What is a Burr Grinder?

Conical Burr Grinder

A burr grinder, or burr mill, is a mill that grinds coffee between two metal wheels with teeth.  If the wheels are closer to each other they produce finely ground coffee.  When the distance is larger, the mill produces more coarsely ground coffee.  It can be powered electrically or manually.

Burr grinders do not heat the ground coffee by friction as much as their alternative, blade grinders.  They produce coffee grounds of a uniform size determined by the distance between the metal teeth.

Flat or Conical?

The two most used burr grinder shapes – flat and conical (cone shaped). Flat burr sets have two compatible wheel shapes that sit parallel against each other. Conical burr sets consist of a ring and cone shape that fit like male to female pieces. Both sets leave gaps to allow coffee bean ground to pass through. That gap determines your grind setting.

Pros of Conical Burr Grinders

  • High Level of Control
  • Low Heat
  • Low Noise
  • Low Cost
  • Low Energy
  • Heavy Body, Rich Flavor

Cons of Conical Burr Grinders

  • Imbalanced Flavor
  • Less Options for Grind Settings

Flat Burr Grinder

Pros of Flat Burr Grinders

  • Balanced Flavor
  • Higher Extraction Percentage Enabled
  • Wide Range of Grind Settings 

Cons of Flat Burr Grinders

  • High Heat
  • High Energy
  • High Noise

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