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The winner is the OXO Conical Burr Coffee Grinder.
Freshly ground beans make the best cup of joe, which is why a quality grinder is essential for making flavorful coffee that’s not bitter or unpleasant.
Whether you choose a coffee grinder that is manual or electric, the number of choices can be dizzying—even for experienced coffee drinkers. To determine the best coffee grinder, we spent a lot of time researching top options, considering factors such as type, grind settings, capacity and other features. We also spoke to a number of experts, including Marko Lazarevic, founder of the coffee blog Craft Coffee Spot, Scott Van Daalen, owner of Tapestry Coffee, and Isela Pierce, beverage director at Elegy Coffee.
“A good coffee grinder is more important than the coffee machine itself,” says Lazarevic. “Coffee is a delicate bean, and a good grinder is able to consistently grind the beans to expose more surface area and lets you extract the proper flavors from the coffee.”
Our top pick is the OXO Brew Conical Burr Coffee Grinder because it comes with 15 grind settings and features stainless steel burrs that extract the most flavor from your coffee beans. It also comes with micro-settings that lets you customize your grind to make your own original cup of coffee.
OXO Brew Conical Burr Coffee Grinder
Best Overall Coffee Grinder
Who it’s for: People who want a reliable burr grinder that won’t make a mess.
Who it isn’t for: People who want a more compact coffee grinder.
This coffee grinder stands given that it’s an electric burr grinder with an unbeatable price. At first glance, it looks basic and unassuming, but this device can get you the consistent grind you need without much effort. It features 15 settings, not including the micro-settings that let you customize your grind for a unique flavor. And the one-touch start saves your last setting, so you can simply push it to get your perfect grind.
A set of stainless steel conical burrs gives you a consistent grind size for a variety of coffees. But, you should note that although the fine and medium grinds are fairly uniform, you might find some inconsistencies with the coarse grinds. But even then, it’s still good enough to make a decent cup of coffee.
One of the most exceptional aspects of this coffee grinder is its anti-static grounds chamber that keeps coffee grounds from going all over the place and reduces the particles that stick to the grinder. Finally, it’s good for both personal and family use, because it can accommodate enough coffee for up to 12 cups.
Price at time of publish: $100
Hamilton Beach Fresh Grind Coffee Grinder
Best Budget Coffee Grinder
Who it’s for: People who want to grind their own beans without spending a lot of money.
Who it isn’t for: People who prefer a burr grinder.
For those who want to get fresh coffee grounds without spending too much, this coffee grinder from Hamilton Beach is one to consider. It looks like any other food processor and comes with stainless steel blades that break up your beans to the consistency you need. Just be aware that the blades are not as efficient as burrs and more than likely you’ll end up with particles of different sizes, which could make the coffee less consistent. But you can still use it to get a decent cup of joe.
Its hopper has a 4.5-ounce capacity to make up to 12 cups of coffee, which means you can have enough for everyone in your house every time you brew. And when you’re not using it for coffee, it also doubles as a spice grinder, so you can also crack your own pepper or grind curry spices for other meals. And it’s super easy to use, simply press the button to grind and release to stop. It’s definitely a step up from buying pre-ground coffee, especially if you want an affordable simple way to grind your beans daily.
Price at time of publish: $20
Breville The Smart Grinder Pro
Best Splurge Coffee Grinder
Who it’s for: Avid coffee drinkers who want a coffee grinder with endless grind settings and high-tech features.
Who it isn’t for: People who don’t intend to spend a lot on a coffee grinder.
The Breville Smart Grinder Pro has 60 different grinder settings plus programmable options, which could be appealing if you’re a serious coffee drinker. These settings allow it to deliver everything from coarse grounds for a cold brew to fine grinds if you want to make a stronger cup of coffee. Plus, it has a relatively quiet motor, which means you won’t wake up everyone in your house when you are brewing your morning cup of coffee.
There are a few thoughtful add-ons we appreciate about this Breville: It has a sealed plastic container that you grind your beans directly into and a magnetic tray underneath to catch any loose grinds that fly out while grinding. But, what makes it really stand out is its digital display that clearly displays the number of cups, grind settings, and the grind amount. It also has programmable options that automatically adjust your settings based on cup size. And if you want more control over grind size, you can always switch to manual mode. The only disadvantage is that if you are buying this device specifically to get the perfect cup of espresso, you might be disappointed, as its grinds tend to be coarser. But, if you need an overall solid coffee grinder, this Breville offers all that and more.
