On this page, we want to reflect everything a home user needs to know before buying coffee grinders. It is essential to know the different types of coffee grinders that exist in the market, their advantages, their disadvantages, and also what parts they are made of and what their importance is within the conventional grinding process. In short: if you use an espresso machine at home and you prefer to grind your coffee rather than buy it already ground, don’t forget to read the following article.
NOTE: Visit our complete coffee grinder guide to read reviews and expert opinions on each model.
To begin, we’ll study three comparisons of the three most common coffee grinder segments (cheap, mid-range and high-end or professional).
Comparison of 2021 coffee grinder (Medium Range)
We have selected for you five examples of coffee grinders that stand out within what we consider to be the medium range of the sector. For example, they are mostly electric models, with various levels of grinding and enough power so that you can make espressos with almost all of them. They move in the range of 50-80 pounds of price.
Comparison of cheap coffee grinders 2021
Here you have a selection of the best cheap manual and electric coffee grinders, with their updated prices and daily offers. These are models that do not exceed 20-30 pounds in price—a step below the previous ones, but enough for most consumers in our country.
Comparison of professional coffee grinders 2021
And in this chart, we highlight 5 of the best professional coffee grinders or at least oriented to the most demanding consumer with their espresso. All of them exceed 150-200 pounds in price, and you can find more than one of them in your neighbourhood coffee shop.
Essential posts about coffee grinders
In this guide, we are going to explain to you all the basics about home coffee grinders, but you must know that on our website, we have articles and specialised reports on more specific topics. We have grouped the most relevant ones about grinders in case you want to go deeper into some specific aspects of these products:
The best coffee grinder brands of 2021
As with any other product, several brands specialise in the manufacture of coffee grinders. You can buy a coffee grinder from any other manufacturer, but if you choose these firms, you will be sure to bet on a quality article and guarantees.
Later on, we will talk about other brands of coffee grinders that are worth mentioning, but for the moment, we will focus on these six and get to know a little more about them:
A German firm specialising in manual coffee grinders with a wood base. Handmade pieces, very beautiful, and almost a collector’s item. All of them are built with materials and noble woods, and their catalogue is very extensive.
Zassenhaus coffee grinders are a real reference in the field of grinding and are the absolute leaders in the subset of hand grinders. At least as far as quality is concerned – another thing is their price, not suitable for all pockets.
You can learn more about them here: all Zassenhaus coffee grinders.
Peugeot coffee grinders
The Peugeot grinders have the same qualities that we have mentioned for the Zassenhaus. They are expensive, but all are designed and built with the delicious taste—noble materials, meticulous finishing, and total precision to grind the coffee just the right thickness. In fact, at first sight, it is easy to confuse those of one brand and those of another.
If you are looking for a manual, precise coffee grinder that also looks good on your shelf, you should choose to buy a Peugeot grinder. Quality guaranteed.
These are currently the Peugeot coffee grinders available on Amazon:
Hario coffee grinders
The Japanese company Hario is another recognisable and leading firm in the field of hand grinders. In this case, the pieces are much cheaper and more practical (but “collector’s items“) than those of the previous brands. They are perfect if you are looking to buy a cheap hand grinder.
We won’t go into too much detail about them because everything you need to know about Hario grinders is in the specific guidelines that we produced some time ago. More information here: all Hario coffee grinders.
Baratza coffee grinders
We radically changed the register to present some of the best coffee grinders in the market: those of the Baratza house. Sette, Encore and Virtuoso are the names of the three models we find in their excellent catalogue.
These are electric coffee grinders, top of the range, more oriented to the expert and demanding consumer (or to the hotel and catering business) than to the general public. It is perhaps the best brand of coffee grinders or at least the best among specialised firms. To give you an idea, the Baratza Encore, which is the most basic, is over 150 pounds in price with a margin.
As you can see, the prices of any Baratza grinder make them only suitable for those who know what they are buying.
If you are going to buy a Baratza coffee grinder, you should know that the Baratza Sette has two versions on the market, the 30 and the 270. The latter is more advanced and has better finishes.
The German company Rommelsbacher specialises in electric coffee grinders for the home. They have a price and capacity much more suitable for use at home than Baratza’s. Moreover, they are divided into three different models: a basic one (EKM150), a medium capacity one (EKM200) and a more demanding one (EKM300), which can be adapted to any type of profile and user.
The range of Rommelsbacher coffee grinders is completed by the EKG200, a blade grinder designed more for grinding than for grinding, and therefore more suitable for seeds or spices than for coffee beans.
Of course, when buying a Rommelsbacher coffee grinder, you can apply the saying “a model for every occasion”.
