Can You Grind Coffee In A Ninja?

It’s early in the morning, as well as still dark outside. Your window curtains are wide open; still drawn from the busy day before, in hopes to catch the early morning rays when they peak over the furtherest skyline even though the dawn still feels hours away. The alarm is screaming for you to wake up before sunrise, yet again. What day is it anyway? Tuesday? Man, you’re not even halfway to Saturday and the sweet sleep that comes with it. You drag your weary body out of bed and down the hall for some of that heavenly brew that must be sent directly from angels for working adults. As soon as you get the pot running, your body will be lighter, and the lights won’t be as harsh. As soon as you can smell the brewing beans warm up, to release their caffeine and flavors into the water, this morning will be so much better.

As you reach for the pot to pour your fresh cup, you realize that something is off. You forgot to set the auto brew last night! You’ll have to wait for the whole pot to brew. You know it only takes a few moments, but it feels as though it could just as easily be hours now. And worse yet, the beans aren’t even ground! Could this morning get any worse?!

Unfortunately my friend, yes it can. As you hold down the power button on your coffee grinder, you realize the worst has happened. Your grinder is dead at 5 AM, and you have no coffee! How can the universe expect you to handle this quagmire so early in the morning?

Well, don’t fret, dear friend. The Ninja blender you bought three months ago when you swore you would start drinking smoothies in the morning may be able to save this day yet! A question forms in your mind: Could the Ninja blender grind my coffee beans? Even if I like them super fine?

The Answer Is YES!

Thank the heavens above, the Ninja blender’s pulse settings can pulverize anything. All you need to do is measure out your preferred portion and pulse until the beans are at your preferred consistency.

You pulse and pulse, and low and behold; it is working! Was your coffee grinder even this fast? That doesn’t matter now. All that matters this early in the morning is getting this machine to start brewing so you can shower and make yourself human before you need to have the kids up and yourself to work.

Within just 12 pulses, your coffee is ground to perfection and ready to brew. The aroma of the freshly broken beans surrounds you as you move them from the Ninja blender to you coffee pot’s basket.

Now, thanks to the Ninja blender, your morning is saved and back on track. You start the pot of freshly ground beans and leave it to brew while you head to the shower; returning to the beautifully delicious coffee aroma, that could only be from freshly ground beans, filling your kitchen to pour a cup of that liquid sunshine and get ready to embrace your day head-on.

So, Why Am I Grinding My Beans At Home Again?

I know mornings like this can leave you wondering about this. If it can be so much trouble, why even bother grinding them myself when plenty of brands sell them already ground?

Well, the reason is simple for a caffeine connoisseur. The flavor and aroma of freshly ground beans are entirely unmatchable by any pre-ground competitor. This difference in quality can be seen in the prices of many brands as well. Why do they charge more for the whole beans, if more work gets put into the grounds? Grinding them takes time and energy, right?

The answer is simple. Oxidation. This process starts as soon as the bean gets broken, no matter how quickly it is then sealed. Oxidation attacks the flavor and aroma very promptly so that the difference can become apparent as soon as you open a bag of coffee grounds and a bag of whole beans next to each other. It is immediately evident that the whole beans have a stronger aroma, even before they are ground. Then, once ground and brewed, the coffee from the whole beans will be both darker and sweeter. This is because oxidation is responsible for the bitter taste that many people associate with coffee.

Now you know that should a morning go haywire, your Ninja blender can come to the rescue. Even if you like your beans super finely ground, the Ninja blender can and will deliver the fresh, sweet aroma and flavor you deserve from your morning cup of coffee and keep your morning as smooth as your creamer if you take creamer that is.


How Fine Should You Grind Coffee?

Why Size Matters

In many parts of life, size is far less critical than purpose. In coffee, however, the size of your ground beans influences the time your coffee grounds are in contact with the water, how much of the delicious elixir is extracted from those beans and how fast water flows through the ground beans. Thus, the size of your grinds can significantly alter your final product.

As for the size you’re supposed to use? That depends on what you are trying to brew. The answer can vary wildly from very fine to extra course depending on your brewer and method.

Ground Size and Use

Here we have compiled a list of the most common and popular brewing methods and the ground size they need for optimum levels of flavor. Enjoy!

Turkish Coffee is an age-old classic as far as coffee goes, and was originally a delicacy reserved for the king, or as he would be called in Turkey, the sultan. As such, it requires an ultra delicate and super fine grind. For this coffee, you are looking for coffee grounds that are comparable to powdered sugar. That is amazingly fine to have achieved in the 16th century!

Similar to the French press, the AeroPress is a manual brewer that is typically used for single servings. The recommended ground size for the AeroPress is something between medium and fine depending on your tastes. A finer grind will retain the water longer and thus have a stronger flavor.

Siphon brewers, which work by using pressure to force water into the same chamber as the coffee grounds, then removing the heat to cause a vacuum, pulling the water through into the pot. This method also requires a medium to fine grind for the optimum levels of water to coffee exposure.

While most pour-over methods require a grind between medium and fine, it is essential to be familiar with your machine in particular because some of the different sized machines need different ground sizes as well.

Brewed under at least nine bars of pressure espressos require a very finely ground bean for the best flavor, though not quite as fine as the Turkish coffee’s grind. The optimum grind for espresso is more comparable to table salt than powdered sugar.

Using about 1.5 bars of pressure the Moka Pot forces steam up through the basket of grounds to steam coffee grounds. The coffee infused water then falls back down to the pot after condensation. For optimal exposure time, a medium ground is recommended for your beans.

Typically requiring medium-course to medium ground beans, drip coffee is the most common brewing style found in homes, offices, and shops. The exposure time is managed by the very small hole in the bottom of the basket coupled with the flow onto the grounds that brings in around twice as much as what can run out at any given time. One reason this method is so popular is because of the ease of use and automation included in machines from a very low price point.

The French press uses immersion brewing, much like hot tea, where the coffee grounds are added to hot water and steeped for a while before being strained out. Due to the straining process, a coarse grind is crucial for a good cup from a French press. Using anything smaller is possible, but will lead to a cloudy cup of coffee. Or, sometimes even grit from the grounds finding its way into the bottom of your mug.

When using a cold brew, the coffee is placed in water that is at or below room temperature for one to three days, depending on the desired strength, before being strained. While any size of grind can be used for this, an extra course grind is recommended to avoid cloudiness, caused by tiny bits of suspended grounds, in the final product.

Single-cup coffee makers, such as Keurig, usually have the option of buying pre-ground and pre-portioned cups, but if you would prefer to make your own or use a machine that is compatible with just grounds, a medium grind is recommended. This size ensures that while you have an excellent exposer time, the grinds are too large to work through the machinery and make for a cloudy cup.

Figuring out grind sizes can be hard at first, but after some time, they start to make sense. For example, with Turkish coffee, no filter is used at all, so you will want coffee small enough to remain suspended in the water, so you don’t experience the sensation of having grounds in your cup while enjoying this old world classic. Meanwhile, with a cold brew, you will want grounds as large as possible, because your end goal is a crisp, clear cup.


Can You Grind Coffee In A Blender?

Coffee In A BlinderThe sun is going down, and you want to set your machine to auto brew so that your coffee will be ready and waiting for you in the morning when the alarm forces you from sleep so that you can begin yet another busy day. You grind your own beans because you adore the fresh aroma and taste, even if a little bit of that is lost in pre-grinding then the night before. You’ve decided this method fits your lifestyle the best since you can be too busy to grind on the spot every single morning. Especially those mornings when the bed feels much better than your itinerary.

You have been nearly lost in thought, brought back to the present reality when you realize that your bean grinder has not started whirring and the beans are still whole inside, even though you had already set it to your usual setting of medium ground. It would seem that this burr grinder has gone out on you. Perhaps it had been sitting too close to the sink when you and your siblings were fooling around and having a water fight! Maybe the storm earlier burned it out with lightning? Though that is less likely considering your home is equipted with surge protectors. Whatever the case may be, the point of the mater is, what can you do about it now to ground your coffee beans? Without coffee, how will you get through tomorrow morning’s busy schedule?

You check the time, but alas, it is too late to run to the store for a new one, so you will have to get creative. Looking around your kitchen for anything similar to the burr grinder you typically use, absolutely anything that may have a grinding ability. A mortar and pestle? But, you don’t own one or those. The closest thing present is the blender that has slipped towards the back of the counter. You don’t remember using it since a few months ago when you had friends over, and everyone wanted milkshakes, but you reach for it and dust it off. Could your blinder possibly make due for the night?

