Selecting a coffee grinder can be confusing
Selecting a coffee grinder can be confusing especially for those of us who don’t see ourselves as coffee experts or coffee geeks. This is especially true if you are just getting into the world of coffee equipment. We have a separate article on how to choose a coffee grinder in our How To section that you might find worth a read. In this article, we describe seven of the best coffee grinders that we like for a variety of coffee requirements.
No blade grinders in our list
No matter how highly rated blade based coffee grinders are on online retail websites, we have chosen to not feature one of these in our list of best coffee grinders. As we’ve explained before, blade grinders chop the beans and result in an inconsistent grind. Even if the grind seems consistent, blade grinders run at high speed and heat up the beans, changing the flavour of the coffee.
Price Range of Grinders Featured Here
The price range featured here is quite high. This is because we have looked at a variety of types of grinders and types of brew they need to cater for. The lower end of the scale begins at £25 for the Hario Medium Glass Grinder and goes up to around £680 for the Mazzer Mini Electronic Model.
Best Manual Grinder – Hario Medium Glass Ceramic Burr
As you will see in our article on Manual Coffee Grinders, Hario Medium Glass Ceramic Burr coffee grinder is the one we consider the best manual grinder.
The Hario combines compactness with an ease of use. The ceramic burrs have a quality. The grind is contained in a jar that unscrews easily and you can put a spoon in to easily measure the coffee out when compared to some of the traditional looking drawer based manual grinders.
Best Burr Grinder under <£100 - Delonghi KG79
The Delonghi KG 79 is the burr coffee grinder we would recommend that comes in well under £100. The conical metal burrs as well as adjustment for grind from coarse to medium to fine makes this a good starter coffee grinder. It grinds between 2-12 cups and automatically switches off once it has ground the right number of cups. Be ready for the fact that the fine setting is still inconsistent compared to the models we talk about below, but still if you are after freshly ground coffee with a preference for French Press or Filter, this is a good option.
This is something to choose where you are keen to grind the beans but have a budget constraint. From using a variety of grinders, our finding is to have the best coffee at home is to pay the maximum you can for a coffee grinder and buy a mid-price coffee maker.
Best Coffee Grinder for French Press – Baratza Virtuoso
Grinding on either end of the spectrum whether coarse or fine is when a coffee grinder usually gets tested for its consistency. The coarse end often sees inconsistency of grind even with good machines but that’s in part because of the way the design of burrs work.
A French press needs a coarse grind and for this there are several of the espresso machines in the next section that will do it as well. But we were looking at one that was specifically good for the French Press that isn’t manual.
We like the Baratza Virtuoso for this. This is an entry level professional consumer or prosumer model. It’s not cheap but will be a sturdy machine that lasts.
KNOW YOUR COFFEE GRIND
Coffee is ground to different consistency from coarse to fine for the different types of brewing methods. Here is a quick guide to know your grind consistency requirements
TYPE OF GRIND
Aeropress, French Press
Separate granules and should feel a bit finer than sea salt
Filter coffee makers, vacuum coffee makers
This is closer to sand and feels grainy in texture where the individual particles are not as easy to see but you can separate them with fingers.
Espresso Machines & Stove Top Espresso Pots
This feels finer than caster sugar but not quite a powder.
Two of The Best Espresso Coffee Grinders
1. Mazzer Mini Electronic Model A
The Mazzer brand is the Rolls Royce of coffee grinders. This Italian company creates the state of the art coffee grinders which will last a life time. The term mini shouldn’t put you off because this is the smallest they have but it is commercial grade and perfect for the espresso addict.
The fine grinding required for the espresso is something that many machines struggle to do consistently. But this is not true with the Mazzer Mini which gives you that perfect espresso grind year after year. The Electronic Model has buttons and allows you to grind one shot or two shots at a time. It ensures you grind just in time for your coffee. But this does come with a hefty price tag.
2.Iberital MACAP M2D
Iberital is a Spanish brand that has been in the coffee equipment industry for about forty years. For several, the Iberital MACAP MC2 was the go to model for households for an espresso only situation. While this model is still available with retailers, Iberital no longer markets the product.
The smallest alternative is the M2D which is a doser only model which means it grinds exactly the required amount. The M2D now holds 250g of beans, which is perfect for a small bag of beans in the home. And yes, the M2D is more expensive than the MC2 but much lower than the Mazzer Mini.
Top 2 All Round Grinders for French Press to Espresso Coffees
1.Sage Smart Grinder Pro (Breville Smart Grinder Pro outside the UK)
The Breville Smart Grinder Pro is labelled as Sage in the UK. This is a prosumer model that has rave reviews. This is a very adjustable grinder that creates consistent grinds. There is the ability to adjust the dose by time or volume. The dose comes through without any clumping.
The controls are on the front and more convenient to get to.
Every time you change beans, the grind should be adjusted but this is easy to get right quicker. This is because this grinder is much more electronically controlled. The positive of this is that it tends to stay at the settings. But the flip side is when it goes wrong, it’s much more complex. There is a limited number of people who can open and service it.
The nice thing is that this comes in three colours - red, black and silver to match your kitchen.
Perhaps we had bad luck, but we did see problems that were incredibly expensive to fix about a year into the grinder. So it isn’t as reliable as the Eureka Mignon below.
If the Mazzer Mini is out of your price bracket, we recommend the Eureka Mignon, another prosumer model. This is a sturdy machine that can grind from French Press to Espresso and does it steadily and reliably. It clumps the powder sometimes. This means you’ll have some powder spitting to the sides of the grinder at times. This is also a time-based dose rather than volume. The controls are on the side which means it’s a bit fiddly to get to and the adjustments are more difficult to do precisely. If you are experimenting with coffee beans, then this might be a bit of a hassle since you’ll waste some beans getting the wrong grind.
The Eureka Mignon comes in a wide variety of colours – you’ll definitely find one that is perfect for your home.
But once set up right it does a better job than the Sage coffee grinder. Mignon is also easier to service since it’s been around for much longer and there is a wider network.
You've read about grinders, but what about some coffee beans? Where will you buy them from? Read our article on coffee roasters in the UK.