If you are a coffee lover, a burr grinder should form an essential part of your brewing arsenal. It ensures that you get a quality cup of Joe all the time. It should, therefore, be no big surprise if you get hugely disappointed with your cup of coffee if a grimy burr grinder is being used. Thankfully, cleaning this apparatus is not too demanding, it requires no elbow grease and can be done in about 15 minutes.
Why You Should Keep Your Grinder Clean
Cleaning your grinder ensures that the coffee flowing out continues to taste as awesome as it did when you bought it. Similar to any equipment, burr coffee grinders need to be occasional deep cleaned.
Coffee burr grinders can, over time, get dirty due to a variety of things. First, coffee dust can be quite pervasive and depending on the type of coffee beans being used, the oil coming from the beans could also be a recurring problem, interfering with the taste of your coffee.
How to Clean Your Burr Grinder Properly
Cleaning your burr coffee grinder is reasonably easy, straightforward and need not take too much of your time. The size and frequency of usage are likely to be the biggest factor in determining how often you need to clean the burr grinder. This is because more coffee means more dust and oil. The standard practice is to do a quick, light cleaning once per week and deep cleaning at least once a month.
Hopper & Grind Chambers
Remove both the hopper and coffee grind chamber. Use a lint-free cloth to wipe these out so as to remove any coffee oil and dust buildup. In case of stubborn oil residue, consider using warm water and mild soap to clean these components.
Make sure you immediately rinse them so that the soap flavors don’t end up contaminating your coffee. Ensure they are fully dried so that no corrosion occurs.
Outer and Inner Burrs
With gentle twisting, remove the outer burr until it lifts out/detaches from the grinder. Leaving the inner burr in place, clean both burrs. Also touch up the chute to remove coffee particles, oils, and dust.
You should also clean any place you can reach or see. A vacuum cleaner, toothpick, compressed air, brush or lint-free cloth may be used on these places.
Reassemble Your Grinder
After the above process, carefully reassemble your coffee grinder for use. Grind between 10 and 20 grams of coffee before you start full brewing. This helps set any adjustment settings that may have gone out of place back to position.
Cleaning Wirth Rice
Though fairly effective, there are, however, a couple of potential problems associated with using rice. First, rice is harder than the average coffee bean. This can stress the grinder motor and burrs. Another issue is the powdery loose starch typical with uncooked rice grains. Over time, these can gum up the parts of your grinder.
It’s very important that you don’t use water when cleaning your coffee burr grinder. Also, avoid getting any moisture inside the coffee machine. Because most burr grinders have metal parts, they could corrode when you get them wet.
If you have taken the effort and time to invest in a good burr coffee grinder, ensure you also take good care of it by cleaning it every now and then. Remember, whether you have a burr or a manual coffee grinder, it is actually an investment in happiness because when it’s clean, you get satisfying and great tasting coffee.
Anthony is a professional barista in the city of Chicago. He has written for many online publications on various topics related to coffee.
How often should I clean my grinder?
It depends on how often you use your grinder. Even if you use it very rarely, we still recommend cleaning it at least every 3 months as lingering coffee oils can start to rust and old grinds will go stale, falling into your cup when you grind next. If you use it daily, you’ll want to clean it at least once a month – check every week to see if it’s clogged up. It’s a good habit to tap out any lingering grinds every time you use it to stop the build-up.
Can you take a grinder on an airplane?
You can put your coffee grinder in your suitcase. We wouldn’t advise taking any sort of blade on an airplane, so stick to a burr grinder. Basically, be sensible – if it could be used as a weapon, they’re not going to allow it on. If you do decide to take your burr grinder in your hand luggage, it’s best to clean it out thoroughly first.