If you are looking for a coffee grinder, this is a good thing, as you understand that pre-ground coffee just doesn’t cut it, and drinking freshly ground coffee delivers all the benefits over drinking the pre-ground stuff. There are electric and manual, offering blade or burr grinders. You can choose either flat or conical burrs in steel or ceramic.
A manual grinder can be a helpful piece of equipment, especially if you have a tight budget; however, an electric coffee grinder is better than a manual one. Let’s discuss five of the reasons why.
5 Reasons Why An Electric Coffee Grinder Is Better Than A Manual
1. They Offer Power And Convenience
Electric grinders offer all the benefits of power and convenience, and they grind the beans faster with no effort on your part.
In addition, they are straightforward and fast to use; fill the hopper with beans and choose your preferred grind size and switch it on. It takes seconds to have freshly ground coffee beans ready for you to brew.
2. They Offer Consistency
A decent electric coffee grinder is more likely to deliver a consistent grind size than a manual one, as it is designed and programmed to offer a specific size.
Also, as you are not responsible for grinding the beans, the device isn’t subject to human error.
3. They Have More Settings
A good-quality electric coffee grinder can offer numerous numbered settings from which you can choose, ranging from coarse to grind or French press to espresso.
All you need to do is consult the grind size guide in your user manual to match your desired type of coffee.
4. They Grind More Coffee
Electric coffee grinders can grind beans in larger quantities as they generally have the capacity to do so. This is extremely useful if you are making a round of coffees and not just a cuppa for yourself.
5. They Last A Long Time
This, of course, is true for higher-end machines that can grind coffee consistently for many years – these electric coffee grinders are a wise investment.
However, it’s worth mentioning that low-end electric grinders are often fitted with false burrs and don’t produce the uniform grounds that you would expect from an electric coffee grinder.
In addition, these machines have poor wiring flimsy parts, and they constantly fail, so avoid those.
What Should I Look For In An Electric Coffee Grinder?
So, hands down, an electric coffee grinder can offer speed, convenience, and power that you won’t get with a manual coffee grinder.
Nevertheless, there are some pitfalls you need to avoid to ensure you get the right electric coffee grinder for you.
It’s worth noting that a high-end electric coffee grinder comes with a hefty price tag, at least $100 for a reliable device.
However, the price is worth it. Avoid cheap electric coffee grinders using low-quality materials and components to produce a varying grind size; also, these machines wear down fast.
Optimum performance is key to getting what you want from a coffee grinder.
There are two types of electric coffee grinders, blade, and burr. But, first, let’s discuss the differences between the two:
Blade grinders are very popular; you are likely to find lots of these grinders on sale when shopping in-store. The blade is at the bottom of the chamber, and it rotates quickly, chopping anything it comes in contact with.
The problem with this type of machine is the inconsistent grind. Some beans will be finely ground while others are coarse, which isn’t ideal for extracting the flavors you desire from the beans.
They also give off too much heat, resulting in bitter-tasting coffee after extraction.
Blade grinders are generally pretty affordable due to their simple design and defective parts. They can cost between $20 to $30.
However, they are easy to use. Just press the button until you are happy with the grind, and they are generally easier to clean than many other electric and manual grinders.
Many believe that blade grinders are a step above using pre-ground coffee beans. However, these machines are best avoided due to the lack of consistent grind size, poor-quality materials, and too much heat.
Burr grinders are the gold standard for coffee grinders at home and in coffee houses. Burr grinders wipe the floor with blade grinders, and they are that good.
Burr grinders use two burrs that spin in opposite directions to guide the beans down a funnel where they are ground to ordered size.
Burrs are made of stainless steel or ceramic, so little heat is generated while the coffee beans are ground. Burrs offer uniformity every time.
The closer the burrs are together, the finer the grind, and when they are further apart, the coarser the grind.
This function enables home baristas to fine-tune their grind with tiny adjustments to get the grind setting just how they want it.
Burr grinders do not come cheap, but they last, so consider a burr grinder a wise investment.
There are flat and conical burr grinders, so let’s look at the differences between the two:
Conical burr grinders are the standard for burr grinders. They use two of them- one sharp and serrated on the outside and the other cone-shaped spinning inside. This type of burr grinder delivers a mostly consistent grind.
Flat burr grinders are mainly used for espresso. They use two O-shaped burrs with very sharp edges on the two sides.
Flat burrs are opposite each other and grab the beans using their teeth on the inside, forcing them to the outer edges of the burr.
Espresso lovers prefer this type of burr grinder because they can offer uniform distribution for one grind size.
If you want incredible espresso at home and all the versatility a flat burr has to offer, you have the money and the means.
Then this is the machine for you. Otherwise, get yourself a conical burr grinder – they are good but not as versatile.
The Bottom Line On Electric And Manual Coffee Grinders
Nothing beats the ease, convenience, and speed of electric coffee grinders, as long as you use a high-quality burr grinder and not a low-end blade model.
However, if you don’t have much money to spend on a premium electric device, many excellent manual grinders offer consistency and durability.
Manual grinders may not deliver speed and convenience, but they can outlast most electric grinders; if you have less than $100 to spend, you can still get a high-quality, manual grinder.
It’s worth noting that most manual grinders can hold 20 to 30 grams of coffee grounds, which is sufficient for most people.
However, if you tend to brew a large coffee, you can opt for a larger grinder with a 30 to 40-gram capacity.
How To Clean An Electric Coffee Grinder
Coffee sediment and oils can build up inside your grinder over time as they stick to every nook and cranny inside.
Over time this leads to decreased performance, so it’s essential to take a few minutes to clean it from time to time. But, first, let’s look at how you would go about cleaning blade and burr grinders:
- Put roughly 20 grams (1/4 cup) of uncooked rice in the hopper.
- Run the machine until the rice becomes a powder.
- Dispose of the rice.
- Unplug the grinder and wipe the inside with a damp cloth.
Repeat the process above anytime your coffee grinder looks dirty or emits an unusual odor. Bad smells occur as the coffee oils produced tend to stick to the blades and the inside of the hopper.
Conical Burr Grinders
The model will differ by cleaning a burr grinder due to different components and their build. However, the concept is essentially the same, even for manual devices. You begin by taking the grinder apart.
- Many burr grinders contain coffee beans in the hopper, so remove this and wash it and its lid.
- Run the grinder for a couple of seconds to remove any remaining coffee particles from the burrs.
- Unplug the grinder.
- Remove all plastic and rubber parts that come into contact with coffee beans. Wash those by hand.
- Wash the bin that catches the ground coffee.
- Take out the inner burr; you may require a tool.
- Use a brush to loosen any coffee grounds that may have stuck to the inner and outer burrs.
- Dry the inner and outer burrs with a dry cloth to help remove any oils left behind by the coffee beans. Never wash the burrs with water.
- Leave the hand-washed parts to dry and put all the features back together.
An electric grinder is the better option of the two for grinding your coffee beans, and by now, you understand that a good model will cost a fair bit.
However, it’s not worth cheapening out and getting a $20 blade grinder; you won’t get the uniformity in your grind size, which will affect your brew’s flavor.
On the other hand, if you don’t wish to spend over $100 on an electric burr grinder, you can always opt for a manual burr grinder.
Manual grinders are much better to use than a substandard electric grinder – they last longer and are not likely to fail constantly.