How to Buy the Best Coffee Grinder (Updated 2020)

by Omer Geva

The sure way to the best coffee possible is grinding it fresh right before brewing. There are many different types of attributes to coffee grinders to consider, but first it's important to ask:

What makes buying a better coffee grinder worth it?

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1. Don't settle for pre-ground coffee

After coffee is roasted, it gets exposed to oxidation, which inherently leads to loss of aroma and flavor. Since grinding coffee will increase it's surface area by over 10,000 times if ground for espresso, after grinding the coffee grounds will immediately begin to oxidize at a fast rate. Coffee ground that is 15 minutes old won't be as tasteful as freshly ground coffee.

2. Have control over your brewing method

When you buy pre-ground coffee, you are very limited to one type of brewing method, since the size of the grind determines the most optimal method(ie. finer grinds are better for esspresso). When you have your own grinder, you can brew your coffee to your liking with whatever method suits you.

3. Consistency Matters

Even after having decided to invest in a grinder, it's important to understand how significant it is to invest a quality grinder. When brewing coffee, each size of coffee ground will release a different variation of it's flavor(thus certain grinds being more fitting for certain brewing methods). Inconsistent coffee will give you a mix of different flavors and will result in an inconsistent blend.

4. Health benefits

Finally, since coffee is beneficial for your health partly due to the B-vitamins it provides(aids in cell metabolism), the oxidation process will those vitamins, resulting in a coffee that isn't as beneficial to you as it could be

How To Choose A Grinder

After understanding the reason behind why it's worth it to invest in a quality grinder, we can go over how to go about picking one.

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Type of grinder (Burr vs. Blade)

There are two types of grinders that are popular today, Burr and Blade grinders. Blade grinders are the cheaper solution, having two blades that rotate manually, resulting in a sub-par grind that is generally inconsistent. If you are looking to get good grind results, you will need to invest in a burr grinder. Burr grinders grind coffee beans between blades with serrations to a uniform size. The beans are dropped into an electronic grinder through a hopper.

Additionally, you will probably have to purchase blade grinders more often, as there lifecycle is not as long

Type of Burr (Flat vs. Conical Burr Grinder)

Once you decided to buy a burr grinder, you are left with a choice: conical or flat burrs. These two provide slightly different results, although resulting in a slightly less consistent grind, conical burrs are much better at noise and heat reduction, which is something big to consider. Flat burrs are generally known to produce a more uniform grind, and are usually pricier.

Another thing to consider when deciding between a flat and conical burr grinder is that flat grinders end up having more grounds stuck, which will directly contaminate the taste of the following batches. Conical burr grinders are also much easier to clean.

Conical burr grinders are a much practical solution for a home barista, while flat burrs are more ideal for cafes who are trying to get a precision grind for esspresso

Grind sizes

A burr grinder can range from 10 to 40 grind sizes. Generally the lower end grinders are good for pour overs and drip brewing, but in order to reach opmital and consistent grinds for the ends of the spectrum(coarse for french press and fine for esspresso), you're going to want to invest in a grinder that can provide more grind options.

If you have a favorite brewing method, then you can target the type of brewing method by buying the correct grinder.

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Speed

This is immensly underated. Measured in revolutions per minute(RPM), faster grinders will result in a compromised taste, since they will produce more static and heat that can alter your grounds. The slower grinders will preserve the beans' oils, aroma, and taste.

Speed

This is immensly underated. Measured in revolutions per minute(RPM), faster grinders will result in a compromised taste, since they will produce more static and heat that can alter your grounds. The slower grinders will preserve the beans' oils, aroma, and taste.

Storing Capacity

Some grinders will come with very large hoppers, which are suitable for a large number of people. If at the end of the day you are only grinding for yourself you don't need as much storing capacity, especially because leaving your beans in the hopper will result in them becomnig stale.

Extra features

Each grinder has it's own gimmicks and special features that will attract different customers. Some have a timer, which will provide for consistency if you are looking to have the same exact grind every time. Others pride themselves in having a glass catcher for the ground, which will provide less static and keeps the beans fresher.

The Best Burr Grinders of 2020

Top Pick
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Baratza Virtuoso + Coffee Grinder

8 oz

Consistent grind with timer

40 grind settings

Twice as fast as the Encore

$249.00

Visit Baratza
Runner up
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Bodum Bistro Burr Grinder, Electronic Coffee Grinder

7.75 oz

Glass catcher, reduces static

Unique Design

Consistent grind with timer

$99.99

Visit Bodum
Most Precise
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Baratza Encore Coffee Grinder

4 oz

Slow Grind

Timer

Limited of noise during grind

$119.99

Visit Capresso
Entry Level
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Baratza Encore Coffee Grinder

8 oz

Easy to clean

40 grind settings

$139.00

Visit Baratza

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