If you’re searching for the best burr coffee grinder, you’ve come to the right place. Here at Coffeeness, our philosophy is: anyone who drinks coffee from a pod has lost control of their life.
But, I think I need to expand on that philosophy because, if you’re drinking coffee made from pre-ground beans, you’re also in need of some coffee counseling. Hence, your need to know how to choose the best coffee grinder for your style of brewing.
One question people like to ask is, “Do I really need a coffee grinder?” So, let me explain why adding a coffee grinder to your life is important. You see, even the highest quality coffee beans lose their delightful aromas within minutes of grinding. So, when you purchase coffee pods or any form of pre-ground coffee, you’re actually getting stale coffee.
While each brewing method requires a different grind texture, not every grinder is equally suited to both coarse and fine grinding. In an ideal world — and kitchen — you’d have a whole arsenal of different coffee bean grinders to choose from. That’s not realistic for most of us, so we need to choose the best burr coffee grinder for our particular needs … whether that be making espresso, pour over or French press.
Before we go any further, let’s make sure we’re all on the same page. Here’s my best burr coffee grinder 101:
Both have their advantages. Manual grinders are cheaper, weigh less and even the more affordable ones can grind for espresso. Electric grinders are more convenient, but only achieve very good results above a certain price point.
I’d consider $100 as the entry point for a good electric grinder. A cheaper option will quickly reach its limits in terms of performance and is likely to break easily.
Actually, it doesn’t matter. The available degrees of grinding as well as the volume, consistency and ease of cleaning are much more important. In general, a flat burr grinder is considered to be of higher quality. However, this is only true once you reach a certain diameter, for which you pay a lot more.
It’s not as simple as throwing in some beans and hitting a button. This is why I’ll go into lots of detail and dig into subcategories in this best burr coffee grinder guide.
For example, I’ll go into more detail about the differences between manual and electric coffee grinders. And no, it’s not just about the power cable.
Other important factors I know you’ll want to keep an eye on are:
- Getting the best value for your money
- Acceptable noise levels
Just like with my super automatic espresso machine reviews, I’ll also explore the wonderful world of coffee grinder design.
Table of Contents
- Top 10
- How to ChooseBudgetTypePreparation MethodDesign/BuildFeatures
- Top 10 in DetailBest Performing Hand GrinderBest Portable Hand GrinderBest Budget Hand GrinderBest for EspressoBest Budget Espresso GrinderBest Entry-Level Electric GrinderBest Mid-Range Electric GrinderBest for French PressBest Quiet Electric GrinderBest Retro-Style Grinder
- What to Look ForParticle Size and ConsistencyGrinding Speed and HeatGrind SettingsNoise Levels
- Grinder Mechanisms
- Grinder TipsVisual RemindersFor Drip CoffeeFor EspressoSpotting Excessively Fine GrindsSpotting Overly Coarse Grinds
Our Top 10 Best Burr Coffee Grinder Quick Picks
Whether you’re looking for your first burr coffee grinder or thinking of an upgrade, making a final decision isn’t easy. I mean, with so many options available, how the heck are you supposed to choose?
Don’t worry, I’ll go over everything you need to know before committing later in this guide. I’ll even throw in tips for getting the most out of your grinder, as well as a quick cleaning guide.
In the meantime, here’s a top 10 list of my favorite burr coffee grinders:
Best Performing Hand Grinder
Best Portable Hand Grinder
Ceramic conical burrs
Easy to clean
Tons of features
270 grind adjustment settings
Best Budget Espresso Grinder
Great for espresso
Large user interface
Best Entry-Level Electric Grinder
Great for pour over
Best Mid-Range Electric Grinder
Suitable for French press and pour over
40 grind adjustment settings
Ideal for coarser grind sizes
16 grind adjustment settings
Best Quiet Electric Grinder
Very quiet in operation
31 grind adjustment settings
Great for espresso
How to Choose the Right Burr Coffee Grinder For You
My golden rule for coffee is that if you’ve gone all out on a home espresso machine, your grinder should at least match it in price and quality. If you’re a French press or pour over coffee lover, you can get away with a more affordable coffee grinder. That said, my idea of “affordable” might not be the same as yours.
Ordering a separate grinder along with each new coffee machine would really be the right way to do it. Of course, no one does. After all, it would seem like overkill, right? Still, that would be the logical course of action.
So, how do you find your way around the world of coffee bean grinders? Here are the broad categories to be aware of when searching for the best burr coffee grinder to fit your needs:
There’s little doubt that budget will be one of the main driving factors when it comes to choosing the best burr coffee grinder for your needs. Still, if you’re dedicated to the idea of making top-notch coffee at home, think of a grinder as a worthy investment.