The Answer Is YES

Losing a high-quality burr grinder in the middle of a busy week can be a very stressful thing to experience. Now you still have half of the week to go with an early morning alarm, whole coffee beans, and no way to grind them. However, a blender with a pulse mode can ease the blow and save your week. All you need to do is place the beans in the blender and pulse them, very briefly, about 8-12 times depending on your desired grind level.

Why Your Burr Grinder Is Better Than A Blender

I know what you’re thinking, “If that’s all I have to do and it is that simple, then why spend so much on a burr grinder if the blender can do the same job?” Well, after you pulse your coffee beans in the blender, have a good look over them. They probably aren’t as uniform as your usual grinder would have them.

Beyond not being aesthetically pleasing, nonuniform beans can alter the taste, clarity, and overall quality of whatever sort of coffee you are trying to brew. These issues can be particularly noticeable in Turkish and cold brew coffees, due to their filtering procedures, or lack thereof.

Aside from this, burr grinders typically come with a preset grind level knob that is programmed to industry standards, so that your coffee will come to precisely the right level of grind for the recipe you are following. Again, using Turkish coffee as an example, you would need a very, very finely ground coffee bean. So fine, that it looks like dark powdered sugar. Otherwise, the grounds will not remain suspended, and the experience will be tainted with a mouth full of grit. A grind this uniform is nearly impossible to achieve with a regular blender.

So, while your blender will save you if your grinder goes out in the middle of the week and you exclusively ground your own beans, it is not a permanent or better solution by any means. Blenders are not meant to create a uniform grind, but rather to blend liquids and solids into a sort of chunky consistency, like a smoothie. While they can be used to grind just solids once or twice, they can not be expected to do so very uniformly. If it comes to using a blender to grind your beans, it will likely be the easiest to use the blended grounds in a drip style brewer. Of course, with the right amount of effort, anything is possible, but without a proper burr grinder, it will be hard to enjoy delicate coffee treats.


Coffee Grinder

How to Grind Coffee Beans

How to Grind Coffee BeansCoffee beans are just the starting point of your morning. The reason you get up is to get a cup of coffee. With coffee as your start to the day, you know that there is nothing worse than having a lousy cup of coffee, except for not knowing how good your coffee can be. Coffee can be ground in different ways, and the differences are used in the most efficient capacity when they’re used with the right grinder. Getting the right ground of coffee is essential to ensuring you get the perfect cup every single morning. The biggest question now though is what kind of ground is right for your coffee maker.

What Grind for What Maker?

There is a serious difference between coarse and fine grinds. These two different grinds have to be paired properly with the appropriate coffee maker, or your coffee just one come out right. There are a wide variety of coffee makers, and the grinds that go with them are very specific. If you mix them up or try to use different grounds your coffee will either be watery or filled with grounds.

Percolators are one of the most common coffee makers, they’re common in many households and are best with coarse coffee grounds. You use a small filter to ensure the grounds don’t get mixed with the water, and it percolates automatically. Guaranteeing all you have to do to, is prepare and turn on your coffee maker to ensure the perfect brew.

The French Press is one of many flat-bottomed drip coffee makers. These are designed, much like the percolator for coarse coffee grounds. Designed to ensure you get the best cup out of coarse coffee grounds. If you use fine grounds instead of coarse ones the grounds will go into the coffee water as well, ensuring a gritty cup of coffee. Stick with the coarse grounds, to ensure the absolute best coffee when dealing with either percolators or flat-bottomed drip coffee makers such as the French Press.

There is even a medium grind, which is best used with the flat-bottomed drip coffee makers, but don’t work well with a percolator or a cone drip coffee maker. The three different kinds of coffee grinds are very different from one another though the medium and coarse grinds can be used interchangeably they cannot substitute for the fine grind. The medium grind is best used as a supplement or replacement for the coarse brew if it’t not available for you, allowing you to have a cup of coffee without having to worry about managing with a fine brew.

Finely ground coffee is usually best made with cone-shaped filters, such as the Espresso Moka Pots. These grounds allow the water to move around and past them more easily, while giving you more coffee in a single filter, allowing for a smoother brew. A smoother brew means a smoother coffee, which makes a smoother morning for you and those in your home. The smoothest possible coffee you can get with a specialty filter for fine coffee. Having a proper filter ensures you get the best coffee for your taste and that nothing comes between you and the perfect cup every single morning.

Burr Grinders vs. Blade Grinders

Now that you know the differences between the different grinds of coffee you can find the differences between the grinders that turn your coffee beans into your morning’s delight. There are a wide variety of grinders, and each one is important in their way. From automatic to doing it by hand there are plenty of ways to ensure you get the best cup of coffee.

Blade grinders are a lot like putting your coffee in a blender. It dices up the coffee grounds according to your immediate need. The sharp spinning blades are slicing through the bean, which many coffee connoisseurs believe results in an inconsistent ground leaving the different sizes in the ground coffee to give you an inconsistent taste because they don’t extract the flavors at the same rate. This leaves your coffee tasting completely different on a day to day basis, and not different as in the difference between Columbian and Jamaican the difference between great coffee, and terrible coffee.

Burr grinders are exactly the opposite they use a mass of spinning blades that are designed to be more efficient at cutting up the coffee beans, leaving you with grounds that are roughly the same size, giving you a reliable brew every time. They can be a variety of sizes and shapes, and there are even false burr grinders, which attempt to mash the beans with sharp teeth instead of grinding them gradually as a traditional burr grinder does. These fake grinders leave a bad taste in your mouth, as they don’t manage to get a consistent texture to the grind like the traditional burr grinders do.

In another post we have tried and researched some grinders and listed out the Best Burr Grinders of 2018 and Best Burr Grinders Under $100. Check them out and choose one for you daily life.

Automatic or Hand (Manual) Grinder?

There are also two different ways to grind your coffee, with either an automatic or a manual grinder. The automatic grinders allow the grounds to be prepared by a machine. The burr grinder, for example, is usually operated by a motor, dicing the coffee beans up into an appropriate size so they can be easily brewed. The manual method is less costly; it allows you to twist a crank, which will grind up the coffee. You don’t get any electrical assistance; you simply grind it up by hand. This is more efficient if you’re going out camping or if your electricity goes out, allowing you to still have coffee even without electrical assistance. They’re usually ceramic and are simple to adjust, best used for pour over brewing.

It’s safe to say that burr grinders are usually the easiest to use, they make getting your morning coffee together simple. There are some things you’ll need to remember when grinding your coffee. The first thing is that you should never pre-grind your coffee, you’ll end up with stale coffee instead of a nice fresh brew, making your coffee taste sour. Another thing you’ll need to remember is that you will need to measure out your beans before grinding. If you don’t, you’ll either have too much or too little coffee, making for a rough morning. There are plenty of different brands of burr grinders, and all of them should grind in the same way, ensure that you抮e not getting a fake one and you shouldn’t have any issues with consistency in your brew.

We also have a list of Top 5 Best Manual Coffee Grinders of 2017. We hope it will give you some inspiration when you are facing so many manual grinders.

How to Grind Coffee With Burr Grinders?

The first thing you’ll need to do when grinding in a burr grinder is ensure that your grinder is clear from any previous grounds. The older grounds will be ground into your new cup, and if there’re enough of them can make for a difficult morning. Secondly, you should measure out your beans, remember, not too little, not too much. Once you’re finished with this task, you’ll put the beans in your grinder. If it’s automatic, there isn’t much more to do besides setting it to the proper grind and turning it on. If you own a manual coffee grinder, you should get cranking until it’s the proper consistency for your brewing device. Once the coffee is ground to the appropriate size, coarse, medium or fine, then you can brew it in your device. Whether you have a percolator or a french press, a flat-bottomed drip coffee maker or a cone drip coffee maker it’s essential to ensure you have the right grounds for the right coffee maker.

With the wide variety of coffee makers out there, it’s easy to get confused and frustrated. Some people will use fine coffee in their french press and wonder why their coffee has grounds in it. Or try to put coarse coffee into their cylindrical drip coffee maker and get upset when the coffee tastes like water. Knowing the differences between the grinds, and how to ground the different coffees is essential for managing your morning. Without the ability to manage your coffee you’re bound to have a horrible day. So double check your equipment, you may have the wrong brewer for the coffee you’ve bought. You may even have the wrong coffee for the brewer you currently have; the wrong grinder can get you into a world of trouble with your mornings and having the know how to figure out how to grind your coffee in a new grinder is essential. All of these pieces come together smoothly once they’re in place allowing you to have a great morning. So double check what you do have, and what you don’t have in your kitchen, is a manual grinder best for you or do you want to try an automatic? Is the blade grinder good enough or do you want the luxury of the burr grinder? Will you be able to handle a coarse brew or do you wish you had a finer smoother taste in the morning? All of these bits and pieces fall together at once, aligning to ensure you have the best possible cup of coffee in the morning.