Delonghi coffee grinders
A company of such prestige in the coffee and coffee sector, as the Italian Delonghi, could not be without its corresponding catalogue of grinders.
In this case, Delonghi coffee grinders are characterised by offering a very varied range: from very basic blade grinders to electric grinders of the highest range (and hundreds of pounds of price). The choice is yours.
Two of them, the KG49 and the KG89, have already been reviewed on our website. But we would like to make special mention of the Delonghi Dedica grinder, a professional grinder, of the highest range in the sector, with an LCD screen included and with the possibility of selecting the aroma or intensity of the coffee you are going to grind.
This Dedica Delonghi coffee grinder has two almost identical versions: the KG520 and the KG521 (one before the other). With neither of them, you will end up unhappy, we guarantee it.
Finally, we would also like to mention three other coffee grinder brands which, although we cannot place them at the same level as the previous ones due to their quality. It is worth mentioning because of their popularity and because their excellent quality-price ratio makes them the preferred ones among consumers and, in general, among the medium-low profile customer. We are referring to Taurus, Krups and Moulinex.
Taurus coffee grinders
The Spanish firm Taurus does not have an extensive menu of coffee grinders in its catalogue. Still, among the two models it has, the Taurus Automatic grinder stands out, an electric, compact and very cheap model that is permanently at the top of the sales lists in our country.
It is true that when buying a Taurus coffee grinder, you do not have many other options.
Krups coffee grinders
Something similar happens with Krups, a brand much more associated with the coffee sector than with the grinders, but which stands out for the Krups GVX242 grinder. It is a relatively powerful electric grinder, of medium-range, but which has a very attractive price for the features it offers. Possibly the king of the medium range of coffee grinders in the market.
The other Krups coffee grinder available from Amazon is curiously more powerful but also more expensive and possibly, therefore, less popular. There is also a Krups coffee grinder for seeds and spices, which can also be used to grind the coffee, although as it is a knife grinder, the result will not be as fine and precise as the more experienced consumers expect.
Moulinex coffee grinders
The range of Moulinex coffee grinders is somewhat more extensive, although in this case, there is no single one that stands out from the rest in terms of quality and performance. They are all quite economical – and necessary; it has to be said.
If you want to buy a Moulinex coffee grinder, the MC3001 is probably the first one you’ll find. But the rest of the components in its catalogue are very similar: electric grinders, with medium capacity and a super competitive price—and unbeatable cocktail for the average consumer.
The best coffee grinders 2021
Real espresso lovers, or business owners, are not satisfied with pre-ground coffee from the supermarket, nor with just any grinder at home. They need to measure and specify the fineness of their ground to the grinderimetre, and for that, they need the best coffee grinder.
And what is the best coffee grinder currently available? Well, we can’t mention just one, but I’m sure the winner can be among these five candidates.
Some of them are basic range models, which we have included in this ranking because of their quality-price ratio and because they fit what most consumers are looking for. If we were to draw up a ranking based exclusively on the pure “quality” of the appliance, we would only go for the coffee grinders for shops and hotels, and thus prices above 500 or 1000 pounds easily. And that doesn’t seem to us to be realistic or useful to our readers either.
Melitta coffee grinder
It is the best-selling electric grinder in the “mid-range”, the one preferred by the most demanding espresso aficionados. It also belongs to a prestigious company in the world of coffee, such as the German Melitta. Seventeen degrees of grinding, 200 grams of capacity, secure handling, what more could you ask for?
KYG 300-watt coffee grinder
It is possibly one of the best value for money grinders on the market.
Its official price is around 20 pounds, many times even below that figure. Still, even so, it is an electric grinder that gives excellent results and works at a higher power than other similar models: no less than 300 watts.
The only thing you will notice in the difference in price is that it is a knife grinder and not a grinder.
Graef CM70 coffee grinder
Another German company for our ranking of the best grinders of 2021: in this case, it is Graef and its spectacular CM70. There is another version, the CM800 grinder. Still, the latter is a semi-professional model, and for budgetary reasons, we believe that the CM70 fits the profile of the average and majority consumers much better.
Lidl Silvercrest coffee grinder
Silvercrest is the brand through which the German chain (yes, again the Germans) Lidl markets its small household appliances and household goods. You can find everything there, and of course, Lidl’s coffee grinder is no exception.
It is a 150-watt electric grinder with a single button operation, very cheap, focused on solving the needs of medium-low profile consumers in our country. Like everything this firm puts on sale, price is its main commercial asset.
Lidl coffee grinder: Opinions and characteristics
- Black plastic housing.
- One single start button.
- Capacity: approximately 70 grams of coffee.
- Lock with safety lock. If the lid is not closed correctly, the grinder does not work.
