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How Blade Grinders Work

Though coffee lovers are eager to spend tons of money on a huge variety of expensive coffee machines, they often forget to buy themselves a good coffee bean grinder. How many breakfasts are ruined until the day that the grinder is purchased later? It is completely tragic to think that people will spend so much money buying fresh coffee beans from exotic locales, newly roasted on the very day of their purchase, and yet have these deluxe imports ground down at a nearby micro-roastery, simply because they never got a decent coffee grinder at their homes. Of course, we are not denying that dependable brewing machines and good quality beans are an absolute necessity for making a great espresso! However, unless the beans are ground properly and freshly, you should realize that you are missing out on your coffee’s easily achieved potential.

Blade grinders consist of small, barrel-shaped grinding chambers. They contain sharp metal blades that spin at a very fast and very consistent rate of speed. This tears up and otherwise pulverizes coffee beans repeatedly, running until a desired consistency is achieved. The size of the grounds, called the fineness of the grind, is determined how long the cutting blades are allowed to chop up the beans. Blade grinders are found in just about every American department store, kitchen boutiques and kitchen equipment shop, as well as in most large supermarkets.

One of the best benefits of a blade grinder is its low purchase price. The biggest disadvantage they have is a lack of uniformity in the grinds they produce. As blade grinders continue to chop up beans, they create a coffee powder. The fragments of beans will take on irregular shapes. When the blades are turned off, powder can be spotted around the edges of the pile of grounds, and chunks of many sizes will collect at the center. If you are brewing coffee with a French press or espresso machine, this poses a big problem, because the filters on these machines let very fine grinds through and produce a grainy cup. For this reason, blade grinders are far more frequently used in drip coffee makers, which have paper filters to prevent tiny grinds and particles of powder from reaching the cup.

Despite this considerable drawback, blade grinders provide better coffee than store-bought coffee grounds prepared at a factory. These mass produced articles probably sit on store shelves for long stretches of time, whereas freshly ground beans from your blade grinder will have a far stronger, richer and intense flavor. For those budgets that find the expense of a burr grinder prohibitive, try a blade grinder as a stopgap measure in your ongoing pursuit of quality coffee.


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