Coffee Art

Top 3 Best Burr Grinders Under $100

When it comes to brewing a delicious cup of coffee, it is necessary to begin with the essentials. Every coffee connoisseur knows the importance of obtaining the finest raw materials, fresh coffee beans. When your water is heated to the optimal temperature and you pour it over your freshly ground coffee, you can inhale in ecstasy as your mind awakens and prepares you for the days tasks. The secret to a good cup of coffee is in the bean, and a burr coffee grinder makes sure you grind cleanly and consistently every time.

Grinding coffee beans doesn’t have to break your bank. It is more than possible to obtain one for under $100. No, you didn’t misread that. Read on to discover some of the best burr grinders. No matter your budget, it is possible to elevate your coffee experience to a higher level.

Burr or Blade Grinder, Which is Best?

As you may have heard before, burr grinders are preferred by many baristas. Blade grinders dominated the market back in the day, and its easy to see why. Typically they are inexpensive (less than $100), especially when compared to burr grinders. In fact, they don’t even really grind the bean. The bean is crushed to pieces or a fine powder with two blades that move very quickly.

A frequent issue operators encounter with blade grinders is inconsistent ground. There is less control when operating, and you are left guessing the consistency of your ground.

Burr grinders offer comparatively more control by grinding the bean, instead of the chopping motion blade grinders do. The anatomy of a typical burr grinders consists of two revolving and coarse wheels or plates called “burrs”. The bean is processed through the burrs a couple at a time, where they can be ground to the desired texture programmed by the barista.

The biggest advantage of using a burr grinder vs a blade grinder is the reliable ability to grind to a consistent size. Because of the consistent texture and ability to adjust grind settings, the extraction of the bean is increased. This translates to a better quality cup of coffee. You can grind anything from fine espresso to coarse coffee . As a result of good design, you are less likely to experience clogging issues during brewing.

Top 3 Best Burr Grinders Under $100

#1Bodum BristroBodum BISTRO Burr GrinderBuyFromAmazon
#2Capresso 560.01Capresso 560.01 Infinity Conical Burr GrinderBuyFromAmazon
#3Cuisinart DBM-8Cuisinart DBM-8 Supreme Grind Automatic Burr MillBuyFromAmazon
JavaPresse Manual Coffee GrinderPorlex JP-30 Stainless Steel Coffee GrinderBuyFromAmazon

#1 Bodum BISTRO Burr Grinder

Bodum BristroThe Bodum Bistro Electric features a wide variety of settings in a user-friendly electric burr grinder. The no-fuss operation allows for control over the grind process in a very simply designed package.

Main Features

  • 14+ grind settings
  • Transparent bean basket. This makes it easy for the barista to see the amount of beans to be processed.
  • A container made from borosilicate glass. Looks beautiful while catching ground coffee bean and prevents messy operation.
  • A look at the insides of the machine show top-quality stainless steel conical burrs. These burrs are hard steel and not plastic (like less costly models). Bodum bistro is made to last.

Even when pushed to the highest controls, the Bodum keeps quite. This means mornings with less noise and more sleep for your family, as you enjoy your morning coffee. The glass container is more than capable of catching the ground beans without making a mess, and the 14+ settings can grind from fine to coarse textures with no issues.

This grinder features a timer built right into the machine, set to 20 second increments. The bean container holds enough ground coffee for 8 cups of joe. Either grind enough for yourself or more for your family, the choice is up to you!

I enjoyed this model for the price (under $100) and features. This is my second choice for best burr grinders under $100. This is another budget option for you while still offering enough features to get the job done. This model is priced well enough that if you do decide you need more features or bean capacity for the future, you can afford to upgrade.

>>> Read the customer reviews of Bodum Bristro Burr Grinder

#2 Capresso 560.01 Infinity Conical Burr Grinder

Capresso 560.01If you are searching for a conical grinder with handsome looks and style, look no further. This grinder system was built with quietness, reduced dust, consistency and reliability in mind. It is also affordable while offering good features for the price.

Main Features

Packing 100W of power and 16 grind settings clearly arranged and labeled (Turkish fine to Coarse). Commercial grinders need not worry about power or processing, the commercial quality conical burrs process beans in a way that reserves flavor in the final grind. In this class of grinders, the processing speed is the slowest. This was designed for the purpose of reducing friction. With less friction there is less heat, meaning flavor and aroma is preserved. This machine features a built-on timer and easy to clean design.

The container for beans holds 8.5 ounces and grind container holds 4 ounces. There is a gear reduction feature that purposely grinds slow to inhibit noise production and static buildup.

The good

Multiple grind settings available. Featuring less noise and dust buildup than some other models, and much less dust. The machine is attractive and capable of adding character to your kitchen while bringing power and control to the table.

The not so good

Reports show that the Capresso 560.01 Infinity Burr Grinder functions best when cleaned thoroughly after every use. There are some crevices in the machinery that can be hard to reach, making cleaning a tedious endeavor. Static buildup over time can be an issue, as the container is built of plastic.

If you are shopping for a grinder on a budget (under $100), this may be the ideal grinder for you.

>>> Read the customer reviews of Capresso 560.01 Burr Grinder

#3 Cuisinart DBM-8 Supreme Grind Automatic Burr Mill

Cuisinart DBM-8Cuisinart is a reputable brand with over 30 years of experience. They offer baristas a long-lasting option while remaining affordable. But how does the mid-tier Cuisinart Professional Burr Coffee Mill compare to the competitors?

Featuring a modern and cool stainless steel look with black finish, it fits into nearly any kitchen. With a wide range of settings (18 in total), it offers the barista a great deal of options. Our research shows that the fifth setting offered the finest and most consistent quality grind.

This model offers sizable hopper capacity (250 g) that will meet the demands of the real world. For example, you can fill to capacity at the beginning of the week, enjoy a couple of cups a day and not think of topping it for the entire week! It was however noticeably more noisy than other consumer/coffee grinders for home use. The noise is still within an acceptable range.

The best part of this model is perhaps the price. Just $50 for this lovely burr mill. This makes quite the stocking stuff for your coffee loving friends and family.

Main Features

18 grind settings ranging from fine to coarse, powered by a heavy-duty motor. The user has the ability to set the quantity with a slide control, allowing any where from 4 to 18 cups. This unit automatically powers off when the preset level has been reached, a great feature that prevents overflow. The bean hopper has a capacity of 8 ounces.The chamber that holds the ground coffee is easily accessible.

When the beans have finished being ground, a built-in timer will notify the barista. This mill comes preset with medium grind settings. The approximate time to grind 12 cups is 40 seconds and 55 seconds for 18 cups.

In contrast to the previous conical grinders mentioned, the Cuisinart DBM-8 is a disk burr grinder.

My favorite features

The price combined with the efficiency! The pull-out bean hopper is conducive for quick and easy use of ground bean. This feature makes it easy to transfer the beans for brewing and makes for quick cleaning afterwards.

Features to be improved

When attempting a coarser final grind, the final product can end up a bit uneven. Because of the plastic hopper, there is an increase in static, which attracts more dust buildup.

This is an excellent grinder for a beginner. It remains affordable and offers enough features to get the job done. For burr grinders in this price range, it is typical to be powered by hand (manual operation). Grinding by hand may not be the ideal choice for some people, but for $100 or under, it offers the opportunity for a quick pre-gym workout and great coffee.

>>> Read the customer reviews of Cuisinart DBM-8 Burr Mill

Manual Burr Grinder Option -Porlex JP-30 Stainless Steel Coffee Grinder

Porlex JP-30 Stainless Steel Coffee GrinderThe Porlex JP-30 grinder offers sleek design in a beautiful stainless steel finish. This grinder is ideal for coffee enthusiasts who don’t mind a little extra work for their morning coffee.

This manual burr grinder is also compact in size, at a counter-space safe 9.2 inches tall. The handle puts the width at approximately 5 inches. It is Japanese made and features high quality ceramic burrs. These burrs grind the bean in a similar fashion to an old fashioned pencil sharpener. This model has a capacity of about 30 grams of coffee at a time (this translates to a bit over 1/10 of a cup, about 6 teaspoons). Amazingly, it is capable of grinding a surprising quantity in under a minute. This model has versatile grind settings to suit your taste, from coarse to fine.

