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Espresso Grinder: Tips to Avoiding Buyer’s Remorse

You already know that your grinder plays an important role in your product’s quality. As service technicians, we see a lot of espresso equipment failures in real world applications. A common regret business owners experience in the espresso industry is purchasing the wrong equipment.  When you select commercial grinding equipment, be aware of grinder size, burr shape and dosing style type.

Before you shop, understand with all your being that it is very easy to buy a grinder that is too small and know that you can never buy one that is too large. Grinders produce friction and therefore produce heat. Not only does heat change your flavor profile but it also expands metal. The consequences of to much heat is the cause for your barista to endlessly adjust their grind in a losing battle for consistency.  To help reduce heat production, a bigger grinder utilizes larger grinding burrs to decrease friction while providing a larger surface area for heat to dissipate.

Grinders are based on the size of the burrs. so select a grinder with large enough burrs that will be able to keep up when your business begins to grow or experiences high traffic periods. Design and technology have come a long way, but little can be done when a grinder is too small for its application. When your grinder operates in an environment it was not designed for it will begin to produce more heat, your barista will waste valuable time and your customers will quickly learn that they cannot count on you to deliver a consistent, great tasting beverage. Save yourself from this common mistake by purchasing a larger grinder than what you need and with the appropriate burr shape. If you need help determining the right size grinder for your business, contact your local espresso service provider. You can look for them on the Espresso Service Directory.

There are two shapes of burrs to consider and choosing the right one is simple. Is your business about the art of coffee? The conical burr grinder is a wonderful grinder for precision brewing.  The conical burr grinder produces less heat, is more consistent, and the burrs wear longer. The only thing you need to remember is that conical burrs, or any low RPM grinder, grind much slower. The conical burr grinder is superior in almost every other way but when it comes to grinding time it will take almost twice as long as a grinder with flat burrs.  If your business is a cafe' and your visitors are there for the experience that you are offering, they will most likely be wiling to wait. If your business is a drive-thru or quick service bar, the conical burr grinder will slow you down. If speed of product delivery is an important part of your business profile, do not purchase a conical burr grinder. Are you thinking quality is important to my business as well? Consider grinders that offer a titanium coated steel burrs. The titanium covered burr is heat resistant and helps keep burrs sharp.  When it comes to purchasing a commercial grinder, focus your attention on details such as appropriate burr shape and dosing features.

To small of a grinder will produce too much heat,  change your flavor profile and cause a barista to work harder.

Pass over grinders with dosing chambers. They waste money and dosing can easily become inconsistent. To accurately dispense, a grinder with a manual dosing chamber must always be at least half full. At the end of the day, any unused coffee must be thrown out. Unfortunately, even with the space filled, accurate dosing can still be difficult to achieve if air pockets exist or if grounds have settled within the dosing chamber. Not only will you waste money from the valuable grounds you throw out every night, grinders with dosing chambers also tend to create a lot more mess in the work area creating even more waste. Shop and consider only espresso grinders that dose electronically. Electronic Dosing or on-demand grinders measure and grind only what is needed and dispense the grounds neatly into your machine’s portable filter basket. No mess or waste. The on-demand grinder easily pays for itself in the savings of your coffee inventory and provide you more consistent dosing.

There are several reasons consumers purchase the wrong espresso grinder, but for the most part it starts when they underestimate or devalue their grinder’s importance. Your espresso grinder is essential to your product quality. A lot of important conditions need to happen to be successful in the espresso industry. Yes, a larger, on-demand grinder will cost you more, but you will save money, eliminate waste, and avoid customer dissatisfaction. 

If you need additional assistance or have questions or comments about  purchasing the right commercial espresso grinder, contact Espresso Service Network or call us (509) 558-8081. It would be great to hear from you.


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