In order to enjoy the best-tasting coffee right at home, you need fresh, quality grounds. And to get the best-tasting grounds, you need whole beans – and a good grinder. Grinding recently roasted whole beans yourself is the surest way to guarantee you’re getting the freshest, fullest flavor out of your coffee, and if you’re looking to take your morning Java to the next level, then ditching the pre-ground store-bought stuff and buying a quality grinder might be the best place to start.
Most electric grinders on the market are little more than jumped-up spice grinders that use metal blades, not dissimilar to a standard blender. This is bad news for coffee, as the metal blades throw beans around and chop them up willy-nilly (this is what results in the dreaded “dust and boulders” situation). By contrast, the OXO Brew coffee grinder ditches sloppy metal blades for conical steel burrs. Picture a ridged cone sitting inside a similarly ridged ring, with these sharp ridges working opposite each other to grind your beans.
The OXO grinder boasts 15 grind sizes (with several gradations in between each setting) and performs very well for its price, consistently turning out pretty evenly sized grounds, from fine Turkish or espresso coffee to coarse grounds for your French press or pour-over. Its push-button operation can’t be beat for simplicity, and both the hopper and the burrs are very easy to clean. For 100 bucks, the OXO Brew coffee grinder hits the sweet spot in price-to-performance and is the mill we recommend for most users.
It’s a little pricier than the OXO Brew mill, but if you want a coffee grinder with even more precision and consistency, the Baratza Encore is an excellent upgrade pick. It’s every bit as simple to use as the OXO Brew grinder – fill the hopper, select your grind, and push the button – but the Baratza Encore’s fine European-made burrs are a bit more consistent across all grind sizes and an impressive 40 settings make it easy to achieve perfectly sized grounds for whatever style of Java you’re brewing up at the moment.
Given that there are many, many factors that can affect the outcome of your coffee, being able to dial in a specific grind like this goes a long way toward making your perfect cup. Although it performs better than the OXO Brew mill overall, the Encore was kept out of our top spot by its higher $140 price tag, which might be more than many are willing to pay — but if you’re looking for the best electric grinder to be had without needless bells and whistles, the Baratza Encore is it.
Electric burr grinders are definitely pricier than the more common (and far inferior) blade grinders, but there are a number of options out there for the budget-minded. If you just need an inexpensive grinder for occasional use or you just want to try one out to see if you like it, the Cuisinart Supreme Grind is the best cheap model that fits the bill. It does a decent job at grinding beans with 18 different settings that give you a reasonable range of ground sizes to experiment with different brewing styles.
Full disclosure: A grinder at this price is simply not going to achieve the grind consistency and quality of something like the OXO Brew or Baratza burr grinders. The simple fact remains that, as with most things, you do get what you pay for here. But, if you’re understandably not ready to drop a Benjamin or more on a better way to chop up coffee beans, the Cuisinart Supreme Grind is a good and very affordable place to start.
It takes more elbow grease than holding down a button, but if you’re after the no-nonsense consistency that only an old-school design can offer (or maybe you’re just the type of person who refuses to write with anything other than a fountain pen), then the Japanese-made Hario Skerton Plus manual coffee grinder is a modern take on a time-tested classic. This centuries-old way to prepare grounds has the added bonus of not generating excess heat that can spoil the beans – a problem that’s not entirely uncommon with motorized grinders.
The Hario Skerton mill uses two conical ceramic burrs which are locked into place via a notched washer with which you set the grind size. This simple system gives you about nine or 10 grind settings, with the higher settings creating a coarser grind (loosening the locking washer creates more space between the burrs). If that sounds confusing, just know that it’s very easy to use and delivers excellent results. The drawback with a crank-handle system is that it’ll give you a little workout – even more so when making a finer grind – so we mostly recommend the Hario Skerton for medium- to coarse-ground coffee.
Any espresso enthusiast knows that this smooth Italian treasure is a strong but fickle beast. Along with heat and pressure, espresso calls for very finely ground coffee, something that can be tricky to get with even a quality burr mill. If you have a good espresso maker at home but find that other grinders are preventing you from achieving that perfect, creamy cup, then it’s worth it to invest in a purpose-built coffee grinder like the Breville Smart Grinder Pro.
Along with an attachment that lets you grind coffee right into a portafilter, Breville’s Smart Grinder Pro offers 60 grind settings and performs especially well at churning out super-fine, espresso-ground coffee. The only drawback we found with this unit (aside from its slightly steep $200 price tag) was that the Breville struggled to make truly coarse grounds – even at it highest setting, the grind was a little fine for a French press or cold brew – something to consider if you plan to make something other than espresso or Turkish coffee with this.
