The Best Burr Coffee Grinder For You In 2019 Is Below...
- The Importance of Choosing Burr over Blade
- How to Choose The Best Electric Grinder
- Burr Coffee Grinder Reviews: The 7 Best Coffee Grinders of 2019
- 1. Bodum Bistro Electric Burr Coffee Grinder - best budget burr grinder
- 2. Baratza Encore Conical Burr Coffee Grinder - best overall value
- 3. Baratza Virtuoso Plus - Conical Burr Coffee Grinder - best for manual brew styles
- 4. Baratza Vario Flat Burr Coffee Grinder - for all brew styles
- 5. Rancilio Rocky Espresso Coffee Grinder - best coffee grinder for espresso
- 6. Capresso 565.05 Infinity Stainless Steel Conical Burr Grinder
- 7. Breville BCG820BSSXL Smart Grinder Pro Coffee Bean Grinder
- THE VERDICT: What is the Best Coffee Grinder?
True story: It took me years and I don’t-wanna-know how many wasted dollars and beans to understand the importance of grinding. Back of the envelope calculations tell me I blew somewhere around $1150 in wasted beans and crappy grinders. Ouch!
I had amazing beans and brewers, but no matter what I did; my coffee tasted average. My grinder was letting me down and I had no idea. Keep reading this article and you are not going to have this problem.
But you do have another small problem: which coffee bean grinder do you choose out of the hundreds for sale online? What’s the best coffee grinder for your needs?
TOP PICK: Baratza Virtuoso Plus
The Virtuoso 'plus' is the upgraded version of the Virtuoso, which has been one of the best selling home-barista grinders of the last 2 decades. This small but powerful grinder has 40 grind settings, a digital display, and state of the art conical burrs. Your coffee will be ground at high precision, meaning it will taste amazing.
The Importance of Choosing Burr over Blade
First things first I want to say: thank you for helping rid the world of shitty coffee. Yes, I’m talking to you reading this. You’re here because you’ve already done your homework. You know the importance of getting the grind right.
You already know that only a fool would choose a blade grinder over a burr grinder. If you don't, the video below explains it well. And you wouldn’t think of buying pre-ground coffee because you know that it just never tastes as good as freshly ground coffee (if you want to know the science behind this, read this article).
I respect you, and thank you. I hope I can help you find the perfect grinder. Let's do it, shall we?
How to Choose The Best Electric Grinder
Don’t be impatient; spend 2 minutes reading this section and you’ll know exactly what to look for in your perfect choice.
Think About Consistency
I won't belabour this point because it should be obvious. The aim is to end up with grinds that are very consistent in size for filter coffee. This means each ground will be extracted at the same level, and your coffee will taste better. But this is less important for espresso based coffee.
Don't take my word for it, listen to one of the best in the business, Scott Rao (1) has to say:
"To make the best-possible filter coffee ... minimize fines (and boulders, for what it's worth). Given that fines are guaranteed to over-extract and contribute bitterness and astringency, if you can remove fines or avoid creating them the first place, you’ll make a cleaner, sweeter cup with smoother mouthfeel." - Scott Rao
Manual vs Electric Coffee Grinders
The first micro decision you have to make is: do I want a manual or electric burr grinder? Manual, while requiring more work, are good options if you are brewing in smaller quantities, or if you want to take your grinder travelling with you.
In fact, most serious coffee lovers will have both. In this article, we'll only be covering electric powered grinders. If you're looking for a hand grinder (aka a manual grinder or coffee mill) - read this article.
Grind Settings: Pulse, Auto-Grind And Timed Grinding
Most options available have a ‘pulse’. Push the button and your coffee grinds. Let go of the button and your coffee does not grind. Simple. Some grinders have an 'auto-grind' function which allows you to grind without having to push the button. Turn the dial, the coffee grinds and you can check your Facebook news feed while you wait. And then some grinders have a timed grinding function. Set the time, and let her grind.
Do you really need all these extra features? And are you willing to pay more for them?
If you grind for more than one cup at a time: yes, they will make your life easier. It gets annoying pushing and holding a button when you need to do it for minutes at a time, multiple times per day. But if you just brew a cup or two a few times a day, a push to grind button will do the trick. Don't overcomplicate things.
Number of Grinding settings - how many is too many?
Grinders with hundreds of settings could be a case of over engineering. Yes: having more grind steps will allow you to do more. But do you really need 500 settings?
