Best Espresso Grinder

Best Espresso Grinder

If you’re a lover of everything coffee, chances are you’re always on the hunt for ways to make your delicious cup of coffee taste even better!

You probably also know that a good cup of coffee depends on many factors including the quality of the beans and the performance of the espresso machine.

But a great cup of coffee? Well, that’s a whole different story starring espresso grinders!

Yes, a reliable espresso grinder can take your morning (or afternoon, or just about any time!) coffee routine to entirely new profiles of flavors that’ll have you wondering how you went through life before!

So if you want to explore the different (and remarkably improved) dimensions of fresh coffee grind, then you need the best espresso grinder!

Today, I’ll be helping you land the perfect deal with a detailed buying guide and a list of the top 10 espresso grinders. Now, let’s not waste any time and get started!

Why Should You Buy an Espresso Grinder?

Once you step into the world of coffee that’s beyond shops and cafés, any coffee lover will tell how much better your coffee would taste if you use freshly ground coffee.

If you’re currently using pre-ground coffee or worse; a standard kitchen grinder, then you need to make the switch as soon as possible. I mean, the difference you’ll instantly notice in the flavor, aromatics, acidity sweetness, body, and texture makes it totally worth it!

You see, pre-ground coffee loses all the natural aromas of the beans and gets exposed to numerous factors that alter the flavor profile of the coffee from the moment it was ground, leaving you with a drink that’s least described as stale.

On the other hand, roasted coffee beans are able to store the aromatics and flavors for a couple of weeks from the date of roasting, which means they stay “fresh” and stable for much longer than pre-ground coffee.

However, it’s not enough to just switch to roasted coffee beans, you also need a quality grinder (burr or blade? more on this later) to properly transform those beans into coffee grounds suitable for your beverage of choice.

In today’s case, it’s an espresso, which requires a particular degree of fineness, but such grinders also offer a range of grind sizes to produce various styles of coffee drinks.

The Science Behind Freshly Ground Coffee

At first, I kind of took this whole idea of “freshly ground coffee just tastes better” for granted. I didn’t really question the principle, I mean, it did taste better than any other coffee I had.

However, the more I read about the topic, the more curious I got. And so, I wanted to get to the bottom of this thing but with a scientific approach to really understand why freshly ground coffee tastes better than pre-ground.

According to my extensive research, it’s rather what causes the coffee grind to degrade that we should be looking at because the actual issue here is pre-ground coffee being mediocre!

So here are a few reasons why freshly ground coffee is superior to pre-ground:

Oxidation

Coffee beans contain certain compounds that are responsible for creating the flavors and aromas you experience once brewed. These compounds are pretty complex, but some of them are also unstable.

This means they’re prone to changing, and quickly at that. One of the easiest and most common changes occur when these compounds interact with air molecules, mainly oxygen, causing the release of desirable flavor.

This process is called oxidation, and it’s apparently a good thing because it’s how you get to enjoy delicious coffee once you grind your beans and brew the grind. But that’s the thing, oxidation is only harmless within a short period.

If you wait too long to brew the grind, you’ll probably end up with a less than satisfying cup of coffee.

This is because oxidation of the grind particles will continue regardless of brewing, and so, changes will carry on happening to the point that it becomes a waste of flavor. This is exactly what you get from pre-ground coffee, but never freshly ground!

Carbon Dioxide Depletion

Did you know that there are up to 10 liters of carbon dioxide in 1 kilogram of dark-roasted coffee?

Not just that, carbon dioxide is also an alley to coffee flavors as it slows down the oxidation process upon storage. But carbon dioxide doesn’t remain inside the beans forever. It actually goes through a process called degassing where it’s released gradually over the days following roasting.

On its way out, carbon dioxide takes most of the oils and volatile aromas of your beans, and when they’re ground, the escape is only accelerated.

Of course, if you brew your coffee right after grinding, you won’t have a problem obtaining those flavors and aromatics. But the longer you wait before you use your grounds, the more carbon dioxide you’ll be losing. You can then say hello to a weak and degraded cup of coffee.

Contamination

Another thing you’d be risking when playing with pre-ground coffee is contamination. No, I’m not talking about bacteria and such, but rather the contamination of your grounds’ flavor and odor.

There are probably all sorts of odors floating around your kitchen, which can very much find their way to infecting ground coffee. The result could be onion or garlic-flavored brew.

If this doesn’t sound yummy to you, then freshly ground coffee is yet again the better choice for you.

