Best Coffee Grinder: 12 Incredible Burr Grinders (2023 Update)
The best coffee grinder is the one that’s suitable for the coffee brewing methods of your choice. Whether you’re making espresso or French press, you need a burr coffee grinder that produces a consistent grind, with the flexibility to make small adjustments as needed.
The best coffee grinders for 2023 are: Baratza Virtuoso Plus, Bodum Bistro, Baratza Encore, Baratza Vario, Rancilio Rocky, Capresso Infinity, Breville Smart Grinder Pro, Fellow Ode, Baratza Sette 270, Eureka Mignon Silenzio, KitchenAid Conical Burr Grinder, and Oxo Brew Conical Burr Grinder.
At A Glance:
- TOP PICK: Baratza Virtuoso Plus
- BUDGET PICK: Bodum Bistro Electric
- BEST FOR ESPRESSO LOVERS: Rancilio Rocky
- BEST FOR FRENCH PRESS AND AEROPRESS: OXO Brew
Burr Coffee Grinder Reviews: The 12 Best Coffee Grinders Of 2023
Based on years of coffee experience, Homegrounds’ team selected the 12 best burr grinders in 2023. We reviewed the grinders based on their main features, benefits for great coffee grinding, ease of use, and price. But, before we start, the primary rule of thumb is: ditching the blade grinder! You cannot use a blade grinder and expect amazing coffee. This is true for all coffee drinkers – beginners or coffee aficionados. Now, read on to discover which coffee grinder is the best for you.
1. Baratza Virtuoso Plus – Best Overall
Hopper capacity: 8 ounces
- Grind settings: 40
- Grinding speed: 1.5 – 2.4 g/s
- Burrs: 40 mm stainless steel conical burrs
- Timer: Pulse and timed grinding
Baratza Virtuoso Plus is an automatic burr grinder. It’s the updated version of the Baratza Virtuoso, which has been one of the industry’s favorite coffee grinders for the past 2 decades. Baratza Virtuoso Plus features 40mm stainless-steel burrs, powered by a 550 RPM motor. It also has a digital display and timer to make grinding even easier than before. It has 40 grinding settings that range from 200 to 1200 microns, making it suitable for every brewing style apart from Turkish coffee and cold brew. The Virtuoso is great if you want to brew espresso at home. This is a great choice if you brew with coffee makers like Hario brewers or the Aeropress.
The key benefits of Baratza Virtuoso are the exceptional motor and the burr design. The commercial-quality burrs and DC motor work together to reduce friction, heat, and grind beans 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!
Baratza Virtuoso Plus is very easy to use. Turn the dial on the front to select the grind time to use the grinder. You can program the grind time to 1/10th of a second. Press the dial to start the grinder, automatically stopping after the programmed time. You adjust the grinding settings by twisting the hopper and aligning the indicator with the desired number on the grind scale.
American brand Baratza produces the Virtuoso Plus. Baratza has a good reputation for making some of the best prosumer coffee grinders and good quality entry-level grinders.
For more details, read our Baratza Virtuoso review.
2. Bodum Bistro Electric Burr Grinder – Best Budget Coffee Grinder
Hopper capacity: 7.8 ounces
- Grind settings: 12
- Grinding speed: n/a
- Burrs: 35 mm stainless steel conical burr
- Timer: Timed grinding only (5 – 20 seconds)
Bodum Bistro is an automatic burr coffee grinder with a budget price tag. So, it’s available to all coffee drinkers out there. Homegrounds will be the first to admit that this is not a top-tier grinder. Still, the ease of use and the fact that it’s a big step up in quality compared to a blade grinder, make it the best budget coffee grinder on our list.
Bodum Bistro features a 35mm stainless-steel conical burr grinder and a 720 RPM motor. It only has 12 settings, so it is a decent grinder for drip or pour over brewing but not suitable for espresso or Turkish coffee. It features a borosilicate glass grounds container that helps to eliminate static for easier cleanup (1). A standout feature of the Bodum Bistro is the friction clutch, which alerts the user of any stones caught in the grinder to avoid damage to the burrs.
