Why Do Coffee Grinders Have Timers? Answered

Coffee grinders are for crushing roasted coffee beans. But have you ever wondered why do coffee grinders have timers? Learn the answer to that in this article and more.

Modern coffee grinding machines - Why do coffee grinders have timers
Coffee grinders have timers for consistency

We’ve all had the unpleasant experience of battling through the early morning rush. If you’re someone who appreciates coffee and doesn’t want to sacrifice your morning cup of Joe, then a grinder with a built-in timer lets you multitask.

Timers exist for a reason: consistency. You can leave your beans, set the timer, and never deal with overground coffee again. It’s not only for saving time but also to assist you in following a recipe to a T.

What Is A Coffee Grinder?

A coffee grinder is a device used to grind various whole roasted coffee beans to make coffee. It’s a crucial tool other than a coffee maker to ensure a perfect cup of Joe. A freshly ground coffee for brewing has more natural flavors, oils, and aroma from the beans than instant or pre-ground coffee you usually see in the market.

4 Types Of Coffee Grinders

You may have come across blade and burr coffee grinders in setting up a home cafe. While they are the most popular, coffee grinders have four different types. These tools will help you create a particular coffee ground for the appropriate brewing method. Check out our round-up of the best coffee grinders for home use.

1. Manual Coffee Grinders 

They are affordable, accessible, quiet, and can create multiple grind sizes. Grind coffee beans by manually turning the hand crank that connects to the blades. It’s also cheaper than the other grinders. We recommend the JavaPresse Coffee Bean Grinder.

JavaPresse Manual Coffee Grinder
  • Built-in Adjustable Grind Selector
  • Convenient, Portable & Easy to Use
  • Quality Tested
  • 100% money-back guarantee.
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11/30/2023 11:49 am GMT

2. Blade Grinders 

These grinders have a propeller blade in the bottom of the chamber that rotates fast and grinds coffee beans. It’s affordable, easy to use, and clean. However, it results in inconsistent grinds. Blade grinders only produce coarse to medium coarse grinds, which is best for French press, percolators, and pour-over methods.

3. Burr Grinders

Burr grinders have two subcategories, flat and conical. Both result in consistent grinds, have various grind settings and create low heat. But because the materials used to make them are not cheap (steel and ceramic), they are costly.

4. Espresso Grinders 

These products are one of the most innovative devices for making espresso. Just like their name, Espresso grinders produce a perfect grind for espresso and have a portafilter holder, timer, and dose setting. Read our guide can you use a coffee grinder for spices?

coffee, grinder, coffee grounds-6126839.jpg
Espresso grinders produce a perfect grind for espresso

Now that you know the different grinders check out our round-up of the best coffee grinders you can have at home.

Grind By Time

Why is grinding your coffee beans with a timer important? Many experts proved that grind consistency affects coffee’s freshness, aroma, and taste. With this in mind, manufacturers invented coffee grinders with a built-in digital timer for excellent dosing and extraction. 

There are three ways to dose coffee beans for a grind: volume, weight, and time. Grinding by time is a process of crushing beans at a specific window to create higher precision grinds and the same amount of coffee per dose. By setting up timer and grind settings, grinding coffee beans becomes easier and maintains the correct consistency and volume required for brewing.

In coffee extraction, the precision of grinds, roast, water temperature, the ratio of water to coffee, and extraction time are needed to get a perfect cup of Joe. Because of these, experts use a timed grinder to avoid over-extracted coffee with a bitter or burned taste or under-extracted beans, making the coffee sour. 

How Long Should I Grind Coffee Beans?

coffee beans
Grinding coffee beans also depend on the type of coffee maker used

To help you be familiar with how long you should grind coffee, here is the approximate grind time for each brewing method for a recipe with nine grams of coffee. 

  • Coarse (French Press) – 6 to 9 seconds
  • Medium/Coarse (Percolator) – 7 to 10s seconds
  • Medium (Metal Filter) – 10 to 12 seconds
  • Medium/Fine (Paper Filter) – 12 to 15 seconds
  • Fine (Espresso) – 15 to 19 seconds
  • Extra Fine (Turkish) – 19 to 22 seconds

Take note that this is for burr and manual coffee grinders only. For blade grinders, the grind time for:

  • Coarse – 5 to 10 seconds
  • Medium – 10 to 15 seconds
  • Fine – approximately 30 seconds 

If you’re using coffee grinder alternatives, the grind time above may not work, but you can always experiment until you get the perfect grind. 

Timers’ Accuracy

The only drawback of grinders with timer is it does not always give the same dose at the set time. All grinders have a different level of accuracy because of the type of beans, size, roast intensity, and density. Timed grinders are not ideal if you frequently change beans because even with the same grind time and setting, you will still have different quantities.

Another factor that affects grind speed is the amount of beans inside the hopper. If the hopper is full, it will push the beans to the burrs or blade and grind faster. On the other hand, an almost empty hopper will only make the beans bounce and will stop grinding due to a lack of pressure.

What To Do

To ensure consistency, use the same amount and type of coffee beans. If it’s unavoidable, then set the timer on your grinder and use a scale and adjust it manually to ensure the proper measurement required in the recipe. Be aware of clumps caused by the heat during the grinding process.

How To Use Coffee Grinders With Timers?

To properly explain how to use coffee grinders with timers, let’s pick Baratza Virtuoso+, as an example.

  1. Check your recipe and see the amount you need.
  2. Take the ground coffee bin and use the scale to check its weight. 
  3. Grab your coffee beans, put them in the hopper, and turn it until the grind setting indicator is placed on the right setting.
  4. Long press the knob for three seconds to enter pulse mode. 
  5. Start experimenting by pressing the knob to grind and manually checking the weight.
  6. Once you get the right weight, take note of the number on the display and exit pulse mode by rotating the knob to the same number in the display.
  7. To ensure it’s the right size, transfer the ground coffees and start again, but only push the button once to get your dose.
Baratza Virtuoso Conical Burr Coffee Grinder
  • DIGITAL TIMER and BACKLIT GROUNDS BIN - a 40-second digital timer, adjustable to a tenth of a second, and an LED backlit grounds bin to dose ground coffee accurately and consistently.
  • 40 GRIND SETTINGS - With enhanced commercial-grade conical burrs to help you explore an extensive range of brew methods (espresso, Aeropress, Hario V60, Chemex, French Press, and automatic brewers).

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12/01/2023 02:35 am GMT

FAQs About Why Do Coffee Grinders Have Timers? 

Why Should You Always Use Coffee Within 15 Minutes Of Grinding?

The aroma from the beans evaporates fast and reacts with oxygen. After 15 minutes, the freshly ground coffee loses approximately 60% of its aroma.

How Does Grind Time Affect Coffee Taste?

Prolonged grinding of coffee beans can burn the coffee, causing it to become bitter. Over-grind coffee beans that will not suit the brewing method can also result in over and under-extracted coffee. 

What Is Timed Dosing?

It is a way to make sure the consistency and volume of the coffee grind are correct. If your coffee grinder has a built-in timer, you can do this. You can also set a timer manually. 

How Long Should You Grind Coffee Beans?

How long you should grind the beans depends on the grind size or brewing method to be used. For coarse and medium coarse, less than 10 seconds, 10 to 15 seconds for medium fine, and 15 seconds and more for extra-fine coffee grounds. It can take 30 seconds for blade grinders to have a fine grind.


  • Maria Caballero

    Writer and coffee lover, Maria Caballero, is fond of visiting new cafes and trying current trends involving caffeine. She shares amusing experiences to fellow coffee enthusiasts who wants to explore the world of coffee.