Can you actually taste the difference between blade ground and burr ground coffee, or is it just an affectation with more theoretical t

Can you actually taste the difference between blade ground and burr ground coffee, or is it just an affectation with more theoretical than practical importance?

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  1. The particle sizes are not as consistent with blade grinders and you will also get more fines. When I first started grinding my own beans, I used your typical blade grinder you can find at walmart, it was great on some occasions, but there were times it was just off. That all changed when I started using a burr grinder, the resulting brew is great everytime. Now, the only time I would ever consider using a blade grinder is when I have no other choice.

  2. I had a burr grinder, but tried a Krups blade grinder while staying in an Airbnb and was actually pretty impressed with it as a coffee grinder. I thought it was a nice small size for travel and so I bought one for that purpose. Not too long after my burr grinder quit, and I didn’t want to spend the money replacing it, so I started using the Krups blade grinder, and I’m still using it. I only drink drip coffee and I taste no discernable difference. In fact, Cook’s Illustrated claims that in their tests, blade grinders didn’t generate much more heat than burr grinders. I’ll also add that I grind my beans at night and if there is any loss of flavor from ground coffee sitting overnight it’s worth it to me to wake up to coffee already made, however again I don’t taste any discernable difference.

  3. From an espresso coffee point of view: Blade grinders produce less than optimum espresso coffee outputs and are easily discernible from espresso produced from burr-wheel and burr-conical grinders due to the fact that the extraction from blade ground coffee lacks in aromatic oils, usually lacks resonance and often contains the astringent taste of tannic acid.
    According to, roasted coffee has over 800 aromatic volatile compounds. The art of espresso making is to extract as many of these compounds as possible into your cup of espresso. Sadly, the more delicate aromatic volatile compounds are lost in the grind which is why cafes very often smell far better than the taste of the coffee they make.
    One essential key to unlocking these compounds is found in the consistent fineness and pack resistance of the coffee grind. To unlock these aromatic chemical compounds created by the Maillard reaction (
    ) and trapped deep within the the roasted bean, we need to convert the roasted coffee beans into a consistent powder that packs down to form the perfect resistance (to create the perfect extraction) against the heat and pressure of the espresso process.
    Blade grinders by design cannot create consistent coffee particles with the larger particles incapable of releasing their aromatic oils. A coffee pack made from a blade grinder is more likely to just wash through the coffee particles and leach tannic acid into your cup rather than just extract the coffee oils that will be released in the first stage from the finely ground particles. This lack of aromatic oils means that the coffee produced lacks the long lingering resonance experienced from coffee extracted using burr grinders (particularly burr-conical grinders)
    Given the delicate nature of the aromatic volatile compounds, it is critical that the roasted coffee bean is subjected to the least amount of physical attack and heat in the grinding process. This is best achieved by the slow grinding ‘mortar and pestle’ action of the bur…

  4. If everything else is done right, any coffee drinker could tell. Let me explain.
    Would you rather have a bottle of cheap wine, or a very expensive one that has been left open on the counter for a month? Of course you would prefer anything decent over vinegar.
    In much the same way, there are many things that can spoil a cup of coffee. Over-roasting, age, over-extracting, and more can all have a bigger effect than the kind of grinder.
    The thing about coffee snobs is, we’ve avoided all th pitfalls on the way to the perfect cup. Once you’ve tasted a truly amazing coffee, any mistake sticks out like a sore thumb. The inconsistent grind from a blade grinder is just as bad as any coffee sin I know.

  5. The inconsistent grind from a blade grinder makes it very difficult to not end up with either a bitter or a weak brew. You get a mixture of fine and coarse particulate, and the two extract differently.

  6. The main advantage with a burr grinder is that the consistent sized grounds are easier to get a consistent pull from an espresso machine. In espresso, the timing of the pull is paramount to the taste. This is very difficult to achieve with the inconsistent sized grounds of a blade grinder. I’m not sure if I could tell the difference between burr and blade in a French press or drip coffee maker.

  7. I believe in blind taste tests, and blind smell tests, and I know my discrimination is different in different areas. And it’s nothing spectacular in any area. I long since gave up trying all the cabernets in the world, or all the single malt scotches.
    I have a friend who buys green beans from all over, roasts them himself, grinds for each cup, controls water temperature, and presses into each cup separately. I believe he’s mentioned that different burr settings can change the flavor. His coffee’s really good. I can tell his from the hazelnut coffee I buy at the supermarket. But he has to tell me if the coffee he serves one day is different from what he served me the day before.
    And I don’t think he’s mentioned blade vs. burr.

    Victor Allen’s


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