The Porlex JP-30 grinder is truly a grinder suited for a variety of different coffee beans. Aside from making a wonderful conversation starter, it is streamlined, attractive and lightweight. Offering a high value, this grinder is the best choice for a budget of $100 or under.

>>> Read the customer reviews of Porlex JP-30 Stainless Steel Coffee Grinder

Coffee grinders play a very important role in making delicious coffee. If you have more budget on them, we have an article about Best Burr Grinders.

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Best Burr Grinders of 2018

Are you a veteran coffee connoisseur looking to increase the quality and consistency of your final grind? Or perhaps you are an Average Joe who is tired of stale pre-ground supermarket coffee. This is the list that will simplify any consumer’s search for a quality coffee grinder.

The importance of a good coffee grinder cannot be overstated. Coffee grinders break the coffee bean down into much smaller pieces. The most important thing for any coffee drinker is consistency of the final grind. Without a uniform texture to the beans the flow of water and flavor extraction is greatly impacted. These variables can be brought under control with a proper grinder that will ensure your cup of coffee is not too strong or weak but exactly how you like it!

The purpose of this article is to highlight the importance of a good coffee grinder and the often overlooked role it plays in the enjoyment of your favorite beverage. There is no need to feel overwhelmed by the many choices there are. At the end of this post, there is a summary of important features of individual grinders as well as how they compare to each other .

We also have related posts about coffee grinders, check them out.

Espresso Grinder Reviews of 2018

Top 5 Best Manual Coffee Grinders Of 2017

Top 5 Best Burr Grinders For French Press

Top 3 Best Burr Grinders Under $100

Best Burr Grinders of 2017

#1Breville Smart Grinder ProBreville Smart Grinder ProBuyFromAmazon
#2Baratza Virtuoso Conical Burr GrinderBaratza Virtuoso Conical Burr Coffee GrinderBuyFromAmazon
#3Mazzer Coffee GrinderMazzer Mini Espresso GrinderBuyFromAmazon


#1 Breville Smart Grinder Pro

Breville Smart Grinder ProBeloved by many for its accuracy and grinding ability the Breville Smart Grinder Pro was created with an emphasis on convenience and efficiency. Breville makes use of their conical burr system and “Dosing IQ” technology to automatically adjust the dose whenever the grind is changed. What this means for the consumer is a higher level of control over your grind. The proprietary “Dosing IQ” technology allows you to adjust the grind time within 0.2 second increments and offers the unique ability to program and store your favorite settings. Perfect for when you are tired and just want your bean! There are 60 different grind settings that range from most coarse (French press) to extra fine (espresso). Breville Smart Grinder Pro offers an almost unparalleled level of convenience!

If what you desire is a burr grinder that is virtually hands off look no further! Not only does this grinder remember your settings but it has a wide range of grinder settings. The grind is consistent across the ranges as well, a perfect marriage of versatility and consistency.

Grind Quality

The quality of grind is always imperative for consumers and professionals alike. The Breville Smart Grinder Pro really stands out in this area due to the variety of grind it is capable of producing. This is due to the conical burr that makes use of Breville’s proprietary “Dosing IQ”  technology. This technology gives the operator of the machine greater control over the flavor. This means more choices for consumers and customers of small businesses who stand to benefit from the 60 different grind options. This is organized into settings labeled: press, percolator, drip, and espresso.

For grinds of coarse quality you must select a certain quantity of cups for the dosage. The espresso setting allows you to select the amount of shots and time you want the beans to be ground. This part of the user experience is where Breville’s technology really shines. Many other coffee grinders require the user to manually set these variables which can quickly become annoying. This is especially time consuming because these machines won’t remember the settings for future use unlike the Breville Smart Grinder Pro.



Grind Consistency

The main advantage of using an electronic grinder is the uniformity of the ground coffee. If you did online research into the Breville Smart Grinder Pro you may have noticed a similar theme that customers expressed in their comments. They express their relief to have found such a superior product after wasting money on inconsistent and inferior coffee grinders. The inconsistency of the ground coffee was the variable that negatively affected the taste. Fortunately, owners of the Breville Smart Grinder Pro experience the highest levels of consistency for each grind as reflected in the 5/5 star reviews it received in several online reviews.

Ease of Use

Owners of the Breville Smart Grinder Pro purchased the product for its ease of use and versatility. Because of this it is one of the few grinders that appeals to coffee connoisseurs across a wide range of experience and needs. Whether you are an amateur or experienced at the art of grinding coffee beans, the smart grinder pro delivers it all. The clean and easy-to-read interface make navigation of its features quick with zero hassle.

No longer will you have to choose between enjoying your French press or espresso, why not both? With 60+ settings to experiment with, you will never be bored and are likely to discover a whole new taste experience. This allows you to broaden your palette and offer new coffee experiences to your friends and customers as well. Because of the user-friendly design you can toggle through these different grind options with relative ease.

Last but not least, the LCD display with back light allows you to change the settings for amount, time, and the consistency of the grind. The Breville Smart Grinder Pro is an excellent choice for consumers who appreciate technology and versatility in grind.

>>> Read the customer reviews of Breville Smart Grinder Pro

#2 Baratza Virtuoso Conical Burr Coffee Grinder

Baratza Virtuoso Conical Burr GrinderFor home users looking for a coffee grinder that will not monopolize counter and cupboard space, look no further than the Baratza Virtuoso. The cute compact design and half-pound capacity for bean may lead some potential customers to overlook the Baratza as not sturdy enough for everyday use. If you own a coffee shop or are looking to grind extremely large amounts of bean at once this is not the grinder for you. The motor is not meant for the rigorous and constant strain that industrial coffee grinders experience. Relative to its size it does have a powerful motor and build quality. However, the Baratza Virtuoso is considered to be relatively expensive compared to other grinders in the home barista market.

Owners of the Baratza will never be disappointed by sluggish grinding. You will have just the right amount for one pot of coffee. This is generally the ideal amount for those grinding within the comfort of their own home.

One of the unique aspects of the Baratza that makes it stand out from the crowd is its DC motor. DC (direct current) refers to how the engine converts electrical energy into mechanical energy. This property of the motor means it has a high force(measured in torque) motor that is powerful and quite, a true rarity in grinders. The efficiency translates to less friction, which means cooler beans and a better overall quality in grind. Baristas who rely on a wide range of available grind consistencies will be happy to hear the Baratza is a consistent grinder. You won’t experience fine grind mixed in with coarse grind or vice-versa and unit calibration is very operator friendly. This is only one of the reasons the Baratza Virtuoso is one of the top coffee grinders available on the market.

What I like

  • Wide range of grinding speeds from 405-495 RPM.
  • Generates very low heat ,noise and static.
  • The grinds flow out of the machine uninterrupted.
  • A capable and versatile machine: Espresso, drip, and french press options all readily available.
  • Freshness is ensured: grinds stay in the grinder and unexposed to air.
  • Burr system with high degree of calibration and very maintainable. -Easy to disassemble and clean.

What I don’t like

  • Loosely anchored grinder knob.
  • Diminished life span.
  • Sometimes a challenge to clean.
  • Ground coffee gets trapped in burr and makes disassembly messy.
  • Grinder does not remain in place and position must be reset.

>> Read the customer reviews of Baratza Virtuoso Conical Burr Coffee Grinder

#3 Mazzer Mini Espresso Grinder

Mazzer Coffee GrinderThe Mazzer Mini is a luxury coffee grinder primarily made for the home barista. In terms of design, quality of build, materials used, and lifespan the Mazzer is almost peerless. The options of a black, silver, or polished finish also add to its allure.

Mazzer has a long history of producing industry grade high-end coffee grinders. Statistics have shown that about 1 in 3 coffee shops use them. Mazzer decided to branch out from large scale models and use this mini espresso grinder as an ambassador to all the home baristas and even has low-duty commercial use.

One of my only complaints with the Mazzer Mini Espresso is the counter real estate that it takes up relative to other grinders. You are best to find a dedicated corner in the kitchen and leave it there as it is capable of using some space efficiently.

However the size of this machine is not unmanageable The ability of the Mazzer Mini to utilize space lies in the ingenious design and size of the hopper. The height also makes it acceptable to keep on most kitchen shelves.

What I like

  • High level of control over size and consistency of grind due to micro adjustment controls.
  • Comes complete with tons of accessories: tamper, brush for cleaning, grind tray and much more.
  • Big bean hopper with trap door access for convenient stowing away.