This totally depends on you. As humans we tend to fall victim to ‘more is better’ when buying new things..
Don't choose a grinder based on the number of settings. Here's my advice:
- You'll need 40+ settings if: you want to use ALL brew styles (including espresso) and you love to experiment like a true coffee scientist.
- 20-40 settings will do if: You want to brew most typical brew styles, and experiment a little here and there.
- Less than 30 settings is fine if: you use standard brew styles, like French press and pour over, and are happy with leaving it at that.
You’ll need super fine grounds for Turkish coffee (yes - finer than espresso). A ground this small is usually out of range of your typical electric burr grinder. You'll need a Turkish grinder like one of these.
Does It Grind Into A Portafilter or Bucket?
Some grinders have a handy little bracket that hold your Portafilter in place (which is the handle thing that takes your grinds for espresso brewing). They grind your beans and spit the grounds into the portafilter. And some grinders will spit your grinds directly into a container.
If you want to brew espresso having a portafilter holder is very handy. If you want to brew espresso AND other styles, make sure this bracket can be removed.
If you are not grinding for espresso you definitely don't need a portafilter holder - It will just get in the way and make things hard to clean. Cleaning your grinder is critical so it keeps performing, but it's not exactly a thrilling activity. Choosing something that is easy to clean is a great decision in the long run.
"Cleaning my grinders burrs is something I look forward to" - Nobody, ever.
Getting Technical: Burr size, type, RPMs
While this section may seem a little nerdy or technical - your grinder is usually your most expensive purchase - so the more you know the better.
We have high speed grinders and low speed grinders. Speed is measured in revolutions per minute (RPMs). Rpms in grinders effect your final brew in a number of ways (2). A little problem: The higher the RPM’s the more consistent the grind. But with speed comes heat, and heat is bad when grinding; it changes the flavor of the coffee (ruining it).
But here’s the catch...
High speed grinders get around the heat problem if they have large, flat burrs, and a powerful motor. These burrs mean you get super consistent grinding without risking heat buildup. The grinders that fall in this category are best for espresso grinding.
Low speed grinders generally have conical, ceramic burrs and grind at a slower speeds to avoid heat and static buildup. You’ll find these burrs in most home market grinders and most on this list. Read more about flat vs conical burrs here if you really want to nerd out on this topic.
Higher RPMS = better IF the grinder has larger, flat burrs and a powerful motor.
If you are espresso brewing, you’ll prefer higher RPM grinders. Lower RPM grinders are best suited for manual brewing techniques. Now that you're well educated, lets see some grinders.
Burr Coffee Grinder Reviews: The 7 Best Coffee Grinders of 2019
Based on years of nerding out on coffee, and our friendly review/research team: these are the 7 best burr grinders in 2019. Quick announcement - we use a secret weapon to take our grinds consistency from great, to un-friggen-believeable. Want to know what the secret is? It's this
And now, for the main event - the reviews:
1. Bodum Bistro Electric Burr Coffee Grinder - best budget burr grinder
Looking for something cheap? You don’t want to ‘stoop’ to the low levels of buying pre-ground coffee; and you definitely don’t want to butcher your beans with a blade grinder. But you don’t have much to spend. Good news: the Bodum Bistro can help (read our full review of the bistro grinder here).
I’ll be the first to admit that this is NOT a 10/10 grinder. So why would I include it in the list? Because it’s cheap, very easy to use and maintain, and its innovative because it's very good at eliminating grinder static issues.
The material and build-spec mean its immune from coffee bean static - which is the leading cause of death for many burr grinders if left untreated. And it means minimal cleaning and NO clogging from oily coffee beans. This is a huge plus if you love convenience.
Simplicity, value, and style is what the Bistro flaunts...It’s a funky looking grinder that will grind well enough for your standard brew styles (such as french press and drip coffee). You could use it for espresso but you won’t be winning any awards for a perfectly pulled shot. The Cuisinart supreme grind is another budget grinder that often gets talked about, but the Bistro is a much better option in the same price range.
Grind quality and consistency? With 720 RPMs and conical burrs; it’s good enough. (better than using a hand grinder)
Grind settings and limitations? No Turkish coffee and not suited for espresso, but for other brew styles you’re good to go.
