Inevitably you heard the same advice from anyone who’s been bitten by the coffee bug. Don’t buy a grinder with blades, buy one with burrs. And unlike most advice freely given, this is actually very good. The whirlybird style grinder uses a set of blades to haphazardly chop coffee beans. The resulting set of granules vary wildly in terms of size. Some of those granules are big, some small, and some in-between. When brewing this hodge-podge of coffee mayhem, some granules are over extracted, some under, and again some in-between. This isn’t something you look for in a cup of coffee.
As opposed to blades, conical burrs break and then crush the beans into a balanced blend of coarse and fine sized granules ideal for espresso. A consistent bi-modal grind is what we look for and conical burrs are very good at producing that specific grind characteristic.
Pint Size Professional
83mm burr mount
At the heart of any grinder are the burrs and we’ve chosen one of the best sets in the world to use in the HG-1. We’ve built our grinder around Mazzer’s 83mm conical burr set which can be found in their acclaimed Robur series of grinders. The 83mm burrs are the largest commercially available conical burr set on the market today, but you won’t find a grinder smaller than the HG-1 that uses a burr set larger than ours. The 83mm set has the reputation of producing a grind unparalleled for espresso. Normally found in top tier commercial machines twice the size of ours, we’ve squeezed these burrs into an elegantly designed hand grinder that doesn’t take over your counter top.
Slower Is Better
The majority of flat or conical burr sets have been designed to spin at upwards of 1,000 to 1,300 rpm. While coffee gets ground faster at those speeds, the downside to high rpm is the heat generated during the grinding process can adversely affect the flavor of the finished product. In response, Mazzer’s 83mm burr set has been designed to operate at much lower rpm, in the range of 400 to 500, but still maintaining a respectable grind time because of the large outside diameter and increased surface area of the set.
Taking this concept a step further, we designed the HG-1 to further take advantage of the lower speed specification. When turning the flywheel, the top grinding speed of the HG-1 for an average user is approximately 100 to 120 rpm, resulting in a grind time of around 28 seconds for a 18g shot. In combination with the large surface area of the burr set, the even lower grind speed, as well as the direct grind path, the thermal stability of the HG-1 is excellent.
Another distinct advantage of the HG-1 grinder is the path of the coffee takes after being ground. The majority of grinder designs today rely on centrifugal force and mechanical means to propel grounds out the machine after grinding. After the leaving the burrs, coffee falls into a grind chamber and then into a chute. As a result of this process, the grounds become compacted and rub at high speeds against various parts of the grinder introducing friction and heat. With our design, coffee grounds exit straight downward from the burr set and gravity does the rest. This results in less clumping and a resulting grind which could best be described as fluffy.
Our burr sets are considered by baristas, home and professional alike, to be the best at producing a complex and rich tasting espresso. We’ve pulled some of the best shots in our lives with the HG-1 grinder and want to offer you the chance to do the same.
Weber Workshops would like to offer you the right set of tools to start with. The rest is up to you.