What I don’t like

  • Large size and takes up a large amount of space
  • Heavy (about 20 lbs)

>>> Read the customer reviews of Mazzer Mini Espresso Grinder

What type of coffee grinders are there?

The search for the proper grinder that is appropriate for your personal needs will make the whole process easier, enjoyable and more time efficient. The main categories of grinders are coffee mills, burr grinders, and blade grinders.

Burr Coffee Grinders

Consists of two burrs to chop the coffee bean into tiny pieces and great consistency.

Blade Coffee Grinders

Uses an electric-style blade that rotates at very fast speeds to chop the bean from a range of coarse to fine consistencies.

Coffee Mills

These are burr grinders with a hand crank that often are less expensive than electric models.

Coffee Grinders – What features are there and how should I pick them?

In this part of the article an overview of coffee grinder features and what the consumer should look for will be discussed.

Burr Shape: Flat vs Conical

Conical Vs Flat BurrThe two types of burr shapes available are conical and flat. Though the shapes are different the function is similar. Both flat and conical use friction (abrasion), a finely serrated burr and another with coarse edges. When the beans make contact between the burrs they break into the desired consistency.

The coffee community has not agreed on whether flat or conical burrs are better. In general, flat burrs have more power and produces grinds quicker. The speed of the grind is the result of burr size. This makes it particularly useful in commercial grinding operations or for anyone who wants an increase in speed. Burrs that are conical in shape are usually more compact because they are shaped like cones. The burrs are also arranged at an angle so they don’t interfere with each other.Since conical burrs are not as powerful as flat burrs customers must make a trade off depending on the applications that will suit their needs.

In terms of performance the differences are small but important depending on what you decide to brew. A barista who primarily brews turkish or espresso would benefit from conical burrs. This preference is due to flat burrs generating too much heat which would negatively affect their natural flavors. You should know that grinds of a finer consistency would take longer with flat burrs, and heat up too much resulting in off tastes. In contrast, to brew more coarse grinds the impact that heat from grinding has will be diminished. This is because coarse grinds take less time to process.

Adjustment Settings: Stepped vs Stepless

The easiest grinders for beginners to use are those with stepped adjustments. This feature allows you to toggle between settings, which promotes testing of different grind sizes. All you must do is keep the original settings in mind unless the machine has a way to store it.

This grinder is highly recommended for beginners who are in the market for a coffee grinder. Some grinders come with an excess of 400 different settings.

If what you need in a machine is to take your coffee and grinding experience and advance it even further, you would most benefit from stepless adjustments. This feature is very important to those with experienced palates as it allows you to make micro adjustments, blending flavors specifically to you and your customer’s tastes.

However, there is a negative side to not having clear points of reference (adjustments). It is much harder to keep track of changes and thus valuable data becomes harder to track, especially once you have moved away from factory settings. Making coffee that is absurdly good means grinding with less guidelines, so I think this is worth it in the long run.

Dosing: Doser vs Doserless

doser vs doserlessIn order to pick between doser vs doserless you must first determine the amount of cups you will be brewing.

Go for a doserless model if you plan on brewing only a couple of cups worth of bean.

There are grinds left behind in the doser chamber that would otherwise go stale if not removed, potentially contaminating an entire batch. This may not seem like a big deal but users have reported at least one shots worth of grind being left behind and potentially wasted. If you only grind one to two shots worth of bean in one session the potential for wastage becomes much more evident.

However, if your grinding operation is typically one hundred or more shots the one shot of potential wastage isn’t that big of a deal. This brings us to the realm of doser grinders. These are perfect for cafe or other heavy-duty commercial/industrial operators. Each time the operator pulls a special lever a predetermined amount of ground coffee is released. This offers a greater convenience than doserless models because there is much less time spent measuring ground coffee compared to some other models.

To summarize the main difference between doser vs doserless:

  • doserless grinders are best reserved for situations where only a few shots worth of coffee will be made.
  • doser grinders save time by pre-measuring the ground coffee.

To avoid wasteful usage, coffee grinders without dosers (doserless) are really only beneficial if you plan on brewing a few shots. Doser coffee grinders in general occupy more space than the doserless models. It is important to visualize your kitchen space before purchasing this kind of grinder. This is due primarily to the doser models having an extraneous chamber attached to the bottom or side of the grinder.

Espresso Grinder Reviews of 2018

Why the grinder is important

According to common experiences all coffee lovers and enthusiasts, besides their personal skill and good quality ingredients they use, an essential if not the most important component of espresso making is the grinder. There is no other way around that.

Most people claim that they can make a better espresso with a cheap grinder and a cheap espresso machine, than they ever could if they only used the best and most expensive espresso machine, without the grinder.

The secret seems to lie in the process of extraction, because coffee beans go through a very rough and high intensity treatment. In the process of making an espresso, for instance, coffee beans are exposed to a 135 pound water pressure per square inch to extract the coffee under 30 seconds, which is very harsh. Other appliances like percolators or moka pots can’t do that.

But, no matter the quality and the intensity of the espresso machine, everyone still agrees that using the grinder is essential to making a good and tasty shot of espresso. Thousands of reviews and feedbacks all agree that the key for a good extraction is to have your coffee beans ground to a specific particle size, before they are put in the machine. According to the enthusiasts, this is the only way to ensure you will make the most out of your high quality beans, and produce a heavenly shot of espresso.

Best Espresso Grinders of 2017

Low End ChampionBaratza Coffee GrinderBaratza VirtuosoBuyFromAmazon
Middle Priced RecommendationRancilio Espresso Coffee GrinderRancilio Rocky Espresso Coffee GrinderBuyFromAmazon
High End ChampionMacap M4BuyFromAmazon
High End ChampionMazzer Coffee GrinderMazzer MiniBuyFromAmazon

Budgeting for the grinder

I have come to the conclusion that you should spend at least $ 200 on your grinder, and not less. So, if you are thinking about purchasing a $ 200 espresso machine, you should spend at least the same amount on the grinder. But, if you want to go higher, you can scale your budget like this:

If you want to spend a total of $500, reserve $200 to $250 for the grinder, and $250 to $300 for the machine. And, if you even want to go higher, the difference can get bigger, but never go under $ 200, because you need and should purchase at least a decent device for this essential part of coffee making.

What to look for

In order to know your way around purchasing or researching about good coffee bean grinders, you should get familiar with the terminology. I will first explain the meaning of some terms like: doser, stepped, stepless, micro adjustment, timers, flat, conical, etc…

  • Stepless vs. stepped

Most grinders allow you to choose the size of the coffee particles and the intensity of the grind, and thus they are called ‘stepped’, because you can choose between various grinding steps. For instance, Baratza Maestro is a coffee grinder with 40 different available steps, while the most expensive Anfim Super Caimano Ti grinder offers 80 different steps, ranging from medium to powder (Turkish) grind.

On the other hand, grinders that do not offer a variety of steps are called “stepless”, and it means the sections are not preset, as with stepped. The differences between different grinds can be incredibly small, like 5 to 10 microns.

On some stepples grinders, like Mazzers and Compaks, the grinding process is regulated with the use of resistive collars that keep the grinders stable, while their incredibly strong force can be applied in different ways, controlled by the user, to produce either finer or coarser grind. Some grinders of this type use a gearing system that allows the user to change the burr height. They are popularly called ‘worm gear’ grinders.

The second method these stepless grinders have is the system of micro and micro adjustments. A good example is the Baratza Vario (and Virtuoso Preciso system, which is coming soon) thet offer you to choose to set up for either big jump grinding, or smaller as Baratza.

This system allows the Vario grinder to have an approximate range of 240 different grinding results, but contrary to the first stepless system, it is much easier to remember the grinding setting here. You can then easily shift between different settings without worrying about going back to the one you already used.

  • Doser vs. doserless

The doser chamber is something used since the 1920s-1950s era, when it was considered to be essential for the espresso quality. This technology of filling the doser chamber with ground coffee remains even today, even though it should go away, but in return there has seen some nice improvements. Anfim and Compax grinders are good examples of this. They have a nice filter basket for your coffee, putting all of it into an even mound.

Other grinders are doserless, meaning your coffee goes directly into the portafilter. Baratza does essentially the same thing by using a portaholder, which means it belongs in the doserless cathegory.

This doserless method is appealing, but may leave you with a lot of mess on the counter.

  • Conical and flat burrs

Although the question of which is better is still left without an answer, because both types produce a good cut for espresso brewing, there are some notable differences.