Price at time of publish: $200
Baratza Virtuoso+ Conical Burr Coffee Grinder
Best Burr Coffee Grinder
Who it’s for: People who want a burr grinder with a built-in scale and precise dosing features.
Who it isn’t for: People who are not espresso drinkers.
The best-selling Baratza Virtuoso+ is known for its precise and consistent grinds. It features 40 different grind settings that let you create the perfect texture for your coffee, whether you’re making cold brew or filter coffee. Even though it is often compared to the Baratza Encore there are several differences. Unlike the Encore grinder, it has a digital panel that allows you to grind at 0.1-second intervals and weigh the precise dose you need. This is handy if you want to master the art of making espresso or skip measuring coffee grinds every time you brew entirely.
Additionally, it has an LED light that illuminates the inside of its storage container, so you can keep an eye on it while you grind. The Baratza Virtuoso+ also sports conical burrs, allowing it to grind up to 2 grams of beans per second—which is good to prevent heat build-up and preserves the flavor of your beans as much as possible. Overall, the Baratza is an excellent choice for anyone who wants to up their coffee-making game and make the best cup of coffee possible.
Price at time of publish: $250
KitchenAid Blade Coffee Grinder
Best Blade Coffee Grinder
Who it’s for: People who are just learning the basics of grinding their own coffee beans.
Who it isn’t for: People who want a lot of control over their grind.
The KitchenAid Blade Coffee Grinder is a great budget-friendly way to grind coffee beans, but it does take a bit of effort. It’s not a burr grinder, so you might not have the most consistent grounds. But, as long as you don’t mind doing a little extra legwork like pulsing and shaking periodically during grinding, it will still make a great cup of coffee.
The 4-ounce stainless steel hopper may be small, but it can make up to 12 cups of coffee—perfect for personal and family use. That being said, you may want to consider a larger grinder if you plan on making coffee for a crowd. The cup is removable and features measurements on the inside, so you can put in the exact amount of beans to make the number of cups you need. It’s also worth mentioning that it has a clear lid at the top so you can watch the coffee as it’s being ground. Nevertheless, since blade grinders require constant checking to obtain the desired consistency you want, it would have been nice if the entire container was transparent so you can see all the beans.
Price at time of publish: $40
JavaPresse Manual Burr Coffee Grinder
Best Manual Coffee Grinder
Who it’s for: People who travel a lot and want to grind their coffee beans on the go.
Who it isn’t for: People who don’t want to grind coffee beans by hand.
If you’re a traveler with a passion for coffee—the JavaPresse Manual Grinder is an ideal choice when you don’t want to compromise on your coffee ritual just because you’re out of town. Its small and slender shape makes it easy to stash in a suitcase or backpack, and only needs some arm muscle (and patience) to get it going. But if the idea of grinding your coffee beans by hand sounds like more of a chore than a pleasure, then this probably isn’t the grinder for you.
It is a burr grinder that features conical ceramic burrs located at the bottom of the cup and has an adjustable black dial at the bottom of the grinder that you can dial to the exact grind size to customize your coffee to your taste. And because it’s not electric and has no batteries, you don’t have to endure a noisy motor while you grind or wake up others when you start grinding. Take note that this coffee grinder is for personal use and will only make enough for about two mugs of coffee at most. The only other downside is that, if you seek extra fine grounds or a bolder flavor, be prepared to grind for ten minutes or more.
Price at time of publish: $46
Bodum Bistro Electric Coffee Grinder
Best Small Coffee Grinder
Who it’s for: People who want an electric coffee grinder that’s easy to store.
Who it isn’t for: People who desire a large-capacity grinder or people who want a burr grinder.
Measuring just over 6 inches high and 3 inches wide, this grinder won’t hog up too much space on your countertop and also makes a good portable option if you want fresh coffee on the go. It holds around 2 ounces of beans, which is less than half the size of other coffee grinders. This means it makes about eight cups of coffee, which is still more than enough for an individual or a small family.
The Bodum Bistro is equipped with a powerful 150-watt motor that is less efficient than larger blade grinders on our list but only by a little bit. Still, it’s capable of pulsing beans to get your preferred consistency level for your brew.