- Transparent lid to control the fineness of the grinding.
- Power consumption: 150 watts.
In short, a blade grinder, very easy to use and quite economical: its price is 13 pounds, to which you have to add the shipping costs in case you order it through Lidl’s website.
If you are planning to buy the Silvercrest coffee grinder, hurry up because you know that when the stock runs out, it will not be replenished, and you will have to wait for Lidl to resell a new consignment of the product.
IKEA coffee grinder
The Swedish brand Ikea is another one of those where you can find everything. Traditionally we associate it with furniture and home decoration, but it also markets many electrical appliances. Among them is this Ikea Allmänning coffee grinder, an electric grinder with a similar profile and price to the previous one.
Well, the truth is, if we look at the picture, it doesn’t look like a grinder. The body is entirely black, with no finish or adornments, and the only operating button that the Ikea grinder has is located at the top of the piece. We simply have to plug it into the power supply, press the button so that the blades start to turn and release it when we don’t want to grind anymore. Easy, right?
It is a knife grinder, with a transparent cover, with automatic temperature control (the grinder turns off when the sensor exceeds 115 º C), and has a height of just 17 cms.
Opinions? Well, the Ikea coffee grinder is not a professional grinder; that is clear: it should not be used for more than 60 seconds without interruption, as there is a risk of overheating, and we have already said that the sensor disables the grinder when this happens. But, for the price it has, you will find a few options more reliable.
Which coffee grinder to buy?
Once the presentations have been made and the leading models and manufacturers in the sector are known, it is time to decide which one to take home. And this is where a lot of questions arise: which coffee grinder should I buy? Which is the best coffee grinder for espresso? And for the French press? Which coffee grinder do you recommend for a cafe?
These and many other questions are often raised in the minds of consumers, and we will try to answer them all in this guide.
The most important thing is to know what to look for before buying a coffee grinder. To do so, follow the following tips to buy your grinder, and keep in mind the following parameters:
- Operation: there are manual grinders and electric grinders. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. In this guide, we treat both classes in-depth so that you know how they are before making your decision.
- Storage capacity: do you need to grind a lot of coffee at once, and then store it? Or do you just grind the right amount that you are going to use in the coffee maker? Smaller hand grinders usually have a capacity of 30 grams, while the best professional coffee grinders can store up to 250 or 300 grams of coffee beans.
- Grinding mechanism: there are blade grinders, or grinders. The first ones are cheaper, but they do not treat the grain correctly and can transmit different aromas to the coffee. If you are demanding with your espresso, you should opt for a grinder.
- Materials: Aluminum or steel blades or grinders can be overheated by friction and deteriorate more quickly. It is always better to look for a grinding mechanism with hardened steel wheels, with some special treatment, or directly with ceramic wheels.
- Precision/Grinding Grades: The grinder must allow you to adjust the thickness of the grinding, to obtain the right size bean you need for your coffee. Manual grinders can be calibrated manually, with total precision, while electric grinders have a series of predefined levels or thicknesses.
- Dispenser: large capacity grinders usually have a built-in dispenser, which is responsible for supplying the right dose of ground coffee (generally between 6 and 8 grams) to our filter or the desired container. If you do not have a dispenser, you will have to take “by eye” the amount of ground coffee to pour it into your coffee maker.
What is a coffee grinder for?
Let’s start with the basics. A coffee grinder is used to turn coffee beans into powder. That’s why in many countries, they are also known as bean grinders or coffee grinders.
Why is the bean ground? Because in this way, the surface of the coffee that is in contact with water when the drink is made increases exponentially. In this way, all the properties (aroma, colour, flavour, texture) of the coffee are transmitted to the liquid. Try filtering the water through the unground coffee beans; you will see the result.
What do we ask of a good coffee grinder?
Be clear that a bad coffee or a poorly ground coffee will never give good results, even if you use it with the best espresso machine on the market. So we advise you to gauge the importance of having a coffee grinder suitable for your needs.
A good coffee grinder has to be able to dose the coffee correctly (the recommended amount is 7 or 8 grams of coffee for each cup) and, above all, not transmit strange aromas or flavours to the coffee during grinding. It is a risk that occurs when the grinders or blades, ordinarily metallic, are heated during the grinding process.
To avoid overheating, the most advanced grinders pull technology and become real machines for grinding coffee.
They use systems such as using ceramic grinding wheels instead of steel wheels (they heat up much less), increasing the surface area of the grinding wheels or knives (the more significant the surface area, the better they dissipate the heat). They use conical grinding wheels instead of flat ones (the conical grinding wheel does not need to rotate at such a high speed as flat ones) or even using speed reduction systems on the rotary motor, as is the case with the MiniMoka GR0203.
