The truth about blade grinders???

richedie

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Jan 25, 2005
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Why do blade grinders get such a bad rap? I have a $30 Cuisinart blade grinder that has worked out fairly well for me. The major problem I see is making a consistent grind. When I get it right...the coffee is great. But, if I do not get it right....the coffee can be bad. I keep holding out hope that I'll be able to grind more consistently with experience but maybe it is the limitation of the grinder. I found a nice Cuisinart burr mill grinder for about $50 soI may end up with that...

-Rich
 

Night Guy

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Jan 28, 2006
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Winnipeg manitoba Ca.
Blades are always finer grind on the bottom due to the coarse grind always moves to the top and the speed of the blade realy heats the coffee. on the burr type it is slow and consistent grind and doesn't heat the coffee as much. I had a blade for a couple of years and I got pretty good at getting a good grind and yes it is great when you hit it just right and you get the next to perfect cup all most better that sex :wink:
 
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richedie

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That is the thing.....I am getting really good at getting it just right. I use a Cuisinart and I pump the grinder a few times to move the grounds around and make sure I time it just right. Lately I have been making fantastic coff and have a hard time justifying another grinder right now since I may not need to spend the money. The burr grinder takes out the guess work but once you get the hang of it, it is great. Even my Perc is making great coffee.
 

shadow745

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Aug 15, 2005
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Central North Carolina
You'll See A Huge Difference!!!

For years I didn't want to spend much on a grinder, thinking they all did the same thing, just in different ways. I used to use a blade grinder, but those things do heat up the grinds and lose alot of flavor. Of course they will grind very fine if needed, but leave alot of dust behind as well. I bought a $50 Cuisinart grinder like you're talking about. It's a step up from a blade, but not much. Neat look, built well for the money, but even on its finest setting couldn't grind fine enough for my espresso machine. For other methods (perc, drip, etc.) it will work great. I finally bought a Capresso Infinity for $140 and it's awesome. It grinds at 450 RPM and you can really tell a big difference in taste compared to the high speed blades and burrs more commonly used. However, if what you have is working good for you then by all means use it and save some money. Later!
 
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richedie

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I agree......if it works, don't fis it. I get coffee all the time from the better coffe shops in Philly using good equipment. The coffe I am making at home right now tastes every bit as rich and flavorful - sometimes more so....
 

mrgnomer

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Jan 22, 2006
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richedie said:
Why do blade grinders get such a bad rap? I have a $30 Cuisinart blade grinder that has worked out fairly well for me. The major problem I see is making a consistent grind. When I get it right...the coffee is great. But, if I do not get it right....the coffee can be bad. I keep holding out hope that I'll be able to grind more consistently with experience but maybe it is the limitation of the grinder. I found a nice Cuisinart burr mill grinder for about $50 soI may end up with that...

-Rich

Blade grinders chop up coffee beans. Theoretically there is no way of assuring an even grind since repeated chopping will result in some parts being very finely ground and other parts remaining coarse.

Good quality burr grinders, on the other hand, slice coffee beans to the size the grinder has been set for. The grind passes through only once and with sharp burrs what you'll get is an even, uniform grind.

Since one of the variables good coffee is dependant on is even extraction, theoretically again the more even the grind the more even the extraction and the better the resulting cup of coffee. I can definitely say that switching from a blade grinder to a burr grinder noticeably improved my cup of coffee.

For excellent espresso a very good grind is essential. That's why when you're hooked on good espresso and invested in a prosumer quality espresso machine spending $200+ for a grinder is not unreasonable. Not all burr grinders are created equal and you will get what you pay for.

For drip, an even grind should make a difference. Spending big bucks for a commercial quality grinder would not be necessary but a good burr grinder should yield a noticably better cup of coffee than a blade grinder if your beans are fresh and your brewing variables are in an ideal range for coffee extraction.
 

Parts Guru

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Jan 1, 2005
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Lansale, PA
Why do blade grinders get such a bad rap? I have a $30 Cuisinart blade grinder that has worked out fairly well for me. The major problem I see is making a consistent grind. When I get it right...the coffee is great. But, if I do not get it right....the coffee can be bad. I keep holding out hope that I'll be able to grind more consistently with experience but maybe it is the limitation of the grinder. I found a nice Cuisinart burr mill grinder for about $50 soI may end up with that...