- Very affordable - best budget option
- Extremely easy to clean and maintain. Easy and quick
- Comes in 5 funky colors
- Only grinds on a timer which is not consistent
- Won’t grind Turkish, espresso or cold brew
- Not amazingly accurate
BEST SUITED FOR: if you just want something cheap to grind for your standard home brew styles (e.g. French press or stovetop brewer) and you’re not fussy over consistency - give her a whirl.
2. Baratza Encore Conical Burr Coffee Grinder - best overall value
The encore is the entry level model for this brand (a brand well known for building quality grinders for people that value good coffee) Two ways to describe the encore: ‘great value for money’, and ‘minimalistic’.
The bad news: in the coffee market, price = quality.
The good news: The encore is the exception to this rule. Its priced extremely well and it grinds extremely well. The designers removed all the extra gimmicks that its bigger and better brother (the Virtuoso) had.
You get a grinder that can handle most brew styles, without the extras. You’re here to grind coffee right? Full review of the Encore grinder here.
Grind quality and consistency? The Encore grinds at 450 RPMs and has 40mm conical burrs; perfect for all manual styles of brewing.
Grind settings and limitations? 40 settings means you’re good for most standard home brew styles. You could grind for espresso with the encore, but you won’t have a world class grind. Perfectly suited for manual brew styles.
- Great value for money
- Minimalistic and simple to use
- Has an auto-grind feature
- Lots of plastic used in the design
- Can’t grind super fine for Turkish coffee
BEST SUITED FOR: Those seeking a grinder that will simply grind coffee very well without the extra ‘nice to have’ features. This is the best valued grinder available right now and you won’t be sacrificing quality. Perfect for the home coffee hobbyist who is getting started.
3. Baratza Virtuoso Plus - Conical Burr Coffee Grinder - best for manual brew styles
The Virtuoso plus is the updated version of the Baratza Virtuoso - which has been one of the industries favourite grinders for the past 2 decades. It’s easy to use (and you can’t deny that its sexy AF) but the reason it’s so loved is the motor and burr design. Read our full review of the Virtuoso here.
The 40mm commercial quality burrs and DC motor work together to reduce friction, heat and to grind beans extremely consistently. They say that if you ask a barista what grinder they have at home, chances are it will be a Virtuoso - That’s a strong vote. Its been improved and now features a digital display and timer, to make grinding even easier than before.
Grind quality and consistency? Grinding at 450 RPMS with commercial quality 40mm burrs allows the Virtuoso to deliver very consistent grounds day after day.
Grind settings and limitations? 40 steps of adjustment means you can grind for every brew style apart from Turkish coffee. The virtuoso is great if you want to brew espresso and manual at home. If you brew with coffee makers like Hario brewers or the Aeropress; this is a great choice.
- Commercial grade design
- Extremely consistent grinder
- Reduces friction and heat while grinding
- A little more expensive that its brother the encore.
BEST SUITED FOR: You’re a versatile home barista looking to step up your coffee game. You love brewing manual styles of coffee (e.g. Hario v60) but also venture into espresso based brews from time to time.
4. Baratza Vario Flat Burr Coffee Grinder - for all brew styles
This fine machine would not be out of place in a coffee shop; yet it was designed for the home. This means that you’ll find a grinder like this in the kitchens of home baristas who are serious about grinding and brewing perfect coffee.
230 repeatable settings means you can grind for all brew styles, and features such as the digital timer and programmable buttons make it easy to use once you’ve dialed in those perfect grind sizes.
Grind quality and consistency? At 1350 RPMs with 54mm flat burrs, you'll be grinding your beans as expertly as a professional roaster would.
Grind settings and limitations? 230 repeatable and saveable settings means you can brew any style you want. From fine to super coarse - you'll handle it all.
- Powerful yet quiet operation
- 230 settings
- Large, high quality burrs
- Overwhelming if you want simplicity
BEST SUITED FOR: You’re ready to step up your home brewing game and start experimenting with micro adjusted grounds. Yes - you’ve reach ‘home barista nerd’ status. You want to be able to grind for all brew styles and experiment with new grind sizes.
5. Rancilio Rocky Espresso Coffee Grinder - best coffee grinder for espresso
The Rancilio Rocky is a commercial quality grinder designed for home use. In fact - don’t be shocked when yours arrives new with coffee ground dust within it - every model if factory tested with coffee to ensure they work perfectly. Like the Vario above, the Rocky grinder was built for the home coffee brewing fanatic who wants the perfect grinding companion and is not willing to sacrifice on quality.
