Coffee Data Science

How Unimodal is a Flat Burr Coffee Grinder?

Words matter

Robert McKeon Aloe
Nerd For Tech

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When talking about coffee grinding, there are a comparisons between conical and flat burrs. There is a claim that some flat burrs like SSP Multipurpose burrs have a unimodal distribution, which means the range of particle sizes is very tight.

Niche Zero (Conical burrs) on the left, and Fellow Ode on the Right. All images by author.

I looked at a few grind settings on an Ode with SSP Multipurpose burrs after aligning them. These three settings are in the espresso range, but they seem to me not to be as unimodal as I thought they would be. I measured their particle distribution using image processing, and I display them here.

Setting 3 (S3) is much more unimodal than the others, but the point of having unimodal burrs is that you can make the grind coarser, and the peak would shift. The peak in S4 just lengthens, and the peak in S5 does shift but expands out more.

I had to give the grinder back, but I would love to see more testing and distributions to characterize how unimodal is unimodal. I have seen some of dialed in espresso by Socratic Coffee, but I haven’t seen distributions across grind settings.

If you like, follow me on Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram where I post videos of espresso shots on different machines and espresso related stuff. You can also find me on LinkedIn. You can also follow me on Medium and Subscribe.

Further readings of mine:

My Future Book

My Links

Collection of Espresso Articles

A Collection of Work and School Stories

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Robert McKeon Aloe
Nerd For Tech

I’m in love with my Wife, my Kids, Espresso, Data Science, tomatoes, cooking, engineering, talking, family, Paris, and Italy, not necessarily in that order.