SSP are renowned for their burr design and have found themselves replacing the standard burr sets in your grinders across the globe. Manufactured in Korea, SSP burrs combine iterative design and machining excellence to present you with a wide selection of burrs to suit your tastes and needs.

With that wide selection of burrs, it can be difficult to see the wood for the trees, not to mention the naming convention can be a little backwards in name. The purpose of this guide is to hone you in on the burr set you want for the taste you have.

First of all lets set a basis so that we are all talking about the same descriptors - other websites, reviewers and roasters could be using different words to describe one basic idea.

The tasting experience comes down to a few things; astringency, texture/body/mouthfeel, acidity, sweetness, finish and clarity. 

In this guide we are going to focus on the main factors being manipulated by SSP, texture/body/mouthfeel and clarity. Sweetness can be manipulated through various other factors in the brewing process, but these are the biggest factors being changed from burr set to burr set.


Texture, body and mouthfeel are all the same thing, it essentially describes what the experience is in the mouth in terms of 'feel' rather than actual taste. It could be thin, like water, or it could be thick/creamy like that cloying feeling you get after you eat milk chocolate and everything in between.

It could be 'juicy' which is a word that has been coming up recently that essentially describes mouthfeel, sweetness and acidity in one. It's the feeling you have when you drink a fruit juice, that slightly smooth feeling with that acidic finish but a sweet front. Refreshing.


Now clarity can be misconstrued as a cup with a light body, but that's not the case. Clarity simply describes how clear you can distinguish different flavours in the cup. Can you taste brown sugar and tea and white fruit, or can you just taste nuts. A cup with low clarity can often be described as being quite muddy, papery. If you take a sip and think "wow that's straight up green apple", you can bet that you've got a clear brew.

An aside: Complexity and finish

Complexity can also be mistaken for clarity, when it is slightly different - although related. Complexity simply just refers to the number of flavours you can distinguish. It can also describe evolving flavours in the finish of a cup. Finish just puts a word on 'aftertaste', if there is a lasting aftertaste you tend to describe the brew as having a 'long finish'. Complexity can also describe a sensation where acidity and sweetness are at odds with each other rather than being complimentary, sort of that fermentation vibe you get from fermented process beans.

With all of that being said, lets get to the burrs!

There are two schools of thought when it comes to choosing a burr set, you can think of brew types i.e predominantly filter and predominantly espresso. Or you can choose a burr set based on the attributes; body and clarity in this case.

With SSP, they make it quite easy by pointing you to one burr set or another, but there are other burr sets out there that are 'in-between' the cases and can afford bloody brilliant cups by accessing the balance.

Lets get right to the point, if you want a burr set that does everything fairly well - just go for the SSP Multipurpose V2 in Red Speed coating. This does it all, it will give you clarity in filter whilst still giving you medium body in espresso. What the SSP Multipurpose gives you vs the Itamil burrs or DLC coated burrs is a thinner body, higher clarity burr set. So for those complex roasts and beans, this will pull out those flavours much better than standard Itamil and DLC burrs. If that's what you want, a do-it-all burr set that gives you extra clarity and sweetness - you don't need to read any further as the Multipurpose V2 burr set will do that, take a look below!




If, like me, you like having multiple burrs for different experiences then the below guide will serve you well!


From Highest Body to Lowest:


SSP High Uniformity, Red Speed

SSP Lab Sweet Cast V3, Red Speed

SSP Multipurpose V2, Red Speed

SSP Multipurpose V1, Silver Knight


From Highest Clarity to Lowest:


SSP Multipurpose V1, Silver Knight

SSP Multipurpose V2, Red Speed

SSP Lab Sweet Cast V3, Red Speed

SSP High Uniformity, Red Speed

 Not entirely surprising, the burrs ranked in body are reversed when ranked in clarity - it's a trade-off. (Note - tests were done with a medium-light roast).

The practicalities of the burr sets

What's also important, especially for espresso, is the fines. In order to pull great espresso there needs to be a controlled number of fines in the actual grind distribution to allow pressure to build up in the puck. Contrary to recent popular belief, fines are actually welcome in espresso - just in a controlled amount. If you didn't have any fines produced, then you would have to grind incredibly fine (in order to produce those fines that aren't there) to have the puck build enough pressure. When you get to this stage you are severely restricted in the grind size to essentially burr touch - again, not at all useful when you've just bought a £400 grinder with fancy adjustments.

Multipurpose V1 vs V2

With the above being said, the Multipurpose V1 burr set produces very little fines, that's half the reason (not all) why it has such high clarity. But as a result, it renders itself quite difficult to tame for espresso. The Multipurpose V2 added flat faces to the finishing teeth which throws a controlled number of fines to the final grind output, allowing an easier espresso dialling in experience - meaning you don't have to grind so fine to pull great shots.

This is why we wouldn't recommend the V1 Multipurpose for espresso, only for pure filter. Whereas the V2 Multipurpose set is perfectly good in both filter and espresso.

High Uniformity

Now, don't be confused by the name. High uniformity does not mean unimodal, in fact quite the opposite. High Uniformity means actually a controlled broad distribution of grinds which lends itself to high body, thicker cups whilst still not completely masking complexity. It throws more fines out than the Multipurpose V2 set, hence why this burr set is quite the set for those seeking gooey, silky, sumptuous espresso shots.

What about the Lab Sweet Cast burrs?

So, what's interesting about the Lab Sweet Cast burrs is the design. It's unique and gives you a grind distribution which somehow grabs clarity and body and pulls them together to give you this rich cup which is oh-so-moreish.

It's not the sweet, clarity monster that the Multipurpose V1/V2 are and it's not the texture bomb that the High Uniformity is, but it just sits in between and gives you that balanced cup with the right amount of clarity that outshines the standard Itamil and DLC burr sets. It's what the Itamil/DLC burr set wants to be.


Below we have made a rough flow chart if you need a little prompting with which burr to go with, right click (or zoom in) and download the image so you can see it better!


SSP Burr Guide Sigma Coffee UK