The Brew Dog Blog
The Daily Grind
Besides the smell, one of a café’s most prominent physical sensations is the sound of coffee beans being ground to a powder. The sound is unmistakable, most of us have heard it our whole lives either at home on in a café.
What makes the grinder a staple in every café? Why don’t we use a mortar and pestle? Hell, why don’t we just stand on the beans?! Besides those methods being time consuming and arduous, that is.
Turn’s out there is a rather specific reason why we use these machines, and it’s not just for ease of coffee bean grinding with automated systems and not manual labor.
A weird word that, but one often heard inside of the coffee world.
Bur’s are what grind the coffee beans inside of the mechanical grinder. They can be made of various materials, with steel and ceramic being the most common.
Blade grinders though never found in cafés, are often found in kitchens at home. It’s an affordable and easy way to grind almost anything. Unfortunately, blade grinders are extremely inconsistent. The grind size is uneven, with some huge pieces and others absolute powder.
An uneven grind is undesirable because the extraction itself, exactly like the ground coffee, will be uneven, leading to unpleasant and stray flavors.
Bur grinders produce a very even grind, allowing even extraction and well rounded flavorful coffee.
Where to start at home
With coffee being as popular as it is there any many companies and places from which to buy coffee, each with their own things (in this case bur grinders) to sell you.
We’ve used a few grinders at Black Dog, and I have personally elsewhere as well. Having been around the block a bit, I can probably save you some pain and money if you’re looking for grinder.
While you cam break the bank on grinders over a thousand dollars, you can also save some money and get coffee that taste just as good with some cheaper options like:
The Porlex Mini, hand grinder is a great choice. Compact, indestructible, and under a hundred bucks.
A step up might be the Baratza Encore. For slightly over a hundred dollars you would get an electric grinder fully capable of your needs.
And, without getting too outrageous, we have the Fellow Ode at about three hundred dollars. This grinder has industry grade materials, looks incredible, and is a pleasure to use.
In the café
Like I said earlier, there are many choices for grinders. Each have their own strengths and weaknesses, and will suit different cafés and workflows better or worse.
We choose to use Malkhönig grinders at Black Dog. They perform amazingly, crushing the masses of customers as easily as the coffee beans, without overheating or grinding inconsistently, and the newest models are delightfully easy to use and clean.
Regardless, there’s one out there that will suit your needs perfectly. Feel free to ask in store, on on social media, we are always willing to help with questions or anything else coffee related.