Coffee grinders that use burrs are significantly more durable and efficient than those that use blades. Burrs last longer, and they deliver a consistent grind size even after years of service.
That said, burrs don’t last forever. They will eventually wear out, especially if you don’t take care of them properly. As a result, you may need to replace them more often. If you’re wondering how often to replace burrs on coffee grinders, here are some things you need to know.
- How Often To Replace Burrs on Coffee Grinder
- How To Maintain Coffee Grinder Burr
- As Often As Necessary
How Often To Replace Burrs on Coffee Grinder
Preparing a cup of coffee at home will save you lots of money. Not only will you not have to pay for an overpriced cup, but you also won’t have to drive to your local café.
The key to enjoying these benefits for longer is ensuring you take good care of your equipment, including your coffee grinder. In figuring out how often to replace burrs on coffee grinders, you’ll want to ask yourself a couple of questions.
What Is the Burr Made Out Of?
First things first, figure out what materials were used to make your coffee grinder’s burr. As you can imagine, this plays a big role in how long you can expect them to last.
For this, you can look for the manual the coffee grinder came in or search online about the specs of your device. More often than not, stainless-steel burrs have a shorter lifespan than ceramic burrs.
How Often Do You Use It?
After identifying what the burrs are made of, take note of how often you use your grinder. For stainless-steel burrs, you may need a replacement after grinding about 500 to 600 pounds of coffee. In comparison, ceramic burrs can efficiently grind 700 to 800 pounds of coffee before losing their quality.
If you have stainless-steel burrs and you grind about one pound of coffee per week, it’ll take around 10 years before you replace them. If your coffee grinder uses ceramic burrs, it can reach a lifespan of up to 15 years.
How Does the Coffee Ground Look?
Obviously, the numbers we just mentioned are not absolute. Instead, the burrs’ lifespan is significantly affected by how you use and maintain them.
You can try observing the coffee ground instead. If you notice large coffee particles after grinding the beans, the burrs may need replacement. Inconsistent grind sizes mean some of the burr’s teeth are getting dull and letting large particles escape.
How Do the Burrs Look, Feel, and Perform?
If the burr needs replacement, you will also notice it on how it looks, feels, and performs. For exhausted or worn-out burrs, try running your fingers on its teeth. If it still feels smooth, it probably just needs a little cleaning. On the other hand, if the teeth are rough or edgy, it’s a sign that it’s getting dull.
Additionally, if the burr is clocking out, you will notice that your coffee grinder is a lot noisier than usual. This is because the teeth are not as efficient in crushing and cutting the coffee beans as before. Therefore, the burrs compensate by requiring more energy to grind the beans.
How Does Your Coffee Taste?
Another way to determine whether your coffee grinder’s burrs need replacement is to pay attention to the flavor of your coffee. Coffee beans rapidly lose their flavor and quality after being crushed and cut.
If the burrs take longer to grind the beans, there’s a good chance you’ll lose most of the beans’ flavor in the process. Ergo, if you’ve always used the same coffee beans but noticed that your coffee doesn’t have the same taste, aroma, and quality, the burrs are probably to blame.
How To Maintain Coffee Grinder Burr
Coffee grinder burrs are relatively affordable. However, if you often replace them because of how quickly they degrade, the cost will certainly pile up. The best way to avoid replacing your coffee grinder burrs frequently is to take care of them. Here’s how you can do that.
Coffee grinder burrs break beans into tiny particles. No matter how effective your grinder is, some particles will be left in the burr assembly.
Unfortunately, this buildup can diminish the device’s efficiency in grinding the beans over time. Instead of the beans getting into contact with the burrs’ teeth, they will grind against the grit buildup.
For this reason, it’s very important that you deep clean your coffee grinder at least once a week. While using the uncooked rice cleaning method may help, it’s still best to disassemble it or get the burrs out and clean them individually.
Get Rid of Oil
Coffee beans release essential oils when crushed. They might be unnoticeable at first, but their moist property will cause the coffee particles to clump together over time. This is especially true for burrs with plastic casings.
To get rid of oil and prevent buildup, start by taking the glass hopper out. Then, use a clean piece of cloth to wipe the surfaces of the burr and the hopper.
You can also check the instruction manual to determine which parts are washable. It’s much easier to clean the burrs by rinsing them under running water or using a liquid soap solution. Lastly, allow the components to air dry before putting them back on the grinder.
Perhaps the best method to keep your burrs sharp and efficient is to clean them regularly. There are numerous cleaning methods you can do on your grinder’s burrs. That said, it’s best to consult the manufacturer or refer to the instruction manual to avoid damaging the device.
The most common cleaning method is by using rice or bread. To do this, pour around 3/4 cup of uncooked rice into the hopper. If you don’t have rice, grab a loaf of bread instead and tear it into smaller pieces before placing it into the hopper.
Turn the coffee grinder on like you would when grinding coffee and let it run for about 30 seconds. After doing so, discard the rice powder or breadcrumbs that are in the bin. Wipe the container, hopper, and burrs with a clean piece of cloth to ensure there’s little to no moisture left.
Think About the Long Run
Probably the best way to ensure that you don’t have to replace your coffee grinder’s burrs too frequently is to get quality burrs in the first place. Some coffee grinders may seem cheaper because of their initial cost. However, that’s often because of the low-quality materials used on them.
For us, we think it would be better to spend a few extra bucks for a more expensive coffee grinder if you don’t have to purchase replacement parts for the next five to 10 years.
Additionally, research the product before buying it. Determine whether the manufacturer’s customer service is easy to access. Also, try looking for replacement burrs even before purchasing the coffee grinder, so you’ll know if they aren’t hard to come by. Lastly, be sure to check out reviews online to know whether or not the product is worth your money.
As Often As Necessary
The sense of accomplishment you get when preparing a quality cup of coffee on your own and right in the comfort of your own home is priceless. That is one of the many benefits we get from practicing the art of coffee-making.
We need a few essential tools to do this, though, and one of them is the coffee grinder burr. Make sure your coffee grinder always delivers a great cup of coffee by learning when and how often to replace its burrs.