Burr and Blade Grinders

Burr Grinder vs Blade Grinder: What’s The Difference?

If you drink coffee frequently you have probably heard about the need for utilizing a coffee grinder. But you probably didn’t know that there is a whole realm of possibilities when it comes to the different types of coffee grinders. 

When comparing burr grinders vs blade grinders, the difference depends on what you want out of a cup of joe. Burr grinders use two revolving abrasive surfaces to grind up coffee while blade grinders use a propeller-like blade, similar to a blender. 

While this may all seem trivial, it’s important to understand that poorly ground beans will result in a bad cup of coffee. And no one likes a bad cup of coffee more than our team at The Roasterie. 

To help you find the best type of coffee grinder, we compared the two for you below!

Burr Grinder

Burr Grinder

Most coffee lovers will tell you that a burr grinder is far superior when it comes to grind size and flavor. While more expensive than a blade grinder, burr mills are widely recognized for their consistency, quality, and overall uniformity.

How does a burr grinder work?

A burr grinder, also called a burr mill, is made up of two revolving burrs in between which the coffee is ground. The beans are crushed between a moving grinder wheel and a non-moving surface.

Types of burr grinders

There are two main types of burr grinders: Conical burr grinders and flat burr grinders. While both grinders produce a consistent and high-quality grind, there are differences in the two that you should know in order to figure out which burr grinder is right for you.

And depending on your preference, you can also choose between manual burr grinders or electric burr grinders. Hand grinders are very simple to use and may produce a more consistent grind size while electric burr grinders are much more convenient and can handle a larger amount of coffee.

Conical Burr Grinders

Conical Burr Grinder

Conical burr grinders are the industry standard when it comes to burr grinders. They use a cone-shaped center burr with an outer serrated burr that helps produce well-ground coffee time and time again. And, its design is naturally energy-efficient and heat resistant, making it a great option for professional and home baristas.

But, conical burrs don’t produce evenly ground coffee and if put under a microscope, you’d notice different sizes of bean in the mix. While this won’t impact the overall taste of your cup of coffee, some people do prefer a flat burr grinder for espresso. In fact, a flat burr became popular after it was introduced during the 2013 World Barista Championship.

Flat Burr Grinders

Flat Burr Grinder

Flat burr grinders feature two donut-shaped burrs that face one another with very sharp edges. This design allows the beans to stay between the burrs until they are perfectly (and symmetrically) ground up, as opposed to conical burrs which can allow the beans to shoot out and stay somewhat intact. When all the coffee or espresso grounds are the same size, the flavor is very one-note, which can give baristas more room for creativity.

But, flat burrs are louder than conical burrs and utilize more energy and heat during the grinding process, which makes them less ideal for commercial or even at-home use. But when precision is required, flat burrs are the better option.

Blade Grinder

Blade Grinder

Blade grinders are a more common option for those just entering the world of fresh coffee. They’re typically more affordable than burr grinders and are very easy to use. But, as mentioned above, consistent grind size is much harder to achieve in a blade grinder.

How does a blade grinder work?

A blade grinder is a machine that chops coffee beans and spices while mixing it. There is a blade in the center of the grinder that looks like a propeller, similar to a blade in a blender or a food processor. This grinder offers more power for faster grinding, but coffee grounds can be uneven in size. 

Uneven grounds can lead to a bad tasting cup of coffee because you will taste different flavors of the coffee, like the bitterness from the finely ground coffee paired with the bold flavor of the bigger pieces.

For the best cup of coffee using a blade grinder, we recommend pulsing as opposed to holding down the grinder until it’s done. This will allow the beans to readjust and fall back toward the blade in order to get the preferred consistency. It will also avoid heating the beans, which can impact the overall flavor.

Burr Grinder vs Blade Grinder: Which is Better?

The answer to this depends on a few things, including your budget, your preference, and how much space you have available to you. Some people prefer convenience while others may prefer a real barista experience. 

This table breaks down which is grinder is better for what:

Burr Grinder

Blade Grinder

Consistency

Taste

Affordability

Convenience

Control

Durability

Speed

The bottom line is that you should get the best quality grinder you can afford. Whether that’s a $20 blade grinder or a $100 burr grinder. A bad grinder can turn delicious coffee beans into a watery, sad cup of coffee. 

We offer both the burr and the blade grinder at all Roasterie Cafes! Order online from the comfort of your home or stop by any Roasterie Café to check them out.