The main benefits of Bodum Bistro are the affordable price, ease of use, and ease of cleaning and maintenance. People also like the colorful modern design. To operate the Bodum Bistro, choose your grind size by twisting the beans hopper. Select the grind time from 0-20 seconds by using the dial, then press the start button. The timer will stay on the same setting next time you grind.
Bodum, a Swiss-Danish company, is best known for its Chambord French press coffee maker. Bodum made this grinder. Bodum company has a good reputation for its manual coffeemakers and glassware but has a limited range of electrical appliances.
For more details, read our full Bodum Bistro review.
3. Baratza Encore Conical – Best Value for Money
Hopper capacity: 8 ounces
- Grind settings: 40
- Grinding speed: 0.8 – 1 g/s
- Burrs: 40 mm stainless steel conical burr
- Timer: Pulse and timed grinding
Baratza Encore is an automatic conical burr coffee grinder. Coffee professionals often considered it one of the best entry-level coffee grinders on the market. Baratza Encore grinder features 40mm stainless-steel conical burrs and a 550 RPM motor. It is not as fast as some other grinders, but the slower speed ensures low heat and good grind consistency. It has 40 settings that range from 250 to 1200 microns, making it an excellent grinder for manual brewing methods and the best grinder for French press brewing on our list. It also produces an espresso grind, but doesn’t offer a lot of flexibility at this range.
The key benefits of the Baratza Encore are the amazing grind consistency, durability, and value for money. Using the Baraza Encore is simple, but it lacks a timer function, so it does not provide hands-free grinding. To grind your coffee beans, you switch the dial on the side to the “on” position, then switch it back to “off” when you want to stop. You can also grind by pressing down the pulse button on the front of the grinder. You either need your timer or weigh your beans before placing them in the hopper to get the right amount off coffee grounds.
Baratza produces the Baratza Encore grinder. The brand makes long-lasting and durable products and encourages users to repair their machines rather than replace them. Tutorials are available online, and replacement parts are readily available.
For more details, read our Baratza Encore burr coffee grinder review. We also reviewed a version of the Encore that’s more focused on making grinds for espresso, the Encore ESP.
4. Baratza Vario Flat Burr – For All Brew Styles
Hopper capacity: 8 ounces
- Grind settings: 230
- Grinding speed: 1.6 – 2.2 g/s
- Burrs: 54 mm ceramic flat burrs
- Timer: Pulse, smart, and timed grinding
Baratza Vario is an automatic flat burr grinder that falls into the prosumer category. Baratza Vario grinder provides professional quality for homebrewers, but you could also use it in a small commercial setting. It features 54 mm professional ceramic flat burrs powered by a 1350 RPM motor. The large burr size ensures a more consistent grind and is more efficient, with an output speed of up to 2.2 g/s. The Vario features 230 grinding settings, suitable for almost all brewing methods, and offers excellent adjustments. It has a built-in portafilter holder that can accommodate any size portafilter, which can be removed and replaced with the grounds bin for doser grinding.
The key benefits of Barazta Vario are its professional performance and the large range of grind settings. This grinder is slightly more complicated than others, due to many grind settings. You adjust the grind using the sliding switches on either side of the front panel. Additionally, you need to select both a macro setting from 1-10 and a micro setting from A-W. To start the machine, set the grind time, then press the start button. You can also start the grinder by pressing and holding the “manual” button. Finally, you can program up to three pre-set grind times as favorites.
Baratza produces the Vario automatic grinder. Baratza company makes both prosumer and commercial machines. This grinder was created in partnership with Mahlkonig, so you will also see the Vario listed with Mahlkonig coffee grinders.
For more details, read the full Baratza Vario review.
5. Rancilio Rocky – Best Coffee Grinder For Espresso
Hopper capacity: 80 g
- Grind settings: 55
- Grinding speed: 0.7 – 1 g/s
- Burrs: 50 mm tempered steel flat burrs
- Timer: Push-button auto grind
Rancilio Rocky is an automatic flat steel burr coffee grinder designed for espresso grinding. It’s available in doser (standard) or doserless (SD) models. Rancilio Rocky is for home use but contains commercial-quality parts such as the burrs and the motor. This automatic grinder features 50mm flat steel burrs combined with a 1725 RPM, meaning it can grind large amounts of coffee beans. It also features 55 grind settings calibrated towards the finer end of the scale to make it our pick for the best espresso coffee grinder. The standard Rocky model features a plastic beans hopper, while the Rocky SD features a portafilter holder. Both models have a UV-tinted hopper to protect your coffee beans from sunlight.
