How Much Should You Spend On A Coffee Grinder
Depending on the type and style you can end up spending anything from £20 right up to more than £2,000 for a coffee grinder.
You can pick up a basic handheld or manual coffee grinder for around £10, electric blade coffee grinders start from around £20.
If you want an electrical burr grinder then you will need to spend a bit more, usually at least £50. Premium burr coffee grinders made by the big-name coffee machine brands are priced around £200.
At this price, you might find that investing in a bean-to-cup coffee machine is more economical. These do the grinding for you and are a good way to get freshly ground brews at home.
See our cafetiere and french press reviews to help you make the best brew with your fresh coffee grounds.
What To Look For In A Coffee Grinder
There are several factors to consider when buying a coffee grinder:
Price how much are you willing to spend?
Size do you want a countertop staple, or a model you can move in and out the cupboard?
Coffee style some models are best for espresso, whereas others producer coarser grinders best for French press or pour-over brewing.
Design materials should feel high quality, sturdy and safe to use, as well as aesthetically pleasing.
Grind style as mentioned above, consider the style of grinder best suited to your coffee preferences and budget, whether you want a hands-on manual experience or sleek electric model.
Tips For Keeping Your Coffee Fresh
Coffee beans go stale relatively quickly, so if you want the best possible espresso, it’s important to store your coffee correctly. Here are some top tips from our coffee expert Giles Hilton:
- Keep coffee in an airtight container to keep it from oxidising, or the beans from dehydrating further.
- Avoid glass jars and direct sunlight. A cool, dark place is best.
- Avoid the fridge – despite what many people think, this is not the ideal place to store coffee as there’s a risk of it getting damp or absorbing flavours from other food.
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Shop For The Best Coffee Grinders For Fresh Coffee At Home
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The moment a coffee bean is ground, all of its wonderful flavors and aromas are most present. Experts recommend grinding beans within minutes before brewing to get the most out of your daily cup of joe.
Grinders can be hefty investments, however. Some are budget priced, but those are typically blade grindersa variety thats less consistent and less durable than burr grinders. Burr grinders are heralded for their evenness and consistency and they produce less heat so the coffees flavor profile isnt altered.
These machines can cost hundreds of dollars, likely more expensive, even, than your actual coffee maker. Our list details a number of reliable options for coffee lovers on all kinds of budgets. After all, the best coffee is fresh coffee.
Here are the top coffee grinders to buy.
Flat Vs Conical Burrs
You may see coffee aficionados extolling the virtues of either a flat burr or a conical burr .
- Conical burrs grind beans into two slightly different particle sizes. This works well in espresso machines.
- Flat burrs should grind the beans into a consistent fine grind. While this may sound better in theory, the fine grind produced by a flat burr is trickier to get good, consistent results with when making coffee and is for those of you who might like to get creative with your coffee making.
Additionally, flat burr coffee grinders will usually be much pricier than their conical burr counterparts. For most people a coffee grinder with a conical burr is going to be more than sufficient for the job of grinding beans for your coffee machine.
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How To Clean A Manual Grinder
Most manual coffee grinders have a similar mechanism and are easy to clean. After a time, you might get a build-up of grime in your coffee grinder, or a coffee bean that is stuck, so its good to clean it often. First of all, dismantle your grinder and any separable parts. You can usually remove the lid, handle, and ground catcher. Remove the burrs as well, this might involve unlocking it which will depend on the model.
With the larger parts, you can wash them up in the same way you would do the dishes. Soak them in warm soapy water first if there are particularly stubborn stains. For smaller parts such as the burrs, you might need to clean these more delicately. You could try using a small brush, some burr grinders come with these, or even a cotton bud.
It depends on the model but due to the delicate parts, most manual coffee grinders arent suitable for dishwashers. Be sure to read the settings that the manufacturer has put forward to prevent your grinder from breaking or having the warranty voided.
Conical Vs Flat Burr Grinders: Whats The Difference
The highest-quality burr sets are either flat or conical: Flat burr sets consist of two flat, ring-shaped burrs lined with grooves that break up the beans as the burrs press together. Conical burrs are more of a V shape, with the center burr fitting into the outer burr, both of them also lined with sharp-edged grooves that cut up the beans as they press together.
These two types of burrs work in slightly different ways, and youll find plenty of experts arguing that one type is slightly better than the other for various reasons, from speed to minimizing heat retention. But the main takeaway for our guide is that both types yield extremely consistent results. Until recently, most home grinders used conical burrs. Flat sets were found mainly in commercial machines . But this is beginning to change.
