If you’re an espresso fan there’s simply no better way to enjoy your coffee than grinding your own beans.
Sit back an relax with your favorite coffee while we roundup the different design features included in the best coffee grinders and go into the details of our grinder reviews for 2017.
Have you ever wondered what’s the most important component when making espresso?
Any coffee expert will tell you the most important attribute to making a good espresso is freshness of the coffee beans. Coffee beans start to lose their flavor, becoming stale as soon as they are roasted. Although you may be able to extend their life by freezing ground beans, other problems occur which effect their overall quality and taste. The second most important factor in brewing great tasting quality espresso is the process that you follow when grinding your coffee beans.
Design factors which matter with Coffee grinders
Grinders are different across a few design factors, whether it’s the consistency, granularity, operating at low-temperature or low noise levels. Budget grinders generate higher temperatures and coarser, irregular ground beans — and they sound like a chainsaw in your kitchen. If you are looking to replicate the quality that your favorite barista produces every morning – a grinder capable of producing a fine grind is essential. These high quality grinders pull an espresso shot that has the characteristic flavour and distinguishing essential oils that set apart good arabica. Consistency during the grinding process is also vital for replicating quality coffee, every shot.
Avoid spinning blades at all cost when buying a grinder. They chop your beans — you want a conical burr grinder that crushes and pulverizes the coffee into your preferred fineness.
Which type of grinder will suit your coffee taste?
French press style coffee requires a coarser grind, Turkish coffee tastes best with a fine dust, while espresso a few settings under the fineness.
Just remember – low speed trumps high speed, as high temperatures during the grinding process modify the flavor and character of the ground beans.
As a rule of thumb, $150-200 is usually the price point where the necessary specs all come together to produce a quality grinder. Just like your coffee the exact cost and specs which you decide to spend is completely up to you — so we’ve included five top rated grinder units to start your search.
All the best – hope you enjoy your new grinder!
Top 5 Coffee Grinders
Best Home Coffee Grinder
1. Baratza Preciso Review
- Heavy duty design. Grinds coffee beans precisely to your preferred fineness.
- Excellent fine grind for espresso, quickly and quietly
- Easy for anyone to operate, and easy to change between fine (espresso) grind and other types (turkish, etc.)
- Small footprint which takes up minimal counter space
- Baratza are famous for their excellent customer service
- Some buyers have reported brake downs after less than a year
- Isn’t easy to disassemble and re-assemble for repairs
Let’s get one thing straight – Baratza produce arguably the best coffee grinders on the market. They are perfect for coffee lovers who appreciate the finer things in life. Keep an eye out in your favorite cafes – they quite often use Baratza Grinders too.
One of the favorite Grinder models from Baratza – which comfortably beats acclaimed grinders such as the Mazzer Mini. What makes this Coffee Grinder better than the rest? In my opinion there is two reasons: the ability to super fine tuning for your grind level, and the speed that it can produce the final result.
Preciso delivers just what you want from a home unit, it’s multi purpose – meaning it can produce espresso and Turkish-style grinds, but also handle drip. Baratza’s also included a portaholder accessory, allowing you to use up to a 58mm portafilter in the grinder directly.
If you really appreciate quality coffee – we highly recommend a Preciso grinder.
Best Espresso Grinder under $200
2. Baratza Virtuoso Review
- The Virtuoso allows for the largest amount of grind customization that we’ve seen in a grinder.
- 40mm commercial-grade conical burrs produce a consistent grind, which as we’ve mentioned is crucial for producing the highest quality espresso or brewed coffee extraction.
- During testing it tended to get warm. There’s a timer feature is useful, but if it’s grinding beans for the full one minute, the unit warms up, causing your grind to finish a little warmer than usual.
- A convenient front-mounted pulse button that allows for grinding directly into an espresso filter basket
- A 60-second timer that enables you to easily replicate the ideal grind time
- Sculptured metal top and base that give this grinder an expensive, elegant image
Baratza grinders are the market leader, and the Virtuoso unit is our pick as the best coffee grinder in the prosumer space.
If you are planning to use your grinder for various coffee types, such as espresso to French press – look no further for the perfect grinder.
While the deadman switch which forces users to continuously press the “operating” button might be annoying for drip brewers, the cafe quality conical burrs and powerful 480W DC motor rotate at a relatively slow 450 RPM, which mean the beans remain cool and tasty every time!
Best Burr Coffee Grinder under $100
3. Capresso 560 Infinity Review
- Will grind fine enough to choke any espresso machine, without modification
- Good quality burrs
- Produces fairly consistent results
- Slow speed a big plus – no damage to beans and little static
- Easy to clean
- Timer is a silly add-on. On/off button would work better
- If grinds build up, grind gets coarser and you pollute your grounds with old stale coffee
- The bean hopper is fragile and prone to breaking
Capresso’s Infinity 560 automatic burr grinder is even more affordable than others in its class. The 560 includes a conical steel burr grinder at the top with a storage container for your beans waiting to be ground. There’s a handy grind catch at the bottom for the ground coffee to use later.
The Capresso is capable of producing a range of grinds from super-fine Espresso or Turkish coffee all the way up to the more coarse grinds. Upper compartments are easy to disassemble for cleaning, and the grinder has even been designed with pulse grinding functionality if that’s what you prefer. Best of all a slow grind is available so your beans don’t over heat, and spoil the taste of your brew. The Infinity engineers have designed 16 individual grind settings, three separate colors, black, brushed silver, and stainless which will suit any kitchen decor.
If you’re looking for a great grinder under $100 – the 560 Infinity is a good unit to buy.
Best Entry Level Burr Grinder
4. Baratza Encore Review
- Easy to set grind
- Includes a pulse button for on demand espresso grinding
- More accessories available online. eg: portafilter holder
- Consistent particle size
- Grinding can be slow on the finer grind settings (approx 1g/s on pour over size)
- Quite noisy, but name me a burr grinder that isn’t
- Burrs had imperfections
- The instruction manual included is very light on detail, however the online version is very helpful and can be found here: baratza.com
We’ve tested the Baratza Encore grinder extensively at home and it’s one of the best entry level burr grinders. It’s very easy to use – plus it does a great job grinding coffee for any brewing type. Also being supported by the experts at Baratza is helpful if anything ever brakes.
The Encore has been designed and built with extremely high build quality at Baratza. It’s power efficient motor will keep your beans cool during the grinding process, even when extended grind times are required. A combination of electric and gear speed reducers slows the burr to 450 RPM, ensuring a smooth bean feed and reducing noise, heat and static buildup.
For such a reasonably priced unit, it’s a great bang for buck coffee grinder.
Best Manual Coffee Grinder
5. Hario Coffee Mill Slim Grinder Review
- (Very) cheap and makes decent ground coffee
- It’s not going to meet the demands of espresso lovers or high volume coffee drinkers.
If you are just a simple coffee lover who wants to save on your espresso and make a drinkable brew – Hario gets the job done. It’s very cheap and it’s extremely portable.
While it has adjustable conical ceramic burrs and is dishwasher safe, the settings are not obvious. It’s as slow or fast as your ability to manually turn the crank – so when grinding a large amount on beans your arm can get sore!
Seeing the grinder is manual its perfect for taking away on vacation.
You’ll get ground coffee suitable for a French Press or drip, anywhere in the world.