Conical vs Ceramic Burr: What’s the Difference?

Conical vs Ceramic Burr

Any espresso or coffee expert will tell you that every good cup of coffee starts with a good grinder. But if you’re not familiar with all the types of grinders available today, it can easily become overwhelming when you try to choose one.

The grinding discs or blades of the grinder are just one of many differences between types. You may have heard people talking about conical and ceramic burrs, for instance, which won’t make much sense if you don’t know anything about grinders.

That’s why we’ll be comparing conical vs ceramic burrs here. We’ll explain what they are so you understand which is the better choice for you.

Conical vs Ceramic Burrs: What are They?

example of commercial espresso grinder burrs

A burr is a grinding disc inside a coffee or espresso grinder. There are two different shapes they can come in: conical and flat.

Flat burrs are just two serrated rings that stack on top of each other. They’re especially good for creating uniform coffee particles, which results in a sweeter taste.

Conical burrs are shaped like cones with serrated edges. The coffee they grind is reduced to bimodal particles, or particles of varying sizes. This causes a higher, fruitier taste.

Ceramic is simply a material burrs can be made out of. The alternative to ceramic is stainless steel.

Here’s the Real Comparison: Steel vs Ceramic

Because ceramic is a material conical burrs can be made out of, we don’t think you can really compare conical burrs and ceramic burrs. They can be one and the same.

For that reason, we think the real comparison is actually steel vs ceramic conical burrs. We’ll discuss some of the differences between these two materials and how they’ll affect your grinding.

Let’s start with ceramic burrs. They naturally don’t conduct heat as well as steel, which is actually a good thing in this case. Your beans aren’t as likely to be burnt from overheating while grinding.

Ceramic burrs tend to be a bit duller than steel ones, but they can hold on to their sharpness longer. The main drawback to them is that they’re prone to chipping and could crack if you were to drop the grinder or bump it off the counter.

Stainless steel burrs can resist corrosion for a long time, which means you won’t have to worry about them rusting. They’re also generally sharper than ceramic burrs, which translates to particle uniformity.

However, they conduct heat more easily. This means that, without a cooling system in the grinder, steel burrs could cause your beans to get a bit singed in the process.

Wrap Up

The first step to making a good cup of espresso or coffee is grinding the beans. Choosing a quality grinder, however, requires an understanding of how they work and what your options are.

If you’d like to learn more about grinders, try reading our post about conical and blade grinders.

You can also take a look at our store to see all the grinders we offer. Don’t hesitate to give us a call at 888-978-5224 if you have any questions or need assistance.

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