When a person grinds coffee, he or she wants to keep the grinds as fresh as possible — after all, that is the purpose of purchasing beans in the first place. If you use a food processor to grind the coffee, the blades heat the grinds up and can give them an “off” taste. Using a burr mill keeps the grinds cool and fresh.
A burr mill, also referred to as a burr grinder, may be manual or electric. The coffee beans are ground between to abrasive surfaces that revolve. The user sets the distance between the surfaces, if it is adjustable. The blades do not chop the beans. Chopping blades, such as the blades in a food processor, heat the beans through friction, which removes some of the taste or could even taint the taste of the coffee. Furthermore, the grinds are not of uniform size, which could also affect the taste of the coffee.
A coffee grinder may be manual or electric, and is the same as a burr grinder. An electric coffee grinder has a motor with lower rpm than a regular food processor.
Electric Coffee Grinders
The user simply puts the beans required for a pot of coffee into the electric mill. Two blades turn at a slower rpm to grind the coffee. The user then removes the top and pours the grounds into the coffee filter.
Manual Coffee Grinders
A manual coffee grinder is rarely used anymore because people do not want to take the time to grind the beans and are usually use as décor. The user turns a manual coffee grinder or burr grinder by hand. When the user turns the crank, one abrasive surface grinds against the other, grinding the coffee beans between the two surfaces. The ground coffee collects in a container, which is part of the mill.
Different Types of Coffee Grinders
The user can choose from several types of coffee grinders, including the burr mill. Electric and manual burr mills are available. The burr mill grinds the beans uniformly, thus giving the coffee a smoother, richer taste.
A conical burr grinder uses steel burrs. The grinder rotates slowly, thus reducing friction that can heat the grounds. A conical grinder is usually quieter than a disk grinder and it doesn’t clog as easily.
A disk burr grinder rotates faster than a conical grinder so it warms the coffee grinds more than a conical burr grinder. If the user is grinding a small amount of coffee for use in the home, the coffee grounds do not have time to heat up.