How to Use a Coffee Grinder: The Ultimate Guide

Coffee grinders are essential for making great coffee at home. But if you’ve never used one before, they can seem a little daunting. How do you choose the right grind size? How do you clean a coffee grinder? How do you even use one?

Don’t worry – we’re here to help. This guide will teach you everything you need to know about how to use a coffee grinder, from choosing the right grind size to cleaning your grinder properly. By the end, you’ll be an expert in no time.

So without further ado, let’s dive right into the details.

What is a Coffee Grinder?

Most people love their morning cup of coffee but don’t want the hassle and mess that comes along with making it. A good quality grinder can solve this problem by grinding your beans, so you get all those tasty flavors without any hassle!

There are two main types: automatic grinders do most of the labor; manual machines are perfect if proficiency is what we’re looking for! And both options have plenty more features than we’ve listed here to take care of our caffeine needs. Automatic grinders can be divided into several types. Burr Grinder and Blade Grinder are the main types.

how do coffee grinders work

Coffee grinders are important for a few reasons: first, they ensure that you’re grinding your coffee beans fresh, which is key to getting the best flavor.

Second, they help you achieve the right grind size for your coffee maker, which can make a big difference in terms of taste.

And finally, they help keep your coffee beans fresh and prevent them from going stale. So if you’re serious about making great-tasting coffee at home, a coffee grinder is a must-have tool.

Types of Coffee Grinders And Brief Details

There are many different types of coffee grinders available on the market, and each one has its own unique set of benefits and drawbacks. Knowing which type of grinder is best for your needs can be tricky, but with a little bit of research, you should be able to find the perfect one for you.

In this section, we will take a look at some of the most popular types of coffee grinders and how they work.

Burr Coffee Grinder

Nowadays, if you are talking about a coffee grinder, most folks will assume that you are talking about a Burr Coffee Grinder. To be honest, a Blade Coffee Grinder is not even close to a Burr Coffee Grinder in terms of quality output.

You have to invest quite a hefty amount to get a uniformly sized grind that will deliver excellent cups of coffee. Burr Coffee Grinder has two burrs underneath the bean hopper that crushes the freshly roasted coffee bean into your desired uniform-sized grind.

Blade Coffee Grinder

It’s an inexpensive item for grinding coffee beans. The blade grinder features a propeller-shaped stainless steel blade that usually chops the coffee bean into small particles. Most of the time, the particles’ size is not uniform, which may lead you to a dirty, mucky cup of coffee that tastes bitter.

Therefore, we don’t recommend you purchase a Blade Grinder over a Burr Grinder just because they can save some extra bucks.

Manual Coffee Grinder

The manual coffee grinder is the most simple type of coffee grinder. It features a tiny little bean hopper, burrs for grinding the bean, and a chamber for collecting the grind.

You have to put forces with your hands for grinding. Therefore it may take more time compared to the other types. Besides, there’s a limited grind size adjustment option.

You can purchase a pretty handy manual coffee grinder just by spending 20-30 bucks. Some manual grinders can provide consistent grind size, which is excellent at this price point.

If you’re interested in all the types of coffee grinders like flat, conical, ceramic, steel, stepped, and stepless grinders, we have covered them in our comprehensive guide to different coffee grinder types.

How to Choose the Right Coffee Grinder

There are two main types of coffee grinders: blade grinders and burr grinders. Blade grinders are the more affordable option, but they’re also less precise, which can lead to uneven grinding and subpar coffee. Burr grinders, on the other hand, are more expensive but produce a consistent, uniform grind that will make your coffee taste better.

Inside a Blade Grinder, there’s a blade pretty much like a propeller that chops the coffee beans to small particles. This is the primary job of a blade grinder. However, there has been some controversy about the grinding quality of different types of blade grinders.

Most coffee connoisseurs think that Burr Grinders do a great job in delivering uniform-sized particles compared to a Blade Grinder. They crush the coffee beans using two burrs and is able to deliver desired grind size for various brewing method.

With a manual coffee grinder, you need to provide manual force for grinding coffee beans. There are numerous types of manual coffee grinders out there. As a manual tool, you have to put some effort into grinding. Besides, it takes a longer time to grind compared to the other two types of coffee grinders.

If you’re serious about making great coffee at home, we recommend investing in a good burr grinder. But if you’re on a budget, a blade grinder will do the job – just know that you might have to experiment with it a bit to get the perfect grind size.

How to Use a Coffee Grinder

Using a coffee grinder is pretty simple – just pour your beans into the hopper, choose your grind size, and hit the “grind” button. But there are a few things to keep in mind to get the best results.

Use Fresh Beans

Make sure your coffee beans are fresh. Coffee beans start to stale as soon as they’re roasted. So it’s important to use them within a few weeks of roasting. Otherwise, you’ll end up with lackluster coffee.

Adjust Grinder Settings

To start, fill your grinder with whole coffee beans and experiment until you find the right grind size for yourself.

If there are settings for how coarse or fine the beans want to be processed into coffee powder, then start at those levels and work down until they suit you best! 

