You’re not a true coffee fanatic if you buy pre-ground coffee bags or if you don’t have the right tools for grinding the coffee beans. Pre-ground coffee may eliminate a step from your coffee brewing ritual, but over time the freshness and the intensity of earthy aromas mellow down. We recommend you invest in a good coffee grinder and grind the beans fresh for every batch of coffee.
There are a gazillion of options to choose from. Knowing which one is the best coffee grinder is no difficulty. The guide will make it even easier to choose one from our top picks.
How Do I Choose a Coffee Grinder?
Coffee grinders are categorized as burr grinders and blade grinders, based on the grinding mechanism. The commonly known electric burr grinders are a modern version of the old-fashioned manual grinders. Some coffee lovers still use them to grind the beans.
When observed closely, the coffee grounds from the burr grinder is different from blade grinder in terms of particle distribution, so is the taste of the coffee. Particle distribution has a direct impact on how coffee infuses the extract in water. Different particle size will have a different extraction rate, and the result will be inconsistent across the coffee batches.
Blade grinders consist of pairs of blades rotating from the center of the grinder and slicing through the coffee bean. The particle size depends on the duration of the grinding. No matter how long the beans are ground, the ground will always have a combination of fine particles and coarse grounds. This is a downside of the Blade grinders.
On the contrary, burr grinders consist of a stationary burr and rotating. The beans are crushed more precisely, giving an even grind. The consistent particle size gives more control over how fine or coarse you want to keep the ground. The Electric burr grinders are bulkier as they consume more power and generally more expensive than blade grinders. Even grind gives consistent taste to the coffee.
While the price is a huge factor in deciding what to get, we’d still recommend going for a burr blade grinder. Low-cost burr grinders are easily available, and some of these made to our list as well.
The price factor is primarily dependant upon the material of the burrs. Steel and Ceramic are the two known materials for the burr. Ceramic grinders are durable, and the burr’s sharpness lasts longer, but it’s generally more expensive. And if incase a stone or some other hard material comes in contact with the burr while grinding, it’s very probable the burr will crack. On the other hand, Steel burr grinders are less costly but come with its downsides. The steel burr becomes blunt and needs sharpening often. The difference between the two materials isn’t too noticeable as long as the grinder is kept well maintained.
Ground size for the French Press is not the same as for espresso. A versatile grinder has the capabilities to produce a wide range of grounds at different settings, ranging from fine grind for espresso to coarse ground for french press. You may not need fine coffee ground today but a few months down the road, you might crave an espresso shot and your simple grinder might leave you disappointed.
Most burr grinders these days have multiple grinding settings, but it’s always good to look for the function. As the dissatisfaction from the absence of a multi-size grinding option can kill the enthusiasm to explore the joy of coffee.
This subject always springs up a controversial debate, with a lot of theories amongst coffee enthusiasts which cannot be proven with evidence. Some say that the notes are less evident with a particular blade type, while others claim the opposite. This is an ever-going debate and you will too pick a side someday. But in our honest opinion, conical and flat burr produce nearly the same quality of coffee grounds. While picking a grinder, the burr type should not be made the pinnacle of the decision. As long you’re picking burr grinder from blade grinders, you will have a perfect cup of coffee every time.
Best Coffee Grinders In 2020 Reviewed
Baratza Virtuoso Grinder
Baratza has a good reputation among true coffee lovers. Their grinders are known for versatile functions and consistent grind. They produce a rich-tasting, vibrant, and flavourful coffee with consistent ground size. Virtuoso is a stylish conical-shaped burr grinder by Baratza. It is an easy to use design, that is operated with a single button or a timer knob of up to 60 seconds. The powerful DC motor operates very quietly even at 450RPM. Speed control on the motions of the grinder regulates the heat dissipated in the motor and ensures the beans remain cool during the fine grinding process for espresso. This saves the beans from scorching even after several grinds.
The grinder crushes the beans coarsely for french press and fine ground for espresso. With over 40 different speed settings, the grinder has the provision to vary the particle size from 250 microns to 1200 microns. The setting ‘0’ gives the finest grind and as you go up the grinds get coarse. The ‘40’ settings will give perfect particle size for the French Press.
The grinder is well designed. It has a storage capacity of 8 ounces for the beans and 5ounces for the ground in the bin. The pulse button is latched with a timer that limits the grinding process to 60 seconds per push; this is a safety feature and protects equipment from overheating.
While everything else about the grinder is perfect, the grinder demands slightly more cleaning than you might expect. The small particles tend to find their way between the gaps in the bin, plus the rectangular shape of the bin causes some of the ground to get stuck in the edges.
Rancilio Rocky Coffee Grinder
Rancilio is one of the most popular brands for commercial and home coffee grinders. Their grinders are in the market for as long as this kitchen accessory gained popularity. The Rocky model has a simple yet classy grey finish, making it an attractive addition to your kitchen accessories. There is no glass part in the grinder, and the burr system is made of stainless steel. The knobs are easy to detach and easy to clean. This heavy-duty grinder can store up to 15.4 lbs of coffee. Hopper storage capacity is sufficient to make it suitable for commercial use as well. The UV filtered hopper protects the beans and provides a good view of the grinding process at the same time. Rocky Coffee Grinder is a one-time investment that will stand by you for a long time.
