The coffee industry is booming with the introduction of new technologies that are revolutionizing how we consume this caffeinated beverage. With the rise of espresso machines, it’s now easier than ever to make your own coffee at home. However, there are still some things that require a little more effort, like grinding beans for your morning cup.
The best coffee grinder for espresso is a question that has been asked by many people. There are some good options out there, but the best option will depend on what you need your grinder to do.
You may agree that “even a poor cup of coffee is better than no coffee at all,” as film director David Lynch put it. But what if you can make a fantastic cup of coffee right in the comfort of your own home? Who could possibly say no to that?
A burr coffee grinder is one of the keys to creating the ideal cup at home. So, in a caffeine-fueled mission to figure out which coffee grinders contributed to the finest brews, we put 10 of the most popular models to the test. We narrowed it down to three winners after many, many cups of coffee (feeding an addiction we’re not embarrassed to confess to):
Coffee grinder with the best burrs
The Virtuoso+ has 40 grind size options, ranging from very fine (espresso) to super coarse (French press), ensuring an uniform grind every time. Its modern design and simple, straightforward controls, which include a digital timer, provide maximum convenience.
Grinder with the best price
The Bodum Bistro burr grinder comes with a dozen customizable settings, a static cling-free glass bean catcher, and just enough unique features to make it an excellent starting machine for coffee grinders.
The finest hand grinder and the best manual grinder
The Porlex Mini handheld provides precise grinding with 18 settings in a travel-friendly compact at only 8 ounces. It’s difficult to beat at your workplace, in the outdoors, or when traveling.
Conical Burr Grinder Baratza Virtuoso+ With Digital Timer Display
While $249 isn’t exactly a bargain, it is considered mid-range in the realm of high-quality coffee grinders. But what about the performance? Top-notch. This firm has been winning accolades for its grinders since 1999, and the Virtuoso+ rapidly climbed to the top of the 10 models we examined, thanks to its elegant, straightforward design.
The grind settings come first. While the majority of grinders had less than 20 settings, the Virtuoso+ has 40. With additional choices, you may fine-tune the grind size to your preferences, ensuring that you receive the precise flavor you want from the coffee beans. We were blown away by how simple it was to tailor our grinds, whether we were using an espresso machine or brewing Turkish coffee (which requires the finest grind) on one end of the range, or using a French press or cold brew (which requires a coarse grind) on the other. To grind for your preferred coffee style, just switch the hopper to the clearly indicated settings.
The Virtuoso+ has a convenient digital timer display with a dial on the side that enables you to set your time to one-tenth of a second precision. This function, which wasn’t available on many of the other models we examined, allows you to grind your beans for a precise length of time, which is helpful when you’re in a rush and know exactly what measurement you need. A timer is also useful since once you’ve found the ideal grind number that fits your preferences, you’ll receive the same amount every time. Your coffee may be excessively strong if your timer is set for too long; if it is set for too short, it will be weak. You may utilize the pulse mode to investigate precise and consistent grinds if you’re still experimenting with grind duration and weight.
Meanwhile, the 40mm conical burrs on this device produced the most consistent grinds of any grinder we tested at espresso, drip, and French press settings. Conical burrs have a cone form that aids in the regulation of grind size, heat transmission (which may burn the beans), and noise levels.
The machine is compact and robust, weighing only at 9 pounds, and it takes up less counter space than other coffee makers, owing to its basic stainless steel and black design. Of course, aesthetics are subjective, but we liked this design more than the others in the testing group. Another perk: the bean hopper (which contains 8 ounces) and grinder bin (which holds 5 ounces) are both transparent, allowing you to see what you’re doing, and the addition of an LED light in the bin makes it even easier to keep track of your progress.
While not completely silent (sorry for waking you up, kids), this grinder was quieter than many of the machines we tried, and cleaning the burrs, hopper, and grinds collector was reasonably simple, due in part to the provided brush.
