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The Coffee Detective Newsletter #3 -- All about Grinding Coffee
April 12, 2007

The Coffee Detective Newsletter

Issue #03 April 2007


In this issue we are going to look at the topic of coffee grinders.

The article explores some of the differences between blade and burr grinders. And in the buying tips section you’ll also find a link to a selection of Grind & Brew coffee makers. These are traditional drip brewers, but also include an integrated grinder.

I hope you enjoy the issue, and please let me know if you have any ideas for other topics I could address.

You can reach me at any time at

Best wishes,


Nick Usborne

Article: Which kind of coffee grinder is best – a blade grinder or burr grinder?

If you buy whole coffee beans, you need a decent grinder. And you need to know how fine to grind the beans, according to the type of coffee maker you are using.

For instance, a French Press calls for a fairly coarse grind. While for a drip brewer you need a finer grind.

As for whether you should get a blade grinder or a burr grinder, that usually comes down to your budget.

Blade grinders are less expensive, but they have some disadvantages.

For instance, there is no real control over how fine the coffee is ground when using a blade grinder. You have to depend on feel and experience to guess how long to keep the blade turning before you stop.

With a burr grinder, the beans are crushed between two plates. In the better models, you can adjust the space between the plates, which means you can determine the coarseness or fineness of the grind with accuracy.

Burr grinders have other advantages too. They grind the means with minimum loss of flavor.

With a blade grinder the beans are essentially smashed to bits by the blades turning at high speed. This causes friction and generates heat. And when ground coffee is heated, some of the volatile oils in the beans evaporate – and with the loss of the oils, you lose some flavor.

A good burr grinder creates much less heat. In fact, with the better models, the grinding plate turns at a low speed, to minimize heat creation and static cling.

All that said, you would have to be quite a coffee aficionado to be able to drink some coffee and tell whether the beans had been ground with a blade grinder or a burr grinder.

In other words, while a burr grinder is certainly better when it comes to consistency of grind, your choice probably won’t have much impact on the final taste of the coffee you brew.

Buying Tips: Choosing the right coffee grinder

As mentioned in the article above, the taste of your coffee probably won’t be impacted much by your choice of grinder.

But if you have a few more dollars to spend, burr grinders certainly do a better and more consistent job of grinding your beans.

Here’s where you can buy a very good burr grinder at a reasonable price: The Capresso Infinity Grinder.

You can also buy coffee makers which include a coffee grinder. These are commonly known as Grind & Brew coffee makers, or Mill & Brew coffee makers.

To make finding one a little simpler, we have put together an store that features a selection of these brewers: Grind and Brew Coffee Makers.

That’s it for now.

Watch for the next issue in a few weeks.


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