The benefits of using the Rancilio Rocky grinder are its powerful performance, excellent grind consistency, and compact size. Rancilio Rocky is simple to use, but it cannot offer hands-free grinding without a timer function. To use the standard Rocky model, flick the main switch to “on” to start grinding. Once the correct amount of coffee has been ground, switch the machine off, insert the portafilter, and use the dosage lever to dispense the coffee. To use the Rocky SD model, insert the portafilter and hold down the manual grind button until you have the correct amount of coffee. You can adjust the grind size on both models by twisting the bean hopper.
Italian brand Rancilio produces the Rocky grinder. Rancilio has a long history of making commercial coffee grinders and espresso makers, but since 1997 it has also made high-quality grinders and coffee machines for home use.
For more information, read our full review of the Rancilio Rocky.
6. Capresso 565.05 Infinity – Best for Super Fine Grind
Hopper capacity: 8.8 ounces
- Grind settings: 16
- Grinding speed:1.5 – 3g/s
- Burrs: 40 mm hardened steel conical burr
- Timer: Timed (5 – 60 seconds)
Capresso Infinity is an automatic conical burr grinder, and it’s an entry-level machine designed to be easy for people new to home grinding. Capresso 565.05 Infinity grinder features 40mm hardened steel conical burrs, powered by a 450 RPM motor. The low RPM motor means that this grinder is quieter than many others, staying cool during grinding. Despite the low speed, the Capresso Infinity is a very efficient grinder, with an output of up to 3g/s. The Infinity coffee grinder has 16 grind settings, divided into Extra Fine, Fine, Medium, and Coarse. It createsa very fine grind, but it is not suitable for espresso brewing due to the small range of grind settings.
The benefits of the Capresso Infinity grinder are its affordable price, quiet grinding, and fast grind speed. The Capresso Infinity automatic grinder is very simple to use. Twist the beans hopper to align the indicator with your desired setting to select the grind fineness. Turn the timer dial to the desired grind time, between 5 and 60 seconds to start grinding. The machine will automatically stop grinding when the timer winds down.
American brand Capresso produces the Infinity automatic grinder. Capresso is known for making affordable burr grinders, coffee and espresso makers, but the company is also credited with many innovations in coffee-making technology (2). Capresso is now owned by Swiss brand Jura, making high-end superautomatic espresso machines.
Read our full review of the Capresso Infinity coffee grinder for more information.
7. Breville BCG820BSSXL Smart Grinder – Most Versatile
Hopper capacity: 18 ounces
- Grind settings: 60
- Grinding speed: n/4
- Burrs: 40 mm stainless steel conical burr
- Timer: Manual button and digital timer
Breville Smart Grinder Pro is an automatic conical burr coffee grinder designed with a wide range of brewing methods. Breville Smart Grinder Pro features 40mm stainless-steel conical burrs powered by a 450RPM motor, which won’t build up heat during grinding. The standout feature of the Breville Pro is the LCD control panel, which allows you to adjust the grind time, the number of shots or cups, and show the grind setting. It features 60 grind settings that allow you to make small adjustments across grinds for espresso, manual brewing, and drip coffee makers. Although it has coarse grind settings, the grind consistency at this level is not considered as good. So, our team would not recommend it as a good coffee grinder for cold brew. The Smart Grinder Pro also includes portafilter holders that you can use instead of the grounds bin.
The key benefits of the Breville’s Smart Grinder Pro are the large range of grind settings, user-friendly controls, and consistency in grinding. The digital controls make this grinder easy to use and versatile, but they can take some getting used to. To select the grind amount, you can adjust the digital timer in 0.2-second increments. Alternatively, you can select the number of shots or cups. Grind fineness is adjusted by turning the dial on the side of the machine, but the selected setting will show on the screen on the front.
Australian brand Breville produces the Smart Grinder Pro. Breville has a long history of making user-friendly kitchen appliances that incorporate technological innovations (3).
