The quality of the coffee ground can significantly affect your brew. If it’s too coarse or too fine for your specific brewing method, you may not get the results that you want. Often, this occurs when the coffee grinder’s burrs have become dull or aren’t maintained properly.
In that case, it’s important to learn how to sharpen coffee grinder burrs. This way, you can guarantee that your precious grinder will last for years.
- The Burrs’ Complicated Structure
- How To Sharpen Coffee Grinder Burrs
- Signs of a Dull Coffee Grinder Burr
- The Importance of Sharp Coffee Grinder Burrs
The Burrs’ Complicated Structure
Burrs have a more complicated structure than blades. Depending on the type and model of your coffee grinder, the burrs may either crush the beans, cut them, or a combination of the two.
If the burrs crush the beans, you won’t have to worry about getting them dull. After all, they’re not cutting through the beans in the first place. Instead, you need to make sure that they don’t rust and that they are always clean.
On the other hand, if the burrs crush and cut the beans at the same time, here are some possible solutions when they get dull.
How To Sharpen Coffee Grinder Burrs
Your coffee grinder is an investment. You purchased it to have commercial-quality coffee at home and avoid spending too much money on store-bought cups. However, the quality of your favorite drink may eventually degenerate because of poorly-kept burrs.
To restore your coffee grinder’s efficiency, here are some tips to sharpening its burrs:
Use Uncooked Rice
You will often hear that many coffee lovers use uncooked rice to clean coffee grinder burrs. We don’t disapprove of that, but did you know that it can also restore its sharpness?
The uncooked rice helps remove rust or coffee buildup in the burrs. Additionally, its hard structure kind of chips away from the dull surface of the burrs, sharpening it in the process.
To do this, grab about a quarter of a cup of uncooked rice and place it inside the bean hopper. Turn your grinder on like you would when grinding coffee and let the uncooked rice do its magic. You can use the rice powder for other purposes, but it’s best to discard it if it gets too dirty from removing the coffee buildup.
Do Manual Sharpening
If you believe that the uncooked rice didn’t do much in sharpening your coffee grinder burrs? You can always resort to manual sharpening.
The problem with this method is that it might take a lot of time because of the burr’s design. Instead of a few blades, burrs have dozens of teeth that grind the coffee beans. Hence, you’d have to sharpen each of the teeth to restore your grinder’s efficiency.
Grab your knife sharpening tool or sandpaper and rub it against the teeth independently until you’ve reached your desired sharpness. Wear a pair of gloves when doing this, as the teeth might cause injuries.
Sharpening your coffee grinder burr with uncooked rice doesn’t always deliver satisfying results. It’s more or less just a band-aid solution to the problem. On the other hand, manual sharpening takes a lot of patience, and you need to have a pretty good technique for this method to be efficient.
That’s why the best solution to dull burrs is actually to have them replaced. You can contact your coffee grinder’s manufacturer and ask for replacement parts or order them yourself if you know what you’re looking for.
Fortunately, burrs are often made of very durable material. As such, they usually stay sharper than blades for longer. Ergo, they’re almost always worth your money. Nonetheless, it would help if you still make it a habit to do regular maintenance to prolong its lifespan.
Signs of a Dull Coffee Grinder Burr
How do we know if the burrs need sharpening or replacement? If you pay close attention to the coffee ground your grinder produces, you can actually see signs of a dull burr.
Adjusting the Grind Setting to a Finer Texture
However, if you notice that the coffee ground is not as fine as it should be on the setting you chose, it might be because of a dull burr. If you have to constantly switch to a higher grind setting to achieve a finer texture, it’s time to sharpen or replace the burr.
Large Coffee Particles
When burrs get dull, they don’t crush and cut coffee beans as efficiently. As a result, some slip into the cracks and escape to the container. If you chose a fine texture setting but noticed that there are larger coffee particles than the rest of the ground, your burr is getting dull.
Have you ever experienced using a dull knife? If so, you probably noticed that you could cut some ingredients effortless but not others. The same can be said for dull burrs.
Coffee beans have different textures, shapes, moisture levels, hardness, or softness. Therefore, your dull coffee bean burr may sometimes still produce fine coffee ground. However, a sharp burr will always make fine grounds when you choose to.
If you selected a fine ground setting, but it produces coarse coffee grounds sometimes, you should replace or sharpen the burr.
The Teeth Feel Rough
One final method of identifying whether or not your coffee grinder’s burr is getting dull is to take it out of the device. Run the teeth through your finger and examine it closely. Sharp burrs should consistently feel smooth. On the other hand, dull burrs will have bumps and a rough feel to them.
The Importance of Sharp Coffee Grinder Burrs
Drinking a perfectly brewed cup of coffee is one of the best ways to start our days. Hence, aside from learning different brewing methods, you should also learn how to sharpen coffee grinder burrs.
If you don’t know how to do this, your morning cups may slowly lose their quality. To prevent this from happening, sharpen or replace your coffee grinder burrs whenever necessary.