close
Coffee Grinders

Buying Guide: Best Coffee Grinder for Home in 2017

best coffee grinder
Let’s be honest, who enjoys lining up for a coffee every day? If you’re someone who enjoys brewing their espresso and feels you can do better than your barista: start by grinding your beans.

Your journey from coffee novice to French press connoisseur begins with freshly ground java in your drip or espresso machine. Sit back with your favorite style of coffee while we outline what makes a good coffee grinder and then on to our picks.

Best Coffee Grinder Model Comparison

 ProductCommentsPrice GuideOur Rating
baratza-virtuoso-grinderBaratza VirtuosoWant the best home grinder on the market? Look no further...Premium5.0 Stars (5.0 / 5)
breville-bcg820bssxl-the-smart-grinder-pro-coffee-bean-grinder-review-compressorBrevillePerfect grind for espresso drinkers at a bargain pricePremium4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)
baratza-encore-grinderBaratza Encore Top rated entry level burr grinder. A great grind without a huge budgetMid4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)
Capresso Infinity 560Capresso InfinityBest 'Bang for Buck' Espresso GrinderMid4.25 Stars (4.25 / 5)
13_-_krups_f203_electric_spice_and_coffee_grinder 500pKrups F203 Our top rated budget electric grinder. Under $20 it's a bargainLow4.0 Stars (4.0 / 5)
The single most important factor to a good espresso is the freshness of the beans. Coffee beans begin to stale as soon as they are roasted and are pretty much useless as little as two weeks later. Although you extend the shelf life by freezing the ground beans, this causes other problems affecting the taste of the brew. The next most important factor in the taste in your cup is in the grinding process.

Grinders are distinguished by a few factors, consistency, a range of granularity, low-temperature operation and noise levels which they operate.

Your baseline grinder generates higher temperatures and coarser, irregular grinds — and sounds like a jumbo jet at full roar. A fine grind is essential to pulling an espresso shot that has the characteristic flavor and extracts the different essential oils that set apart good arabica from the foul coffee that your grandma serves. Consistency during the grinding process is also critical for replicating quality coffee, shot to shot.

Avoid spinning blades at all cost when picking a grinder. They chop your beans — you want a conical burr grinder that crushes and pulverizes the coffee to the required fineness.

French press style requires coarser, the finest moondust for Turkish coffee, with espresso a few settings under the fineness. Low speed trumps high speed, as high temperatures generated in the process modify the flavor and character of the final result. $150 is usually the price point where the basic specs all come together to produce the quality necessary, without spoiling the taste.

Just like your coffee the exact cost and specs which you decide to spend are up to you — but here are a few great machines to start your research. Good luck and enjoy!

Baratza Virtuoso Review

baratza_virtuoso_reviews - best coffee grinder

Suitable for

All-round grinder suitable for any home. Perfect for espresso and automatic drip machine owners. Our selection as the Best Grinder for the Money.

Grind details

2 grams per second.

Noise

Motor and gear settings make the Virtuoso produce less noise than the cheaper Encore.

Cleaning

Easy to clean. Remove the bean hopper and top burr for access.

Pros:

  • Motor and Gear combo make it quieter than the Encore model
  • 60-second timer makes it easy to setup your ideal grind time
  • Thermal cut-off switch prevents motor burn out

Cons:

  • Small ground bean container unsuitable for large quantities.

Baratza grinders are favorites in the prosumer range, and the Virtuoso model is your best option around the $200 bracket, and it can handle every brew from espresso to French press. In fact, it’s also our recommendation as the best grinder for producing consistent results with your french press.

While the deadman switch, which forces users to press the “grind” button continuously, might be annoying for drip brewers, the professional-grade conical burrs, and powerful 480W DC motor rotate at a relatively slow 450 RPM, which means the beans remain fresh and tasty.

For our readers who love a nice cup pressed coffee in the morning, make sure to read our french press guide section below. We’ve recommended the Virtuoso as the leading French press grinder currently available.


Breville BCG820BSSXL The Smart Grinder

breville_bcg820bssxl_the_smart_grinder_pro_coffee_bean_grinder_review
Breville BCG820BSSXL The Smart Grinder

Suitable for

This product is a top value burr grinder for buyers who drink quality drip coffee and espresso at home. Espresso drinkers who use a bottomless filter basket or pressurized filter basket will love the 820XL.

Grind details

Overall the 820XL provides a consistent grind across most of its 60 different settings. I could dial-in the Breville to my preferred brew in 5 minutes.

My only criticism is the grinder struggles on the coarser settings. I’d recommend French Press or Moka Pot drinkers look at buying the Baratza Virtuoso.

Noise

Breville grinders are famous for being noisy. Fortunately, their 820XL unit is an improvement over the earlier Smart Grinder BCG800XL

Cleaning

The BCG820BSSXL Smart Grinder Pro requires regular cleaning by removing the bean hopper and upper grind burr. The chamber collects any residual beans and ground bean. Breville included a brush in the standard package for easy cleanup. The exterior is stainless steel and high-quality plastic which easily wipes with a damp cloth. Underneath the bean hopper a few grounds that will usually collect, which can be cleaned easily with the small brush.