When it comes down to it, this is a fantastic coffee grinder for anybody who wants to recreate a nice cup of coffee from a specialized cafe. The consistent results, precise grind settings, elegant appearance, timed function, and other unique features, such as the strong but silent motor and LED-lit bin, make it well worth the investment. Sure, you’ll have to experiment a bit to find the right settings for you, but it’ll always be a crowd-pleaser: drip for Dad, espresso for Mom, and cold brew for the teens. Everyone is pleased – and a little buzzed.
Electric Bodum Bistro Burr Coffee Grinder is a kind of grinder that grinds coffee beans.
This is our best choice for novice baristas looking to improve their skills using a burr grinder since it has 12 customizable grind settings. The Bistro, which grinds beans with 35mm stainless steel conical burrs, earned excellent marks for consistency across various settings. Although it didn’t quite match our overall top choice, it came close and still outperformed other starting grinders.
It took a little longer to set up than other models, partly because to the lack of instructions, and it took us a while to figure out the recommended timing for various grinds engraved on the inside of the hopper lid. But once we got the swing of things, it was a piece of cake: Simply pour your beans into the hopper, rotate the hopper to choose your grind size, set the timer somewhere between one and 20 seconds, flick the power switch, and turn it on.
If you’re brewing a complete pot, 20 seconds should enough, but if you want a second round, the manufacturer recommends letting the motor cool for five minutes after the entire 20-second cycle before restarting to avoid overheating.
When it came to style, the grinder’s body, which was composed of rubber, plastic, and glass, was our favorite. It comes in five colors: black, red, white, chrome, die-cast copper, and glossy copper, and it’s modest size (it weighs 4.7 pounds and measures 7.6 by 7.1 by 12.5 inches) means it doesn’t take up much counter space.
While the grinds aren’t as consistent as those generated by more costly models, the Bistro offers a few excellent features for a machine that costs less than $100: A friction clutch alerts you if tiny stones get stuck in the burrs, and the 11-ounce borosilicate glass bin reduces static, making it easy to pour out the grinds.
Higher-end versions may be worth considering if you’re serious about espresso or want to learn more about coffee-making. Espresso needs a very fine grind — imagine powdered sugar consistency — and those grinds must be consistent in size. Entry-level grinders just aren’t capable of achieving that fineness or consistency. However, whether you like drip or pour-over coffee, or if you’re a novice looking to experiment with a few factors in order to make a better cup, the Bistro is the place to go.
Mini Stainless Steel Coffee Grinder by Porlex
The Porlex Mini, manufactured in Japan, is ideal for frequent travelers. This hand-held grinder can keep you on your coffee game no matter where you are, whether you’re on the road often and have more sophisticated tastes than the typical in-room coffee machine can please, or you’re an outdoorsy type who enjoys camping nearly as much as excellent java.
The Mini is a little device, weighing just 8 ounces and measuring 5 inches tall by 2 inches in diameter. If you’re a fan of the Aeropress, you’re in luck: it fits perfectly inside.
However, just because it’s little doesn’t imply it’s inflexible. Let’s say you like espresso, but your partner prefers French press. For both, the device’s 18 grind settings provide very consistent results.
Its spring-loaded ceramic burrs, which do not heat up like stainless steel counterparts, are the secret to its consistency. These burrs remain sharp, don’t absorb water or smells, and are static-free. Ceramic burrs are very easy to clean since they don’t corrode.
The Mini now only has a 20-gram grind capacity because to its tiny size, which is great if you just need a cup or two. However, grinding 20 grams took us approximately 90 seconds, so be aware that grinding enough for many cups may take a long time.
Despite its sleek, simple stainless steel frame, rubber grip, detachable handle, excellent consistency, and great mobility, we admit that $77 for a manual grinder is a little expensive. When it came to grind uniformity, however, there was no comparison between the Mini and the other hand grinder models we examined — both manual and electric — and this is the only type we recommend. Indeed, we’d compare its consistent grinding performance to that of several of the higher-end electric versions we tried. Plus, how about waking up to a delicious cup of freshly ground coffee on your trip? It was well worth it.