There is also a cheaper kind of flat burr that is better described as a disc or block burr. This is the kind of burr used in the electric burr grinders that sell for way less than $100. These burr grinders cost less in part because their burr sets arent as good as a conical or flat set . The rings of these burr sets are lined with knobby protrusions that look more like teeth than sharpened grooves, and they act like teeth, too, chewing and breaking beans instead of cutting them. The result: inconsistent grounds, more fines, and a muddier cup of coffee.
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Why A Coffee Grinder Matters
Simply put, a coffee grinder breaks down coffee beans into little pieces so you can brew coffee. Inside that little bean, there are tons of soluble compounds of equal flavor, explained Han. If the coffee is not broken up correctly, we will not be able to coax these yummy solubles to come out of the bean and end up in our cup. Or, you allow the not-so-good bitter-tasting flavors to end up in the cup. The size and shape of these little pieces have a major effect on which and how much of these solubles end up in your cup and therefore, what your coffee will taste like.
Buying A Hand Grinder: What To Consider
Things to consider before buying a manual grinder: amount of ground coffee needed, budget, the type of coffee you need to brew , grind consistency, level of engineering and any special features or add-ons.
After all, if youre going to invest in the best coffee beans, youll need the best manual grinder to make that perfect cup of coffee. So, sit back and let’s help you find that perfect grinder.
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What Is Grind Size For Pour
To make delicious pour-over coffee, you need a medium-coarse or medium-fine grind size. You need to use the coffee grains to be appropriate for the filter of the Chemex. The size of the grains needs to be medium. You need to choose a coarse grind level but not as much coarse as for the French press.
Who This Is For
If youre reading this guide, you may have already heard that the most important component of your brewing setup is a quality burr grinder, one that will grind beans evenlyno matter how coarse or fine you want your grounds. Unevenly ground beans yield muddy cups of coffee with unpleasant sour or bitter notes. A good burr grinder keeps the most essential part of the drinkthe coffee itselfat its most flavorful and balanced.
If youre currently using a subpar grinderespecially a budget, blade-style grinderour testing shows that by switching to a quality burr grinder, youll significantly improve the flavor of your coffee. Make your brew with properly ground beans, and youll quickly detect a difference in aromatics and complexity of flavor, in sweetness and acidity, and even in the coffees texture and body. A good grinder will have a tremendous positive effect on your brewwhether you make coffee at home once a day or once an hour, whether you brew with a Hario V60 and a precision scale or just dump it all into an automatic drip basket, and even whether you buy your beans at the grocery store or order them direct from Ethiopia.
You might lose complexity and aromatics with pre-ground coffee, he said, but you wont get bad, off flavors. Grinders at quality cafés are fine, but Ramage recommended that you do not use the fancy coffee grinders at a supermarket since just one batch of chemically flavored coffee beans can taint a grinder for life.
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Also Great: Timemore Chestnut C2 Manual Coffee Grinder
*At the time of publishing, the price was $83.
If youre looking for a reasonably priced, high-quality portable hand grinder that you wont want to throw across the kitchen in a fit of frustration, we recommend the Timemore Chestnut C2 Manual Coffee Grinder. It was by far the easiest to use of all the manual grinders we tested, including our previous pick, the Porlex Mini .
The C2 is a tube-shaped grinder, and its only slightly wider and taller than the Porlex Mini, but those few millimeters make the C2 much easier to grip. The pebbled texture of the model we tested made the grinder feel more secure in the hand. The C2 pulled slightly ahead in our grind consistency tests, perhaps because it uses a steel conical burr, rather than ceramic, which the Porlex uses. Like the Porlex, the C2 has a handle that pops off in a second, making it easy to pack.
An even bigger draw is this manual grinders ultra-smooth grinding action. With most coffees, the C2s handle spins with almost no resistance . To grind about 30 grams of coffeethe max that fits in the hopper at one timeit took us between 1 and 2 minutes.
Unlike many other low-cost manual grinders, the new Timemore Chestnut C2 makes easy work of grinding a cup or two of coffee.
Victoria Arduino Mdh 517 Balance Coffee
I really like this grinder. Its simple yet unusual in that the hopper is a different shape. This brand seems to think slightly outside the box when it comes to its grinders, which is why youll see many of their other models in top cafes. If you have a good espresso machine at home, this is something you should definitely look into investing in.
This grinder has 50mm steel alloy burrs which help to give a uniform grind and the motor has the power to drive it too! There is a fork that holds the portafilter in place while grinding and to activate the grinder, the portafilter pushes on a discrete button.