How to choose a coffee grinder?
Let’s try to systematise in steps the arduous process of choosing a coffee grinder for your home. It won’t be easy, but the result will be more effective than if you go out and buy the first thing you see in your hypermarket display.
Here are three basic guidelines, which we recommend you read before reviewing our guide on how to choose a coffee grinder:
- There are several types of grinders (we’ll talk about them later), but there is one essential grouping above all, depending on how the beans are ground: blade grinders or grinder grinders. Grinding grinders grind (as their name suggests). Knife grinders grind. It looks the same, but it is not the same. If you are going to choose a grinder for coffee, and not for other ingredients, choose a grinding grinder.
- Which coffee maker do you have at home, and what kind of coffee are you going to make with the grinder? It will determine your needs and your budget. For example, if you only prepare espresso with an espresso machine, and you are careful and demanding with its quality, you will need a grinder that grinds very fine, and if possible with a dispenser to use always the same dose. If you are going to make filter coffee or French press coffee maker, then the dosage or fineness will not matter so much to you.
- If you want precision and speed, choose an electric one. If you enjoy the process and are not in a hurry to make your coffee, you can opt for a manual one.
Types of grinders: blade or grinder
There are several types of coffee grinders. The first and most natural categorisation in a coffee grinder is that of the instruments it uses precisely for grinding. Some grinders use blades for grinding (although more appropriate would be to say smash or slash), and which are much simpler and cheaper than grinding grinders.
Knife grinders can be used for coffee, but they are usually multipurpose and are also used to grind spices or other ingredients. Moreover, knife grinders do not allow us to select the thickness of the grinding.
The coffee grinders themselves are the grinders of grinding wheels or roller grinders (later on, we will show you what a grinder is and what types of grinders exist). The fundamental difference between grinding wheels and knives is that the wheels grind (crush) the coffee bean, while the knives cut it without any mercy or care. Although it sounds paradoxical to talk about grinding, a grinding wheel treats the coffee bean more lovingly than a blade does. And this the coffee maker knows how to appreciate.
There are also grinders for homemade coffee with very cheap grinders (starting from 15-20 pounds). Still, they extend much further: there is an extensive range of types, varieties and features that at their maximum can give rise to grinders of several hundred pounds in price. Another necessary detail that we must take into account when we talk about coffee grinders is that they allow us to select the degree of grinding or thickness of the grain that we are going to grind.
In our page and throughout this article, we will only analyse and refer to grinders since we consider them to be the most appropriate for grinding roasted coffee and those used by the vast majority of users and coffee experts.
Coffee grinders burrs: conical or flat
Conical or flat burrs grinders are suitable for grinding coffee beans. Not so the ones with blades (although many people use the latter for everything).
Flat grinders need the motor to turn faster, usually over 1000 RPM, while electric cone grinders turn at a significantly slower speed, around 500 RPM.
It means that conical ones have less risk of overheating.
The mechanical mounting system is the same for both flat and conical grinders: there are two wheels; a lower one that is fixed and mounted on the motor, and an upper one that is mounted on the first one and that varies in position when we select the thickness of the grind. By increasing or decreasing the distance between the wheels, we allow more substantial or smaller coffee beans or particles to pass through.
Below, you can see some flat grinding wheels already dismantled:
Manual and electric coffee grinders
In a manual espresso grinder (or hand grinder), we have to manually operate a crank to turn the grinders, while in electric grinders is a motor (with more or less power, usually between 100 w and 200 w) that takes care of this work. As usual, manual grinders are cheaper than an electric grinders.
The manual coffee grinder is more appreciated by collectors or by users who have several grinders in their house and use each one on different occasions. On the other hand, the electric coffee grinder tends to have a more specific and also more demanding use. This type of espresso coffee grinder is also known as an electric coffee grinder.
Coffee grinders with dispenser
The dispenser is a small container that we see attached to the outlet channel of the grinder, which is also called a dispenser. It is in charge of dispensing the right dose (hence its name) so that every time we use the grinder, we make sure we get the same amount of coffee.
The most common way to use the dispenser is to place the filter holder of our coffee maker under it and press the button or the corresponding mechanism on the grinder so that it dispenses the exact amount of coffee (dose).
The most advanced grinders with dispensers usually allow the regulation or calibration of this dose. For example, if you are going to prepare espressos, you will need precisely 7 grams of ground coffee. Not half a gram more, not half a gram less.
To achieve this precision, every time you go to make a cup of espresso, you need your grinder always to dispense the same dose. In this example, you would calibrate your grinder for a 7-gram dose, but you can also do it for 6 grams, 8, 9 or whatever you need according to your tastes and the type of coffee you are going to make.