Rancilio has introduced this article in two variants; the doser model and the doserless model. The controlling mechanism of the grinder is pretty straightforward and you do not need the manual to walk you through the grinding process step by step. The wheel in the hopper has 40 steps and yield 55 grinding levels; at setting ‘0’, the grinder yields superfine grounds, while setting ‘40’ gives coarse ground. There are plenty of grinding options, but the ground quality is not extraordinarily smooth.
The finest grind setting does not give the powder-like texture suitable for Turkish Coffee. Similarly, the grounds aren’t as coarse as they should be, even at the coarsest setting. This is a fairly common hitch in most step-based grinders. A wide range of grinding options come with a bargain on the ground quality. Nevertheless, the coffee grounds are still commercial grade and will not give off a remarkable impact on the flavour. Despite the drawbacks, we’d still choose a versatile coffee grinder over a grinder for uni-style coffee brewing. Rancilio Rocky is a good option as it delivers performance, durability and is at par with the commercial grinders.
Breville Smart Grinder Pro
This burr grinder is engineered to deliver 60-step grinding settings for precise grinding options. Breville Smart Grinder Pro is as powerful as any coffee grinder from a known brand. The burr system is made with stainless steel, and the grind size is adjustable from the knob on the side panel of the grinder. The LCD screen is an attractive feature from a buyer’s point of view. It displays the grind settings such as the timer setting, number of shots. The grinding process can be started or paused with a touch. The timmer increments at 0.2 seconds, giving you better control on the ground size. The IQ based dosing features determines the quantity of grind, based on the grind settings. This offers a fully automated grinding experience and eliminates the need for guesswork. The grinder also memorizes the dosing settings and interpolates the value of timmer, according to the batch size.
The detachable part like a hopper, bin, and portafilters cradles are easy to clean with water. So is the ground tray, as it is attached to the grinder magnetically. All the other parts have electronic components and cannot be cleaned with water. Wiping the dust off of them is the only option.
Although the grinder has 60 settings. But in true essence, there are only 25 options available to adjust the grind size. The grinder has an additional feature of defining custom grinding settings. The process requires disassembling the hopper and the top burr. But it’s worth the trouble as you get a whole new range of grind settings and at least one of these configurations will work perfectly for you.
Baratza Encore Grinder
Encore grinder is budget-friendly, easy to use home equipment that supports up to 40 grind settings. It is an ideal choice for beginners looking for a grinder that supports multiple brewing styles. The price to feature comparison is right on point, and the design is straightforward as it does not have excessive features. With just a turn of an ON/OFF knob on the front panel, you will have the grind size of your choice.
The grinder uses a DC motor to turn the steel burr. The motor efficiently grinds the beans without heating, and the gearbox is noise-free. The machine has a speed-reducing assembly made with electric components and gears, to prevent the burr from jamming. Additionally, the auto shut off function acts as a safety feature to protect the machine from overheating and decreases the odds of the motor getting jammed.
The espresso grind is particularly impressive for this unit. But the hopper can only store up to 8 ounces of beans. With its small footprint, elaborated grinding settings, promise on durability and consistent grind, it is the best entry-level grinder. We will always pick the all-purpose Baratza Encore Grinder over a single grinder. On top, the grinder is backed by a 1-year warranty, and the part replacement is easy too.
Capresso 565 Infinity SS Grinder
This conical burr grinder is another good pick for making coffee at home. It can handle up to 8.5 pounds of coffee beans. Capresso features this article with 16 grind settings and four grades for each setting. For a consistent grind, the machine has an in-built timer ranging from 5-60seconds. The steel burr system uses commercial-grade steel, and the housing of the grinder is made with heavy-duty zinc. The 565 Infinity SS Grinder is equally good for getting extra fine coffee grind for Turkish coffee, and a coarse grind for the French press.
The speed reduction gear mechanism reduces noise and eliminates static build-up. Reduced friction preserves the flavours and aroma of the fresh grind. It’s fairly easy to clean the grinder. Even the most intricate gaps of the grinder are approachable as the bean container, and upper burr is removable. Safety features incorporated in the machine that does not allow the grinder to run unless the bean container is locked in its place.
OXO BREW Conical Burr Coffee Grinder with Integrated Scale
OXO BREW Coffee grinder is integrated with a weighing scale so that the perfect amount of coffee ground goes into every cup. This is an excellent feature than no other grinder in the list does. It eliminates the need to carry a separate weighing scale and still enjoying the consistency of flavour. The coffee grinder has an LED screen displaying 38 different grinding settings. The conical burr system is made with 40 mm stainless steel, and the grinder can hold up to 16 ounces of coffee beans.
The safety feature incorporated in the grinder is automatic shutoff for overheat protection and motor jamming. The grinder constantly monitors the hopper level and terminates the grinding process as soon as the hopper gets empty. This prevents an unnecessary build-up of friction, preventing the beans from heating up. The motor is built with high torque low-speed as it keeps the temperature of the hopper and burr compartment maintained and prevents beans from losing its freshness.
Baratza Virtuoso Grinder is by far the best burr grinder for home use. It is compact and has small footprints which make it a good addition to your coffee maker collection. Virtuoso Grinder offers a range for grinding settings. This allows the user to explore the different ground sizes and pick that suits them the best. The intelligent grinding system makes the process extremely easy for someone new to the functioning of the grinders. The best feature of automated grinder like Baratza Virtuoso Grinder is that it delivers consistency across the batches to yield a perfect cup of coffee all the time.