In theory, any kitchen device designed to break solid foods into smaller pieces can be used for coffee grinding. In practice, grind size precision is very important for specialty coffee. For instance, spice grinders can sometimes be used for crushing coffee beans, however, the result is a mix of “dust and boulders“, which is to be avoided in specialty coffee.
Burr coffee grinders offer the consistent grind needed for brewing espresso or any specialty coffee method. Blade grinders are the most convenient machines but they don’t offer the precision needed for modern coffee brewing.
Burr Coffee Grinders
A burr mill or burr grinder is a device to grind hard, small food products between two revolving abrasive surfaces separated by a distance usually set by the user. It may be powered electrically or manually. The grind size is set by adjusting the distance between the two burrs. A larger space between the burrs will result in a coarser grind, consequently, a smaller distance between the burrs will produce a finer grind.
Typically, one of the burrs is stationary, and the other one revolves. The burrs can be flat, or conical.
Burr coffee grinders are the most popular coffee grinding devices.