I sometimes sit and wonder what life would have been like without coffee. There are so many options for brews and flavors today, it is almost impossible to imagine how bland life would have been without this elixir. And to make the most of this elixir, there’s nothing like coffee brewed from freshly ground coffee beans. To extract the maximum richness from your coffee beans, it is most important to grind it with the correct technique.
The best thing about grinding your own coffee beans is that you get to decide what kind of brew you want. If one day you’re in the mood for cappucino, you might want the caffeine surge from a French press on another, or need a strong hit from an espresso some other day. As such, it’s nice to have a coffee grinder at arm’s reach. Owning a coffee grinder gives you the flexibility to brew freshly ground coffee whenever you’re in the mood, be it 11 pm or 2 am.
Different coffee brews require different sizes of coffee grounds. For espressos, you need finely ground beans, while for drip coffee you need medium grounds. But if you’re in the mood for a French press, you will need coarser grains, which will allow water to trickle down slowly. The finer the grind, the stronger the coffee. If you don’t use a good grinder, you might run the risk of ruining your coffee altogether. Grains too fine may end up giving you a bitter or burnt taste, or end up making your drink muddy. Grains too coarse, on the other hand, may end up making you drink taste sour or too diluted.
Another good thing about owning a grinder is that it gives you the flexibility to experiment with different grinds and brews so that you can work out for yourself which combination is best for you. In other words, once you’ve mastered the right ratio, you could be one step away from formulating your very own signature coffee!
There are so many varieties of grinders available in the market, it can be quite a task to find the perfect one that suits your needs. One dilemma a lot of people face is whether to go for blade grinders or burr grinders. Another predicament is whether they should purchase a manual or automatic grinder.
Burrs or Blades?
A blade grinder is also called a propeller grinder. Its main job is to chop material while mixing it, using a high speed blade that spins. Burr grinders, on the other hand, consist of two conical or flat surfaces (burrs) that revolve and grind the beans in between them, few grains at a time. The distance between the pair of burrs can be changed to get varying sizes of grind. The advantage of blade grinders is that it moves fast so you get your coffee ground quicker. However, the high speed motor and blades in turn heat up the coffee grains, causing a loss in flavor or giving it a burnt after-taste. Moreover the consistency of the grind is usually not that uniform, giving you coffee grounds of varying sizes, thereby giving your coffee a muddy feel to it. As such, a real coffee connoisseur is ready to wait for the burr grinder to slowly, but steadily and uniformly grind the beans, giving you a better control over the exact size of grains that you want. The size of the grains is controlled by adjusting the distance between the burrs. Price-wise though, blade grinders are cheaper than burr grinders.
Manual or Automatic?
The manual vs. automatic dilemma almost always boils down to the budget. Obviously, convenience wise, an automatic grinder trumps the manual grinder as you just need to press a button, so zero effort needed. However, price wise, again obviously, the manual grinder tends to be lower. But for some, it’s not just about the price. Manual grinders are smaller, so if you’re pressed for space, this could be a good option. A lot of people simply love the joy and affection that goes into grinding coffee with their own hands. They find the slow cranking motion of the handle relaxing and therapeutic amidst the day’s chaos.
So once you’ve weighed out your options and selected what type of grinder you want for your coffee, it’s time to head out to the market and see what choices you have in the form of brand options. Here is my pick of the 7 best coffee grinders you absolutely need in your life.
6 Best Coffee Grinders you have been missing in Your Life
The KRUPS F203 is an automatic coffee bean grinder that gives you quick grinds by just the press of a switch. The machine has a good bean capacity, allowing you to grind up 3 ounces of coffee beans at once. That means a total of 12 cups of coffee. An interesting feature of this machine is the lid activated safety switch, which prevents the blade from working until and unless the lid is completely closed. So no worries of accidentally having your finger chopped off. The KRUPS F203 is not just a coffee grinder. It also serves the purpose of a spice or nut grinder. However, I would recommend you not to grind anything else in it if you are using it to grind coffee beans as the coffee will end up with a hint of flavor from the previously ground spices.
