Ceramic vs. Stainless Steel Coffee Grinders: What’s the Difference?
There are very few things as satisfying as a cup of good coffee in the morning. Coffee comes in different forms and styles, depending on how you like it. If you belong to the niche group of people who need their coffee on point, your best bet is to grind your own coffee beans.
If you are in the market to buy your first coffee grinder, you might be struggling with the confusion that whether to buy a ceramic one or a stainless steel one. In this article, we will clarify the differences between a ceramic coffee grinder and a stainless steel coffee grinder.
But first, let us address a few important aspects of coffee before we start the grinding.
Coffee & Health
The majority of us drink coffee to start the day strong or to get rid of the day’s tiredness. Coffee has a lot more to offer than just uplifting your energy level. It is scientifically proven that coffee has essential micronutrients important for our body and can also reduce of risk of Type-2 diabetes.
Coffee can improve our memory and protect us from diseases like Alzheimer’s, Dementia and Parkinson’s. These diseases affect millions of people every year and it is amazing that we can take precautions by simply consuming coffee regularly.
Coffee is a very rich source of antioxidants. It has the miraculous ability to fights against diseases as fatal as cancer. Studies show that coffee reduces the risk of liver cancer, heart diseases, and stroke.
So, to boost our energy instantly as well as to live a healthy life for a long time, there are only a few elements nature has to offer as effective as coffee.
How Do You Like It?
Coffee has come a long way since the beginning. Almost every continent in the world have developed their own style of coffee and all of them are great in their own way. So, before you start grinding your coffee beans, it is important that you know your likings.
Whether you like Espresso, Moka Pot or Aeropress coffee, grinding your beans perfectly is the first priority. Suppose you want to go to the 2nd floor of a building. You cannot possibly skip the 1st floor, can you?
Think of the 1st floor as the coffee beans. Now, how do you want to climb? You can either take the stairs or the elevator. Think of them as your grinding methods. The reason we brought up this example is to tell you how important the method actually is. Remember this example, we ill need it.
The initial texture of the coffee highly affects the final flavor you will be drinking. This is where the type of grinder comes to play. There are two main types of coffee bean grinders.
- Ceramic Coffee Grinder
- Stainless Steel Grinder
In this article, we will walk you through both types of grinders and what are the differences which will help you choose the perfect one for yourself. You do not need the best grinder available in the market, you need the best grinder for you.
Burr vs Blade
If you are reading this article it means you are a newbie in the game of grinding. Before diving into what material to choose, you need to understand what grinding tool is better suited for you. A burr or a blade?
The burr grinder is made of two different cutting surfaces that wrap the coffee beans and grind them. These surfaces move while the base is still. These results in an even grinding and you get consistent ground coffee to brew.
On the other hand, think of the blade grinder as a blender. The coffee beans are chopped unevenly as a result of faster grinding. This method might be faster, but you are left with inconsistent ground coffee which will affect the final flavor.
Although the burr grinders are slow, most coffee enthusiasts around the world will choose burr over blades anytime. The blade grinders are cheap. Do you want to save a few dollars or do you want to enjoy the satisfaction of a great cup of coffee? The choice is yours.
Ceramic contains both metallic and nonmetallic elements. Usually, ceramic coffee grinders are molded into shape. Ceramic is a high strength material and won’t rust or oxidize over time. One of the great advantage ceramic coffee grinders offer is that they don’t lose the shape and hold the dimensions very well.
Ceramic grinders are really low maintenance. We have already mentioned that ceramic doesn’t rust over time. So, you can just wash your ceramic coffee grinder with plain water after every use. They also absorb little to not heat which makes them ideal for grinding your cherished coffee beans.
Ceramic is a great material for manual grinding. As ceramic burr grinders are relatively slow, they will last a long time serving you perfectly ground coffee every time you crave it. Also, ceramic coffee grinders are not sharp to begin with. So, they will retain the shape for many years to come.
Ceramic coffee grinders are hands down the best tool to create the taste of traditional and classic coffee. Though the game changers are the coffee beans, a ceramic coffee grinder will let you taste the texture of elegance.