International Buyers

International buyers located across Asia, Australian and NZ require the 220-volt version (110-volt unit is only for USA and Japan)

Pros

  • Quiet
  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • Timer is inaccurate

As our readers already now, we rate the Breville Espresso machine range very highly. It won’t come as a surprise that Breville also produces high-quality grinders.

Their BCG820BSSXL smart grinder not only produces a good grind consistently but is available at a great price.


Capresso 560 Grinder Review – Top ‘Bang for Buck’ Model

capresso_560_grinder

Suitable for

Great affordable, all-around grinder for drip coffees, pour overs, and French Press.

Grind details

Slower than the Baratza’s, the motor heats quickly on the fastest settings spoiling the beans.

Noise

Exceptionally quiet, if you want an almost silent grinder you’ll love the Capresso.

Cleaning

Burrs can be easily removed, making it one of the easiest units to clean in our roundup.

Pros

  • Will grind fine enough to choke any espresso machine, without modification
  • Good quality burrs
  • Produces relatively consistent results
  • Slow speed a big plus – no damage to beans and little static
  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • The timer is a silly add-on. On/off button would work better
  • If grinds build up, grind gets coarser, and you pollute your grounds with old stale coffee
  • The bean hopper is fragile and is prone to breaking

Capresso’s Infinity 560 automatic burr grinder is even more affordable than others in its class. Usually priced under $100, the 560 includes a conical steel burr grinder at the top with a storage container for your beans waiting to be ground. There’s a handy grind catch at the bottom for the ground coffee to use later.

The Capresso is capable of producing a range of grinds from super-fine Espresso or Turkish coffee all the way up to the more coarse grinds. Upper compartments are easy to disassemble for cleaning, and the grinder has even been designed with pulse grinding functionality if that’s what you prefer.

Best of all a slow grind is available, so your beans don’t overheat, and spoil the taste of your brew. The Infinity engineers have designed 16 individual grind settings, three separate colors, black, brushed silver, and stainless which will suit any kitchen decor. If you’re looking for a mid-range grinder, the 560 Infinity is a good unit to buy.


Baratza’s Vario-W 986 – ‘Go Big or Go Home’

Suitable for

Baratza’s Vario-W 986 is the ‘Go big or Go Home’ Grinder for Coffeeholics. Featuring weight-based grinding for extreme accuracy, assuring the perfect espresso every brew.

Recommended for the most difficult to please espresso and manual brew fans.

Grind details

2 grams per second.

Noise

Motor and gear settings make the Virtuoso produce less noise than the cheaper Encore.

Cleaning

Easy to clean. Remove the bean hopper and top burr for access.

Pros

  • Compact size enables the Vario to fit in just about any kitchen or bench top
  • Throw away the scales! Weight-based design eliminates the need to manually pre-weigh beans
  • Unlike most prosumer models, the Vario has been factory calibrated to ensure an accurate range of grind.
  • High quality construction is an understatement

Cons

  • Doesn’t dispense straight in the portafilter

Although a very expensive coffee grinder, Baratza’s Vario 986 combines quality craftsmanship, precision grind capabilites, and their usual 5+ customer service.

Features replaceable burrs unlike cheaper models, and grounds dispensed on weight rather than timing, which becomes more accurate as the burr wears.

If you prefer manual or French Press coffee, we recommend purchasing the steel burrs so your coffee will be coarse enough for maximum flavor.


Baratza Encore Review

baratza_encore_reviews

Suitable for

Small capacity drip machines or french presses. Extended grind time makes it unsuitable for large capacity grinding.

Grind details

1 gram per second

Noise

Noisiest of the Baratza models (but also the cheapest)

Cleaning

Easy to clean, just remove the bean hopper and top burr for access.

Pros

  • Easy to set grind
  • Includes a pulse button for on-demand espresso grinding
  • Helpful accessories available online. E.g., portafilter holder
  • Consistent particle size

Cons

  • Grinding can be slow when using finer grind settings (approx 1g/s on pouring oversize)
  • Quite noisy, but name me a burr grinder that isn’t
  • The instruction manual included is very light in detail. However, the online version is very helpful and can be found here: baratza.com

I’ve tested the Baratza Encore grinder extensively at home, and it’s one of the best entry level burr grinders that I’ve ever used. It’s simple to use, does a great job grinding coffee for just about every brewing method and is backed by the experts some at Baratza.

The Encore has been designed and built with the quality Baratza is famous for producing. It’s efficient motor keeps your beans cool during the grinding process, even when extended grind times are required. A combination of electric and gear speed reducers slows the burr to 450 RPM, ensuring a smooth bean feed and reducing noise, heat, and static buildup.

Competitively priced in the mid range, look no further for the perfect coffee grinder.


Hario Coffee Mill Slim Grinder Review

hario_coffee_mill_slim_grinder_review-comp

Suitable for

French Press or drip. Our pick as the Best Manual Grinder for Espresso.

Grind details

Handles 24g of coffee capacity

Noise

Compared to the electronic units almost silent!