- 200-watt motor for fast grinding
- Grinds up to 3 ounces (12 cups) of coffee in seconds
- Oval design and stainless-steel blades
- Stainless Steel blades
- Lid activated safety switch for ease of use
- 2-year warranty
This grinder is wonderful to have in my kitchen. I use this to grind both flavored and nu-flavoured coffee and I get great results each time. Gives a good thorough grind. Great value for the money spent!
The Capresso 560.01 is another automatic grinder, but this one boasts of its conical burrs from infinity, which grind with superior efficiency, giving you consistent grinds every time. The burrs can be adjusted to grind coffee beans to 16 different sizes of grounds. The motor works grinds nice and slow (at less than 450 rotations per minute), ensuring that the blades don’t get overheated and that the coffee grounds don’t lose their flavor due to the heat generated from the motor. As such, the burrs make the lowest noise when grinding. It also has a built-in timer that allows you to set the time from 5 to 60 seconds so that you can go ahead and complete other tasks, without having to keep a button pressed. You can easily remove the coffee bean container and the upper burr to clean. The packaging even comes with a cleaning brush, along with a measuring scoop. As if all this wasn’t enough, the coffee bean container has the capacity to house up to 8 ounces of coffee beans. It’s as if Capresso can actually read the minds of its customers.
- 100-watt conical burr grinder with 16 grind settings
- Bean container holds 8-1/2 ounces; grounds container holds 4 ounces
- Built-in timer
- Easy to clean
- One year limited warranty
I love this grinder. It is so much quieter. And the grinds are so consistent, I don’t have to worry about uneven coffee texture anymore.
This is a cute and simple manual coffee mill, capable of grinding about 100g of coffee at a time. It is light weight and so easily portable, but at the same has a nice sturdy base so you can set it anywhere and not have to worry about it accidentally tipping over while grinding. The parts can easily be cleaned and you can even pop it into your dishwasher, since the Hario Skerton is both dishwasher safe and heat resistant. You can adjust the burr distance to get the coarseness of the coffee that you want. In fact, the smaller the size of your grind, the more consistency you get, with Turkish coffee grinds coming out the most consistent in size. It’s the perfect manual grinder for the lone traveler, or the coffee lover who’s on a tight budget.
- HARIO heat-resistant glass (made in Japan)
- Adjustable for precise grind and dishwasher-safe
- Small, lightweight, and portable
- Consistent grind for perfect
- Adjustable for precise grind and dishwasher-safe
- Easy to use and clean
The Hario Skerton grinder is so easy to hold and use. I just need to spend a tiny bit of time adjusting the grinder to my preferred size. But once I do that, the burrs stay put at that setting. The grinding rate is just perfect. I’m absolutely loving it!
This coffee grinder from Secura is a stainless steel beauty, that gives you quick grinds. The whole apparatus is made from stainless steel from top to bottom, which adds a chic and modern look to your kitchen. Each component of this apparatus is removable and can be individually cleaned. In addition to the safety-lock lid that ensures that the lid is completely clicked on before letting the motor run, the product comes with a smart overheat protection system. This system makes the motors turn off automatically if they get over heated, thereby avoiding short-circuits and accidents form happening. This also helps extend the lifespan of the motor. Not to mention how easy the machine is to operate, all it needs is a gentle pressure on the top and you get some mean grinds in no time.
- Two removable stainless steel bowls, a grinder bowl and a chopper bowl
- Can chop nuts and vegetables too
- Built-in smart overheat protection
- Stainless steel blades and stainless steel exterior
- Safety-lock lid
- 120V .On/Off switch
- Cord wrap base
- 1-Year Manufacturer’s Limited Warranty. Only for use with North American Electrical Standards
This is the best little grinder on the market It is easy to operate, easily washable and it’s easy to sterilize the bowls too. I’m absolutely loving it.