For instance, conical burrs have a larger cutting surface and spin slower and as a result do not heat up the coffee so much., but the flat burr models also have methods to reduce this.

  • Timers

There are various different types of times used on grinders. Baratza Maestro Plus and Virtuoso for instance use simple mechanical timers. K3 Touch has a more advanced mechanical timer, while Anfim Super Caimano and Baratza Vario have digital timers.

The truth is that advanced timers are better because they do not waste any time or coffee. Proof of this is Vario or Anfim, which grind an amount perfectly in accordance with your setting. Just set it and forget it.

The main benefits of this is the money saving, because the less coffee and time you waste, the more you get out of your grinder. A busy café could, if using the Anfim Super Caimano grinder, save up to 400g of coffee daily, because of its advanced timer and doser. 400g daily roughly pays of the grinder investment in about one year time. And, if used only at home, it still lets you have more shots than usual, again saving you money in the long run.

Low End Champion – Baratza Virtuoso

The Baratza brand is very well known in the coffee making business, especially because of their high quality grinders.Baratza Coffee Grinder

  • 40 steps

In order to determine if you prefer ‘stepped’ or ‘stepless’ grinders, you will probably have to try out both and decide for yourself, which can end up being costly.

But, to understand the difference is not that hard. ‘Stepped’ grinders have a range of grinding settings, let’s say from 0 to 40. The 0 represents a very fine grind (for espresso) while the 40 stands for a very coarse grind (French press coffee).

You will naturally have to find your own perfect desired setting, which is often considered as a rite of passage in coffee making.

This is why most enthusiasts recommend the previously mentioned grinder Virtuoso, which has 40 steps, giving you ample room for learning and experimenting.

Another advantage of the ‘stepped’ system is the also mentioned easy remember feature, because you can easily revert the setting to a previously used one, after you’ve experimented and perhaps didn’t like the new result. On the other hand, ‘stepless’ grinders will require you to be very skilled at this part of the process.

  • Professional grinder

There is a very distinct and well defined difference between coffee grinders for home use and those for professional use. And, by professional use we mean grinders that can withstand working all day, around the clock, 24 / 7, grinding all the time.

For instance, the Virtuoso is somewhere around $ 200, which is a decent amount of money, but also fair. It does a good, decent job, but it is in our opinion not well suited for professional use, even though it is labeled as such often.

But, its quality really is impeccable, no question about it. Its DC motor has been put to the test many times and the feedback is excellent.
What we mean by this is that if you are truly looking for a professional grinder, you will probably need to pay much more than $ 200.

>>> Read the customer reviews of Baratza Virtuoso

Middle Priced Recommendation – Rancillo Rocky Espresso Coffee Grinder

  • Espresso grinder for the home

Rancilio Espresso Coffee GrinderThere is nothing wrong with being serious and enthusiastic about homemade coffee. You have a right to allow yourself the pleasure of having first grade cappuccino in your home, made by yourself, for yourself or your guests, that has an astonishing taste and leaves you in that rich state of being awake.

An excellent suggestion for those purpose is the Rocky grinder, which already has a steady reputation for being the best in such things.
The Rocky may not be the cheapest one out there, its performance and coffee making quality easily place it in a higher grinder quality league.

 

 

 

  • Rocky settings – Grinding For Drip, Espresso, French Press

The Rocky grinder is know n to have virtually the best grinding capability out there. It can cover everything from fine espresso grind, to coarse drip coffee grind.

This makes it a perfect choice for everyone, as it almost has no weaknesses. There have been reports that its grind is not that strong when going for a coarse blend, but that’s disputable.

It is a perfect choice for either beginners, or experienced coffee enthusiasts everywhere. The recommended setting is 5 to 10 for espresso, and about 25 for the French Press.

Please take note that your coffee taste also depends on various other factors, like coffee beans and water quality, and many others. Also, your own taste and desires come into play, so there simply can not be the correct way of doing this. As the latin saying goes – De gustibus non est disputandum.

  • A quiet & cool operation

As previously mentioned, the higher the grinder’s power is the better its performance gets. The Rocky, for instance, has a powerful 166 W drive motor, which gives it a lot of power and in turn allows for a quiet and cool operation, and eventually leads to better coffee taste.

More power means more efficiency, which also means less noise during the grinding process.

Additionally, a powerful motor enables the grinder to work with less strain, which in turn means it will heat up much less. This means it will heat up your beans less, which also contributes to a better coffee taste.

>>> Read the customer reviews of Rancillo Rocky

High End Champions

Macap M4

Now, when we talk about grinders for professional and commercial use, the Macap M4 is highly recommended, but it can also naturally serve you well for home usage.

  • The Worm Drive Advantage

As mentioned before, grinders with worm gears allow you to freely search for subtle settings, using the handle. This enables the user to adapt to any type of grind, meaning you can adapt to all demands making this the perfect choice for let’s say a small café, where you can have this one grinder serving all kinds of different needs of the customers.

If you are using it in your home, you will probably find a few favorable settings and use those more frequently, but it will still allow you to explore your own taste in greater depths.

  • Micro-Dosing

Compared to the Mazzer Mini, the Macap M4 has an advantage because it has pie-shaped areas in the dosing chamber. They are used to make it easier for you to pour in conventional amount of coffee beans, but you can of course doe as much as you see fit.This is another way of giving you flexibility in creating your own blend and taste.

  • Mazzer Hopper Swap Advantage

Compared to the Macap M4, the Mazzer grinder has some advantages of its own. It gives you the option to swap its hopper for something larger, contrary to the Macap.

The MACAP has a much broader line of grinders, and thus the M4 limits you to the M series size of hopper, while the Mazzer doesn’t offer many different models, but they are in turn much more adaptable. They both have a 1.3 pound hopper initially.

IF you are pairing your MACAP M4 with a Rocket Cellini espresso machine, you can choose to get the MACAP with the same stainless housing ad match it with the Rocket, giving them both a great and professional look and style.

The bottom line is that the Macap M4 Doser Adjustable Coffee Grinder is highly recommended for all professional and home uses. It is adaptable and highly customizable due to its worm drive, and paired with its excellent quality gives you a grinder you won’t consider changing for a long time.

>>> Read the customer reviews of Macap M4

Mazzer Mini

Mazzer Coffee GrinderIn the espresso making industry world, the name Mazzer is considered synonymous with espresso. If you are truly an espresso fan, then it is not accident you came across this article.

  • Usability

The first impression you will get when you look at the Mazzer Mini is that it is a professional grinder, for sure. Its initial potential is 1.3 pounds of beans, with an option of enlarging its hopper. Also, it has a powerful motor with a lower rpm, meaning it will not heat up your beans in the process, contributing further to great taste.

It is a steppless grinder, allowing you high versatility in adapting to your own style and taste, or to that of your customers. ‘Steps’ are preset modes of grinding, ranging from fine to coarse, but a ‘steppless’ grinder allows more freedom in finding your own mode.

  • The Doser

The doser question is something still not answered in the coffee making industry. When we carefully look at the pros and cons of grinders with and without the doser, it seems to come down to the question of its purpose. If you are purchasing a grinder for commercial use, then you will surely benefit from having a predetermined dosage feature, while if you are a home user you probably won’t need this.

At home, you will naturally use smaller quantities of coffee beans, so you won’t have coffee grounds waiting and going stale.

With that said, it is important to note that the Mazzer Mini can optionally come without a dozer, though this means a higher price in most online shops.

It is worth the effort to explore various methods of improving the quality of work of your grinder, and personalizing its performance.
DIY adaptations are done by some people, but you must think carefully before doing any tinkering with your $700+ machine, because it will most definitely render your warranty invaluable.

In truth, the Mazzer Mini has advantages that outnumber its disadvantages by a huge margin. The general feedback and experience people have with this grinder state that in most cases the problems occur with machine break down due to irregular use, nothing else.

So, the only choice you should really consider is to dose or not to dose. So, dozer or no dozer, pick your color and you are set for a long time with this 5 STAR grinder!

>>> Read the customer reviews of Mazzer Mini

We have a post listing Best Burr Grinders of 2018, check it out.

Top 5 Best Burr Grinders For French Press

The most common question I hear when discussing coffee grinders for French Press is, why do I need the best?  After all, there are many quality grinders to choose from that can get the job done.

In short, if you want a perfectly balanced cup of joe, you need the best burr grinder available.  And given all the choices out there, it’s easy to wind up with a coffee grinder that doesn’t deliver.

Take it from me.  As a geek from Coffee Gear Lab, I’ve researched most of the grinders on the market.  And I’ve put together this post to make it easier for you to find your best option.