The presence of the dispenser is not an exclusive function of professional grinders or top of the range ones. In the following gallery, we indicate some examples of coffee grinders with dispensers for home, so you can see the wide variety of prices and qualities that exist in the market:
Professional coffee grinders
So far, we have seen models that are mainly oriented towards home use. But there are other more expensive, more resistant and larger capacity coffee grinders designed to work for a long time and continued throughout the day. These are the so-called professional coffee grinders.
We will not go into detail about them: we refer you to the specialised guide to know them in-depth.
Cunill coffee grinders
The Cunill coffee grinders are highly appreciated in the hotel and catering industry and among good espresso lovers. For the same reason, the fact that they are only sold in the hotel and catering channels makes them unknown to the general public.
This company was founded in 1957 in Manresa (Barcelona) by Pere Cunill Riera, a mechanical genius ahead of his time, who began by making parts for the Gaggia grinders. Still, over time ended up developing his products and ideas, in many cases innovating with concepts never before seen in this industry.
To cite just a few examples are the design of the first grinder with full ABS bodywork, the first dispenser composed of 2 bodies, or the motors with self-ventilation systems. Also, today Cunill still manufactures its grinding cutters for the grinders. It is the only Spanish company that does so.
Cunill coffee grinders are handmade and can be customised in many details. Of course, a complete guarantee of results and reliability in the long term. And of course, the prices of Cunill coffee grinders are not exactly affordable, but we are talking about the créme de la créme in this sector.
Commercial coffee grinders
At a higher level are the industrial coffee grinders, designed to grind many kilos of coffee at the same time and used in the industrial field (coffee roasters, packers, etc.). All the pre-ground coffee you find in supermarkets comes from one of these giants.
Coffee grinders in Argos
The Carrefour chain of hypermarkets is the most widespread (in intense competition with Currys) and is making a firm commitment to its online store. If you want to buy your coffee grinder in Argos, you may go to the shops in your city and hardly find any model worthwhile. However, in their online store, they do have quite a few more options.
The coffee grinders at Argos are usually mid-range and electrically operated models. It restricts them to a price range of between 20 and 50 pounds or so (above that range would not fit the type of customer who goes to these stores).
Almost all of them belong to well-known brands, such as the Moulinex grinder, the Krups GVX2 or the well-known Aigostar Breath. And almost all of them, too, you will find on Amazon usually at a lower price. In short, a strategy very similar to the one we discussed when we talked about coffee makers at Argos.
Coffee grinders on Amazon
Where to buy a coffee grinder? On Amazon, of course. You guessed it. It’s the option we recommend, mainly for three reasons:
- Variety: The coffee grinder is not the most popular kitchen appliance. Its use is limited to only one sector of our country’s coffee consumers. For this reason, physical stores do not usually have a large number of models or brands. At Amazon you will not have that problem: find just the coffee grinder you are looking for, without detours. It is especially useful if you are looking for a high-end, or semi-professional, coffee grinder. Those are hard to find in any physical establishment.
- Price: in many cases, you can find the same grinder cheaper on Amazon than in a store or from the original manufacturer.
- Speed: in 1 or 2 days you can have your new grinder at home, without complications. And with the security of being able to return it if you are not convinced after the first uses.
Old Elma coffee grinders
The Elma coffee grinders were already mentioned in the guide to old coffee grinders. These are very recognisable pieces, generally built-in sheet metal with very characteristic lines and finished in bright colours (red, blue, white, all very bright). They are, in many cases, authentic collector’s pieces.
There are Elma brand coffee grinders in both veneer and ceramic and wood. Here you have a picture of one of the most recognisable specimens:
Coffee and spice grinders
There are always those who insist on buying a grinder for coffee and spices, or in other words: a multipurpose grinder for grinding anything in the kitchen. We don’t recommend it at all, especially if you’re worried about the quality of your coffee. It is preferable to buy a specific coffee grinder and then use a proper spice grinder for the salt, pepper or seasoning you need.
In any case, and as doctors have the church, we will give you some brief recommendations in case you want to buy a coffee and spice grinder all in one.
- First of all, make it a knife grinder. It’s not optimal for coffee, but your spices will thank you for it. Almost all multipurpose grinders are blade grinders.
- Second, make it easy to clean. It is always essential to clean your coffee grinder frequently, but if you are already mixing the ingredients, then cleaning should be mandatory and thorough.
- All the above features are usually grouped in an electric grinder, which is compact, wholly dismountable and whose parts can be washed separately (if possible in the dishwasher, since you will have to do it often).