For all the details, read our Breville Smart Grinder Pro review.
8. The Fellow Ode – Best for Pour Over Coffee
Hopper capacity: 2.8 ounces
- Grind settings: 31
- Grinding speed: 3.5 g/s
- Burrs: 64 mm stainless steel flat burrs
- Timer: Auto stop
The Fellow Ode is a single dose burr grinder. It is designed to grind precisely for pour over and drip coffee and does not grind for espresso. The Fellow Ode features 64mm stainless-steel flat burrs powered by a PID-controlled motor. The large burrs provide consistent grinding and fast grind speed, with an output of 3.5g/s. The Fellow Ode has 31 grind settings calibrated for medium to coarse grinds. This makes it the best coffee grinder for filter and drip coffee on our list but unsuitable for espresso. The Ode features a grinds knocker, which helps clear any grinds retained in the chute. It also has a magnetic catch to help hold the ground bin during grinding and eliminate any mess. Nobody wants coffee dust all over their room.
The benefits of the Fellow Ode grinder are its compact size, grind speed, aesthetic appeal, and focus on manual brewing methods. The Fellow Ode grinder is easy to operate, but the single dose feature does require you to measure your beans before grinding. Once you switch on the grinder, it will grind all the beans in the hopper, then automatically switch off once the hopper is empty. The grind size is selected using the large dial at the front.
American brand Fellow manufactures the Ode automatic grinder. Fellow is known for producing manual brewers, coffee scales, and other coffee equipment, focusing on minimalist design.
For more details, read our Fellow Ode coffee grinder review or watch Steven from Home Grounds review it in this video:
9. Baratza Sette 270 – Fastest Grind Speed
Hopper capacity: 9.7 ounces
- Grind settings: 270
- Grinding speed: 3.5-5.5 g/s
- Burrs: 40 mm stainless steel conical burr
- Timer: Programmable dose settings
Baratza Sette 270 is an automatic conical burr coffee grinder designed to provide highly accurate adjustments when grinding for espresso. Baratza Sette 270 features 40mm stainless-steel conical S1 burrs, powered by a 550 RPM motor. This results in a breakneck grind speed, with an output of 3.5-5.5g/s depending on the grind setting. The Sette 270 features 30 stepped macro settings, with 9 stepless micro settings for a total of 270 grind settings. The fineness ranges from 230-950 microns. This makes it an excellent grinder for espresso but unsuitable for French press or cold brew. It has a convertible device holder which can accommodate portafilters sized 49mm to 58mm, the supplied grounds bin, or popular brewers, including the Hario V60 and Clever dripper.
The benefits of Baratza Sette 270 are the range of grind settings, the fast grind speed, and the build quality. Baratza Sette 270 is easy to use daily once you get used to the grind settings. You can select the grind time from the front panel, which is adjustable to 1/100th of a second. you can program up to three grind times for one-touch grinding. You’ll need to select both the macro and micro settings for your desired grind size, controlled by two rings just above the grounds chute.
The American brand Baratza produced the Sette 270, and this grinder is part of the brand’s prosumer range. Like all Baratza grinders, the Sette 270 is built to last, and you can repair it if required.
Read our full Baratza Sette 270 espresso grinder review if you wish to learn more.
10. Eureka Mignon Silenzio – Quietest Grinder
Hopper capacity: 10.6 ounces
- Grind settings: Stepless
- Grinding speed: 1.3 – 2.3 g/s
- Burrs: 50 mm stainless steel flat burrs
- Timer: Timed grinding (2.5 – 20 seconds)
Eureka Mignon Silenzio is an automatic flat burr grinder. It’s part of the Mignon range of grinders and is designed to be quieter than other electric grinders. Mignon Silenzio features 50mm stainless-steel flat burrs powered by a 1350 RPM motor. The standout feature of this good coffee grinder is the sound-insulated casing, filled with rubber mounts, gaskets, and covers. This reduces vibration and makes the grinder approximately 20dB quieter than other grinders. Eureka Mignon features a stepless grinder, which means you can make infinite adjustments to your grind settings. It’s best used for espresso, as it does lose some consistency when grinding at coarser settings.