What Is a Conical Burr Grinder? And How Is It Different From Other Coffee Grinders?

The conical burr grinder gives you the most flavorful and aromatic cup of coffee.  This is because the conical grinder works more slowly than other grinders.  In so doing, it grinds your coffee beans with greater consistency and better preserves the oils and aromas contained in the beans.

What’s the best grind size for French Press coffee?

In order to make the best French Press, you need to grind the beans so that they are coarse, but not too coarse.  If it’s too coarse, you will get a weak cup of coffee because much of the flavor will remain trapped.

But if you grind it up too finely, when you brew the coffee it will accumulate in your mesh filter and clog it up.  You don’t want to deal with a clogged filter because it’s harder to press and causes coffee spills and even breakages.  And worse, the extra resistance could make the mesh filter rip open and flood your cup of coffee with a mass of coffee grind.

In addition, if your grind is too fine it will sneak through the mesh filter and saturate your cup of coffee, even if the mesh doesn’t rip open.  On top of being annoying, this will make your coffee brew overtime and taste bitter.

The key is to make it just coarse enough so that the coffee grind gets completely caught by the mesh filter when you brew the coffee and you are able to capture the most flavor.  In order to attain this with many quality grinders, just set it to medium or higher, or select something above the drip setting.

So let’s get to my list of the best burr grinders.

Best Burr Grinders For French Press

#1Mazzer Coffee GrinderMazzer Mini Espresso GrinderBuyFromAmazon
#2Rancilio Espresso Coffee GrinderRancilio Rocky Espresso Coffee GrinderBuyFromAmazon
#3Baratza Coffee GrinderBaratza 586 Virtuoso Coffee GrinderBuyFromAmazon
#4Capresso Coffee GrinderCapresso 560.01 Burr GrinderBuyFromAmazon
#5JavaPresse Manual Coffee GrinderJavaPresse Manual Coffee GrinderBuyFromAmazon

#1 Mazzer Mini Espresso Grinder

Mazzer Coffee GrinderSimply put, this is the very best coffee grinder for home use on the market, both for French Press, and for anything else.

The Mazzer Mini is a serious commercial grinder, but it’s small enough for home use.  It’s built like a tank, and every component is robust and replaceable.  This machine is designed to last a lifetime.

Though it’s perfect for French Press, it was designed with espresso in mind and features a doser on the front that dispenses coffee in single-shot amounts.  But you can simply adjust the dosing mechanism to control how much coffee comes out every time.

As for grinding, with the Mazzer Mini you will get a uniform grind.   It has stepless adjustment, so you simply twist right or left to determine how coarse you want it.

Considering how many people have upgraded from the Rancilo Rocky to the Mazzer Mini, feel free to skip the next item on my list and go ahead and order the Mazzer Mini.

>>> Read the customer reviews of Mazzer Mini Espresso Grinder

#2 Rancilio HSD-ROC-SD Rocky Espresso Coffee Grinder

Rancilio Espresso Coffee GrinderThis is more low-end as far as commercial grinders go, and it offers incredible value.  It is one of the top grinders available for home use, and its price cannot be beat for such high quality.  On top of this, the Rancillo comes with a 2-year warranty.

It is a well-built machine that contains little plastic and stays firmly planted on your kitchen counter.

As with the Mazzer Mini, the Rancillo was designed with espresso in mind and therefore does not offer a particularly coarse grind.  But remember, to make the best French Press you only want it to be coarse enough, and you can achieve this delicate balance by setting the Rancillo to 25-30 on its 55 notch settings.

This grinder operates a little differently than other models in that it requires you to collect the grounds by placing a cup underneath the spout.  You set the process in motion by holding a switch – simple and elegant.

While the Rancillo is a fine product, it has its flaws.  The hopper is tinted to keep the beans fresh, but it isn’t airtight.  It also leaves some leftover grounds.  But don’t let this hold you back.  Since the beans do not travel very far, most of them can be removed just by tapping the sides or inserting a curved brush through the spout and into the machine.

>>> Read the customer reviews of Rancilio Rocky Espresso Coffee Grinder

#3 Baratza 586 Virtuoso Coffee Grinder

Baratza Coffee GrinderThe Baratza Virtuoso is one of my favorite choices.  It has a metal casing which makes it heavy, solid, and stable.  And yet it can easily be removed and cleaned, no hassle.

This machine features 40 different grind settings, affording you a wide array of choices.  You can make it fine enough for Turkish and espresso or keep it sufficiently coarse for French Press and drip.  In addition, you can easily switch the settings while you are brewing your coffee.  With the Baratza Virtuoso, you will get a consistently good grind for most brewing methods.  And it is refreshingly easy to use, even if you’re a newbie to brewing.

Any confusion or problems?  Head right over to the Baratza web site for detailed instructions on how to re-calibrate the grinder to ensure it works smoothly.

 

>>> Read the customer reviews of Baratza 586 Virtuoso Coffee Grinder

 

#4 Capresso 560.01 Infinity Burr Grinder

Capresso Coffee GrinderIf you’re on a budget, this is your best bet from the bunch, and it comes with a 1-year warranty.

The Capresso most consistently delivers an adequately coarse grind compared with anything you will find in this price range.  It’s a conical burr grinder and has a high torque, low-speed motor.  These mechanisms preserve the beans’ flavor by keeping them cool.  You will find no such combination of components in other grinders in this price range.

The Capresso also boasts an 8-½ ounce box to catch your grounds, so fear not if you wish to make larger French Presses.

Though a great deal, the Capresso is not perfect.  After you use it there will usually be a good deal of grind left in the chamber.  You can dislodge some of it by simply tapping and shaking, but if you want a great fresh brew every time you will need to clean the chamber after each use.  But don’t worry, it only takes a few minutes.

Personal tips: out of all 16 settings, set it at 13.  Also, as you open the grinder container you might find some grounds flying across your counter due to static.  This is standard for grinders at this price range.  To reduce this, just tap the sides, this will knock the grind back to where the bulk of the residue lies, and so less will pop out when you open it.

>>> Read the customer reviews of Capresso 560.01 Infinity Burr Grinder

#5 JavaPresse Manual Coffee Grinder

JavaPresse Manual Coffee GrinderThis nifty little gadget is a pleasure to use.  At a mere $25, this impressive little baby outperforms far more expensive blade grinders.  It is gorgeous, and the stainless steel look will make you want to bring it with you wherever you go.

But it really belongs in your kitchen.  And it can only be described as the French Press soul mate.  To be clear, this is not the right product if you’re looking for an espresso maker or a standard drip machine.  But when it comes to French Press it will deliver just the right coarseness of grind.  So long as you don’t mind putting in a little effort, this manual grinder is fun to use.

>>> Read the customer reviews of JavaPresse Manual Coffee Grinder

 

 

 

5 Things You Should Consider Before Choosing A Best Coffee Grinder For French Press

Consistency

To make the best cup of coffee, you need a machine that will consistently grind up the coffee beans so that all the grains come out in the same size.

Cheaper grinders usually fail on this count.  For example, blade mills, which are typically found in cheaper grinders, use fast spinning blades that indiscriminately cut through any beans in its path.  This approach will leave you with uneven grains.

The burr grinder, on the other hand, methodically and evenly crushes beans with a high-torque, low-speed mechanism.  It also generates little heat, which preserves the coffee’s aroma.

But not all burr grinders are created equal.  Some are more geared towards fine grains and espressos, while others are designed to make a killer French Press with coarse grains.  And some can’t get the job done altogether, since they produce an uneven grind.

Loudness

The noise comes from two sources—the burr and the motor.  The burr makes noise as it grinds the coffee beans, and the motor loudly rotates.  The lower the speed at which the burr grinds and the motor rotates, the less noise.  When it comes to noise, manual coffee grinders are your best choice.

Static

The process of grinding up beans causes static to build up in the grains, which can consequently come flying out at you when you open the chamber to pour the coffee into your cup.  The more high-end models are built to reduce or eliminate this unpleasantness.

Leftover grounds

With some grinders there will be grains leftover in the chamber after use.  If you seek a great cup of joe you are advised to avoid reusing leftovers.

Cleaning

Keeping you grinder clean is essential to maintaining top grind quality and protecting the interior of the machine from damage.  The cleaner your grinder, the longer it will last.  For this reason it is advisable to find a grinder that can easily be removed.

We have a post listing Best Burr Grinders of 2018, check it out.

