For those of you who are interested in coffee franchise opportunities or buying in one of the number of coffee franchises, you’ll need a commercial coffee grinder to go along with any commercial espresso machines you get. So, we’re going to spend a few minutes talking about commercial coffee grinders. There are many similarities between a commercial espresso grinder and a coffee bean grinder that is used at home for consumer use. We’ll explore some of those similarities but perhaps more importantly, we’ll explore the differences between the two. As that is what is most important if you’re looking for a professional coffee grinder.
One of the things I like about Starbucks as far as coffee grinding is concerned, is that they don’t sell flavored beans. At least not at this stage. There is nothing worse in my mind than buying some good organic, fair traded coffee beans and grinding them in the store just after someone has ground flavored Irish cream coffee beans. Believe me, your beans end up tainted. However, I haven’t taken store bought beans to Starbucks to grind in their commercial coffee grinder, not sure if they would allow that or not. So I have my own burr grinder at home that I use. But if I want to grind a pound of coffee beans for a friend to take over for dinner that’s a lot of grinding for my little home coffee bean burr grinder.
Choices in a commercial coffee grinder
When buying a commercial coffee grinder you will likely only have one choice. Or you should limit yourself to only one choice. And that one choice is a commercial coffee burr grinder, and the burr grinding words are the key features. So what is a burr grinder and why choose a burr grinder? A burr grinder uses 2 wheels or cones (conical burr grinder) that squeezes, breaks and tears the coffee beans in a very even fashion. It also does this slowly so that very little heat is imparted to the beans.
And the whole process of shredding and tearing the coffee beans allows the natural oils to be extracted and mixed in with the grinds so that when you brew your ground coffee, you will enjoy the full robust flavor of the beans. A final note on burr grinding coffee beans with a commercial coffee grinder, especially if you are using a commercial burr grinder, you want to ensure that it is, and it should be, comprised of cones not whees. A conical burr grinder will last much longer. You can tell just by looking at the difference of a pine cone and a thin disc. The cone has more substance.
Manufacturers that offer a commercial coffee grinder
Bunn is a well known manufacturer of not just Bunn coffee makers but also the Bunn commercial coffee grinders. Their professional coffee grinder will hold a pound or more of coffee beans and make quick work of grinding them for your customers. You should be able to grind through a pound of coffee beans in around 30 seconds or less.
You might have also noticed the Gaggia coffee grinder that many coffee shops own. This is another type of commercial coffee grinder. This one is not so much for grinding pounds of coffee beans, but for grinding espresso beans as the barista needs for individual espresso beverages. The espresso beans are ground in small quantities directly into the portafilter. The barista then tamps them down and uses a commercial manual cappuccino machine in order to pull the espresso shot.
The Cuisinart coffee grinder is a high quality conical burr coffee grinder but it is not to be considered a commercial grade coffee grinder. Though many folks are happy with them at home and rightly so, they would be awkward at least to use in your coffee shop. There are many commercial coffee grinders out there, another one that you might be familiar with are the Ditting commercial coffee grinders.
Ditting uses grinding discs in their commercial coffee grinder, and in spite of what I said earlier, these discs are thick and so should not wear out that quickly, though they are easily replaced if the need arises. Ditting also offers both coffee bean grinders and espresso bean grinders so you could do one stop shopping if you needed to.
There are many other choices out there too, I just wanted to give a brief overview and help get you started on the right track. My own personal preference if I was going to start up a coffee shop would be to use conical burr grinders across the line. However, that is a personal choice and I’m not sure most customers would be able to tell the difference. If you’re going to sell whole coffee beans, you’ll also want to offer grinding for them too. So you will need a commercial coffee grinder.
If you are going to use manual commercial espresso machines then you’ll need a smaller espresso bean grinder for your baristas to use. If you aren’t using either, i.e. you’re suing an automatic commercial espresso machine and you aren’t selling beans then you likely don’t need a coffee bean grinder at all, let alone a commercial coffee grinder.