Coffee grinders for espresso
As we learned in our article on the different types of grinding, espresso must be made with a fine grind. And many of the shortcomings of our morning (or afternoon) espressos are simply that the ground coffee is not fine enough. Or directly by using pre-ground, packaged coffee, which is almost a sacrilege for these purposes.
The solution is to grind the coffee finer, or in other words, to use a suitable espresso grinder. Why not: not all grinders are espresso grinders.
- If you have a manual coffee grinder, squeeze the mechanism as hard as you can until you get just the right amount of finesse that your coffee maker needs. It will also be a matter of you spending more time than usual turning the handle.
- If, on the other hand, you use an electric grinder, we understand that it will be an essential or medium range (because those who use a professional grinder are unlikely to encounter this type of problem). And here is the crux of the matter: not all-electric grinders are suitable for espresso.
The thing is straightforward: all the electric grinders come with a series of predefined grind thicknesses, let’s say, for example, from 1 to 10 (1 being the most exceptional grind level). And of course, to make espressos we think that levels 1, 2 or 3 may be sufficient. And this is not the case. In many home coffee grinders, even the most excellent level does not produce a fine enough result to make an espresso.
In this section, we will give you some recommendations and examples of coffee grinders suitable for espresso. To begin with, any of the so-called professionals are more than capable of this task. But we understand that not everybody has the budget to get one of these toys, so here are also some examples of cheaper espresso grinders:
Delonghi Grinder KG89
The Delonghi KG89 is the top-of-the-range home grinder within Delonghi, including a dosing unit and up to 9 pre-determined grinding thicknesses. The first of these can serve our purposes—a good espresso grinder, which also comes from a manufacturer with guarantees.
Klarstein Triest espresso coffee grinder
This espresso grinder only has six levels, but in the last one, we can find enough precision for our goal of getting a good espresso. Besides, the digital control panel is a plus compared to the rest of the rivals.
Severin Grinder 3873
The Severin 3873 coffee grinder also makes it possible to obtain a fine enough grind to be able to make espresso as the canons require. It has a capacity of 100 grams, and the grinding thicknesses are numbered from 1 to 10. If you’re looking to make espressos, you should try level 1 or 2, at most. It’s not the best grinder for espresso, but it’s one of the most reliable on a budget that’s, say, “medium” or affordable.
Also worth considering are grinders such as the Graef CM70 or the Melitta Molino, with 25 and 17 levels (thicknesses) of ground to choose from. Accurate enough to ensure that the grinders are close enough together on the lower levels to achieve the result we are looking for in an espresso grinder.
Large coffee grinders
When we talk about high capacity coffee grinders, we refer to models that allow storing, and ultimately grind, an amount of coffee higher than 250-300 grams of coffee, which is more or less the limit to the best home coffee grinders have.
In this context, if we are looking to buy a large coffee grinder, we would have to look at some examples from the professional or semi-professional range.
A giant coffee grinder on the market today, at least in the home channel, maybe the Minimoka GR-0203, which has a 500-gram hopper (half a kilo of coffee beans).
However, bear in mind that a high-capacity coffee grinder also implies a relatively large size (in terms of physical dimensions). They are not suitable for all kitchens or all spaces, so make sure you have a place to put it before you drop the money.
Continuous or staggered grinding thicknesses
Coffee grinders for espresso machines, and especially electric grinders, usually have various predefined grinding grades that determine the thickness of the bean to be ground. For example: level 1 (very fine), level 2, level 3 (less fine), etc.
But there are also grinders whose adjustment is completely manual: they allow the user to manually move the grinding wheels together or apart as much as desired.
It results in infinite grinding levels. In this way, the grinding is much more precise, as you might expect, but it is also more challenging to handle. It takes a lot of experience to know the exact grinding point for each type of coffee and to determine it 100% manually.
A hybrid between these two systems is the so-called micrometric adjustment: the user can calibrate his grinder to the level he wants, without predefined settings. But more straightforward way than if he had to calibrate it by hand (which usually involves pulling a screwdriver and tightening or loosening the mechanism so that the grinders are closer together or further apart.
In a manual coffee grinder, there are no such settings, and the accuracy of the grinding will often be determined by the time you’re giving the handle.
Parts of an espresso grinder
In addition to the grinding wheels, which we have already discussed and which constitute the fundamental element of a homemade coffee grinder – as they are responsible for grinding – there are other essential parts that the user must know to evaluate the purchase of a coffee grinder. We will focus on two: the hopper and the dispenser.
The hopper is one of the most important because it is the container where the coffee beans are deposited before being ground. Therefore, it is a surface that will be permanently in contact with the coffee. It is essential to clean it frequently, and it is advisable not to leave the coffee there too long (the ideal is to grind only the amount that is going to be consumed, but for practical reasons, this is not always feasible to accomplish). Its capacity varies a lot depending on the type and price of the grinder.
