Picking the correct coffee grinder is not only a difficult task, but one of the most important ones for the coffee enthusiast. Having the right cup of coffee at the start of the day can be a make or break factor to anyone really relying on that first bit of caffeine to kick-start their day.
There are a wide range of different coffee grinders available for you to get your hands on nowadays, but which one you pick with largely depend on your coffee drinking preferences.
Testing the Best Coffee Grinder
Our team took the liberty of testing out a wide range of machines from a huge variety of coffee makers to find the best coffee grinder. We recorded some of our results, and we found the three in this article to be the ones that came out on top.
Down below, you’ll find our pick of our favorite coffee machines, how we tried them out, and why we think they’re the go-to to for that morning pick me up, and why you may think they’re the best coffee grinder.
The Breville Smart Grinder Pro, which is based on the Smart Grinder, comes complete with a few improvements. The Smart Grinder includes a one-pound bean hopper with a rubber gasket on the lid, helping to keep it airtight.
The bean hopper is also removable and actually shuts off the flow of beans, so that you can switch the beans out or transfer to the burrs, which we’ll get to in a second.
First of all, the grind time: instead of it being a gradient burr that goes across, it’s actually measured in seconds.
For example, if you can have it set for 17 seconds, put your portafilter under the bottom, and there is a button under there; if you just push with the portafilter, it starts it up, or you can start it up at the top if you prefer.
If you’re grinding for a double or triple basket, you only have to grind for eight seconds or so. Afterwards, you just stop it, shake it out, which in actuality, isn’t really stopping it, but rather pausing it. Then you put it back in, hit start and it will complete the remainder of the time left.
That’s a nice new feature that the previous version didn’t have and puts it up there in the stakes for the best coffee grinder.
It does, however, have a container just like the old one, with the cups and the filter size on the side, so that you can grind right down into it if you’re using drip mode. It has two portafilter holders – one for 50 to 54 mm, which is the typical size of the portafilters on some of Breville’s machines. You also have the 58, if you have the double boiler or the Oracle.
Another thing that makes this one a little bit different, are the burrs that come out by turning counter clockwise. These have 60 settings; there are also numbers to choose from – 1 to 10 in combination with the burr orientation.
Let’s say for example your coffee is not coarse enough, you just have to make a few adjustments and can change the burrs ever so slightly to get the perfect consistency.
You can also change how many shots you’re doing, and it will change accordingly.
And if you’re not quite there yet; say you want to tweak it just a little, you’ve got 10 more settings – making a total of 70 settings on this. There is also a mechanism that disables it, so you can’t grind up your fingers or anything else that gets caught in there, like for example if your kids are throwing down their action figures.
All-in-all, we would say the Breville is a good choice for somebody who wants to do espresso, drip and French press, because it does go up to a coarse setting as well – and way up to the top for French press. Without a doubt, a really great, versatile grinder.
The Baratza Virtuoso is a great coffee grinder, making it simple to start your day off right. So this machine, being a burr grinder, comes built with conical steel burrs at the top. When taking a look at it, you’ll be able to see the top burr and the lower burr, with their teeth fairly close together.
Don’t forget that when you’re putting this together, the little tabs will go down into a slot, so make sure you line that up before continuing. There is also a pointer on the plastic hopper, which holds 8 ounces of beans. The Baratza offers 40 settings here, from 1 at the finest up to 40 at the coarsest, and everything in between.
Breaking down the grind consistency, at it’s coarsest, it’s not very consistent, but you could opt to take it down a notch. We tried it first at 40, then went down to 35 to make a nice French press. This is middle of the road, where you’re getting it into your drip.
Also, bare in mind, it’s a grinder - it’s loud. Some settings are louder than others and sometimes the tone is a little different. Thankfully, when you lift the lid, it’s going to cut back on some of the noise and contain it.