Hario Skerton Coffee Mill

Top 5 Best Manual Coffee Grinders Of 2017

There’s good coffee, and then there’s great coffee. What’s the difference? Fresh grounds. You’ve likely seen automatic coffee grinders on the market or at your local barista’s, but why spend twice what you have to when you can get a simple, elegant hand grinder?

Why Grind Coffee By Hand?

Manual grinders may seem trickier to use than an automatic grinder, but they can’t be beaten in terms of simplicity, portability, and ease of cleaning. You can even take it camping! And you’ll never have to worry about waking your family with this quiet alternative to a noisy automatic grinder.

For the coffee-loving traveler, a hand grinder is the perfect accessory. On the road, it can be hard to find a quality, fresh cup of coffee, especially if you’re on a budget. A small, easy-to-carry hand grinder means you can enjoy your own favorite brew in the comfort of your hotel room. And no electricity means no worrying about clunky voltage adapters during international travel.

Speaking of budgets, hand grinders are much more affordable than an automatic grinder. If part of your interest in home-brewed coffee is saving money, it just doesn’t make sense to drop $100 or more on an electric grinder, when you can get the same results at a fraction of the price.

For many busy people, that first morning cup of coffee may be their only “me” moment of the day. Hand grinders help you slow down and enjoy that moment, allowing you to savor the coffee-making process from bean to cup. Automatic grinders may be quick and easy, but once their 80-decibel racket (comparable to an alarm clock or passing diesel truck) wakes the kids, your coffee will probably be cold by the time you get back to it!

Best Manual Coffee Grinders

#1Hario Skerton Coffee MillHario Skerton Coffee MillBest Overall Manual Grinder And Traveler's ChoiceBuyFromAmazon
#2ROK Coffee GrinderROK Coffee GrinderCoolest Manual GrinderBuyFromAmazon
#3The Zassenhaus 169DGZassenhaus 169DGCollector's ChoiceBuyFromAmazon

Hario Skerton Coffee Mill – Best Overall Manual Grinder And Traveler’s Choice

Hario Skerton Coffee MillThe Hario Skerton Coffee Mill checks every box on the must-have list for manual grinders, which is why it’s my favorite. When purchased with the upgrade kit, the Hario Skerton produces consistent grinds across all ranges; however, you only need the upgrade kit if you prefer French press. It’s reliable and versatile, and its portability makes it a favorite among travelers.

Pros

  • Great grind consistency makes it perfect for all brews
  • Easy to use and easy to clean
  • Excellent value based on performance

Cons

  • Glass exterior is a shatter risk (though you can fit the Hario Skerton’s hopper, including the grind unit, on any mason jar—easy fix!)
  • Separate upgrade kit required for French press

>>> Read the customer reviews of Hario Skerton Coffee Mill

Porlex JP-30 Stainless Steel Coffee Grinder

Porlex JP-30 Stainless Steel Coffee GrinderMany shops and roasters prefer the Porlex, because of its sleek, modern stainless steel design. Sadly, function does not match form in the case of the Porlex; as satisfying as it is aesthetically, this grinder’s slick exterior makes it a nightmare to grip while turning the crank. Those suffering from carpal tunnel or arthritis might well find the Porlex impossible to operate. Even those with no hand or wrist issues are likely to walk away sore, especially since its small capacity means a longer grind time. On the counter, it’s a work of art, but in action it’s a pain -literally – to use daily. If you’ve got the time and the hand strength, though, you may well find the Porlex an excellent fit, since it beats all other grinders on this list in portability (it can even slip right inside an Aeropress) and produces top-quality grounds.

Pros

  • Simple design makes operation almost instinctive
  • Unbeatable in portability

Cons

  • It’s almost too simple, making more complex grind applications out of the question
  • Difficult and at times downright painful to operate

>>> Read the customer reviews of Porlex JP-30

ROK Coffee Grinder – Coolest Manual Grinder

ROK Coffee GrinderEverything about the ROK Coffee Grinder can be summed up in a single word: cool. First of all, with its polished aluminum exterior, it looks like a work of modern art. It’s not just a pretty face, though—the ROK is a hard worker. Lab tests have shown the ROK outperforms $600 electric burr grinders in ground quality and consistency. The ROK’s grinds are especially perfect for espresso, though not quite ideal for French press. You won’t find a grinder that’s easier to use, though—you can operate it one-handed, in half the time compared to other hand grinders.

Pros

  • Beautiful design
  • Very easy to use
  • Outperforms high-end electric burr grinders
  • Provides a superior at-home luxury coffee experience

Cons

  • Not travel-friendly
  • Average grind consistency on the coarser end of the spectrum
  • Harder to clean, due to hopper size
  • Expensive compared to other manual coffee grinders

>>> Read the customer reviews of ROK Coffee Grinder

Zassenhaus 169DG – Collector’s Choice

The Zassenhaus 169DGThe Zassenhaus 169DG has the look and feel of an antique coffee grinder. Crafted by the Germans using a top-quality walnut hardwood exterior, the 169DG fits perfectly in a “country kitchen,” unlike the previous two models. Zassenhaus paid just as much attention to function as they did to form; the 169DG produces consistent, quality grounds for espresso, drip, and French press. The manufacturers also stand behind their work with a ten-year warranty.

Pros

  • Exquisite vintage design
  • Produces quality coffee
  • Easy-to-adjust grind settings
  • Warranty

Cons

  • Long grind time
  • Hard to clean – it’s particularly difficult to reach the burrs
  • Hopper lets in air

>>> Read the customer reviews of Zassenhaus 169DG

Orphan Espresso Lido 2 – Most Expensive And Fantastical Manual Grinder

Orphan Espresso Lido 2It might not be printed on the label, but Orphan Espresso’s motto must be “go big or go home.” Their newest creation, the Lido 2, looks like a steampunk fever-dream. If the other grinders on this list are Toyotas and Cadillacs, this model is a Bugatti. It’s excessive and pricey, yes, but it also grinds coffee better than any other hand grinder out there, and it’s built to last—your grandchildren might grind their morning coffee in the next century on their now-antique Lido 2. Ruggedly built of strong plastic, glass, and stainless steel, it tips the scales at three-and-a-half pounds, essentially disqualifying it as a travel buddy, but making it potentially useful as a weapon in a home invasion.

To sum up, it’s big, expensive, flashy, and heavy—so other than self-defense, why own one? Power, that’s why. Just like a Bugatti, the Lido leaves its competition in the dust, grinding a full serving of beans before you can say “Orphan Espresso Lido 2.” Even its capacity goes above and beyond; it can hold up to eight ounces of grind, making it the grinder of choice for your neighborhood coffee klatsch.

This monster of a grinder needs some forceful handling, though. My two testers (my father and my girlfriend) both had difficulty getting this grinder going. Personally, I didn’t have much trouble—but I may have been distracted by the sheer might of the Lido 2.
Traveling with this grinder obviously isn’t feasible. Despite its impracticality in many aspects, though, there’s definitely a niche market for this grinder; if you prefer silk to cotton and Italian imports over Detroit steel, you’re likely in it. But in my honest opinion, you’re better off investing the $175 you would have spent on the Lido on a mid-grade Baratza burr mill grinder.

What Should You Consider When Looking For Your Perfect Manual Coffee Grinder?

1. Size and appearance

Your perfect coffee grinder should be a reflection of yourself. Are you a frequent traveler? Then your grinder should be simple, small, and ready to hop on a plane at a moment’s notice. Prefer the comforts of home? Then you can choose something larger and sturdier, something that will look right at home as a permanent fixture on your kitchen counter.

2. Material – will it last?

Stainless steel and ceramic are the best materials for coffee grinders, since they’re durable, easy to clean, and attractive. Remember, though—if you plan to travel with it, stick to shatterproof materials, so your grinder doesn’t end up in a thousand pieces on the airport floor during a TSA baggage check.

3. Function

Just like any product you buy, your hand grinder should perform to expectation. Do your research and read the reviews. If you’re a French press drinker, but the model you purchase is optimized for espresso, you’re not going to get the most out of your grinder. Same goes for quality—if people are leaving reviews saying that, six months down the road, their beans are coming out mangled, then you should probably look at another model. A few minutes of research now can save you hours of aggravation down the road.

4. Warranty – are you covered?

Quality manufacturers offer warranties, because they believe in the product they produce. You might think you’re saving money by purchasing a cheaper model with no warranty, but if that one breaks in a few months and you have to buy a new one, you haven’t really saved anything at all. Lack of a warranty is a big red flag; heed it.

We have a post listing Best Burr Grinders of 2018, check it out.