It’s easy to use too. All you have to do is lock the lid in place, and press the button at the top to start the process. Not to mention that it has a retractable cord, so you can store it away neatly or keep it on your kitchen counter without worrying about it getting in the way. Overall, it’s a convenient choice to chop up your beans, but it may come at the expense of not grinding as finely as some of the others on our list.
Price at time of publish: $43
Eureka Mignon Crono Coffee Grinder
Best Coffee Grinder for Espresso
Who it’s for: People who want complete control over grinding levels.
Who it isn’t for: People who are new to grinding their own beans.
For slow brewing and espresso, the Eureka Mignon Crono is a reliable grinder. What gives the grinder an edge is that it features flat steel burrs, which are bigger and grind faster than other grinders. Instead of numbered settings, it comes with a stepless grind system, which basically means that you are not limited when it comes to how coarse or fine you want your particles to be. It even saves your chosen setting if you take the burrs out to clean, so you don’t have to worry about starting from scratch with your settings every time you make a new cup of coffee.
It has a built-in timer that lets you set your own time, but just note that you can’t interrupt it once it’s in motion—unless you switch off its power switch. Though, you can always opt for the manual grind setting if you want to skip the timer altogether. And although collecting the grinds is easy, the container itself cannot lock into the machine. So, you might have to monitor it closely in case things get messy.
This is a pricey grinder for sure. However, for a true coffee connoisseur, it could be a worthwhile investment.
Price at time of publish: $249
Cuisinart DBM-8 Supreme Grind Automatic Burr Mill
Best Coffee Grinder for Pour-Over
Who it’s for: People who need an efficient burr grinder for medium to coarse grinds.
Who it isn’t for: People who don’t want a noisy grinder.
Coffee aficionados know how fussy and technical making a quality cup of coffee can be with all the measuring and exact dosing. That’s why for pour-overs, you really can’t go wrong with the Cuisinart Supreme Grind Automatic Burr Mill. Whether you plan on using a Chemex or other pour-over apparatuses, this Cuisinart model can get the consistency you need.
It features a range of 18 settings from extra fine to extremely coarse so you can adjust the grind settings to the right granule consistency. And although you probably won’t need a particularly fine setting for pour-overs, it’s always nice to have the option.
It’s a huge coffee grinder with a maximum capacity of eight ounces, so you can make up to thirty-two cups of coffee with one full load. Additionally, it comes with a built-in electric timer that shuts off when the grind is complete. Just note that this grinder is extremely noisy, so you might want to be considerate of the time you choose to grind if you have others living with you. However, moving it to another room should keep the peace.
Price at time of publish: $60
Krups Precision Coffee Grinder
Best Coffee Grinder for Beginners
Who it’s for: Beginners who want to get a consistent grind without spending a lot.
Who it isn’t for: People who want a grinder with more grind settings.
You probably don’t want to splash out $400 or $500 on a coffee grinder—especially if you’re just starting out grinding your own coffee at home. That’s why the Krupps Adjustable Burr Grinder is ideal for beginners. It’s an inexpensive electric burr grinder that consistently grinds up your beans to extract the flavors and aromas you need to make a balanced cup of coffee. While it’s slightly more expensive than a cheap blade grinder, if you’re ready to take the plunge and grind your own beans, then a flat burr grinder like the Krupps is worth the investment.
It features 12 different grind settings, so you have all sizes needed for espresso, French Press, or regular filter coffee. And you get to customize how much coffee you want to make, which is perfect if you like to grab a cup before work or need something to drink while you put your feet up to relax. It also has an auto-stop function, so you can just leave it and do other errands while the coffee is grinding.
Price at time of publish: $66
The OXO Brew Conical Coffee Grinder is our top pick for its range of settings and its unbeatable price for an electric burr grinder. For a more affordable option, we like the Hamilton Beach Fresh Grind Coffee Grinder because of its powerful stainless steel blades that grind coffee beans and spices too.
How to Shop for Coffee Grinders Like a Pro
There are two main types of coffee grinders: blade grinders and burr grinders. Blade grinders use a spinning blade to chop up the coffee beans into smaller particles. While they are less expensive, they tend to produce an inconsistent grind size and generate additional heat, which can result in coffee that tastes burned and unpleasant.