This grinder is very easy to use. It is primarily designed to be used for espresso coffee. If you prefer filter coffee only, this might be a little more sophisticated than what you need it for and you wouldnt be using this grinders full potential. The dial have small and accurate increments to set the grind: just the smallest tweaks and adjustments with a tiny discrete dial make a change in the grind size and this is really great when making espresso, producing extremely fine and consistent grinds. Sound-dampening technology in this model help eliminate vibrations, making this one of the quieter models we tested. The hopper holds 500g which is bigger than most home grinders and is quite deceptive, largely due to its unique shape.
If youre a keen espresso drinker, this is the model to go for, with seriously impressive results.
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Burr Coffee Grinders Vs Blade Coffee Grinders
A blade coffee grinder uses blades like those in a blender to grind the beans. On the other hand, a burr grinder uses two abrasive surfaces to crush the coffee.
With the latter, you can adjust the grind size and get a consistent result each time. Although blade grinders might be cheaper, they don’t offer the same level of control over the grind or drip.
Krups Coffee Mill F20342
Size and weight 23.19 x 10.6 x 10.6cm 0.7kg
Coffee bean capacity 75g
Cup and grind settings One grind setting
Other key features Can chop dry ingredients such as nuts and spices
Krups’ Coffee Mill F20342 may be a small electric blade grinder, but it was also the noisiest coffee grinder we tested. It’s another simple grinder with no detachable bean hopper or bowl, no lid safety lock and no non-slip base.
If you don’t mind making a racket in the morning this could be the grinder for you, provided you get well-ground coffee for your trouble.
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Baratza Sette 270 Conical Burr Coffee Grinder
This grinder has a built-in scale so you never grind too much or too little coffee and programmable buttons with grind time settings within 0.01 seconds. Its features include options for preset weights and its set up to hold a portafilter if you use it for espresso as well as a container if you are using it for other brew methods, said Han. It has many grind size options and also makes it easy to switch back and forth between each grind size.
More Reasons To Get One
A manual coffee grinder is in most cases fantastic value for the money, and even the cheapest models will outperform most electric grinders in the sub $100 category.
Let me tell you this quite frankly when you first start your journey into the world of specialty coffee, youll hear a lot of superstition when it comes to grinders.
Just ignore most of the advice. By getting a manual grinder, youll be ahead of just about 98 % of the other coffee drinkers out there, and youll be able to make delicious coffee at home consistently.
Yes, it does require more work than merely pressing the on button, but in most cases, youll get a lot more bang for your buck, when choosing a hand grinder over an electric version.
Bodum Bistro Electric Coffee Grinder 2956 John Lewis
I really like the look of this Bodum grinder. With a modern, simple design, it comes in practical colours to suit different kitchens and is a very compact model.
For such a small footprint, and considering some plastic elements, the grinder still feels sturdy in use, and is not too loud. It is extremely easy to use, simply press down the main button to operate the blades and continue to hold to grind. There are no specific settings on this model the finer you want the coffee, the longer you keep pressing down to grind. Coarse coffee takes just a few seconds, whilst finer coffee will take a few pulses. The blade design means medium ground coffee is likely to have a variety of coffee grinds in, as smaller grinds will fall to the bottom whilst larger chunks continue to be chopped. The model capacity is 60g, enough to make up to three coffees. Due to the small size, Id recommend putting in no more than 40g at a time, to ensure the most even grind.
This simple model would be great to have on hand as a spare grinder or one to pack when going away.
Kilner Hand Grinder 31 John Lewis
For a hands-on approach to making a coffee, a manual grinder lets you get fully involved in the process. This Kilner model has a very simple, almost old school look and feel to it, with the rustic mason jar-like base. Having a metal grind body is sensible because it is separated from the glass jar base often to get the coffee out, so if it drops or rolls off the table it wont break. It has a small footprint , but still has a generous 500ml jar storage, which comes with an extra lid so you can grind more than you need for the day and store the coffee. The mason jar base is sturdy, although you need to be careful with the glass elements.
Despite being fully manual, this is very easy and intuitive to use. To change the grind setting, you need to undo the top bolt to take off the handle and bracket. Turning the cog up and down the thread will allow the burrs to go closer or further apart for more coarse grinds. Its worth noting this is the quietest of all the grinders I tested almost therapeutic listening to the beans go through the burrs! The texture of the grinds were good, with the ceramic burrs operating well for both very coarse and fine grinds.
For easy cleaning, this manual model can be just rinsed under the tap. The burrs are white ceramic so they do get marked with coffee colour quickly, but a scrub with a kitchen brush removes most of this.
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