In many cases, your coffee grinder will cost quite a bit more than your coffee brewing equipment. For example, a Hario V60 dripper will set you back a measly $23.15. However, if you plan on using high-quality coffee beans and taking the time to hone your technique, purchasing a good burr grinder will be essential.
With all that said, a solid coffee grinder doesn’t have to send you into bankruptcy. You’ll find plenty of affordable options below. Still, don’t imagine you can get away with buying a cheap blade grinder. That’ll just be a waste of money.
Type of Grinder
Broadly speaking, burr coffee grinders can be divided into two distinct categories: manual and electric. Of course, there’s a whole lot more to consider – such as burr type and materials used – all of which I’ll get into later. For now, though, you should think about whether it’s a hand grinder or an electric grinder you’re after.
Manual coffee grinders like the Porlex Mini require a fair bit of elbow grease and only grind small portions at a time. But, they’re often on point when it comes to espresso. Additionally, you can use them anywhere and everywhere without electricity. Be warned, the price of the higher-end models might put you in tears.
Electric coffee grinders save you from having to sweat but mean you’re stuck with the machines’ capabilities — or limitations. There’s a huge range of options and prices. Plus, almost every model is designed for a specific preparation method. That’s why, when I make espresso, for example, I always haul out my beloved Baratza Sette 270Wi.
Honestly, there’s no point spending extra money on an espresso-capable grinder if you’re only going to use it for drip coffee. In fact, if you tend to stick with one preparation method in particular, you’ll have an easier time finding a suitable grinder.
The Capresso Infinity Plus, for one, is a whizz at producing the coarser grinds needed for a French press, while the Comandante C40 MK3 Nitro Blade can produce powder even finer than what’s required for espresso.
In theory, all burr coffee grinders can produce the full spectrum of particle sizes. What makes some coffee grinders stand out from the crowd is the uniformity of the grind produced. Clean extraction requires that every coffee ground is the same size. Sure, I’m overstating it slightly, but it is important.
Unless you’re going for a compact hand grinder, countertop space will be an important consideration. Seeing as you’re looking for a coffee grinder, it’s almost a given that an espresso machine, drip coffee maker or pour over setup is already taking up space in your kitchen. With that in mind, it’s always a good idea to take measurements before committing to a bulky addition.
It almost goes without saying that stainless steel housings are better than plastic. However, if you’re on a tight budget you may have to sacrifice some amount of durability. There’s also the question of which burr material is better – stainless steel or ceramic. In short, there’s no definitive answer.
If aesthetics are important to you, the best burr coffee grinder will be both functional and beautiful. Personally, I think even the most basic, affordable grinder looks cool sitting in my kitchen. Still, if you want something stylish, there are plenty of options out there.
As you’re looking for the best burr coffee grinder, manufacturers will try to sell you on every feature under the sun. That’s all good and well, but will you really need a portafilter cradle, for example, if you’ll only be using the grinder for a French press? Probably not. However, if espresso preparation is your thing, then yes, a portafilter cradle will be a great help.
Some affordable grinders, like the OXO Brew, have a timer function. That’s really cool to have, but you’ll need to change settings when you change beans. A function that allows you to grind by weight is way cooler. Still, you’ll only really see that on more expensive models. Anyway, a good coffee scale won’t set you back too much money.
It’s best not to get too distracted by the number of grind settings involved. After all, what’s really important is how effective the grinder is at maintaining consistency. As for bean hopper capacity, don’t worry about that too much either. Ideally, you should be using a coffee storage container and adding beans to the hopper before each use. Freshness is key!
Our Top 10 Best Burr Coffee Grinder Picks in Detail
Now that you’ve got a better idea of what to look for, it’s time to explore my best burr coffee grinder picks in detail. You’ll find three manual grinders first, then seven electric models. So, feel free to skip ahead if you like!
Comandante C40 MK3 Nitro Blade: Best Performing Hand Grinder
best-performing hand grinder
Comandante Coffee Grinder
Check out the Comandante grinder – the winner of my hand coffee grinders review.
The Swiss army knife of hand coffee grinders
Very consistent results
On the expensive side
If my rhyming skills were more capable, I would compose a love poem dedicated to the Comandante C40 MK3 Nitro Blade. Since first reviewing it, this hand coffee grinder has traveled all over the world with me. And I’m not exaggerating! It’s the first thing I pack along with clean underwear … just not next to one another in the suitcase.
So far, I haven’t found another hand coffee grinder that delivers better precision across the grind spectrum and functions so flawlessly. Plus, to my knowledge, there’s no other hand coffee grinder that chews through beans faster.
