other brewing methods, and a finer grind size would result in over-extracted and potentially bitter coffee. A coarse grind will allow the water to flow through the coffee grounds more easily, which will help to extract the desired flavors and not that bitter taste. Plus, using a coarse grind will make it easier to strain the coffee when you’re ready to serve it!

Experiment With the Best Grind Size

To achieve the perfect cup of coffee for you, you’ll want to experiment with different grind settings on your home coffee grinder. If you don’t have a home coffee grinder yet, plan on getting one. Grinding your coffee yourself makes a world of difference in the flavor and aroma of your coffee.

Some troubleshooting options for bad coffee

What do I do if my coffee is too bitter?

Try grinding your coffee at a coarser size. Chances are the water is extracting too much coffee from the beans and passing that 25% barrier into the bitter parts of the bean.

What do I do if my coffee is too weak?

try grinding your coffee at a finer setting. The water isn’t getting enough time to pull the coffee flavor out of the bean. By grinding the coffee at a finer size, the water has more surface area from which to extract the coffee.


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Cort Kellum
By Cort Kellum

Hey folks, meet Court Kellum here. As a blogger for more than six years, my passion has never faded. I love writing in a variety of niches and writing about appliances and helpful guides for the kitchen is my favorite stuff. I have a keen interest and bringing in the right information and honest reviews in my blog posts. So stay with me and never spend another dime on a worthless product.


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