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Using a Burr Grinder for Better Coffee

Want better coffee? You can go to Seeds and get it, but let’s be crazy and assume you can’t always come to Seeds whenever you want to get coffee (we know, that sounds wild). Let’s say you have to actually brew it yourself.

How can you ensure you get the best-tasting, highest-quality coffee imaginable from your own kitchen? Here’s one tool that can help get you there: a burr grinder (no, not the guy who shot Hamilton).

What’s a Burr Grinder?

Roasted coffee beans don’t do much on their own, although some Seeds employees and patrons have been known to chew on them from time to time. To brew coffee, you’ll need to grind them, and to grind them, you’ll need a grinder.

But not just any grinder will do. A bad grinding process can seriously ruin your coffee and take all the flavor from your beans, no matter how great those beans may be.

To get an optimal grind, you can use a tool called a burr grinder. A burr grinder uses two disks with “teeth” – or burrs – on them. The beans go between these two disks that rotate and grind down the beans in a consistent, uniform way to a particular particle size.

Contrast this with a very common blade grinder that can crudely chop your beans up into inconsistent and irregular particle sizes. A burr grinder gives you more control and a better result.

The Key to a Successful Brew

The grind is as important to a successful brew as the beans themselves. That’s where burr grinders shine: they give you a level of control over the process that results in better taste.

Particle size matters. If the particles are too inconsistent, your coffee will taste inconsistent. If the particles are too small, then your coffee can taste bitter. If they’re too large, your coffee could take on a sour taste.

The only way to control for size, fineness, and coarseness is via a burr grinder.

There are two types of burr grinders: flat burr grinders and conical burr grinders. You’ll mostly find the latter type in coffee shops, although you can certainly shell out for one for your kitchen. Most in-home grinders, though, are of the flat variety.

No matter what beans you use or what brewing method you decide to select, whether it’s Chemex, pour over, or French Press, you need to grind it right. A burr grinder is the way to go.

(And if you get tired of making your own coffee, just stop by our Homewood or Lakeview locations for your next cup. We grind every batch with love.)