This is thanks, in no small part, to the sophisticated way it transfers power and a double-ball-bearing mounted grinding mechanism. Bottom line, the beans are ground before your arm can even start complaining.
As is inevitably the case, the best manual coffee grinder comes at a price. At $339.50, this hand-crank grinder costs a chunk of change. And forget about a price drop down the line.
For that reason, I only recommend the Comandante if, like me, you’re a bit of a nomad and can’t bear life without great coffee everywhere you go. And, of course, if grinding coffee by hand helps you reach a higher state of consciousness.
See Also: Comandante Grinder Hands-On Review 2023
Porlex Mini: Best Portable Hand Grinder
best portable hand grinder
Great little hand coffee grinder.
Rugged stainless steel housing
High-quality ceramic grinder
Easy to clean
Not suitable for large quantities of coffee
Costing just $57.49 on Amazon, the Porlex Mini is a fantastic option for those who want an affordable travel companion.
I just had to award the Porlex Mini the title of “Best Portable Hand Grinder,” not only because it’s compact, but also because it really performs. And when I say “compact,” I mean it. Seriously, you’ll only get around 30 grams of ground coffee from this thing. However, that’s easily enough for a portable brew method like the AeroPress. Speaking of, the Porlex Mini actually fits neatly inside the hollow of an Aeropress. How cool is that!
As for performance, the Porlex Mini’s ceramic conical burrs are most convincing at the finer end of the grind spectrum. Plus, thanks to its intelligent design and rugged stainless steel build, you won’t have to worry about the Porlex breaking in transit.
Incidentally, those who worry that the Porlex Mini might be too limiting will be pleased to learn about the Porlex Tall. Also known as the JP-30, this version produces 40 grams of ground coffee and will set you back $51.96. Oh, and don’t ask me to explain why the larger grinder is cheaper. It’s one of life’s greatest mysteries … kind of like deciding on which came first, the chicken or the egg?
See Also: Porlex Mini Hands-On Review 2023
Hario Skerton: Best Budget Hand Grinder
The Hario Skerton is one of the most popular hand grinders around and for very good reason. I mean, you really can’t shake a stick at this baby’s $339.50 price tag! Seriously, that represents a ridiculously good value for the money considering how effective the Skerton performs.
Featuring ceramic burrs and a distinctive hourglass shape, the Hario Skerton is comfortable to use and holds 70 grams of coffee beans. In my experience, the Skerton performs really well as a grinder for manual brew methods. However, it’ll struggle to maintain consistency at both the coarser and finer ends of the spectrum.
Although the grinder adjustment mechanism is stepless, actually changing the grind is quite tricky. It’s best to find a “sweet spot” and leave it there.
Ultimately, I’d recommend the Hario Skerton to those who are looking for a second grinder to add to their arsenal. For example, espresso enthusiasts who want an affordable alternative for pour over will definitely appreciate this awesome option.
Related: Hario Skerton Plus Review 2023
Baratza Sette 270Wi: Best for Espresso
best espresso grinder
Baratza Sette 270Wi
The Baratza Sette 270Wi -- my favorite grinder for espresso.
Unique design with “brains”
Up to 270 grind settings
Very easy operation
No dead space
Minimal static charge
Professional quality for home use
Some find the weighing feature “error-prone”
OK, so you already know that I consider Baratza Sette 270Wi the best burr grinder for espresso. And for good reason. Sure, you could get something more affordable, but you won’t find a grinder that produces a more uniform grind — and that does a clean and professional job of it.
Top coffee grinders do cost money though. The price tag on all that awesomeness is $599.95. A big chunk of that can be attributed to the intelligent built-in scale, which lets you grind by weight and is what the W in the model name refers to. As a result, dosing is spot-on. The much less expensive Baratza Sette 30 uses a timer for dosing.
To be honest a lot of what sets the Baratza Sette 270 Wi apart are subtleties that you’ll only really pick up on — and appreciate — when your espresso skills and palate have advanced a bit. But the thing about those niceties is that they’re like errors in the making of movies — once you’ve spotted them you just can’t unsee — or untaste — them. Remember when that Starbucks cup was spotted in the Game of Thrones? It’s kinda like that.
See Also: Baratza Sette 270Wi Hands-On Review 2023
Breville Smart Grinder Pro: Best Budget Espresso Grinder
performs really well
Breville Smart Grinder Pro
Great value for money!
60 grind settings
Suitable for espresso
Large LCD display
Includes portafilter cradles
Fantastic value for money
Not great for coarser grind sizes
While it has its flaws, the fact that the Breville Smart Grinder Pro produces a beautifully uniform espresso grind for $197.95 deserves a big thumbs up.