If nothing else happens when pressing buttons on top of an electric machine- go ahead and experiment until finding out just what setting will give optimal results without too much hassle (I know I don’t like being frustrated).

Fine-Tune Grind Size

Choose the right grind size. Grind size affects how your coffee tastes. The grind size is important because it affects how quickly the water extracts flavor from the beans. If the grind is too fine, the water will extract flavor too quickly, and the coffee will be bitter. If the grind is too coarse, the water will extract flavor too slowly, and the coffee will be weak.

Start Grinding

Once you’ve found the right grind size, start grinding! Be careful not to overload the grinder – if it becomes too full, the coffee grounds will begin to build up and impede the grinding process. Grind for about 20 seconds, and then check the consistency of the grounds. If they’re too coarse, continue grinding; if they’re too fine, start over with a coarser grind size.

Know When To Stop

Don’t over-grind. It’s better to err on the side of a coarser grind than a finer grind. If you over-grind your beans, they’ll turn into dust and you’ll end up with extremely bitter coffee.

When the grinding is finished, pour the coffee grounds into a filter or brewing device.

If you’re using a French press, for example, add enough water to cover the grounds and let them steep for 3-4 minutes before pressing down on the plunger. Enjoy!

How To Grind Using Coffee Grinders

Coffee aficionados know that a great cup of coffee starts with freshly ground beans. But how do you grind those beans to perfection? It can be tricky, but with the right tools and techniques, it’s doable.

In this chapter, we will enlighten you on how to use a coffee grinder like a pro so that you can make the perfect cup of joe every time. Let’s get started!

Using A Blade Coffee Grinder

Blade grinder has an effortless, functional mechanism to use. You need to add some freshly roasted coffee beans into the grinder’s hopper and then switch on the button and let the stainless steel blade grind.

how to use coffee grinder

FYI, for getting more fine grind, make sure to grind for a bit longer.

In order to make an excellent cup of coffee, you need to put about 20 grams of coffee beans in the bean hopper.

Now, people don’t like the blade grinder as they tend to provide uneven grind sizes. That way, you may find the taste a bit sour or bitter. But don’t worry; we will show you three amazing steps that can improve the size of the grind dramatically. Let’s take a look at them.

1. Shaking:

While grinding your fresh coffee bean, don’t just hold down the button and let the blade spin. It’s crucial to stop the grinder and shake the grounding beans frequently. That way, you will get a more even size.

2. Sieve:

After finishing the Shaking process, you will find some boulder-sized pieces of grindings along with the superfine grindings. To get rid of them, sift the ground coffee with a sieve, that way, you can eliminate the big bouldering pieces and get some fine pieces for making a coffee cup.

3. Smush:

So, we have taken care of the big-sized grounds. Now, we need to get rid of the super fine pieces. By doing so, you will get uniform pieces that will evenly extract great flavor from the coffee. And the result is an excellent cup of coffee.

So, for doing that, place all of the ground coffee in a paper towel and rub them into the paper. Then simply place them in another bowl. Did you notice something? All the super fine pieces are stuck with the paper towel; thus, you will get all the uniform coffee grounds.

Using A Burr Coffee Grinder

Now it’s time to look at how to use a burr grinder. No doubt, this is the best type of coffee grinder for getting the uniform size of particles. That will deliver a great cup of coffee without putting a lot more effort.

how to use coffee grinder machine

With a Burr coffee grinder, you have the flexibility to set the size on your own according to the kind of coffee you are making. Let’s look at some steps for getting a clear concept of using Burr Grinders.

This guide is based on KitchenAid Burr Grinder. You may have a different type of Burr grinder, but the process is pretty much the same. Hope the following steps will help you in understanding the basics.

1. First Time:

For the first time, ensure to clean the bean hopper by using warm soapy water and dry it precisely. Now, place the hopper at the top and turn it clockwise until it’s tight enough. And then place the lower grind jar as well.

2. Grind Size:

It’s time to set up your desired size of grind according to your brew method. With the grinder, set 1-3 by rolling the wheel for getting coarse grind particles that are best for French Press. For Pour Over, Siphon, or Automatic Drip, it is recommended to select the 5-7 range in order to get the medium grind size. For Espresso, choose 8 for a fine grind.

3. Grind:

Next off, fill the bean hopper with the desired amount of coffee beans and place the hopper lid at the top accurately. When you are ready for grinding coffee, simply switch up to begin the grinding. If you got the right amount of grounds for making coffee, just flip the switch down and remove the grinding jar to collect the whole bean particles.

Using A Manual Coffee Grinder

coffee grinder how to use

For the sake of this guide, we are using the Rhino Grinder as it is pretty easy to use. First off, remove the top of the grinder and put your desired amount of freshly roasted coffee beans in the hopper. Now place the top again and adjust the settings by opening the bottom part. Here you will find a burr.

By turning it anti-clockwise, the result will be a coarser grind; on the other hand, you will get a fine grind by turning it clockwise. This is the trick of a manual coffee grinder.