Cleaning

Small size and limited components make the Hario easy to clean.

Pros

  • Low price includes Conical ceramic burrs
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Takes a lot of energy to wind the handle. When serving for more than a few people you’ll work a sweat up.

No frills but the Hario gets the job done. It’s cheap, and it’s portable. However, it’s not going to meet the demands of espresso lovers or high volume coffee lovers. While it has adjustable conical ceramic burrs and is dishwasher safe, the settings can be confusing initially.

It’s as slow or fast as your ability to turn the crank manually. Seeing the grinder is manual it’s ideal for taking away on vacation or picnic. You’ll get ground coffee suitable for a French Press or drip, anywhere. You’ll also get sore arms, just keep that in mind.


Krups F203

13_-_krups_f203_electric_spice_and_coffee_grinder 500p

Suitable for

Drip and pot coffee. Best Budget Grinder for Espresso

Grind details

Stainless-Steel Blades. 85g (3oz) capacity.

Noise

One of the loudest on the market. The Krups motor also has a reputation for buzzing noises after 1-2 years.

Cleaning

We highly recommend cleaning the Krups each time after use.

Use a paint brush (about 1/2 inch wide) to remove the ground coffee. A damp cloth or paper towel can remove the fine powder. Any remaining residue can be removed with a soft brush.

Pros

  • Cheap price
  • Very small and lightweight

Cons

  • Isn’t a true grinder, more of a versatile mixer
  • Coffee lovers will be disappointed with the small number of grind settings

Although the beans produced by the Krups are what you’d call ‘rough and ready,’ sometimes a small, cheap unit is essential when you’re on vacation or just don’t like using a manual model.

One of the best selling budget grinders in 2016-2017. Not only can the Krups F203 grind your coffee beans, but you can also pop your favorite spices in before cooking fresh paprika or basil. Not bad for its really low price!

Brewing Guide: French Press Grinders

How to Make Beautiful French Press Coffee

While not everyone is a fan of the French press, it’s one of the easiest methods of brewing your coffee at home, and if you do it right, produces a great tasting cup of Joe.

As we mentioned in our home coffee guide, the single most important aspect of making great coffee is the grind quality. By avoiding these common mistakes, you’ll be sure to get the best brew every time.

The beauty of a French press is its simplicity — grind your coffee, add hot water, and go. But even with an easy task, things can go wrong; despite its simplicity, brewing in a French press isn’t always easy.

Here are three common mistakes people make when brewing French press coffee.

1. Grind the Beans Properly.

When using a French press, you want your beans to have a coarse, even ground. Also, don’t forget ground coffee spoils very quickly, usually after 2-3 days. So you’ll want freshly ground beans, produced from a high-quality grinder.

You’ll know when the grounds are too fine or too coarse by pressing the filter down. If grounds are too fine, you’ll have a hard time pushing downwards. If you can press the filter with little resistance, then the grounds are too coarse.

2. Use the Correct Amount of Coffee.

The real art of making a good French press is the coffee-to-water ratio, and because you’re extracting, timing is critical as well. A general rule of thumb for French press coffee is in the range of 1:10 coffee to water ratio: that is to say, 1 gram of coffee for 10 grams of water. This ratio varies according to your preferred taste, but most coffee drinkers find 1:10 is the sweet spot.

3. Remove Coffee from the French Press after Pressing.

If you leave your coffee in the French press after it has finished brewing, you’re probably going to drink bitter coffee. That’s because even though you’ve pushed down the plunger, the beans continue brewing.

You want to drink your coffee right away, so your best solution is to make the exact amount of coffee you’re planning to drink.

If you know you’re going to want more than one cup, and you don’t have the time to brew a new batch for your second round, brew a larger serving and after plunging, immediately pour the leftover coffee into a thermos, so it remains warm.


Roundup: Best French Press Coffee Grinders

Baratza Virtuoso

I use the coarse grind for my french press, the results are great even when it’s not on the coarsest setting.

Baratza Virtuoso reviews for french press

In my opinion the leading coffee grinder for producing french press at home. Baratza Virtuoso grinds much coarser than 99% of machines on the market. While Baratza specializes in grinders especially for espresso, the Virtuoso includes Preciso burrs which are capable of coarse grinds, which is perfect for french press.

It’s easy to clean and capable of producing 50g of ground coffee in under 90 seconds.


Hario Skelton

hario_ceramic_coffee_mill_skerton_review

I’ll be honest, if you want the consistent French press results an electric grinder is practically a must. But if your budget is limited, or you just really like manual grinders – there are options.

For a small price, the Hario Skelton uses an aggressive burr set that’s incredibly fast grinding at coarser settings. Just be aware – at finer settings, it will take more turns (and more time). By itself, the Hario will make a nice cup of french press, but the results can be inconsistent. We rate the Hario has the Best Manual Grinder for French Press on the market.

That’s why Orphan Espresso have created a modified bearing setup that takes 10 minutes to fit onto the Hario. So for around $50-60 this manual grinder combo makes a great cup of french press every time.

Do you have any suggestions or feedback? Leave a comment below, and we’ll be happy to reply.