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While this does make a somewhat adequate cup of coffee, pulverizing the coffee bean is the only way to truly experience the full coffee flavor that is trapped inside the bean. Early coffee drinkers learned to pulverize the bean using tools similar to mortar and pestles. Later, the coffee grinder would be invented and become a commonplace tool among coffee drinkers. Today, there are two basic types of coffee grinders to choose from, the blade grinder and the burr grinder, with many different options available within each type. Coffee grinder basics include knowing what the pros and cons are for each type and how these traits affect the resulting coffee. The simple blade grinder is the most economical type of coffee grinder and also the grinder most reminiscent of coffee grinders from days of old. Simple blade grinders operate using a sharp blade that rotates very quickly to chop the coffee beans up. This chopping continues for as long as the grinder is allowed to run. Longer running times equal finer ground coffee. The main disadvantage to blade grinders is the heat created by the quickly turning blade. This heat can cause the coffee to scorch which results in altering the flavor of the coffee. This can be controlled by altering the speed of the blade and only allowing it to operate in short bursts.

Some blade grinders have timers which control how long the blades turn while others use a pulse action that is controlled by the user. Blade grinders grind the coffee beans to a usable form and can be either course or fine, depending on how long the grinder is allowed to turn and how many times the coffee beans are ground before making coffee. Blade grinders are the most inexpensive of the coffee grinders available on the market today. Burr grinders are more expensive coffee grinders and can be either conical burr grinders or flat burr grinders. These grinders use a wheel mechanism to pulverize the bean which is held in place while it is crushed. These grinders produce a more consistent grind than blade grinders and typically have adjustable settings to produce either a fine grind such as is used in Turkish coffee or a coarser grind like drip coffee makers use. Burr grinders don't produce heat like blade grinders and thus won't scorch the coffee beans. The price of burr grinders makes it difficult for many homeowners to purchase. However, in the past few years technology has made it possible to for designers to produce more affordable burr grinders that can be used in home kitchens. Options that are available on some grinders include hoppers to store the beans, automatic timers to adjust the grind settings and dosers to measure the perfect amount of beans for one or two cups of coffee. Homeowners who have decided to grind their own coffee beans should ask around and find out what is recommended by others based on actual use. Local coffee shops may possibly have demonstrator models that will point out the variables on each type of grinder. Both grinders will create an excellent coffee; the choice depends on how often the grinder will be used and how much money can be applied toward the grinder.

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  • Alex Nikitin
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