The dispenser, on the other hand, is the container where the ground coffee is collected. Usually, the grinders have an automatic system so that the user can determine exactly how much (or how many doses) of coffee he wants to grind. For example, the 7 grams of coffee sent by the fees to prepare an espresso is then transferred to a container associated with the dispenser.
There are containers of different capacities (usually between 100 and 200 grams) and also of different materials. A glass dispenser is not the same as a plastic one, as the particles of ground coffee are so small that they can get “stuck” to the walls of the dispenser due to electrostatics and are therefore much more challenging to handle. It is better to have a dispenser that avoids this problem.
If you are a professional or more demanding than the average home user, you should know that the dispenser gives you the security of serving the same amount of grams of coffee in each cup exactly. For example, for an espresso, we recommend 6 or 7 grams of ground coffee. It will allow you to prepare each cup faster than if you had to calculate the amount of ground coffee you will use yourself.
Apart from these advantages, grinders with a dispenser have some disadvantages. For example, since the coffee in the dispenser’s storehouse is already ground, it is much more critical than in the case of the hopper not to let it stay there for a long time. It is also advisable to clean it thoroughly every day to prevent the spread of aromas.
In the following picture, you can see the Severin 3873 grinder with its separate dispenser:
How to clean an espresso coffee grinder
Cleaning the coffee grinder is always a delicate operation but very necessary if we want to keep our appliance in perfect working order.
The grinding of coffee is an aggressive process, and both the grinders and the internal pipes of the grinder accumulate sediments. Dirty coffee remains, which affect the purity of subsequent grindings. So if you want to know how to clean a coffee grinder, take a look at this practical tutorial:
Cleaning an electric coffee grinder
As they are electrical appliances and generally more complex, electric grinders follow a somewhat more complicated process than manual ones when it comes to cleaning, especially since more components have to be taken into account.
For the time being, these simple tips will help you:
- Get a small brush or a small paintbrush. Many grinders include this accessory with the appliance.
- In the channel that communicates the hopper with the grinder, many grains are usually left stuck. Make sure it is closed before dismantling the hopper for cleaning.
- Turn your espresso grinder on, without adding any beans, to grind any debris that may be left inside. Pick up what comes out, and then wait a little while for the grinders to cool down.
- Take the brush and clean the grinders (or blades, if it is a primary grinder) well. At this point you can, if you wish, dismantle the grinder completely and clean each part more thoroughly.
- Finally, there are two elements that you should also go over because they can also store debris: the dispenser (if the grinder has one) and the outlet channel to the outside.
Cleaning a manual coffee grinder
Essentially, the process for cleaning a manual coffee grinder is the same as for an electric one, but without taking into account elements such as the hopper or the doser. Just dismantle the mechanism, and remove with the brush the remains of ground coffee that may remain.
Another more traditional but equally effective technique is to clean your coffee and rice grinder. The rice acts as a desiccant and absorbent so that when it is ground, it will suck the oils from the coffee and leave the interior of your grinder much cleaner and odour free.
However, there is one thing you should never do: immerse your coffee grinder in water. It can cause the inner mechanisms to rust if they don’t dry properly or even cause coffee grounds to stick instead of being removed if the grinder has wooden components.
How to dismantle a coffee grinder
There are times when it is necessary to disassemble your coffee grinder, for example, to calibrate it, to investigate possible malfunctions, to store it for a long time, or simply to clean it more thoroughly from time to time. Remember: a coffee grinder for an espresso machine has the same or greater importance in the result of the drink as the coffee machine itself. Don’t neglect it!
Whatever your goal, dismantling your coffee grinder is a task that must be done with high precision and attention. Especially when it comes to reassembling it, if you don’t have everything exactly as it was at the beginning, the result can be disastrous, and your grinder may never work as it did before.
- Before disassembling your coffee grinder, please consult the manual. The manufacturer often explains how to do this, as each brand and model may have its peculiarities and nooks and crannies.
- Check that the coffee grinder is completely unplugged.
First, remove the parts that have nothing to do with the grinding mechanism: hopper, dispenser, housing, etc. Don’t forget to wipe them down with a cloth or brush to remove any remaining dirt.
- Then see how you can access the engine. In many cases, the grinder has some screws in the base that can be unscrewed, and from there you can access -from bottom to top- the mechanism where the propellers or blades are.
- If the electric grinder is a grinder, then you should be able to loosen it and remove it from above.
- Finally, always remember to do a small test (with a small amount of coffee) after reassembling your grinder. You should make sure that you have mounted it correctly and that it works well, before you get down to work with it again.