Keep in mind that the Breville Smart Grinder Pro is a bit like the Baratza Encore in that it’s best at one end of the grind range. So, it’s a hit for espresso but a miss on French press. As an added bonus, noise and static levels are tolerable.
There are a whopping 60 grind settings, with the finest powdery enough for Turkish coffee, which is a testimony to its serious wattage. While that’s great, it is going to see those stainless steel burrs heat up fast. So, go easy; you don’t want to singe your beans.
Also, watch out for an issue in the grind cup design. The opening in the lid is small and the vibrations that come from longer grinding sessions can bump it out of position below the chute, resulting in a collection loss of coffee grinds. Aside from the mess, this can potentially clog the grinder. Ditch the lid — problem solved.
You can also grind directly into a portafilter, which is nice.
The Breville Smart Grinder Pro won’t satisfy true coffee geeks, but such an impressively uniform espresso grind at that price is not something to turn one’s nose up at.
See Also: Breville Smart Grinder Pro Review 2023
OXO Brew: Best Entry-Level Electric Grinder
best entry-level electric grinder
OXO Brew Conical Burr Coffee Grinder
Great for Drip and Pour Over!
Tinted bean hopper
Stainless steel conical burrs
Stainless steel grounds bin
Not suited for espresso
If you’re in the market for an affordable and approachable burr coffee grinder, the OXO Brew Grinder could be just the ticket. Don’t be fooled by the OXO Brew’s budget price tag – having tested it out, I can tell you $0.00 is a steal for this grinder.
Featuring an elegant, streamlined design and plenty of stainless steel in its construction, the OXO Brew grinder doesn’t skimp on quality. I especially appreciate the generous 12 ounce (340 gram) bean hopper, which is UV tinted and has an airtight lid.
Getting the best out of this grinder is fairly straightforward. The stainless steel conical burrs have 15 adjustment steps with micro adjustment settings in between. That means you can really dial in your preferred setting. There’s a timer function for grinding, which is really nice. Once you’ve found your ideal time/dose setting the grinder will remember it for next time.
In my experience, the OXO Brew Grinder is really effective for Chemex and other pour over methods. You’ll get a really consistent grind in the middle of the scale. What’s more, this grinder is great for AeroPress and moka pot lovers. However, French press aficionados should look elsewhere – the OXO struggles for consistency when it comes to coarser grind sizes.
See Also: OXO Coffee Grinder Hands-On Review 2023
Baratza Encore: Best Mid-Range Electric Grinder
best mid-range electric grinder
The Best Coffee Grinder for Drip and Chemex
Minimal Static Charge
Easy To Clean
Easy To Use
Compact and Reliable
Not Suitable for Espresso
The Baratza Encore is a simple, stripped-down coffee grinder that’s a classic, in my opinion. Costing $149.95, the Baratza Encore was the automatic choice for “Best Mid-Range Electric Grinder.” I mean, at this price-point, there isn’t another grinder that comes close to what the Encore can achieve.
I’ve spent a lot of time testing the Baratza Encore, and have seen great results for just about every preparation method. Seriously, this grinder is as ideal for French press and cold brew lovers as it is for pour over devotees. Just don’t try and use the Encore as an espresso grinder – it simply can’t produce fine enough grounds.
Featuring stainless steel conical burrs with 40 adjustment levels, the Baratza is extremely versatile. Don’t expect grinding by weight or time, though – there’s a simple on/off switch and a pulse button, and that’s it. Like I told you, it’s a stripped-down grinder!
See Also: Baratza Encore Hands-On Review 2023
Capresso Infinity Plus: Best for French Press
affordable and consistent
Capresso Infinity Plus
A real bargain!
Commercial-grade stainless steel conical burrs
Easy to use
Ideal for French press
Not great for pour over
Interestingly, some coffee grinders that excel at producing a consistent grind for espresso can struggle with coarse grounds. And I shouldn’t have to tell you that particle consistency is as important for methods like French press as it is for espresso. Otherwise, finely ground coffee can slip through the mesh filter and land in your cup.
Anyway, that’s where the Capresso Infinity Plus comes in. Sure, at $99.00, you might be wondering whether or not this grinder can actually deliver. However, I can assure you that the Infinity Plus truly shines at the coarser end of the spectrum.
Featuring a simple design, the Capresso Infinity Plus has 16 grind adjustment settings and a dial to set the grind duration. You might have to use a little finesse to get good enough results for pour over, but French press drinkers needn’t look any further.
See Also: Capresso Infinity Plus Review 2023
Fellow Ode: Best Quiet Electric Grinder
ideal for pour-over
An amazing grinder for manual brewing
Quiet in operation
Not suitable for espresso
I don’t think I’m alone in having quite a crush on the Fellow Ode Brew Grinder. I mean, just look at how stylish and cool it is! That’s all very well, I hear you say, but is there any substance behind that style? As far as I can gather, the answer is a resounding yes.
