Changing burrs: When and why?
Good condition burrs are the key to making great coffee. Every Mahlkönig grinder is equipped with a pair of high-quality burrs made in our own production facility in Germany. In order to achieve the perfect taste experience from your Malkönig grinder, in addition to routine maintenance, it is essential to regularly change the burrs.
Why and how much do the burrs wear out over time?
Every burr wears out over time. The life of a burr is largely determined by the quantity, the roast, and the grind of the coffee and can vary greatly depending on these and other factors. For example: a ton of espresso beans with a fine grind will put more wear on the burrs than a ton of filter beans with a coarser grind. Also, a light or medium roast with higher density, more remaining moisture and more intense fruit acidity will put greater stress on the burrs than a dark roast.
How do old burrs affect the coffee?
There are many signs of increasing wear on the burrs, and they will become more obvious over time. Dull burrs always result in a noticeable loss of flavor and a less balanced taste experience. The more the burrs wear down, the less precise the dosing becomes and the ground coffee will increasingly clump together and no longer be centrally ejected. Blunt burrs require more power from the grinder's motor, which causes the grinder and therefore the coffee to heat up. The consequence is a further loss of flavor in the cup. If the burrs are not changed before they become too worn, fine grinding for espresso will become increasingly difficult and, in the long term, impossible.
How to tell if the burrs need to be changed?
The great advantage of a modern Mahlkönig espresso grinder is that it reports any service request to the barista at an early stage. Non-digital classics, store grinders, and older models do not have this feature and should therefore be manually checked for wear on a regular basis, using the signs outlined above. Depending on the model, a visual and functional inspection will help assess the condition of the burrs and allow replacements to be obtained in good time. Either way, the Mahlkönig service partner can perform this inspection and replace the burrs professionally if needed.
At 120x magnification, the two images show the fine tooth on the outer circumference of a new burr in comparison to a heavily worn burr. The new and unused burr (left image) shows a clear, straight and razor-sharp edge. The heavily worn burr (right image) shows a rounded and blunted edge.
How do I find the right burrs and what should I take into consideration when changing them?
Many factors apply to buying new burrs and these will be covered in a later blog post. You can find an overview of our many Mahlkönig burrs in the online store at
For espresso grinders, we always recommend replacing the flapper at the same time as replacing the burrs.