Monday, 22 October 2007

My grinder made some awful crunching noises, then jammed. What now???

Most likely a stone amongst the coffee beans has become trapped between the two burrs.

Unplug the grinder from the electricity supply.

Turn the grinder upside down to empty all the coffee beans in the hopper into a tray

See if you can spot the stone jammed between the top and bottom burrs

Set the grinder to the coarsest setting available

(i.e. move the burr heads as far apart a possible)

Turn the grinder upside down again and see if you can tip the stone out, as it should have come loose.

If this doesn't work refer to the instructions that came with your grinder.

It may need to be returned to the retailer as stones can be difficult to remove from some grinders due to their design.

While we try our best to remove stones from our coffee, some still make it through.

We do apologise if you are ever inconvenienced by a stone from our coffee jamming in you grinder.

If you turn your grinder off as soon as you hear an unusual noise you will usually be able to remove the stone before it jams between the burrs.

Monday, 1 October 2007

What's a burr grinder?

Domestic coffee grinders are one of two designs.  They are either a spinning blade (propeller shape), like an upside down lawnmower, or a tapered male and female burr design.  A blade grinder will simply smash the beans up, rather than cut them, and as a result the grinds will vary greatly in size.  While you can get away with a blade grinder for making filter coffee, it will simply not suffice for espresso.  Yes, burr grinders cost substantially more, but they require an electric motor that is a lot more powerful, and all the load bearing components need to be a lot stronger than just a propeller flying about.

I have tried to set my grinder to a finer setting without switching it on and now nothing happens when I switch it on! What now???

Turn the grinder off immediately - this is the important thing to remember.

Then simply turn the grind several settings coarser and turn the grinder back on and it should start working again

If nothing happens after you have set the grind much coarser, the grinder is mostly probably fitted with an overload switch that has tripped (designed to protect the electric motor from exactly this kind of thing!), so push the overload switch to reset it.

Moral of the story: only change your grinder to a finer setting when it is switched on!