You may be thinking “my coffee ground is probably safe in the fridge “, and I have one response to this: go take a whiff of the inside of your fridge so you can get used to the new taste of your coffee!

How Does a Grinder Affect Coffee?

By now it should be obvious what the purpose of a grinder is; to break down coffee beans into coffee ground. But this process is actually not that simple because a grinder does more than a mere size change. Here’s a couple of ways a grinder affects your coffee:

Temperature

The grinding process produces heat and the coffee ground holds onto this heat. The final product of your brew doesn’t only depend on how even your ground is, but also on its temperature after grinding.

Heat can negatively affect your brew, so the higher the temperature, the worse it’s going to get. This happens when you continuously use the grinder so its components get hotter.

You can avoid the risk of your coffee grounds becoming too hot by limiting the extended use of the grinder per session. In other words, try to grind just the amount of coffee you need without running the grinder for too long.

Static Charge

No one really expects that grinding coffee beans can lead to the formation of static charge but it’s definitely possible. Yes, the same static charge that causes a balloon to stick to your hair!

Here, no balloons will be sticking to your coffee, but your coffee grounds could literally jump out of the ground container due to static charge.

This static is a result of coffee being ground then forced through a channel into a container.

While you can’t completely control most of the factors affecting such a phenomenon (for example, humidity and temperature), you can choose a grinder that lets you control other influencing aspects such as the grinding speed.

  • Note – high-speed grinders add the most heat and produce the most static charge in your freshly ground coffee.

Grind Size

The most noticeable effect of a grinder is indeed the transformation of coffee beans into coffee grounds. But there’s more to it.

You don’t just grind coffee beans to a random size and hope for the best (seriously, don’t!). No, you determine how fine or coarse your coffee is ground according to the type of espresso/coffee machine you’re using, as well as how fresh and roasted the beans are.

This how you truly make the most out of your machine and achieve the best possible brewing.

For example, you want very chunky and coarse coffee grounds to make a french press style coffee. On the other hand, an espresso demands grinding beans to a fine size similar to table salt.

Are Burr Grinders Better than Blade Grinders?

There are 2 main types of grinders: blade grinders and burr grinders. I frequently hear and see people either stressing the fact that burr grinders are better than blade grinders or simply wondering if it’s really true.

As usual, I can’t let such a controversy pass without settling it once and for all. So I figured the best way to do it is by explaining both types and pointing out their advantages and drawbacks.

Blade Grinders

As the name suggests, a blade grinder is equipped with a propeller-looking blade that chops coffee beans into smaller pieces.

Blade grinders work by slicing the beans, where you can control the size of the grind through timing. The longer you let the grinder operate, the finer the coffee is ground.

Such grinders are cheap and easy to figure out. They can be a nice entry-level option for newbie brewers, but coffee veterans wouldn’t come within an arm’s length from these machines.

Why? Well, for starters, blade grinders produce an uneven grind varying from powder to chunks, which is unacceptable for a quality cup of coffee.

Also, the coffee picks up lots of static which makes the operation downright messy.

Burr Grinders

Burr grinders, on the other hand, utilize burrs to crush the coffee beans rather than slice them. The burrs are located at the bottom of the unit powered by a motor.

Such grinders produce a superior quality grind when it comes to consistency and precision. This explains why they’re the go-to option for passionate brewers at home as well as commercial use.

The catch? Burr grinders are bigger in size, require more energy, and cost more money.

If you opt for a burr grinder, you still need to decide between the 2 types of burrs: flat and conical.

  • Flat burrs – these are designed as 2 identical and parallel rings, serrated on the sides where they face one another. They draw the beans towards the center to meet the burr teeth. You can adjust the grind profile by moving the rings closer together or farther apart.
  • Conical burrs – these are designed as 2 cone-like burrs with ridges that work together to crush beans even more precisely than flat burrs. You can adjust the grind profile by degrees, which are plenty thanks to the layout of the teeth. These burrs are also a bit more expensive, however, they last longer.

What Makes a Good Espresso Grinder?

When shopping for the best espresso grinder, there are a number of factors you need to consider if you want to make the right purchase.

Speed

The aspect of speed is for burr grinders. They can be either high speed or low speed.

High-speed burr grinders offer more consistency and control over the grind size when compared to blade grinders. However, they also produce similar heat amounts.

Low-speed burr grinders, on the other hand, offer very little or no heat and static formation, as well as quiet operation along with incredible consistency.