The difference, however, is that the Rocky is a workhorse and can handle more; it would fit in nicely with a large household or even small office office or cafe. Grind perfectly consistent grinds for espresso and all other brew styles, and has a removable portafilter bracket in case you feel like grinding into a bucket for manual style brewing.
Grind quality and consistency? 1750 RPMs and 50mm burrs combined with a very powerful motor means the Rocky can grind large amounts of beans with ease.
Grind settings and limitations? 55 settings will allow you to grind for fine to super coarse with ease. Check our full review of the Rancilio Rocky here.
- Can grind large amounts with ease
- Removable portafilter fork
- Every machine is factory tested
- Can’t grind for Turkish
- Pulse button grinding only
BEST SUITED FOR: Espresso lovers wanting something that can handle the pressure of lots of coffee. Great for espresso loving households, small offices or cafes. Another great grinder for espresso ONLY is the Fiorenzato F4 grinder.
"Best Home Grinder That Can Grind Super Fine Grounds"
This grinder has 4 major settings: extra fine, fine, medium and coarse. And then, it has 4 settings within each setting. Why does this matter? Because you can grind super fine for Turkish coffee - the only grinder on this list that can do that. Combine this feature with the commercial level conical steel burrs, the slow grind time (for avoiding heat), and the easy-to-remove upper burr for cleaning; you have a fine home grinder that ticks many boxes...at an amazing price.
Grind quality and consistency? Commercial level 40mm conical burrs and a nice low 420 RPM means the infinity grinds at amazing consistency for the price its on offer for.
Grind settings and limitations? None. You can grind from super fine to super coarse, meaning you can grind for all brew styles, including Turkish coffee. Impressive.
- Ability to grind for Turkish coffee
- Quality burrs with low RPMs
- Extremely easy to clean
- Small grinding capacity
- Suffers from a little static-ness
BEST SUITED FOR: You want an affordable grinder that can grind for ALL brew styles, especially Turkish coffee. This grinder is your boy - versatile and affordable.
"A Super Versatile Grinder"
This Grinder was designed for those who like techy solutions with plenty of options. In other words - it will make your coffee grinding, easy, repeatable, and give you flexibility between brew styles. The Pro will grind your beans from fine (espresso) to super coarse (cold brew) and makes life easy for every choice; grind directly into the portafilter, container, gold tone filter basket or paper filter.
High quality burrs (which will last a long time), a sexy digital display and plenty of cool ‘make-life-easy’ features mean this grinder is fast becoming one of the most popular in the home barista market.
Grind quality and consistency? Low RPMs and quality burrs means this grinder delivers the goods at finer and medium fine grounds. Not so much at the more coarse settings.
Grind settings and limitations? 40 settings and micro adjustments means you can brew everything but Turkish coffee. Not recommended if you are a serious French Press fanatic. Read a full review of the Breville smart grinder pro.
- Abundance of useful features
- Quality, long lasting burrs
- Easy to programmable settings
- Not great at coarse grinds
BEST SUITED FOR: If you’re looking for a grinder that is above the entry level but not quite prosumer level, can dial in a fine espresso grind but handle most other manual methods, and has a tonne of handy features, the Breville SG Pro is a winner.
THE VERDICT: What is the Best Coffee Grinder?
This list is in no way exhaustive (i.e. there are hundreds of other grinders out there) however, these are the 'top dawgs' in the burr grinding space. Each is a good option in the end, but the overwhelming industry favourite is:
It combines absolute precision with slow grinding/crushing power and is one of the quietest grinders on the market. This translates to an AMAZING cup of coffee. Let's not also forget that this grinder has been awarded with raving reviews from hundreds of coffee connoisseurs such as yourself - the people don't lie.
We hope you enjoyed our grinder reviews above and are one step closer to finding the best burr coffee grinder to be your coffee makers sidekick.
- Scott Rao. (2018, October 30). Using Extraction Levels To Rate Grinders. Retrieved June 14, 2019, from https://www.scottrao.com/blog/2018/10/4/using-extraction-levels-to-rate-grinders
- Home-Barista.com. (2014, March 23). Retrieved June 14, 2019, from https://www.home-barista.com/grinders/burr-rpm-affects-grind-particle-size-distribution-significantly-t29969.html
- Clayton, L. (n.d.). The Best Coffee Grinder. Retrieved June 14, 2019, from https://thewirecutter.com/reviews/the-best-coffee-grinder/