As with other Fellow products, an incredible amount of attention to detail has gone into the grinder’s design. Aside from the obviously intuitive grind adjustment dial on the front, there’s a magnetic attachment to hold the grounds bin in place. Heck, there’s even a grinds knocker to eliminate chaff and residual dust.
In terms of performance, the Fellow Ode is equipped with 64 millimeter flat burrs and 31 adjustment settings. Aside from fast grinding and a high level of consistency, the burrs are ultra-quiet in operation.
The Fellow Ode Brew Grinder will set you back $345.00, which is no trivial amount. Still, I doubt you’ll find another grinder that looks as cool and grinds as well for the money.
See Also: Fellow Ode Hands-On Review 2023
Eureka Mignon Silenzio: Best Retro-Style Grinder
Featuring stainless steel flat burrs, the Eureka Mignon Silenzio is an updated version of one of my favorite grinders of all time. Less showy and revolutionary than the Baratza Sette, the Eureka Mignon Silenzio is just as good. In fact, this grinder could retake its place next to my espresso machine at any time!
The ultra-compact, ultra-high-quality Eureka Mignon Silenzio grinds for espresso at competition level. What’s more, it’s quiet, extremely durable and easy to clean. It even costs “only” $579.00.
Featuring a distinctive retro design, the Eureka Mignon Silenzio is a grinder I’d recommend to anyone who is really serious about finely ground coffee beans. You can of course also use it for other preparation methods, but its construction and style speak the language of portafilters.
Brand Overview: All Burr Coffee Grinders Sorted by Manufacturer
Depending on the manufacturer, you may find yourself wading through seemingly endless variations on a theme as you search for the best burr coffee grinder. While some of you may see that as an opportunity to get exactly what you want, I tend to get put off when confronted by too many choices.
With that in mind, I’ve decided to offer you a quick summary of each coffee grinder brand. I’ll give you some background on the manufacturer as well as my picks on which products to consider. Oh, and don’t worry, if I feel like there’s a bum grinder you should be aware of, you can bet your bottom dollar I’ll give you a heads up.
Comandante is a German manufacturer that’s been producing exemplary hand grinders since 2012. From what I can gather, Bernd Braune – the company’s founder – is a complete obsessive who made it his business to invent the best manual grinder in the universe.
Seriously, the guy spent 15 years perfecting his conical burrs before launching the first Comandante grinder in 2013. Still not fully satisfied, Braune kept trying to perfect his vision, subsequently releasing the MK2 and MK3 versions.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, there’s now a new kid on the block. The Comandante MK4 was released in 2021, with further improvements to the internal components and the addition of an unbreakable polymer-glass bean jar.
Porlex is a Japanese company that specializes in the manufacture of industry-leading ceramic products. It’s not surprising, then, that the company’s hand grinders employ ceramic burrs. In my experience, the ceramic conical burrs in both the Porlex Mini and the Porlex Tall are hard to beat. They’re super durable, extremely functional and hardly transfer any heat. I guess there’s a reason these hand grinders are so popular.
Anyway, aside from minor tweaks to the design of its grinders over the years, Porlex seems satisfied to produce just the two models. That’s just fine with me!
Hario is another Japanese company producing industry standard coffee gear. These guys have been in business for over 100 years, but it wasn’t until 1948 that they began producing coffee siphons.
Fortunately, Hario didn’t stop there, and today some of the most iconic coffee equipment bears the Hario name. I’m talking about the Hario V60 dripper, gooseneck kettle and the Hario Woodneck dripper. Best of all, Hario products tend to be really affordable and high quality.
When it comes to coffee grinders, Hario specializes in the manual variety. That said, the company does market a couple of electric grinders in Europe. Let’s hope they’ll be making their way over to this side of the pond soon! In the meantime, here’s a selection of Hario grinders worth considering:
I’d never really thought to look into the Baratza story until recently. I guess I was just too busy loving the manufacturer’s amazing coffee grinders. Anyway, it turns out the company is based in Bellevue, Washington, and has only been at it since 1999.
That’s amazing, considering Baratza has emerged as a true leader when it comes to producing high-end grinders. I mean, the Sette 270Wi has some serious competition in my kitchen, and I just don’t seem to be able to use anything else for espresso.
As you already know, Baratza produces more than just the aforementioned grinder. I already recommended the Baratza Encore as a solid mid-range option, so here are a few more drool-worthy options to consider:
Regular Coffeeness readers will know just how much I admire Breville. The Australian manufacturer produces a limited selection of well-designed and thought-out espresso machines, coffee makers and grinders.