The main benefits of Eureka Mignon Silenzio are the compact size, quiet grinding, fast grind speed, and infinite grind settings. Eureka Mignon Silenzio is slightly more difficult to use than other grinders, as the grind settings are stepless and the timer is not marked. You can use the grinder in timer or manual mode. When in manual mode, the grinder will start once the portafilter is pushed into the holder and it will stop when it has been removed. In timer mode, the grinder will start when the portafilter is pushed into the holder and stop once the timer has finished. There are no markings on the timer, but the range is between 2.5 and 20 seconds.
Italian brand Eureka produces the Mignon Silenzio. Eureka specializes in some of the best high-end coffee grinders for home use and coffee grinders for retail settings. You can get more information in our guide to Eureka coffee grinders.
11. KitchenAid Burr Coffee Grinder – Coolest Style
Hopper capacity: 10 ounces
- Grind settings: 70
- Grinding speed: n/a
- Burrs: Conical
- Timer: Automatic smart dosing
KitchenAid Burr Coffee Grinder is an automatic conical burr grinder. It is designed to be paired with the KitchenAid semi-automatic espresso machine but is also suitable for drip brewing. KitchenAid KCG8433DG coffee grinder has conical burr grinders, but the manufacturer does not specify the size or material. This grinder features 70 grind settings making it suitable for most brewing methods. The standout feature of the KitchenAid grinder is the Smart Dosing Technology, which automatically sets the grind amount based on the number of shots selected. It has an attachable portafilter holder that can fit 54mm or 58mm portafilters. It also features anti-static technology to prevent ground coffee from sticking to the chute and a grounds bin.
The main benefits of the KitchenAid Coffee Grinder are the extensive range of grind settings, ease of cleaning, and aesthetic appeal. KitchenAid Burr Grinder can be somewhat complicated to use at first due to the different placement of the dials for adjustment. Grind settings are adjusted by twisting the beans hopper. The indicator under the hopper only shows the general brewing method, but the exact grind size is displayed on the front panel. To set the grind amount, the number of cups or shots can be selected using the dial on the side of the machine. This will automatically set the suggested grind time, and you can press the start button to grind your coffee. To program a different time for the number of cups or shots, you can adjust the dial beneath the control panel.
12. Oxo Brew– Best for French Press and Aeropress Coffee
Hopper capacity: 12 ounces
- Grind settings: 38
- Grinding speed: n/a
- Burrs: 40 mm stainless steel conical burr
- Timer: One-touch timer
Oxo Brew is an automatic conical burr grinder and is a popular choice for an entry-level grinder. Oxo Brew grinder features 40mm stainless-steel conical burrs, powered by a 400 RPM. This produces a very consistent grind but with a slower grind speed than some competitors. The Oxo grinder has 15 marked settings, each with intermediary steps, adding up to a total of 38 grind settings. It’s very flexible for manual brewing making it the best home coffee grinder for French press and Aeropress but has not been calibrated with espresso machines. It features a UV-tinted hopper to protect coffee beans from being damaged by sunlight.
The key benefits of Oxo Brew are its ease of use, consistent grind, and value for money. Oxo Brew Conical Burr Grinder is very easy to use and offers one-touch grinding. The timer dial can be set between 0 and 30 seconds and retains your setting for the next time you grind. To start the grind cycle, simply press the large button in the middle of the timer. Grind settings are adjusted by twisting the beans hopper.
American brand Oxo produces this grinder. Oxo is known for producing functional and attractive appliances and kitchenware, emphasizing Universal Design (4). For more details, read our Oxo Brew conical coffee grinder review.
Choosing The Best Electric Burr Grinder
Choosing the best coffee bean grinder comes down to the following:
- Always choose electric burr grinders over the blade grinders.
- Think about the types of coffee you like to make. This will decide the grinding consistency you need. Check the coffee grind chart for the right coffee grind sizes.
- Consider how much coffee you drink daily. This will give you an idea of the grinder size you need. Also, think of your counter space.
- Decide if you want to be creative with your grinder, to know what special features in a grinder you need.