However, since even little differences in grind size may alter the taste profile of your coffee, and consistent grinds decrease bitterness, you should budget at least $100 for a decent burr grinder constructed of sturdy materials that achieves optimum consistency.
If you want to keep things easy but yet want something more delicious than your usual cup of joe prepared with store preground coffee, a cheap electric grinder will probably enough. It’ll taste more delicious than you’re accustomed to and more like what you’d receive from a coffee shop.
If you don’t care about the amount of your grinds and/or just require a cup or two at a time, a basic hand-cranked manual grinder may do. Another advantage of manual grinders is their portability. There was almost no noise. All of the electric grinders we examined are likely to wake up anyone who is still sleeping nearby.
If you enjoy the challenge of honing your barista skills to make that just-right cup that’s so much more than a morning jolt of caffeine, or if you like to switch it up between espresso, cold brew, French press, or any other coffee variety, investing in a burr grinder with a few more bells and whistles and multiple settings will be well worth it (and still cheaper over time than daily stops at the corner coffee shop).
The burrs hold the key. Sure, preground coffee is easy, but once the beans are ground, they begin to get stale, which is why no real coffee connoisseur is without an at-home grinder.
Manual (or blade) grinders, on the other hand, are often less costly, but produce more variable grinds that vary from powdered to coarse. Burr grinders, on the other hand, have two blades — one of which is motorized and spins — that smash the beans and help maintain a consistent grind size, resulting in improved taste, fragrance, and body.
The majority of the burr grinders we evaluated are made of ceramic or stainless steel burrs. Ceramic burrs endure longer and produce extra-fine espresso grinds, whereas stainless burrs are more popular but may need to be changed after a few years.
Adjustable grind settings allow for accurate grinds suited to the kind of coffee machine you’re using and the sort of coffee you want to brew. Do you have a strong desire for espresso? You’ll want to use the finest grind that your machine can provide. Drip? Choose a medium grind. What is a French Press? Select the coarsest option. You may also adjust the grind duration on certain grinders, ensuring that you obtain the precise measurement you need.
Finally, if your grinder has a big hopper, avoid the temptation to grind a huge quantity of beans all at once to use over the week. Freshly ground coffee has the finest flavor.
We used the same kind of whole beans in each coffee grinder and adjusted the settings for drip, espresso, and French press. We utilized whole beans from Coffee Project New York for each candidate and tried a variety of grind settings (where appropriate), concentrating on drip, espresso, and French press. Each grinder was also rated on its functionality, which included grind uniformity and user friendliness, as well as durability, simplicity of use, and aesthetics. Finally, although coffee grinders may be expensive (some costing four figures), we chose to keep the testing pool focused in the mid-range, limiting it at $250, to maintain our emphasis on value.
We also looked at:
- Grind uniformity, user-friendliness, the machine’s intuitiveness, the number of grind modification options, and the quantity of coffee that could be put into the hopper and kept in the container were all factors we considered.
- We evaluated the grinders based on indications of wear over time, construction quality, material quality, motor power, and serviceability.
- Setup and breakdown: We looked at how simple it was to assemble and disassemble the grinder, as well as its size, which included how much counter space it required and how easy it was to clean.
- Aesthetics: While appearances are subjective, we rated the grinders based on style and initial impressions, as well as the ability to choose from a variety of colors and finishes.
We assigned points to each coffee grinder in each subcategory based on the aforementioned testing criteria, with the overall score determined by the sum of each subcategory marks. The following is a breakdown of the point system:
- Grind consistency (15 points), user-friendliness (10 points), grind-size adjustability (15 points), and coffee capacity (15 points) were all given a maximum of 45 points for functionality (5 points). We ran numerous tests on each model using three different grind styles: espresso (extra fine), drip (medium), and French press/cold brew (coarse). We evaluated the grind uniformity across the sample.
