The above named methods produce ground coffee that is different in many aspects. To further understand the difference, a highlight of the machines that are used in each method is necessary. Burr grinders have moving wheels and non moving surfaces and are used in the burr grinding method. They are of two types namely wheel burrs and conical burrs. They produce more uniform particles as the positioning of the burr can always be regulated to produce the desired size. Coffee oils are greatly conserved. These machines are more expensive but the extra cost is worth considering the quality of their grind. Blade grinders are used in the chopping method.
They are less expensive as compared to the burr grinders but they produce an uneven grind. This may compromise the quality of coffee brewed. Quality brewing requires evenly ground coffee. However, the fine of grind can be achieved if the grinder is left to run for a longer period. This is a disadvantage in disguise as the grind will be heated and a burned taste will be obtained. Flavors and oils are completely eroded.
Coffee ground by burr grind method can be used in many brewing systems namely percolated systems, French pressed or drip systems. This is because the grind does not result into clogging of the systems. On the other hand, coffee ground by chopping method can only be used in drip coffee makers. If used in pump espresso machines and French presses brewing systems, they result into clogging of the sieves.
The main differences of the grind obtained by the named method can be placed under two categories: the uniformity and size of the grind produced, quality of the grind and number of brewing systems each grind can be used. Knowledge of these differences is vital before a certain brewing system is selected.
Many users will find that burr grinders are more difficult to clean, since the machines themselves are usually well constructed and not for general servicing. Blade grinders on the other hand, can be easily dismantled for servicing, and thus easier to clean. One of the most important aspect of a grinder, is not whether it is burr or blade, but rather how clean the consumer maintains the machine at. A grinder with leftover coffee beans will never be as good as one that is regularly maintained. However, if the user plans to use cleaning tablets for their grinders, then the burr is recommended simply because it can withstand the crushing required with these tablets.