What is a conical grinder?

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Coffee grinders come in all shapes and sizes. Perhaps you have heard of a conical grinder but you’re not entirely sure what it does, or how it works? Well, if you know what a Burr grinder is, you’re one step closer to knowing what a conical grinder is.

OXO BREW Conical Burr Coffee Grinder

A conical grinder works with two coned-shaped grinders called burrs that grind and crush the coffee beans between cone-shaped ridges to achieve a uniform grind.

This type of burr spins a bit slower than a flat burr grinder and, fortunately, isn’t too noisy, unlike other grinders. It also creates less friction, which prevents premature heating of the beans so that they don’t lose their rich flavor and retain more of their oils.

What’s so great about conical grinders? Well, these grinders are really easy to operate and are easy to clean. Although they come at a greater cost than other types of coffee grinders, they are well worth the price in terms of the quality and consistency of the grind that they produce.

Flatt Burrs

Aside from the obvious difference in size and shape the flat burr is comparatively cheap next to the conical burr grinder. The flat burr grinder also comes highly recommended so if this model is better suited to your budget then it will be a better option for you.

You will be able to enjoy consistent results with a flat burr in comparison to the cheaper blade grinder model which creates inconsistently sized grounds. The flat grinder also features multiple settings to achieve different levels of coarseness or fineness. What’s more, its simplistic design, relative to the conical burr grinder, makes it easy to clean.

So, how do flat burr grinders work? Rather than having ridges as a conical burr does, the flat burr grinders feature flat abrasive plates that work to grind and crush coffee beans between them, refining the beans to fine, consistently sized coffee grounds.

If you are a coffee connoisseur in the making who loves to experiment with aromatic coffee flavors and create custom blends, then you’ll be best suited to a conical burr grinder. This model will provide you with an even, consistent grind while maintaining the great taste of your beans. However, if you are on a tight budget the flat burr grinder is a great-quality alternative.

For more information about the best coffee grinder for you, check out our guide to Choosing the best coffee grinder.

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About the author

The more refined, sensible (and slight less hirsute) half of BushyBeard Coffee. Ben loves fine roasts, strong dark coffee and quiet time spent with a good book.

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