Stepped vs Stepless

These refer to the different styles of grind size adjustment. The main differences are the allowed number of settings and whether or not you can lock the setting into place once you’ve made your adjustment.

Stepped grinders allow the “locking in” feature, yet the range of settings isn’t as wide as stepless style grinders. Here, you can commonly see options like extra coarse, coarse, medium coarse, medium, fine, and extra fine. The “fine” setting is crucial for brewing espresso shots.

The latter offers infinite control of grind fineness adjustment, so you can freely experiment with your espresso shots.

Hopper Size

The size of the grinder’s hopper determines how much coffee beans you can store and how often you’ll be refilling the machine.

Obviously the bigger the hopper, the more coffee beans it can hold, which means fewer refill trips for you!

But remember, this also means a larger grinder, which can be problematic if you’re tight on kitchen space.

Top 10 Espresso Grinders

After reviewing dozens of coffee grinders, I’ve put together a list of the 10 best espresso grinders available on the market.

Breville The Smart Pro Coffee Grinder  BCG820

Kicking off the list with a highly praised brand, Breville is known for making quality kitchen appliances and The Smart Pro Coffee Grinder is no exception.

This grinder is a conical burr style, which means it can produce an even grind time after time without faltering. It offers 60 different grind settings ranging from the coarsest grind for French Press coffee, all the way to finest grind for espresso shots.

The Smart Pro coffee grinder features a digital timer that you can adjust in 0.2-second intervals for extra precise operation and dosing every use.

The burrs are made from stainless steel and they’re designed to keep grinding heat to a minimum so you don’t have to worry about volatile compounds of your coffee. The hopper has about 16oz capacity to hold beans, with a locking mechanism for easy attachment and detachment.

Breville didn’t forget about convenience as their grinder lets you grind directly into a portafilter or an airtight container. Both options are included with the package where you get 2 portafilter sizes as well as a container with lid and sealing cap.

Pros

  • 60 grind settings
  • Built-in timer with 0.2 intervals
  • Precise dosing
  • Comes with airtight container and 2 sizes portafilter
  • Clear LCD display

Cons

  • Sometimes makes a humming noise when plugged in but turned off
  • A bit too pricey

Capresso Infinity Conical Burr Grinder

Combining reliability with affordability, the Infinity Conical Burr Grinder from Capresso has earned thousands of positive reviews thanks to its precision in grinding and bargain price.

This grinder utilizes commercial-grade burrs made from stainless steel to produce a consistent grind with every cup of coffee.

It comes with a decent range of grind sizes divided into 4 major categories. There are 16 settings in total classified under extra-fine, fine, medium, and coarse.

This means you can brew all sorts of beverages such as Turkish, espresso, and French Press. Moreover, the installed gear reduction motor works to minimize heat to preserve flavors and aroma at a low noise operation.

The infinity grinder is equipped with a bean container of capacity 8.8 ounces, while the grinding container stores up to 4.4 ounces of ground coffee. Both offer alright storage space, but the most impressive.

You can set the built-in timer anywhere between 5 and 60 seconds for enhanced precision. This grinder is also available in black and stainless steel colors. It comes with a cleaning brush and a measuring scoop.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Multiple grind settings
  • Quiet operation
  • Includes cleaning brush and measuring scoop
  • Durable
  • Low static

Cons

  • Tends to waste a bit of coffee
  • Prone to clogging if not cleaned regularly

JavaPresse Manual Coffee Grinder

Switching things up with a manual grinder, this one from JavaPresse isn’t only powerful and very affordable, but it’s also extremely popular among thousands of coffee lovers.

The JavaPresse Manual Coffee Grinder offers impressive precision when it comes to how fine or how coarse you want your coffee.

This is possible thanks to the built-in grind selector with 18 different settings to give you complete control over the size of your coffee grounds.

The way you operate the JavaPresse grinder is via a hand crank which is also removable for convenience during travels since you can easily pack it away.

Such a mechanism allows for a quieter process, claiming up to 90% noise reduction compared to electric grinders. You also won’t be needing any power sources or cables.

The JavaPresse grinder is equipped with conical burrs made from ceramic. Their design is tested for durability, lasting up to 5 times longer than stainless steel blades.

You can make all types of coffee drinks from espresso shots to drip coffee and French Press. Additionally, you get a unique code to claim a free bag of coffee beans!