Take a look at the Breville website and you’ll quickly understand who all this is marketed toward. I’m talking about folks who are interested in expanding their specialty coffee horizons, but with help along the way. In my experience, Breville has been very successful here, and its machines almost always impress me.
Other than the Smart Grinder Pro, Breville produces the Dose Control Pro, a mid-range burr grinder with a timer function. That’s all very well, but seeing as it costs $187.69, I’d say spend a little extra and go with the superior Smart Grinder Pro. At $197.95, it’s quite similar in price.
We’re all familiar with OXO. In fact, I’d be willing to bet all of you have at least one of the manufacturer’s many kitchen gadgets or utensils in your home. When it comes to coffee equipment, OXO really knows what it’s doing. In fact, the OXO 9 Cup Coffee Maker is currently one of my favorite drip machines.
Other than the OXO Brew Grinder that’s on my Top 10 list, the company produces a version with an integrated scale. The OXO Brew Grinder with Integrated Scale is definitely with considering … even though its $209.99 price tag seems a little steep.
San Francisco, California-based Fellow actually started out in 2013 as a crowdfunding campaign. Since then, the company has continued to release coffee-related gear that has everyone foaming at the mouth. In a good way, that is.
As if the original Ode wasn’t enough, Fellow has recently launched a second generation version that’s even more precise. I’ve already talked a lot about the Fellow Ode though, so, I’ll take this opportunity to introduce you to some of the manufacturer’s other wonderful products. Be warned though; you’re likely to enter a rabbit hole that’s hard to get out of without spending a lot of money. Seriously, start browsing and you’ll want everything!
As if all that weren’t enough, the company just released the Fellow Opus Conical Burr Grinder, which actually works great for espresso. Check out my Fellow Opus review 2023 for more details.
I’d always imagined Capresso to be an Italian manufacturer. However, it turns out the company was founded in 1994 to sell high-end coffee makers on the North American market. Oh, and the name? It’s just a combination of “cappuccino” and “espresso.” See what they did there?
Dig a little deeper and you’ll discover that Jura bought the company in 2008, after having been involved since 2002. Whether or not that was a form of squashing the competition on Jura’s part is up for discussion.
While the Infinity Plus certainly earned its place on my Top 10 list, none of Capresso’s other grinder offerings are up to snuff. Still, here’s a selection of what’s on offer:
Eureka is a venerable Italian company that’s been producing high-end coffee grinders since 1920. In fact, Eureka grinders are still made by hand in Florence. What’s really cool about Eureka is that the company is constantly looking for ways to innovate. There’s no question of these guys resting on their laurels and relying on a respected brand name.
Obviously, that passion and attention to detail is reflected in the quality of Eureka grinders. And don’t imagine that they’re all out of your league price-wise. In reality, there are a few models that cost less than $300. Here’s a selection of Eureka grinders worth considering:
What to Look For in a Coffee Grinder
I’m all for sharing is caring, so I’m happy to tell you exactly how I conduct my reviews — all the way down to what coffee beans I use and what I take into consideration. No secrets and no lies.
What’s the most important thing to look for when buying a coffee grinder? Well, a machine that matches your coffee brewing style and where quality is clearly a priority.
With that in mind, it’s possible to compare a good but affordable hand coffee grinder like the Zassenhaus Barista Pro with a stylish electric device like the Eureka Mignon Silenzio or the Rancilio Rocky. In fact, that’s exactly what you want. How else could you decide?
Breaking that idea down into specifics, these are boxes that the very best burr coffee grinder will check:
- A match for your brewing style
- Grind size can be steplessly adjusted
- Little to no coffee grinds remain in the machine after grinding
- Every single granule is a perfect replica of the next
- The motor and grind mechanism don’t heat up the coffee
- There’s little to no problem with static electricity
- The grinder is safe, high quality and durable
- The settings are intuitive, easy to follow and implement
You may have already gathered that it’s pretty difficult to determine those things when looking at a grinder in a shop or online. This is what makes it so difficult for your ordinary coffee lover not to be overwhelmed by all the wrong things — like price. Anyway, it’s rare to find a grinder that’ll check every single one of those boxes.
Particle Size and Consistency
Chances are you’re sick of hearing me say it, but consistency in particle size is the single most important factor to consider when shopping for a grinder. To achieve an even extraction, you want your coffee grounds to be as uniform in size as possible. No matter how you’re brewing your coffee. Trust me, if you’ve only ever used a blade grinder, the results from a grinder worth owning will blow your mind!