Think About Consistency
Whether pulling a shot of espresso or brewing a filter coffee, the aim is to end up with coffee grounds that are very consistent in size. To grind coffee beans consistently means you will extract each ground to the same degree, and your coffee will taste better.
Listen to what Scott Rao , one of the best in the business, has to say (5):
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 in the first place, you’ll make a cleaner, sweeter cup with smoother mouthfeel.
Grind size is essential to get right. This is the most significant advantage a burr grinder has over a blade grinder, and even if you are new to specialty coffee, I promise you’ll be able to taste the difference in the cup.
Manual Vs Electric Coffee Grinders
The first decision you have to make is whether you want a manual grinder or an electric one. In this article, we’re looking at electric grinders exclusively. Compared to a manuar grinder, electric grinders are faster and easier to use. If you brew a lot of coffee, you’ll appreciate the ease of an electric grinder. However, manual grinders are great options when brewing in smaller quantities. Manual grinders are also less expensive, quiet and compact. Best of all, manual grinders a great way to have freshly ground beans while traveling.
Most serious coffee lovers have both. So if you’re looking for the best manual coffee grinder, read this article on the best coffee mills.
Grind Settings: Pulse, Auto-Grind, And Timed Grinding
The very best coffee grinders don’t necessarily have to have all the bells and whistles; a great burr set is the most important thing. But if you’re grinding daily, multiple times per day, certain extra features go a long way when it comes to simplifying your life.
Watch Steven from Home Grounds compare three grinders with vastly different features (and prices!) in this fascinating video:
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 that allows you to grind without pushing 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. Some even have programmable dosing. You can teach your grinder exactly how much you want to brew.
Do you really need all these extra features?
If yes, 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, and save yourself some cash. If you’re buying for a cafe, then you’re better off opting for one of the top commercial coffee grinders.
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 need 500 settings? It depends on you and how you plan to brew coffee. As humans, we tend to fall victim to ‘more is better’ when buying new things, but in the case of grinders, you want just enough to balance functionality with the price.
So instead of choosing a grinder based on the number of settings, here’s our advice:
- You’ll need 40+ settings if you want to use ALL brew styles (including espresso and cold brew) and you love to experiment like a true coffee scientist.
- 20 to 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). Such a small grind size is usually out of your typical electric grinder range. You’ll need a Turkish coffee grinder or one of the most expensive electric models. Likewise, you’ll need something that can grind extra coarse for cold brew. Check out our best coffee grinder for cold brew pick.
Does It Grind Into A Portafilter Or Bucket?
Grinders that are designed for pairing with espresso machines usually have a handy little bracket that holds your portafilter in place. They grind your coffee beans and spit the ground coffee directly into the portafilter. If you’ve ever tried to transfer coffee grounds from a container into a portafilter without spilling, you’ll appreciate this feature.
Grinders designed with drip brewing in mind will instead spit the ground coffee directly into a container. And grinders designed for all brewing styles often allow you to switch between the two set-ups.
When buying your electric grinder, be sure to consider what you plan to brew and look for these features accordingly. Having a portafilter holder is very handy if you want to brew espresso. If you want to brew espresso AND other styles, make sure you remove this bracket. If you are not grinding for espresso, you don’t need a portafilter holder, and it will just get in the way and make things hard to clean.
Cleaning your grinder is critical for it to keep performing, but it’s not exactly a thrilling activity. Choosing something easy to clean is a great decision in the long run, and some grinders are better for this than others. For example, Eureka grinders allow you to open up the grinder and clean the burrs without losing your grind setting.
Getting Technical: Burr Size, Type, RPMs
While this section may seem a little nerdy or technical, your grinder might well be your most expensive coffee purchase. So the more you know, the better. We have high-speed grinders and low-speed grinders. Grinder speed is measured in revolutions per minute (RPMs), which affects your final brew in several ways.
A little problem: The higher the RPM, the more consistent the grind. But with speed comes heat, and heat is bad when grinding. Heating your coffee beans changes their flavor, not for the better, and it can add an unwanted burnt or bitter taste.