-Rich

The bad rap about the burr grinders is because of the consistency of grind. That is really for commercial use. For home use, it should not be any problem. You should adjust the grind setting using several attempts to set it at the right grind for your espresso maker. Do not disturb the setting until necessary. Avoid using oily beans as they stick around in the grinding chamber and alter the dose and grind fineness.

In the commercial setting when you need to grind larger quantities, the burrs get heated up if the diameter size is small and burrs wear out fast.
Conical burrs are better bothe for uniformity of grind and service life. Most fully automatic home models with buil-in grinders have conical burr grinders.

The $50 grinders are blade grinders. They are for grinding spices and beans for drip coffee and for percolators. Some smart sales person started offering them for grinding espresso coffee. Sorry they are not meant for espresso grind.
 
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richedie

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I can make unbelievable tasting coffee with a $30 low heat blade grinder and manual drip, percolator and once in a while I get it right with the french press. A buddy of mine makes great espresso at home using a blade grinder. It takes a while to get it right but once you do.....you can be pretty consistent with the right technique.
 

BrotherNumsi

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Apr 22, 2006
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How do the manual grinders/mills work for making espresso?
I have a tight budget and I dont really want a blade grinder.
 

Parts Guru

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Jan 1, 2005
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Lansale, PA
How do the manual grinders/mills work for making espresso?
I have a tight budget and I don’t really want a blade grinder.

When the tools are not right, you cannot expect the best either. The alternate for tight budget is

* Sacrifice the quality of espresso or
* Put in extra labor to grind as best as you can or
* Purchase pre-ground coffee from a local roaster who will grind for you the "espresso grind".

I am just suggesting without using a polite and confusing reply. The easiest thing you can do is ignore my suggestions.

You are grinding coffee for making espresso. The uniform grind is one of the several requirements for making good espresso. If the above three options are not practical for you, the additional option (however cumbersome it may appear) is following:

Grind more than once. Filter the first grind using a sieve with right mesh. You should be able to find wire filter basket used frequently for drip coffee (search on the internet). Let me know if you need help finding it). Grind the filtered residue again. Do this enough coffee at a time to use up right away. You cannot keep ground coffee for the next day.

I hope this helps. Sorry if I am giving some funny options.

Good luck.
 

BrotherNumsi

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Apr 22, 2006
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Thanks for the reply!

I was thinking that a hand driven mill should be pretty good since the beans only "go through the grinder once" and the "coffee won't be heated in the grinder". A "peugeot" I've been looking at even has conical burrs.
To be more exact I mean to ask if such a grinder will make a fine and uniform for a good espresso?
If the only thing required is my stamina ("extra labor") I think I'd cope :)
 
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richedie

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If I ever do decide to try a conical burr grinder - what is the price range for home units? $50-$100?
 

Parts Guru

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Jan 1, 2005
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Lansale, PA
Thanks for the reply!

I was thinking that a hand driven mill should be pretty good since the beans only "go through the grinder once" and the "coffee won't be heated in the grinder". A "peugeot" I've been looking at even has conical burrs.
To be more exact I mean to ask if such a grinder will make a fine and uniform for a good espresso?
If the only thing required is my stamina ("extra labor") I think I'd cope :)

I am ipmressed that you care about the heat generated by the burrs during grinding. Your concern for heat is rather exaggerated. For grinding two ounces of beans for the day, the heat generated will not be enough to affect the quality.

Out of the 10 different requirements for extracting classic espresso, this is just a pimple reason for the limited quantity you will be grinding. What kind of espresso machine do you have? If there is pre-infusion mechanism in the machine (pressurized portafilter or prs brew group) then fineness of coffee grounds will not be a concern. The Grinding mill will do a good job if you use Saeco semi automatic models. pre-infusion will cover the lack of uniform grind.

In all other makes (Gaggia, Rancilio, ECM etc.) there is no pre-infusion and you have to care for the fineness as well as the tamping pressure to adjust extraction time. That may be difficult needing focused attention, if not impossible with the use of a Grinding mill.

Good luck.
 

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