Still, as we’ve seen, not all grinders can achieve consistency across the grind spectrum. For example, a hand grinder like the Porlex Mini won’t be a great option if you’re preparing French press, although it’s an ace performer for Aeropress and espresso.
That’s why it’s important to choose carefully. You’ll need to select the best burr coffee grinder for your usual preparation method. That, or start a coffee grinder collection like me!
Grinding Speed and Heat
There’s a lot of confusion about grinding speed and how it relates to heat buildup. Obviously, if too much heat is created during the grinding process, you run the risk of damaging your coffee’s delicate aromas. However, don’t listen to folks who tell you higher speeds are to be avoided.
There’s a roundabout way to figure out how much heat the machine is likely to create. All self-respecting coffee bean grinder manufacturers should specify the machine’s grind capacity. In the case of the Baratza Sette 270Wi, it’s between 3.5 and 5.5 grams per second.
The higher the number of grams per second, the faster the coffee grounds pass into the portafilter or collection container. Faster is better because there’s less time for heat to build up through friction.
The same principle applies to hand coffee grinders. Often, the handle’s length and properties are decisive factors in minimizing heat.
If it’s shoddily designed, you’ll fight with the thing for ages just to get the revolutions going and keep up any momentum. And the longer you spend cranking away, the more your grounds will heat up.
It’s all too easy to overstate the value of having a million grind adjustment settings. Sure, the best burr coffee grinder will have a high number of grind settings and will produce consistent results across the spectrum. However, those on a limited budget should look for a burr grinder that’ll perform well for their preferred preparation method.
What’s arguably more important than numbers is whether or not the grinder can be adjusted steplessly. Not being constrained by preset levels will allow you more freedom to precisely dial in your grind settings.
Let’s face it, coffee grinders are noisy. I mean, we are talking about a device that’s designed to pulverize coffee beans in a hurry! With that said, noise levels among grinders can vary quite substantially.
As you’d expect, the pricier the grinder, the quieter it’s likely to be. You’ll be paying for improved materials and more sophisticated soundproofing technology. Another thing to bear in mind is that conical burrs are often quieter than flat burrs. Still, that’s just a general rule of thumb and by no means always the case.
It almost goes without saying that a manual hand grinder is your best bet if noise is a major concern. Not only is there no motor to contend with, you can always go outside to grind beans in the morning!
The ABCs of Coffee Grinding Mechanisms
Let’s briefly revisit the coffee grinder mechanisms and why they’re important. For starters, the type of mechanism used in the design has a direct impact on the levels of heat generated. When you get down to it, the same requirements and material properties that I’m always jabbering on about with super automatic espresso machines apply here, too. But it’s worth going over again.
Tips for Adjusting Your Grind Settings
You’re not going to like this, but all things being equal, you should recalibrate your coffee grinder each time you open a new bag of coffee beans.
Think that sounds totally nuts? The thing is that the smallest variations in the roast or the bean surface affect what your coffee grinds look like.
You’ll notice this when, for instance, the new batch of beans suddenly comes out of the grinder chute faster or slower. Despite using the exact same settings, the grounds are actually coarser or finer.
This is just one of many reasons that I own several coffee bean grinders. I’m also not that keen on cleaning and resetting a machine with each new bag. How obsessive you get about this probably depends not only on the amount of money and space you have to play with but also on your taste for experimentation.
For example, if you’re an equal opportunity coffee drinker who enjoys both portafilter espresso and java from a French press, two grinders are practically essential.
That feel like a stretch? I recommend a manual coffee grinder for the French press and an electric burr grinder to make life easier with the portafilter. That’s exactly what I do when reviewing beans.
A word to the wise — having some sort of visual reminder of roughly what your optimal settings are for each brewing method is essential. It’s just too easy to absentmindedly bump or adjust the dial or ring on a grinder. And then you have to start the whole calibration process from scratch. Been there, done that. So, take a photo or make a marking, and save yourself the headache.
Hitting on the perfect grind size takes time. And since that varies from one brewing method to the next, here are a few tips to help you get there a bit faster.
But first, a very important point when adjusting any motorized grinder:
Always adjust the grind settings while the machine is running so the burrs can “settle into position.” It takes a couple of shots before the change in speed and grind size really becomes apparent. Take a good look at what comes out of the grinder — you should be able to spot the most subtle of changes to the consistency.
So, here’s an inconvenient but unavoidable truth: you can only tell if the grinder settings are spot-on after the coffee lands in your cup and you’ve tasted it. With espresso, of course, you get an early heads-up thanks to the flow rate and crema. But what about drip coffee or French press coffee?
For Drip Coffee
Since your drip coffee maker needs a medium grind, the logical place to start on any grinder is slap bang in the middle of the scale.