As per the Coffee Technician Guild’s website (6):
…by managing temperature shift in the grinder you can affect a big improvement in quality consistency throughout the day…
High-speed grinders get around the heat problem if they have large, flat burrs and a powerful motor. Larger burrs grind faster, which means the grinding is over and done with before heat has a chance to build up. These burrs result in super consistent grinding, and the grinders that fall in this category are best for espresso grinding.
Low-speed grinders generally have conical burrs and grind slower to avoid heat and static buildup. You’ll find these burrs in most home market grinders, including most on this list.
Grinder technicalities in short:
If you are pulling espresso shots, you’ll prefer higher RPM grinders. On the other hand, lower RPM grinders are best for manual brewing techniques. When it comes to burr shape, experts disagree on whether flat or conical is better. It’s a matter of personal taste (7). Most professional coffee tasters feel that flat burrs give a more consistent grind, which results in a cleaner cup. Conical burrs, on the other hand, yield more fines and produce a cup with more body.
Read more about flat vs conical burr grinders here if you want to nerd out on this topic.
The importance of the burr material
Finally, let’s talk briefly about burr material. There are two standard options, steel or ceramic. Ceramic burrs are harder than steel, so they last longer before they need to be replaced (8). But ceramics are also brittle, which means that ceramic burrs can break if your grinder is dropped or something harder than a coffee bean makes it into the hopper. We’re seeing steel more than ceramic these days, especially in higher-end grinders.
This list is not exhaustive (there are hundreds of grinders out there); however, these are the ‘top dawgs’ in the burr grinding space. Each is a good option for coffee drinkers. But, the overwhelming industry favorite is Baratza Virtuoso Plus.
It combines absolute precision with slow grinding/crushing power and is one of the quietest grinders on the market. This translates to an EXQUISITE cup of coffee. Let’s not forget that this grinder also received 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 maker’s sidekick.
Yes, oily beans will clog a coffee grinder. If you are a fan of darker roasts, which tend to be oilier, consider patting them with a paper towel or absorbent cloth to remove some surface oil before grinding. You should also plan on cleaning your grinder more frequently than you would for lighter roasts.
To reduce static in a coffee grinder, use the Ross Droplet Technique (RDT). It sounds fancy, but it’s as simple as giving your coffee beans a light spritz of water before grinding. It dramatically reduces static, leading to less mess and less grind retention.
The best manual burr grinder depends on what you need. For espresso, Home Grounds recommends the 1Zpresso JX or Comandante C40. The Timemore Chestnut C3 is excellent for filter coffee, and the Porlex Mini is small and durable for travel. You can find an excellent hand grinder for your needs, as the options are endless.
Grind retention is the coffee grounds left inside the grinder after grinding. Most home coffee grinders are designed to minimize grind retention because it impacts the consistency of the coffee dose. Grounds left in the grinder can also go stale before finding their way into your cup.
Coffee shops use grinders that can handle much higher usage than home grinders. They have larger capacities, higher-quality components, and better engineering. They often have safety certifications like NSF. As a result, commercial grinders are much more expensive than typical home coffee grinders.
You should buy a coffee machine with a built-in grinder if you have limited counterspace or value the convenience. However, a separate coffee grinder provides more flexibility and usually offers more grind settings. Both Breville and Gaggia coffee machines are known for having good quality integrated grinders.
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- Friedrick, J. (2020, August 5). Capresso marks 25th years of coffee and beverage innovation. Home Furnishings News. https://www.hfndigital.com/housewares/capresso-marks-25th-years-of-coffee-and-beverage-innovation/
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- Scott Rao. (2018, October 30). Using Extraction Levels To Rate Grinders. Retrieved from https://www.scottrao.com/blog/2018/10/4/using-extraction-levels-to-rate-grinders
- Miller, D. (2017, July 31). Effects of Grind Precision on Beverage Quality. Retrieved from https://coffeetechniciansguild.org/blog/2017/7/31/effects-of-grind-precision-on-beverage-quality
- Petrich, I. L. (2021, February 23). Conical vs Flat Burr Coffee Grinders: Whats The Difference? Retrieved from https://perfectdailygrind.com/2020/05/conical-vs-flat-burr-coffee-grinders-difference/
- Changing Grinder Burrs. (2021, February 16). Retrieved from https://www.baristahustle.com/blog/changing-grinder-burrs/