As we mentioned earlier, ceramic retains little to no heat at all. Some coffee experts claim that this attribute of ceramic coffee grinders helps with the flavor as well. The oils in the coffee beans are not affected by the heat generated from grinding. Hence, you get the authentic flavor of your choice.
Use It Wisely
You cannot practically expect ceramic coffee grinders to work with all kinds of coffee. We have said it numerous times, everything comes down to your personal likings. Generally, ceramic coffee grinders are better suited to work with beans that are roasted for Espresso.
Nothing is invincible. Even the perfect sounding ceramic coffee grinders have their drawbacks. The main one being their vulnerability. Yes, ceramic is really durable, until you drop it. Ceramic does not handle impacts very well.
Another drawback is the initial cost. Ceramic is expensive. If you are a true coffee enthusiast, this might not be an issue for you. There are ceramic coffee grinders that cost less targeted towards coffee lovers on a budget, but you will lose the features that make ceramic coffee grinders great in the first place.
Ceramic does not handle dramatic temperature changes well. Sudden change in ambiance will result in a thermal shock for the ceramic coffee grinder and ultimately it may crack prematurely.
Stainless steel coffee grinders are all metal. If you know how metal behaves, you would know how stainless steel grinders are. Stainless steel is different from regular steel as it has chromium and possibly molybdenum mixed in it.
Stainless steel grinders are very easy to make. The mix of chromium and molybdenum doesn’t allow the grinder to corrode and rust over time. These grinders are typically made by casting or machining. The final burr or blade is usually attached to a wooden box that holds the coffee beans.
Stainless steel is an ideal material to make high-speed grinders. As steel handles impact and friction better, stainless steel burrs or blades are easily attachable with electric motors. The antioxidizing properties make it ideal for food and drink related tasks.
As stainless steel is cheap and easy to form, it is widely used in budget coffee grinders. Though enthusiasts don’t like stainless steel as their grinder’s material, they are perfectly suitable for day to day use.
The stainless steel coffee grinders will create a clean flavor coffee. As the beans are chopped evenly, the flavor will not have a lot of body in it. If you are a casual home coffee brewer or if you like pour over coffee, stainless steel might be the perfect choice for you.
Stainless steel retains heat. They are easily affected by the climate of the room. As they generate a bit more heat than ceramic while griding, this may or may not affect your coffee experience. It is believed among enthusiasts that the heat might burn the oils in the beans and result in a bitter taste.
What Coffee to Grind?
Stainless steel grinders are great for espresso, same as ceramic coffee grinders. But the feel is a little different. As the beans are in a uniform shape, the modern style espresso is a great choice. Stainless steel grinders are best suited for beans from the same batch and are not roasted for espresso.
Though stainless steel grinders are widely used and very easy to find, they lack the finesse that coffee lovers require. The sharp blades will cut through every single bean and create a simple blend.
Another drawback of stainless steel grinders is adjustability. As these are targeted to be budget friends, often they won’t allow adjusting your grind size.
Stainless steel has a shorter lifespan than ceramics. The material will deteriorate over time and might need replacement sooner than you would expect.
Remember the stairs vs elevator example? It is only one floor. It doesn’t matter much how you want to approach it. But if you are particularly fond of one, it might matter to you.
If you are a fitness enthusiast, you might want to utilize every single chance of working out. So, you will take the stairs. On the contrary, if you do not care about fitness religiously, you will take the elevator.
The choice of your coffee grinder comes down to your preferences. If you fail to choose proper coffee beans in the first, it doesn’t matter what grinder you are getting.
The ceramic burr grinders are the first choice of any coffee lover, particularly espresso lovers. It creates body in the flavor and lasts a long time.
The stainless steel grinders are targeted towards commercial environments and simple home use. The blades are sharp, so it will get the job done faster. They create a clean flavor if associated with non-roasted beans.
Now you know the difference between ceramic coffee grinders and stainless steel coffee grinders. You know which is better suited for which scenario. Go out in the market the choose wisely with the knowledge that has been bestowed upon you.