Pros

  • Very quiet
  • 18 grind size adjustments
  • Works out your arms
  • Removable hand crank
  • Great customer service
  • Good price

Cons

  • Can be time-consuming for fine grinding

OXO BREW Conical Burr Coffee Grinder

Designed with the belief that brewing coffee is a sacred ritual, the OXO BREW Conical Burr Coffee Grinder takes simplicity and efficiency to a whole new level, offering easy control without sacrificing quality.

This grinder adopts conical style burrs made from stainless steel to last you for years to come. They work to deliver an even grind for maximum expression of flavors.

Selecting your preferred grind size isn’t an issue for this particular grinder. You don’t only get 15 different grind size settings to adjust as you please, but there’s also micro-settings that allow you to create highly precise coffee grounds.

The included hopper is quite impressive as well. It holds up to 0.75 pounds of coffee beans and it’s supported by a tint that blocks UV light to prevent unwanted degradation. The grinding container can carry up to 0.24 pounds of coffee grounds.

The built in-timer has a dual function as it saves your last settings so you can use the grinder time after time without having to readjust.

Pros

  • 15 grind size adjustments
  • Has micro-adjustments
  • UV-blocking tinted hopper
  • Small footprint
  • Good value for money

Cons

  • Grind container doesn’t click into place, so it’s prone to vibration out of place

Wheroamoz Manual Coffee Grinder

Another amazing manual grinder is this one manufactured by Wheroamoz. It’s very durable yet easy to use, offering lots of value for money as well as wide applicability.

The Wheroamoz Manual Coffee Grinder adopts conical burrs made from brushed stainless steel to ensure that you get an even and precise grind with every drink.

The integrated grind selector lets you pick the size you need according to your favorite brewing style. It ranges between fine grinds for espresso shots, all the way to chunky grounds for AeroPress and Drip.

The design of the Wheroamoz grinder is super compact and its hand crank is removable, which means you’ll be able to easily pack it and enjoy your coffee during all sorts of outdoor trips.

This grinder is also pretty quiet, with a grinding mechanism that eliminates up to 90% of the noise produced by typical electric grinders.

Moreover, the Wheroamoz manual coffee grinder is backed up by a 100% money-back guarantee so you can get a replacement or a refund if you experience issues with the machine.

Pros

  • Eliminates noisy operation
  • Highly portable
  • Compact size
  • Removable crank
  • Budget-friendly
  • 100% Money-back guarantee

Cons

  • Grind settings can be clearer

Rancilio HSD-ROC-SD Rocky Espresso Coffee Grinder

Back to electric grinders, the Rocky Espresso Coffee Grinder from Rancilio is adored by hundreds of coffee lovers owing to its high-quality construction and uniform results.

This grinder utilizes flat burrs that you can commonly see in entry-level commercial grinders, so it can be a great option for brewing at home, especially if you’re done with blade grinders.

It’s also pretty powerful as it comes with a 166-watt direct-drive motor. It’s capable of grinding up to 7.7 pounds of beans in one hour, which I’m thinking is more than enough to cover the needs of most users.

The hopper offers a capacity of 0.65 to keep your coffee beans fresh and ready for action. The hopper is also tinted for protection against UV rays.

As for size adjustments, the Rancilio grinder is super simple. All you need to do is unlock the lever and rotate the hopper to show your desired setting. You can get various degrees of fineness according to the brewing style you’re going for.

The Rancilio grinder is equipped with a removable fork that holds your portafilter for direct grinding. Although it’s the most expensive grinder on the list, many users don’t mind the investment.

Pros

  • Powerful yet hushed operation
  • Consistent grind
  • Easy size adjustment
  • UV tinted hopper
  • Large hopper

Cons

  • Expensive

Ariete – De’Longhi Electric Coffee Grinder

If you want to indulge in coffee that tastes like it was made by a professional, then this particular grinder may be the one for you.

For starters, it’s courtesy of the brand De’Longhi, which is famous across the world for its innovation and experience when it comes to coffee machines and gadgets.

So it’s not really a surprise for their electric grinder to receive a lot of positive feedback from coffee lovers.

It’s equipped with heavy-duty conical burrs that are capable of producing ultra-fine grind suitable for Turkish coffee, so it’ll work beautifully for espresso shots as well.

The included bean hopper holds up to 0.77 pounds of coffee beans, providing a convenient space to keep them nice and fresh. You can also remove this hopper with the beans inside for mess-free storage.

