There are many styles of coffee grinders, and each one has its own set of characteristics and benefits. Because of this, it can be difficult to understand each type and decide which is best. While every coffee drinker may find a different grinder suits their needs best, the lever-release grinder is a quality option for commercial and home brewing. There are many different types of coffee grinders, but in this article, we will look at what is a lever release grinder and how it works.
You might also be interested to find out more about what a conical burr grinder is.
What Is a Lever Release Grinder
A lever release grinder refers to a type of stepped grinder that uses a lever mechanism to adjust the grind of the coffee. Various types of grinders can use the lever release method, but most are burr grinders. The term stepped grinder simply means that the grinder has preset notches, or steps, and corresponding numbers that indicate the grinding settings. The grinding settings refer to the fineness or coarseness of the coffee. Stepped grinders are the most common grinders, especially for home use.
With a lever release grinder, the adjustments are made by the user pushing down or engaging the lever, adjusting the settings, and releasing the lever. Grind settings are usually adjusted by a dial, or by rotating the bean hopper. When the lever is released, the setting is locked into place for the grinding process. It is usually considered a manual coffee grinder as your action is what grinds the beans.
Why Use a Lever Release Grinder?
The primary benefit of using a lever release grinder is the ability to control grinding settings. Users can use a finer setting, a coarser setting, or anywhere in between. This makes brewing espresso-style coffee, regular drip coffee, French press coffee, and many others possible with a single grinder. This can help eliminate coffee waste associated with improper grinds.
As opposed to lever release and other stepped grinders, stepless grinders are far more complicated and not ideal for some commercial and most at-home brewing. Since they do not have assigned reference points (steps), they offer an unlimited amount of grind settings. While this offers more precision than lever release grinders, it takes a lot of time to find the right setting. This leads to coffee waste and the need to complete a lengthy adjustment when switching between brew styles.
For ease of use, consistent grind settings, and quick setting changes, level release grinders are the best option. Self-holding stepped grinders also offer the simplicity of assigned settings, but the mechanisms that lock the grind setting in place are not always as reliable as lever release grinders. If you are looking for an automatic coffee machine with grinder, these generally won’t be lever release, as they work separately.
What to Look for When Purchasing a Lever Release Grinder?
While not dependent on the style or model of coffee grinder, it is important to be mindful of the quantity of coffee being ground. As coffee beans are ground, they absorb heat from the grinding operations. The more coffee ground at once, the longer the grinding process, and the higher the heat of the operation. Higher heat changes the qualities and flavors of the bean. It is always best to grind coffee in smaller batches, so it is important to find grinders that allow small-batch grinding.
When looking for lever release grinders, it is important to consider grind customization. Every brew process requires a different type of coffee ground for optimal flavor. For coffee drinkers that use many different brewing styles, it is important to choose a grinder that features as many defined settings as possible.
While most level release grinders are burr grinders, there may be models that feature a blade or other grinding technology. Make sure the lever release grinder has the preferred grinding mechanism. Like all other purchases, price is a factor. Lever release grinders have a wide range of prices, so it is important that each user chooses according to their preferences and budget.
Lastly, brand and reputation are important things to consider. Brands, such as Baratza, are generally highly regarded. Customer reviews and review articles from online publications can provide additional insight for an educated decision.
What Makes a Lever Release Grinder a Good Option?
Like other stepped grinders, lever release grinders provide the consistency and grind adjustability to suit any bean and brew style. It allows coffee drinkers to try various brew methods with simple and easy-to-use settings. While self holding grinders are more common, the lever release provides more reliability and stability than other stepped types. Whether for commercial or home brewing, a lever release grinder is probably a great option.
Top 3 Lever Release Grinders to Buy
The Final Sip
Like all bean, grind, and brew varieties, the ideal grinder may depend on personal preference, budget, or a number of other factors. While the lever release grinder provides a lot of desirable functions, it is important that each coffee drinker finds something that works best for them. In the end, the most important thing is taking the time to enjoy a great cup of coffee, however, it is ground and brewed.