FLAT AND CONICAL BURRS:WHAT 'S THE DIFFERENCE?
We start our blog by talking about the difference between a conical and a flat burrs.
First of all, let us explain what the burrs actually are and what their function are.
The burrs are part of the grinder that is a fundamental element of the espresso group presents in table top and/or freestanding machines.
Why is it so important to grind coffee? There are at least 2 main reasons:
- To release the aromatic substances that develop inside the coffee bean during roasting and that are trapped in the cellular structure of the bean; only by breaking it can we free them and bring them inside the drink;
- to facilitate the extraction of the aromatic substances by increasing the surface area of the coffee in contact with the water: the finer the grind, the greater the surface area in contact and therefore the greater the extraction.
Ad hoc grinding is the fundamental starting point for an excellent result in the cup.
Anyway both with conical and flat burrs the maintenance is always fundamental in order to get a good result in your cup.
ADVANTAGES AND DISAVANTAGES OF BOTH BURRS
There are two kinds of coffee brewer burrs: either flat or conical.
Here below let’s see the main advantages and disadvantages of both.
- Cutting larger surface: this allows the conical burrs to grind the same coffee quantity of the flat burrs even if by turning less quickly. As a result the coffee does not get warm before its supplying and the final result is better.;
- The wear of the conical burrs is lower than the one of the flat burrs thanks to its “pyramidal” shape.
- Since the coffee falls obliquely, the coffee discharging may not be so perfect and precise as the one of the flat burrs;
- The grinding adjustment of the conical burrs is done in an easier way than the one of the flat burrs so that it can be done by novice technicians;
• Less precision in the cutting: the shaft inside the burrs (male- cone) does not turn on itself perfectly (out of alignment) but it generates some oscillations and as a result the grinding won’t be uniform, since there will be both a larger and a thinner grinding ( multi-mode grinding)
- They are very good in the industrial machines where there is either air or water cooling of the burrs.;
- The cutting adjustment is usually done in one way: the shaft does not turn on itself (out of alignment). Anyway the grinding is more uniform than the one of the conical burrs even if it will NEVER be perfect.
• The flat burrs lifetime is lower than the one of the conical burrs;
• The burrs turn more quickly than the conical burrs but this involves the coffee higher heating and a consequence the quality and the taste are modified;
• The coffee discharge must be absolutely precise, aligned and perfect in order to grant a correct coffee grinding;
•The grinding adjustment is more difficult to be done and it is recommended being done by expert technicians.
In addition to the type of grinder, the grinder adjustment is also important, which we will discuss in the next article :)
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