How To Clean Your Coffee Grinder
We've recommended grinding your own whole bean coffee in this space before. That, of course, means buying your own coffee grinder. Assuming your coffee grinder is being put to good use and not gathering dust and cobwebs, that also means keeping your grinder clean. After all, coffee is perishable; its carbohydrates go stale, its lipids (fats) can go rancid. Fresh coffee isn't going to taste so fresh if it has to pass through a gauntlet of last week's, last month's, or (heaven forbid) last year's residue. Keeping your grinder clean is essential. Blade grinders are easy to clean. Unplug the machine, and you'll find that a slightly damp lint-free cloth will remove the stray grinds and oils from the grinding chamber easily enough. Warm water and a towel dry will take care of the lid. Ensure that the lid and inside of the machine are fully dry, replace the lid, and store.
Burr grinders are a bit more complicated. The good news is that most of them disassemble easily enough for cleaning. A soft, stiff brush will typically get rid of anything that's caked onto the burrs and the machine's interior, while warm water and a soft, dry cloth will take care of the hopper, lid, and collection bin (soap can impart flavor to the plastic and your beans, so use it only when absolutely necessary). If you want a deeper clean, a Giottos rocket blower and vacuum will help to get rid of any stragglers. Another popular method for cleaning grinders is to use uncooked or parboiled white rice (Minute Rice or quick-cooking rice). Barataza and other manufacturers specifically warn against using rice to clean your grinder. On one hand, you're replacing coffee grinds with rice powder. On the other, rice is harder than coffee, and can cause damage to both blade grinders and burr grinders.
If the methods listed above aren't working, or if the thought of disassembling your grinder makes you queasy, the Urnex company's Grindz grinder cleaning tablets or the equally popular Full Circle grinder cleaning tablets (both available online and at many cooking and coffee specialty shops) can be quite effective. The tablets are food-grade and flavor neutral, and they help to get rod of coffee particles, oils and odors. You wouldn't use a cutting board, a knife, or a serving dish without cleaning it first. Your coffee grinder -- whether you're using a burr grinder or a simple blade grinder -- is no different. You wouldn't want to drink from a dirty cup, so why drink dirty coffee?
Learn More: Prima Coffee Equipment has a video tutorial and additional tips at https://prima-coffee.com/learn/video/maintenance/how-clean-your-burr-grinder And since you'll need something to grind in your grinder, may we suggest our Madison Avenue Medium Roast whole bean coffee?