This is quite a powerful grinder with a 250 watt motor, giving you your grounds faster, albeit with a little diluted flavor. With coffee, you can either get speed or better extraction. Interesting fact is that even with the high power motor and high speed grinding, the Epica is practically noiseless. Its key feature is the removable stainless steel grinding cup that can be easily detached by a gentle twist. This minimizes the mess that could have been caused with traditional grinder cups while pouring out the grounds. It also has a large activation button to reduce strain on your fingers while grinding and the clear lid allows you to see clearly how the grinding process is progressing. The safety lock on the machine’s mechanism ensures that the motor cannot operate unless the lid is securely in place, thereby avoiding inadvertent accidents. Finally, all this functionality comes within a compact package, allowing you to easily put your Epica grinder in any corner of your kitchen counter. And if you’re still not satisfied, you can simply return it or get it changed within 2 years , which is the warranty period offered by Epica.
- 250 watt motor
- Consistent grind
- Removable stainless steel cup for effortless pouring and cleaning
- Stable, strong and silent
- Also capable of grinding nuts and seeds in seconds
- 2 year warranty
- Grinds up to 2.5 oz. (70 g) of coffee beans at a time.
so classy and easy to use. The cup can be removed so easily, I don’t have to worry about messy counter tops anymore. It gets the work done fast and looks great on my counter. I only wish there were more color options though.
The JavaPresse Manual Coffee grinder is a cute little device that allows you to manually grind small quantities of coffee beans and the little window at the bottom gives you a peep into the grounds so that you can be sure you got the coarseness or fineness that you were looking for. It has a fairly interesting way of adjusting your grinder to a grind setting. You do so by clicks, wherein, each click is for a different grind setting. So you get to decide in advance whether you want the burrs to grind you coffee for Pour Over, French press, Espresso or Turkish coffee. You get a total of 18 click settings for this, and if you are unsure of how many clicks you need for your preferred brew, the machine comes with a handy quick start guide, how-to videos and grind charts. The entire contraption is detachable, to enable easy cleaning and portability. The ceramic combo burrs have been tested by three professional grade inspections, assuring you that this will last five times longer than their stainless steel counterparts. The tiny and slim coffee grinder is ideal to take to office where you can easily pop out and grind noiselessly and share a cup of coffee with a colleague. The device can grind coffee for just 1-2 cups, so choose your favorite colleague who you’d like to share your freshly brewed coffee with.
- Adjustable grind selector with over 18 click settings
- Convenient removable hand crank mechanism
- Ceramic combo burrs that have been design tested
- Grind for any brew
- Small enough to fit in a handbag
- Can make 1-2 cups at a time
Gives good quality grinds. Great if you usually make small batches of coffee.
I personally prefer the Capresso 560.01 Infinity Conical Burr. As I’m mostly the lazy kind, I prefer one touch grinders. And the timer option makes the process all the more convenient. I prefer espressos in the morning, so I usually set the timer to grind for around 30 seconds, and let it run while I get the cups and other utensils ready. During this time, I don’t have to worry about whether the grinder is grinding up my coffee beans too fine if I’m late, because the conical burrss will ensure that the coffee is ground to the exact setting, no matter how long it has been running. The resultant coffee tastes great too and the cleaning up process is really easy.
In the end, here’s a quick list of different textures for different brews for you to know at a glance what to expect:
- Coarse Grains: Distinct and large particles. They feel like heavy grained salt
- Used for: Cold brew, French press, percolators
- Medium Grains: A gritty consistency, where each grain can still be distinguished and separated by hand. They feel like sand.
- Used for: Drip brews, Chemex, pour-over, vacuum pots or siphon brews
- Fine Grains: Very smooth to touch. Individual grains are hard to see, but can be felt, they feel like fine sugar.
- Used for: Espresso
- Super fine Grains: The finest grind. Feels like talcum powder. No grains are visible
- Used for: Turkish coffee (Ibrik)
You can refer to this chart for a rough idea of how fine or coarse your grains should be for your target brew.
Through this article, I tried my best to present a guideline to those who are on the lookout for a new coffee grinder. I tried to give as much information as I could think of. If there’s anything that I left out or if there’s anything else you would like me to discuss, you can let me know in the comments section below.