What is the best coffee grinder: standalone or integrated?
One of the first decisions you might have to make when browsing for a new espresso machine is whether to go for a model with an integrated grinder or purchase a separate grinder.
We recommend choosing a standalone grinder for three main reasons:
- Standalone grinders give you finer control over extraction.
- You can make sure your beans are being kept nice and cool with a standalone grinder
- Standalone grinders are portable, giving you flexibility.
Read our companion post for a more detailed comparison between built in and standalone grinders.
What is the best coffee grinder: burr or blade?
Most baristas will agree that coffee grinders that use burrs (whirring discs with sharp edges) are superior to those that use blades. As you can probably visualise, the action of burrs are more akin to grinding than the ‘chopping’ motion of blades. This leads to a more even grind.
Burr sets can be flat or conical. Flat burr sets consist of two discs with a gap between them through which the ground coffee falls. Conical burr sets consist of a cone-shaped central burr set within a ring. The main difference between the two is that flat burrs have to rotate faster, because they rely on centrifugal force to push out the coffee. Conical burrs have the assistance of gravity, so they can rotate more slowly.
But should you choose ceramic or steel burrs? In most cases, ceramic burrs are preferable because they are cheaper, more durable and produce less heat. However, there are plenty of decent grinders on the market that use steel burrs, so don’t let this put you off.
What is the best coffee grinder: manual or electric?
The difference between manual and electric coffee grinders is mainly down to practicality and personal preference.
If you want to keep costs down, reduce noise levels or simply savour the grinding process, go manual.
If speed and efficiency is your priority, invest in an electric coffee grinder. Electric grinders can also add extra features, and one of these has been something of a game-changer in terms of saving baristas time and wasted product: grind-by-weight technology.
Save time and product with a grind-by-weight espresso grinder
If you were to twist our arms to recommend a specific coffee grinder, we would have to point you in the direction of the Mahlkonig E65s GBW. This was the first espresso grinder to use grind-by-weight (GBW) technology. As the name suggests, this smart piece of kit actually grinds the precise amount of coffee, by weight, that you ask it to. How precise? To about 0.1g.
The E65s GBW is a fast grinder in its own right, but since you won’t need to waste time topping up doses either, this can add up to a lot of saved time over the day. Neither will you be throwing away good coffee because you’ve overshot the mark. And since novices will be able to dose as consistently as experienced baristas, the consistency of your shots will be that much higher.
The E65s GBW also lets you fine tune the fineness of your grind with its Disc Distance Detection (DDD) technology. Other features include automatic portafilter detection, the ability to store dosing presets, a hopper with capacity for 1200g of beans and an illuminated spout.
Take a look at our range of quality coffee grinders, and contact us if you have any further questions.