- Everyday durability/signs of damage (10 points), construction quality (5 points), motor power (5 points), and serviceability (5 points) were all given a maximum of 25 points for durability (5 points).
- The maximum score for setup/breakdown was ten points: initial impression (5 points), various colors available (10 points) (5 points).
- A maximum of 5 points was awarded for warranty: lifetime (5 points), two to four years (2 points), and less than two years (1 point) (0 points).
Oxo Brew is a microbrewery that specializes on Baratza Encore Conical Burr Coffee Grinder Brim Electric Handheld Burr Grinder, Conical Burr Coffee Grinder, Hamilton Beach Fresh Grind Electric Coffee Grinder
Conical Burr Coffee Grinder by Oxo Brew ($99.99; target.com)
This reasonably priced device, which has 15 grind settings and a 30-second programmed timer, was a great hit with us. The static-resistant stainless steel container prevented grounds from sticking to it, grinds were fairly constant across settings, and the one-touch button came in handy on foggy mornings. The Bodum Bistro was our value runner-up, but it won out because of its enhanced aesthetics.
Amazon.com: Baratza Encore Conical Burr Coffee Grinder ($139).
If the Virtuoso+ is out of your price range, this burr coffee grinder is an excellent alternative. It comes in black and white and has 40 grind settings, as well as an on/off switch and steel burrs. It produced consistent grinds at all of the settings we tried, but the absence of a timer and the inability to precisely quantify the quantity of grounds it produced each batch were problems.
Fresh Grind Electric Coffee Grinder by Hamilton Beach ($18.65; amazon.com)
This one is a blade grinder rather than a burr grinder. This basic model is a fantastic place to start whether you’re going off to college or just putting your toe into the home-grinding game. The quietest of the grinders we tried, it doesn’t let you to choose the grind size, but it’s compact and simple to clean with a wet towel. A blade grinder, on the other hand, cannot compete with a burr type.
Brim ($69.99; amazon.com) Electric Handheld Burr Grinder
This tiny hand-held burr grinder with nine grind setting settings will appeal to those with small kitchens or a taste for elegant design. The push of a button produces enough grounds for two cups of coffee, however it took a long time to grind, was noisier than other models, and the grounds were inconsistent.
Capresso Infinity Burr Grinder, Kona Manual Grinder, Breville Smart Grinder Pro
($21.98; amazon.com) Kona Manual Grinder
This manual grinder, a no-frills beginning model, had 18 grind settings, and although they did alter grind size, the grinds were inconsistent. So carry this in your bag if you want freshly ground coffee on your next camping trip. Opt for a more sophisticated countertop grinder if you intend to make a great pot of coffee in the morning.
Capresso Infinity Burr Grinder (target.com; $99.99)
This burr grinder performed well, with 16 settings. We found the grind to be consistent — especially the espresso grinds, which were lovely and fine — despite the hand-dial timer being a little cumbersome and less accurate than models with digital timers. It was also quieter than the majority of the devices we examined.
Smart Grinder Pro by Breville ($199.95; amazon.com)
This model comes in second place because it has a staggering 60 grind settings, an electronic timer, a big 18-ounce bean hopper, and an easy-to-read LCD display. Espresso connoisseurs will enjoy the ability to choose between cups and shots. However, being the biggest machine we examined, it lost points for taking up too much counter space and seeming excessively complex with additional settings.
More from CNN Underscored’s hands-on testing may be found here:
The baratza encore coffee grinder is a coffee grinder that is the best of 2021. It has a sleek design and it’s easy to use.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best quality coffee grinder?
The best quality coffee grinder is a burr grinder. Burr grinders are more consistent, and will give you a better tasting cup of coffee.
Are cheap coffee grinders worth it?
Are Burr coffee grinders better?
Burr coffee grinders are better for making espresso.
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