When we want to buy an automatic coffee machine, apart from its speed and the ease of making different drinks at the touch of a button, one of the things we value most is that it is a coffee machine with a grinder included. This allows us to taste freshly ground coffee extractions, with the unbeatable aroma and nuances provided by recent grinding and the quality of the grain being fresh just a few seconds before.
Pre-grinded coffees, no matter how hermetically packaged, will always lose properties over time when in contact with air.
And as we are increasingly giving importance to coffee machines with built-in grinders, there is a growing question or demand among consumers: coffee machines with built-in ceramic grinders or coffee machines with ceramic grinders. Ceramic coffee grinders have been gaining ground in recent years, compared to traditional grinders built with steel burrs, thanks to a list of advantages that we will detail later.
We can learn and read more about coffee grinders by reading our Guide about grinders. Still, in today’s article, we are going to talk exclusively about espresso machines that incorporate ceramic grinders.
Benefits of Ceramic Grinders
Any coffee grinder, whether they are independent grinders or grinders incorporated into automatic coffee machines, have burrs made of two materials: steel or ceramic.
Ceramic grinders have the following advantages over coffee grinders with steel blades:
- Resistance to temperature increase: All the benefits of ceramic burrs come from a single quality: the ceramic material does not acquire such high temperatures as steel during the turning process.
- They can rotate at a higher speed: This is not used by all coffee machines, but on paper, a ceramic grinder can rotate faster than a steel one. Many people do not know this, but the main obstacle for a grinder to turn faster is not always the power of the motor, but the risk that it takes too high temperatures.
- Longer durability: burrs made of ceramic material do not suffer from the risk of rust and are also much more resistant to erosion. They, therefore, remain intact for much longer than steel ones.
- Protection of the coffee bean: From certain speeds, steel grinding wheels can overheat. If a grinding wheel gets too hot, it can transmit an unpleasant burning taste to the raw material – coffee beans. With ceramic burrs, this problem does not exist.
If we take the ceramic burrs out of our grinder, this is what they look like:
As we can see, the ceramic material has a characteristic whitish colour compared to the metallic colour of steel grinding wheels.
Coffee machines with ceramic grinders – Prices
Coffee machines with a ceramic coffee grinder are always in the automatic segment, so their price is based on a minimum threshold of 200-300 pounds. From there, as you go up the ladder, you are more likely to find models that have a ceramic coffee grinder, and their price will also logically go up.
As a reference, we can tell you that almost all the coffee machines we recommend in the following ranking cost from 500-600 pounds onwards.
- Gaggia Cadorna Style Bean to Cup Espresso Coffee Machine
- Saeco CD Pressure Coffee Maker Lirika OTC, Stainless Steel, Black
The best coffee machines with ceramic grinders
Naturally, it is more common to find ceramic grinders in high-end automatic coffee machines than in basic machines. Also, not in too old coffee machines. On the contrary, ceramic grinders are a common quality in certain firms (whatever the range of the coffee machine). For example, Saeco uses ceramic grinders as standard in almost all its models.
In any case, if you want to buy a coffee machine with a ceramic grinder, you must have a good budget. Be clear about this beforehand.
Here we review some of the most interesting models of automatic espresso machines with grinders. We have selected 10 for you:
Philips 4000 Series
Directly inherited from Saeco’s automatic coffee machines, these Philips series all have built-in grinders made of ceramic material, exactly like those of the Italian manufacturer. We highlight the Philips Series 4000, but the lower models also have ceramic grinders: Philips Series 2000 and Philips Series 3000.
The prestigious and emblematic automatic coffee machine of Severin (the flagship of this German firm) also has a ceramic grinder. This Severin S2 allows to adjust the grinding according to 5 thicknesses and has a standard capacity to hold 140 grams of coffee beans. It also has an additional input for using already ground coffee – we can see it in the photo – which is always welcome if we want to prepare a decaffeinated coffee or a similar variety.
Saeco Pico Baristo
We have already advanced that all Saeco automatic coffee machines mount, as a common standard, ceramic grinders. We particularly like this PicoBaristo, with an aluminium and steel boiler, a 1.8-litre capacity tank, and a catalogue of up to 11 drinks or immediate preparations (One Touch button).
Its grinder has up to 10 levels of thickness so that the settings can satisfy the most demanding users with the precision of their grinding.
Just one step below the previous Pico Baristo is this Saeco Incanto. It is a top-of-the-range automatic, but with some fewer features and a more affordable price. Its ceramic grinder has five levels of adjustment for grinding and a fairly generous capacity: 250 grams of coffee beans.
Bosch VeroCafe Latte
It is common for large automatic espresso machine companies to use ceramic grinders in their top-of-the-range models. It is the case with Bosch and its VeroCafe Latte. It is a coffee machine that uses ceramic coating not only on the grinder (CeramDrive technology) but also on the outer casing, which gives it a very particular and pleasant feel.
The Bosch VeroCafe Latte has a capacity of 1.7 litres, and the grinder is quite large: we can store up to 300 grams of coffee inside.
The Siemens automatic machines are one of the most extensive and prestigious series in this segment of domestic coffee machines. From the EQ5 to the EQ9, the German firm offers models for all tastes and all pockets, although it is true that it starts from a medium level of quite good quality, even in the EQ5 coffee machine, which is supposed to be the most basic.
We are left with this Siemens EQ8, a true marvel of technology that brushes the border between a domestic coffee maker and a professional coffee maker, and which as well as a ceramic grinder also includes a stainless steel housing, 19 bar pressure, a giant 2.4-litre water tank, or the possibility of configuring and managing several different user profiles.
The Solac CA4815 is a surprising automatic coffee maker, not very well known (the Solac brand is associated with lower range coffee makers). Still, it stands out because of its excellent quality-price ratio. Not only does it have a ceramic grinder, but also an LCD touch panel that makes the machine much easier to operate, an exclusive pre-brewing system, or 18 bar pressure.
We can also find it as Solac Espression Supremma.
A company as traditional and prestigious as Gaggia also points to the trend of ceramic grinders in its highest level automatic coffee machine: The Brera model.
The Gaggia Brera retains the usual stainless steel housing, the hallmark of these Italian coffee makers, as well as a 15 bar pressure, 1.2-litre tank, bean pre-infusion system and professional stainless steel Panarello steamer.
Its ceramic grinder has a capacity of 250 grams of coffee.
Saeco Idea De Luxe
Of course, the best coffee maker in the world also has ceramic grinders. We are referring to the Saeco Idea, a real monster oriented to business and catering services, which you can learn more about by reading our Guide to professional espresso machines. We will only tell you that its price is around 6000 pounds.
The grinder of this Saeco Idea is equally gigantic, in proportion to the enormous coffee machine in which it is integrated. Its grinding wheels are 64 mm in diameter (much thicker than those of a conventional coffee maker, which are usually in the 54-56 mm range), and it has a storage capacity of over two kilos of coffee beans, ten times larger than the hopper of a normally integrated grinder.
Jura Giga X7
And the same thing can be said about this Jura Giga X7. We cannot talk about coffee machines with automatic grinders without going through this famous Swiss company. Not all Jura coffee machines have ceramic grinders, but this Giga X7 is currently the top-of-the-range model (it is not intended for domestic use, but rather for the workplace or small businesses), and it does have them.
We speak in the plural because the Jura Giga X7 incorporates not one but two ceramic grinding mills, with a capacity of 650 grams each. It is an ultra-fast coffee machine with a price that is in line with its performance: over 3000 pounds. In general, the entire Giga de Jura line deserves to be mentioned in this entry and in this category.