As for grind settings, the De’Longhi-Ariete electric grinder features 15 different settings so you get to choose the proper grind size according to your brewing style, including espresso of course!

Once you’ve made your decision, you can move on to adjust the time settings in line with your needed number of coffee cups.

The De’Longhi-Ariete grinder is EPL certified, which means you can rest assured you’re using a safe and high-quality machine. Moreover, it comes with a 1-year warranty period for guaranteed satisfaction.

Pros

  • Premium quality construction
  • Sizable hopper
  • 15 grind settings
  • Quick operation
  • Easy to clean
  • EPL certified

Cons

  • Some static is involved
  • Fine powder tends to stay behind

KudosHolmes Manual Coffee Grinder

The last manual grinder to make this list is the KudosHolmes Manual Coffee Grinder.

It was designed to combine 5,000 years old traditional Japanese craftsmanship with materials of modern precision standards to give you a memorable experience with every cup of coffee.

It houses reliable conical burrs made from ceramic. Not only do these burrs promise a consistent grind time after time, but they’re also very quiet, making this manual grinder a good solution for folks who can’t deal with noises of electric grinders.

The KudosHolmes grinder features an impressive number of grind size adjustments; 25 settings to be exact.

This opens up a lot of possibilities for experimenting with various brewing styles. You can go as fine as espresso and Turkish coffee, or as coarse as Cold Brew and Cowboy.

Weighing only 9 ounces, this grinder is also portable so you can take it on picnics, camping, and hiking trips.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Lightweight
  • Portable
  • Comes with 25 grind adjustments
  • Stylish design

Cons

  • Can be time-consuming

De’Longhi America Dedica Conical Burr Grinder

Another great electric grinder from De’Longhi is the Dedica Conical Burr Grinder. It’s durable, customizable, and above all, consistent.

The grinder has conical style burrs which are made from premium stainless steel to deliver a performance as professional and uniform as possible. The quality of the used material also makes for a long-lasting operation to give you your money’s worth.

You can customize your grind size by choosing one of the 18 available settings, allowing you to brew espresso, Pour Over, and French Press. Additionally, you get to adjust the strength of your coffee by selecting one of 3 levels: light, normal, and strong.

That’s not all, you can also pick the number of cups you need to make. The Dedica grinder will let you grind up to 14 cups at a time.

Before the grinding process is complete, you should decide whether you want the coffee grounds to be dispensed directly into a portafilter or a storage container.

Luckily, both options are available with this grinder since it includes a portafilter adapter as well as an airtight, transparent storage container.

The Dedica grinder comes with a hopper that holds up to 0.77 pounds of coffee beans, which is enough for standard coffee bean bags.

Pros

  • 18 grind size settings
  • Adjustable strength
  • You can select the number of cups
  • Easy to read LCD display
  • Comes with portafilter adapter and storage container

Cons

  • Can get messy

SHARDOR Electric Coffee Grinder

Last but definitely not least, I wanted to include a blade grinder for newbies as well as budget-conscious coffee lovers who want to enjoy an electric grinder without actually paying for one.

This electric coffee grinder from SHARDOR is an excellent choice because it’s practical, affordable, and actually performs fairly decent. Of course, it’s not the same as a burr grinder, but it certainly does the job given the circumstances.

The blades are made from good-quality stainless steel, offering a powerful, quick, and pretty even performance.

A particularly neat aspect is that the way it works is very simple. You just press down on the lid and this will activate the grinding mechanism.

The longer you keep pressing, the finer the grind gets. This means that grind size adjustment will depend on your timing. Espresso brew should take about 20 seconds.

The grinding bowl is food-grade stainless steel and it offers a total capacity of almost 2.5 ounces. This isn’t as big as burr grinders, but it’s normal for blade grinders.

Pros

  • Good choice for beginner brewers
  • Comes with 2-in-1 spoon and brush
  • Decent grind results
  • Simple to use
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Not as consistent as burr grinders

Wrap Up

Choosing the best espresso grinder can get quite confusing, especially with all the terms, features, and brands floating around the market.

However, I’m confident that once you go through the buying considerations, you’ll be able to find the perfect match for your needs.

That being said, if you’re on the hunt for a reliable and consistent espresso grinder that you can trust with your coffee every morning, then the Breville The Smart Pro Coffee Grinder  BCG820 should be right up your alley!

Not only is it durable and precise, but it’s also highly customizable to let you experiment and explore coffee of various styles and techniques.

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