How to calibrate a coffee grinder
Electric grinders usually have several predefined grinding levels or thicknesses, so there is usually no need to calibrate them. They operate correctly and are adjusted to the chosen thickness without the need for user intervention.
However, with manual (or electric) grinding grinders, it is necessary to calibrate the grinding wheels of the grinder. That is, to separate them or bring them closer together so that the grinding is more or less subtle depending on our preferences.
This is usually done with a screwdriver by loosening or tightening a nut in the centre of the grinding mechanism. This:
Generally, if we turn clockwise, we will be loosening the burrs (separating them) so that we will obtain a thicker grind.
If we turn counterclockwise, we will be tightening the mechanism and therefore bringing the grinding wheels together. This will result in a finer grinding.
We must remember that the operation of calibrating the coffee grinder is only done on those who use grinding wheels. Those with blades do not allow this operation, as they have only one fixed position.
Finally, we would like to mention another series of additional steps that professional baristas must take when calibrating the coffee grinder, such as the doses (remember: you need 7 grams for an espresso). What happens is that in the home environment, many grinders do not have a dispenser, and the user, in many cases, does not even know what this element is for.
Coffee grinder: Price
There’s everything here, so let’s get to the point (never better). The cheapest ones, from 10 or 15 pounds. The most expensive, the professional or commercial ones, up to 200 or 300 pounds. Sometimes, even more. Of course, nothing to do with the purpose of one with the other. Everyone adjusts their budget as best they can.
The price of a coffee grinder determines to a great extent the quality of the grinding and the final use to which it will be put. And the best coffee grinder is not the most expensive, but the one that best suits the type of coffee you are going to prepare later.
In general, if you are going to prepare espresso coffees, then you need to be a little more demanding with the performance of your grinder, and consequently, you will have to spend more money. If you’re going to make other types of coffee, you’ll be served with a medium or coarse-grain grinder, so the precision of the grinder won’t be as relevant to you. You will be able to evaluate other parameters, such as comfort, speed or design.
Second-hand coffee grinders
An exciting alternative if we want to buy a cheap coffee grinder is to buy a second-hand grinder.
Coffee grinders are instruments designed to last for many years, especially manual ones, so a second-hand coffee grinder can still give us excellent service for a long time. Besides, there is always the option of recalibrating it or replacing some parts in the grinding mechanism. Proof of this is the extensive market for old second-hand grinders on the Internet – we’re talking about models that are sometimes decades old!
If you are interested in this sector, check out all the second-hand coffee grinders currently on sale at Amazon.
All coffee grinders on our website
Finally, we offer you the links to the analyses of the coffee grinders that we have done so far in coffeemaker.top: All the grinder analyses.
Here you have in second place the division of grinders according to their mode of operation: electric or manual.
And finally, a practical shopping guide for you to know the best and most sold coffee grinders in the market for less than 30 pounds: Cheap Coffee Grinders.
So, which coffee grinder suits me?
Beyond these classifications, coffee grinders have different features or functions depending on their price and the type of consumer they are aimed at.
You can vary, for example, the capacity of the hopper (the container where we put the coffee beans), the precision when determining the degree of grinding. From the finest to the thickest grade, there are grinders with 10 or 12 levels and others that allow you to select up to 40 different levels with high precision, as is the case with the Graef CM800.
No one type of grinder is necessarily better than another; you simply have to look for the coffee grinder that best suits your needs.
The fineness or thickness of the grinder depends on several factors: the type of coffee, the degree of roasting the coffee has (not all are equally permeable or resistant to the passage of water), and also the pressure with which we press it into the filter of our coffee maker. If the grind is thicker than recommended, we will have to press it a little more than usual.
If, on the other hand, the ground coffee is too fine, then it is advisable to apply less pressure when pressing it to allow the water to circulate a little better. The optimum pressure for preparing espresso, according to baristas, is equivalent to exerting a uniform pressure of 20 kg over the entire surface of the coffee already in the filter.
So, as you can see, preparing a good espresso is a reasonably traditional process in which the barista has to control many parameters with high precision. To learn more about this subject, we recommend you read our guide on the different types of coffee grinding.
If you drink espresso, we advise you to invest -within your possibilities- in a good grinder. From here on, the decision is yours.
Best-selling coffee grinders in 2021
And we end our guide with a ranking: the best-selling coffee grinders in 2021. It is a ranking elaborated from real data from Amazon and updated every 24 hours. As you can see, cheap, electric, multipurpose grinders are the winners. The best for your coffee is not always the best for your pocket, and the tastes of the average consumer are not usually too demanding on the quality of the espresso (and, therefore, its grind).