Save space on your kitchen counter with the compact Bistro Blade Grinder. With a length of three inches and a height of six inches, you can easily store this grinder when not in use. Aside from that, the cord is stored in the base of the coffee grinder. This small yet powerful coffee grinder can cut coffee beans efficiently with its 150W motor. You can grind the beans using the Pulse or Continuous Grind options.
All it takes is three simple steps to use this compact coffee grinder. First, pour the fresh coffee beans into the grinder. An important tip to keep in mind is to not fill it up to the brim for greater consistency. Next, you grind it with a tap of a button with the two grinding options available. Depending on where you’re going to brew the coffee, you need to take a good look at the texture of the grounds if you want it to be fine or coarse. After grinding, it’s best to clean the coffee grinder right away so that it looks brand new.
Nothing is more satisfying than the perfect grinding of fresh coffee beans. You can achieve this with a manual coffee grinder. If you want a grinder that can adapt to where you are or what kind of brew you desire, you’ll get your money’s worth with the Khaw-Fee HG1B Manual Coffee Grinder. Unlike electric grinders, you have control of the kind of grind that best suits your brew. Whether you’re making cold brew, using a French press, or drip coffee, this grinder can adjust to it with ease.
With its quiet and easy-to-maneuver hand crank, you can grind coffee without bothering anyone. Whether you’re at home brewing while everyone’s still fast asleep or camping at the great outdoors. Another neat feature of this coffee grinder is that it’s made of durable stainless steel that is built to last. If you end up not liking this manual coffee grinder, it even comes with a lifetime money-back guarantee.
Treat yourself with the premier Bodum Bistro Electric Burr Coffee Grinder. This electric coffee grinder has everything you need to be able to grind fresh coffee beans to perfection. With 12 adjustable settings from coarse to fine, you can get the ideal grounds for your preferred brewing method. The grinder also features a pre-set timer to grind the exact coffee you need. With this setting, you can keep your coffee beans fresh while preventing waste.
The conical stainless steel burr also gives you a consistent grind even without sharpening. This grinder also comes with a coffee catcher. The anti-static borosilicate glass coffee catcher ensures that fine coffee grounds won’t cling to it. The lid of the grinder is also multipurpose as it has a built-in measuring guide for easy reference. If you want to keep your coffee beans fresh and have perfect grounds, this electric coffee grinder is worth a try.
Start your day by grinding the finest grounds with the Sboly Conical Burr Coffee Grinder. With a press of a button, you can get the desired amount of grounds for your brew. The stainless steel conical burr ensures that you only get the best flavor and aroma for your grounds. What’s even better is that this coffee grinder has 19 accurate grind settings for consistency. Whether you’ll be using the grounds for a coffee maker, espresso, or any other brewing method, these settings can adapt accordingly.
Aside from it’s simple to use settings, this coffee grinder is also built to last. It’s equipped with a powerful motor, safety lock, and even a blue light completion indicator. This grinder is also easy to clean since the upper conical burr is removable and it even comes with a cleaning brush. Get ready to have freshly ground coffee every time with this state-of-the-art coffee grinder.
How to choose a coffee grinder
Here’s a simple, unfortunate fact: Roasted coffee starts going stale pretty much right away. This is doubly true for beans that have been ground up, as the grinding process greatly increases the surface area of the coffee that’s exposed to air – meaning you’re going to eventually (and rather quickly) lose those delicious aromas and flavors. Grinding whole beans shortly before the brewing process is the easiest way to retain that taste and freshness.
Another important reason to grind your own beans is that it allows you to tailor the size of the grounds for different methods of brewing. Espresso and Turkish coffee, for instance, require a very fine grind, while methods like cold brewing and the venerable French press typically call for larger (or “coarse”) grounds to prevent sludge from passing through the filter and into your coffee.
The vast majority of cheap coffee grinders – including, perhaps, one you already have and are looking to replace – cannot deliver this sort of consistency. For that, you need a quality grinder, particularly what is known as a “burr grinder,” or one that utilizes a set of metal or ceramic burrs rather than metal blades to achieve a result consistent with the size of grind required for your brewing system. So toss that chintzy bladed grinder and get one that’s worth the beans you’re putting in it: These are the coffee grinders you need for brewing that perfect cup of joe in any kitchen.
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