Want to single dose on a motorised grinder? Get a large, flat burr grinder

by Reiss Gunson on Monday, 15 December 2014 13:00

If you want to single dose (personally i don't but i appreciate that if you are the only coffee drinker in the house that there is a good chance you would want to single dose), then here's a tip that will save you a lot of heartache: get a flat burr grinder, the bigger the better!

Conical burr grinders are not the best choice if you want to single dose

Why?  Flat burrs only work properly, i.e. feed coffee into the burr smoothly, if they are running fairly fast

For this reason all flat burr grinders run at about 1400rpm

So when you drop in 18g of beans the centrifugal force simply throws them cleanly outwards through the burrs

i.e. pop corning is not an issue with flat burrs - the beans do not need a weight of beans above them to ensure that they are smoothly driven through the burrs

With conical burrs pop corning is a significant issue as the screw/augur mechanism that a conical burr works on relies on a weight of beans on top of the burrs for the beans to be driven cleanly into the beans

A lot of people, myself included, thought that conicals bet flat burrs for espresso but the discovery of the decades old 98mm flat burred EK43 spice grinder from Mahlkoenig threw that theory out the window

Off the back of that i cast my eye around for other large flat burr grinders and found the R120 from Compak, and while it gives a completely different taste to an EK43, it provides exceptional taste fidelity in a way that no other grinder i have tried comes close to and popcorning is not an issue even when single dosing

And to close out this little post on grinders, if you have an L1 and are looking for more performance the secret is to upgrade your grinder.  The L1 will keep giving you more taste every time you upgrade your grinder

I am aware that top end grinders cost as much as the L1 itself, but i promise you that you will be rewarded for your investment

A very sensible route to a better grinder is to acquire one second hand

Most grinders only need a new set of burrs to restore their performance to as good as new, so they are very easy to breathe new life into

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