The little bit of metal on the casing gives it a little heft and makes it very nice to handle. It also has a button on the front – if you have a portafilter, you can put it under there, push the button, grind right into your portafilter, and when you get what you want, you just stop. There’s also a collection bin that slots in too.
Bear in mind that the Virtuoso does not come with the portaholder – unlike the Preciso, just so you know. There’s a Timer switch on the side and when you take a look at it, you’ll see it’s going backwards, although the marks don't really equate to anything as far as cups or minutes.
That essentially is the Virtuoso from Baratza. We’d say it’s a good all-around grinder, for everything from drip, pour over and French press, and can even handle a decent espresso. If you happen to have a pressurized portafilter, you can use it, too.
If you ever think you're going to step up to a non-pressurized machine, it may be a good idea to go up to the Preciso, as it grinds finer.
What gives the OXO Barista Brain its name is that it will count how many cups of coffee that you want it to grind for you, and it will weigh your coffee out as well. A coffee grinder with a weighing device is something special.
Let’s start by going through the features. Under the hood, it has a latch that you push down, so that you can take the bean hopper off. This bean hopper is able to hold a whole pound of beans, and when you take it off, it has a valve that automatically shuts, so the beans don’t fly all over the countertop. There are 40 mm stainless steel conical burrs, and yes, they’re brilliant.
So how it works is pretty cool. Lock the hopper back in, and the valve opens up on the bottom – you also get a container for the metal tray, which catches grains – all you have to do is clean it off.
If you hold the button in the center, it will let you switch between grams or cups of portafilter. When you are on portafilter and you push the button to go, it will just run continuously.
Or when you’re in the cup mode, you can set it for a certain number of cups – the preset is 8 grams per cup for the drip (per OXO). If you brew up a batch and you want it a little bit stronger, you can set it so the next time you grind, you can ‘plus’ it, and every time it will put in 4 grams more.
Being able to plus or minus it means it’s relatively fine-tuned. The other thing that it does, when you’re in grams mode, is begin to weigh things out. You can ask it for however many grams you want, put some coffee in there and it will begin to grind it.
Just for a comparison, we set it to the middle setting (between 1 to 15), just to see what it looks like. We also took it to the finest and then to the coarsest, so that we could see the results from this grinder. 9 grams was plenty – we didn’t want to fill the plate.
We did some testing on a French press, and it wasn’t bad at all. When you go higher in numbers, consistency on most grinders becomes an issue. The medium grind we found to be a little more consistent, and we call that a drip.
And on the finest, which is what many consider to be espresso, it will not work for a machine that does not have the non-pressurized standard.
Having a pressurized system is a must. Non-pressurized like the Silvia, Rocky, the Rocket machines, or anything of that caliber, and it’s not going to go fine enough.
So, what are the pros and cons of the Barista Brain? We would say, in the beginning, when we opened it up and started using it, that we really had to get into the manual. We found that the grams, if you went up like we were grinding at - 15, 16, 17 grams, it would consistently grind a gram over.
It would read the number that you dialed in, but then we weighed it on another scale and we found it consistently was a gram over.
What we believe is happening is that it will, for instance, measure out 17, and then the last bit in the chute falls down onto the plate, which we think weighs about a gram.
The good news about this grinder, however, is it has the weighing device, cups and portafilter. And it has those settings for you, so that’s definitely nice. All-in-all, a strong grinder with a few, tiny setbacks.
So, What is The Best Coffee Grinder?
As you can see, the coffee machines we have picked are able to supply a variety of different coffee drinking experiences thanks to their different builds, features and designs. Making a carefully, informed choice is of the utmost importance for us coffee drinkers and should by no means be taken lightly!
Although we’ve tested these out and found many of these to be our favorite, what you might enjoy more is something tailored to your drinking experience in a different way. Saying that, we mean we would always suggest doing a little research on what machines are out there and finding something that really fits your style and preference. These are just a good point of reference on what we were impressed by and may not be your definitive choice as the best coffee grinder!
Last update on 2021-04-13 at 14:40 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API