Have you ever turned on a coffee grinder and wondered what goes on in there?
You know you put your delicious whole bean coffee in the top and out the bottom comes ground coffee ready to brew.
But how does it get like that?
Inside your coffee grinder will be one of three different ways to grind coffee.
Blade grinders have typically 2 little blades or knives that spin really fast and try to cut the coffee up. This results in a poor uneven coffee grind that won't taste very nice. They use the same blades as is used in a blender.
Burr grinders can be either flat or conical. The burrs will produce a very even grind particle size and a much better cup of coffee.
Flat Burr: Flat Burrs are typical in larger grinders. They produce a very consistent grind at a very fine level. Perfect for espresso. They are harder to clean than conical burr grinders but perfect if you looking for that perfect espresso.
Conical burr: Conical burrs consist of outer ring burr and inner cone burr. They produce a good quality grind in a wide range of settings. They are also quicker than flat burrs of the same size as they have more surface area to grind the coffee with. Typically easiest to clean and get a good consistent result. They also tend to be in low to mid priced grinders for home.
All the above burrs are connected to an electric motor in electric grinders that spins one of the burrs very fast against the fixed stationary burr.
In a hand-cranked coffee grinder, the electric motor is replaced by the muscle in your arm. You turn a central rod that is fixed to the inner burr and grind the coffee as you crank it.
In all coffee grinders, the net result is you are taking whole bean coffee and turning it into a ground powder suitable to make coffee in your preferred brew method.