Burr grinders on the other hand are the darlings of many coffee enthusiasts because they offer a more uniform grind size and a better-tasting cup of coffee. This is due to the presence of flat or conical burrs which are basically two metal rings inside the grinder that evenly crushes the beans.
Burr grinders can be further broken down into manual or electric types. Manual burr grinders are small and portable, so they are great for those who want to take their coffee with them when traveling. However, electric burr grinders are usually larger and more expensive but have the extra advantage of being faster and easier to use.
According to Van Daalen, the best type of coffee grinder ultimately depends on your personal preferences and needs. “If you are a casual coffee drinker and are looking for an affordable and easy-to-use grinder, a blade grinder may be a good choice. But, if you’re a more serious coffee enthusiast and are willing to invest in a high-quality grinder, a burr grinder may be the better option.”
Grinders come with adjustable settings in order to get the right granule size required for your brew. They work to bring burrs closer together to get a finer grind or further apart for a coarser grind size.
There are two types of grinder settings: stepped and stepless. Stepped grinders are designed to give you precise control over the size of the grounds. They typically have a range of numbered settings that offer you the choice between producing coarse to medium to fine grinds. In contrast, stepless settings are more advanced because there are no preset settings and provide more flexibility. With these grinders, you can make an infinite number of micro adjustments. This means you can experiment and make your own original coffee blend.
“The number one feature I would look out for is burrs over blades,” says Pierce. Burrs are far more efficient in grinding coffee beans and are extremely important if you make a brew that’s strong and flavorful.
Besides the bean, most experts agree that the grind size has the biggest impact on coffee flavor. To extract maximum flavor, brews require different grind sizes, depending on the kind of coffee you’re making. For example, French press and drip coffees require a coarser grind while espresso needs a fine one. Another factor to consider is its capacity or how many coffee beans can fit in the hopper at one time. This will determine how many cups of coffee you will make.
“If you’re making one or two pour-overs a day, a smaller grinder will be absolutely suitable. However, if you’re pulling a lot of shots to dial in espresso at home, I would look for a grinder with larger burrs and a larger hopper,” recommends Pierce. Finally, you should think about the speed of the burrs. Coffee grinders with high rotations per minute (RPMs) are faster which means that there is less time for heat to be transferred, and as a result can alter your coffee’s flavor.
Questions You Might Ask
Does a finer grind make coffee stronger?
“A finer grind will result in higher extraction of the coffee,” says Pierce. “That’s because the surface area of the coffee beans is increased so that more of the coffee’s flavors and aromas can be extracted during brewing, which leads to a stronger cup of coffee. However, it is important to note that too fine of a grind can lead to over-extraction, resulting in a bitter or sour-tasting cup of coffee.”
What’s the difference between a flat and a conical burr grinder?
Burr grinders come with either two flat or conical burrs that slice the beans into smaller pieces. Flat burrs are simply flat discs with sharp edges while conical burrs are cone-shaped and fit inside each other to grind beans. Although, both types of burrs are effective in grinding beans. flat burrs tend to have more consistent results and are a little more expensive. “Because the spaces between flat burrs are even, you’re more likely to get a uniform grind size,” explains Pierce.
Most commercial-grade grinders are equipped with flat burrs since they are considered to be the best for producing a consistent grind size. Flat burrs are also known to have greater retention which means that there tend to be ground coffee remnants left behind in the chamber than with conical burrs.
In terms of flavor, experts often debate the differences between flat and conical burrs as to which produces the better cup of coffee. But, the reality is that if you were presented with coffee made from a flat and conical burr grinder in a blind taste test, you probably would not be able to tell the difference.
What kind of coffee grinder do baristas use?
Because of the massive amount of coffee beans that need to be ground for brewing, most commercial establishments like restaurants and cafes rely on a commercial-grade burr grinder instead of a blade grinder.
Take Our Word for It
This article was written by Nor’adila Hepburn, a contributing writer for Real Simple, with two years of experience writing product reviews and home and lifestyle content. To put together this list, she spent hours researching coffee grinders, considering factors such as type, grind settings, and capacity. She also spoke to a number of experts including Marko Lazarevic, founder of Craft Coffee Spot, Scott Van Daalen, owner of Tapestry Coffee, and Isela Pierce, beverage director of Elegy Coffee.
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Read the original article on Real Simple.