How to Choose The Right Grind Size

If you want to taste different coffee types, then the first thing you have to keep in mind is grind size. There are quite a lot of types of coffee out there. A good grinder will give you consistent grind size over time.

For each type, there’s ideal grind size. For example, for drip coffee, a medium grind is perfect. On the other hand, the coarse grind is perfect for French Press. So, grind your coffee beans carefully to make the perfect cup of coffee.

The following chart will give you a clear concept of that.

Grind SizeTypes of Coffee
Extra Fine Turkish Coffee
Fine Espresso, Aeropress (1 min brew time), and Moka Pot
Medium Fine Aeropress ( 2-3 minutes brew time), Cone-shaped Pour-Over Brewers
Medium Automatic Drip Coffee and Manual Drip Coffee makers
Medium Coarse Perfect for Chemex coffee makers
Coarse Best for French Press, Percolator, and Coffee Cupping
Extra Coarse Cowboy Coffee and Cold Brew Coffee

If the particles are too coarse, chances are the grounds are under-extracted, which leads to a sour taste in your coffee. On the other hand, if the particles’ size is extra fine, they may be over-extracted, which can ruin the authentic flavor and deliver you a bitter coffee cup.

So, the primary matter of concern is to make sure the particles are uniformly sized. In that case, we recommend using a Burr Coffee Grinder rather than a Blade Grinder.

How to Clean a Coffee Grinder

Cleaning your coffee grinder is important to keep it in good condition and prevent flavor transfer between different types of beans. Luckily, it’s pretty easy to do. Just follow these steps:

  • Unplug the grinder and remove any beans from the hopper.
  • Brush away any loose grinds from the blades or burrs.
  • Wipe down the inside of the grinder with a damp cloth.
  • Grind a handful of rice through the grinder to absorb any residual oils.

That’s it! Just be sure to clean your grinder regularly – at least once a week if you’re using it daily – and it will stay in good shape for years to come.

The differences between cleaning a blade grinder and a burr grinder can be subtle, but they’re important. Now, let’s focus on that.

Cleaning a Blade Grinder:

For the Blade grinder, add about 20 grams of uncooked rice to the bean hopper. Now, start the grinder and let it grind until the rice becomes fine. This process is pretty good for eliminating any unusual smell. After that, remove the fine rice, and you will end up with a fresh blade grinder.

Cleaning a Burr Grinder:

For cleaning a Burr grinder, the steps are pretty much the same. To clean it, remove the top bean hopper with its lid and the grinding jar as well. Wash all of them with warm soapy water. After washing, dry them precisely.

In order to get the most out of your grinder, it’s important to know how to clean it properly. Our definitive guide on cleaning coffee grinders covers everything you need to know. So whether you’re a novice or a seasoned pro, this guide has something for you.

Troubleshooting Tips For Common Problems

If you’re having trouble with your coffee grinder, here are a few tips to help troubleshoot the problem:

  • If the grind is too fine or too coarse, adjust the grind size accordingly.
  • If the grinder is grinding too slowly or not at all, make sure the beans are fresh and not stale.
  • If the grinder is making a lot of noise, it might be overworked – try letting it cool down for a few minutes before continuing to use it.

Storing Coffee Grounds

Once you’ve ground your coffee beans, it’s important to store them properly to keep them fresh. Here are a few tips:

  • Store them in an airtight container.
  • Keep them in a cool, dark place.
  • Use them within a few weeks of grinding for the best flavor.

Following these tips, you’ll be able to enjoy fresh, flavorful coffee at home anytime you want. We have a detailed guide on that too.


What Should I Know Before Using a Coffee Grinder?

Before using a coffee grinder, it’s important to know how to properly operate it. Read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully to learn how to adjust the grind size and how much coffee to use for each cup. It’s also important to clean the grinder regularly to prevent the build-up of coffee oils and residue.

What Else Can A Coffee Grinder Grind?

Along with grinding coffee, a coffee grinder (Blade Coffee Grinder) can grind spices pretty well. Besides, it can grind bread crumbs, nuts, or even a small amount of flour as well.

Can a Coffee Grinder be used as a Food Processor?

Blade coffee grinders are designed especially for chopping coffee beans, but you can use them for chopping spices, nuts, and something like that. You actually won’t get a satisfactory result after using it as an alternative to a food processor. A well-constructed knife will deliver a better result than that.

Can Coffee Grinders Grind Spices/Rice/Nuts?

Yes, you can. For that, a decent-quality Blade grinder is needed to do the job.

Do Burr Grinders Become Dull Over Time?

Burr grinders are made of two abrasive surfaces – the burrs – that come into contact with each other as the grinder spins. As these surfaces wear down over time, they can become less effective at grinding coffee beans. How long a burr grinder lasts depends on how often it’s used and the type of bean being ground.

Final Words

Hope this comprehensive guide will help you get a clear concept of using a coffee grinder. We have tried to keep it simple to understand the basics and use them to solve their problems.

If you have any queries regarding this whole guide, don’t hesitate to leave them in the comment section below. We would love to hear from you.

Happy Brewing!

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