If you’re lucky enough to land on the sweet spot straight away, your brew will have just the right amount of body. Depending on the roast, it could range from amber to burnt honey in color. As for the rate that the brew filters into the pot, you’re looking for a steady flow but not a deluge.
Coffee that gushes through indicates the grind is too coarse. If you’ve moistened and bloomed the grounds but there’s barely a trickle when the rest of the water is poured over, it’s too fine. Especially bitter manual pour-over coffee is the result of a grind that’s — unintentionally — too fine. The same goes for excessive acidity.
Spotting a perfect espresso in the cup is easy, but nailing the grind to produce it isn’t so simple. Remember that a suitably fine grind needn’t necessarily be your grinder’s lowest possible setting.
This is where the difference between the best burr coffee grinder and the things built into super automatic espresso machines becomes painfully apparent. Despite always maxing out a super automatic grinder to its finest setting, I’m often disappointed to find that it’s still too coarse.
You can tell if a coffee grinder is set too fine when the granules leave the chute sluggishly in great lumps that plop down with big pauses between. While this isn’t necessarily a serious issue for the grinder, it is going to be for the espresso you try to make.
How To Spot Excessively Fine Grinds
There are two ways to spot an excessively fine grind in the portafilter: first, the espresso drips into the cup at a slow trickle. Second, the crema is very dark and uneven. Take a sip, you won’t be able to miss the blast of bitterness and how totally off the aroma profile is.
How To Spot Overly Coarse Grinds
When the grind is too coarse, both the granules and brew will make far too rapid of an exit from their respective machines. A very clear, strong jet of coffee is an unequivocal sign of under-extraction — and an excessively coarse grind. The coffee will be horribly pale and thin with virtually no crema.
Adjusting the grind size in the smallest possible increments is even more critical with espresso than with other brewing methods. If you have a stepless coffee grinder, you should just edge the dial over slightly with a thumb or finger. Unless of course, the settings are completely missing the mark.
From there, you just have to keep working through the cycle of adjusting the grind, checking the dose, pulling a shot, tasting and then go back to tweaking the grind. It’s that easy.
With that in mind, you’re probably starting to see the method to my madness when I recommend using several grinders and why I generally prefer a hand coffee grinder for testing several coffee beans.
How to Clean a Coffee Grinder
No water means no problems with moldy coffee residues, right? Not quite. Sure, there’s less risk of the Petri dish effect with a grinder than, for instance, a coffee machine with grinder or even a super automatic espresso machine.
But coffee beans are oily little critters. Given enough time, oil goes rancid. Yuck!
That’s why you also need to clean coffee bean grinders. But it’s pretty easy to do so. There are two basic cleaning rituals for coffee grinders:
- Running coffee grinding cycles with special cleaning granules. I recommend using Urnex Grindz
- Disassembly and vacuuming. The Brigii Mini Vacuum is perfect for this!
I perform the second task once a week. Those of you who don’t use your grinders as often can extend the interval — but only by a little! Honestly, it’s child’s play to take apart a coffee grinder.
That’s because one of the two — conical or flat — burrs has to move anyway. So it’s not difficult to remove it by hand from the mechanism by following the instructions in the user manual. Once you’ve done that, you can clean the rest of the grinder with a vacuum cleaner and scrub the removed burr again with a toothbrush. That’s basically all there is to it. Done and dusted.
Going the detergent route is pretty popular, especially among those who get freaked out about disassembly. I get that. But I should point out that doing the job by hand saves you money. Plus, you can be sure that you’ve done a really thorough job.
Often the coffee bean hopper doesn’t get the attention it deserves either. The problem is this is where oils build up the fastest. Depending on the extent of the residue, a gentle wipe down might not do the trick. Remove the hopper and empty it out. Then, clean it by hand with food-grade soap and allow it to dry well before reattaching it.
Verdict: Which Burr Coffee Grinder Will You Choose?
If you’ve made it this far, congratulations are in order. You can now consider yourself a burr coffee grinder expert!
Whether you’re making the switch from using pre ground coffee or upgrading from a tired old blade grinder, your coffee making future looks bright. Seriously, I can’t overstate how much a good burr coffee grinder will change your life!
I can only hope you found the best burr coffee grinder for your needs in this guide. Heck, maybe I even convinced you that there’s nothing weird about owning multiple grinders.
Feel free to bookmark this page so you can jump back in if you need a refresher. Plus, I’ll be updating this guide from time to time, so check back every once in a while.
That’s it for my best burr coffee grinder guide. Or have I missed something? Give me a shout-out — or at — in the comments. I’m all ears!
FAQ About Coffee Grinders & Grinding