There is no point in putting a lot of time and effort into brewing pour-over coffee at home if you are not using fresh coffee beans. While you can buy pre-ground coffee beans, these will simply never be as fresh as grinding your own, as after the coffee beans are ground, they will quickly begin to lose their flavor and aroma. The good news is that there are lots of great coffee grinders that you can easily use at home to freshly grind your beans before brewing a cup. Coffee grinders aren’t just good for brewing drip coffee, but you can use them to grind your beans fresh for any type of coffee method that you like whether you’re using an espresso machine, Moka Pot, or French Press.
Understanding Different Coffee Grinder Types
To pick the best coffee bean grinder for you, it’s important to first understand the different types of coffee grinder available and what they do. The fact that there are so many different options out there can become a problem when you are shopping for a coffee grinder and picking the right one can be tricky if you are not a professional barista. Figuring out what’s best for your needs and understanding the differences between them will help you make the best choice.
Some grinders are designed for certain brewing styles, while others can be used for a range of different brews. The main differences between these come down to the grinding method, the range of grind sizes available, and the automation method.
Blade grinders come with a chamber that has spinning blades inside. The design is similar to that of a food processor or blender. The blades spin, chopping through anything that’s inside when you turn it on. While it’s a common choice, the main problem with using this type of grinder for coffee is that it is not possible to control the grind level precisely. While you can run it for longer to get a finer grind, the particles will not be a uniform size, which can lead to some being over-extracted and others being under-extracted when brewing.
However, blade grinders do have some advantages. They are fast, compact, and versatile – you can also use them to grind spices and anything else, making them a good option for people who don’t grind their own beans very often and are more interested in convenience and speed.
Flat Burr Grinders
Flat burr grinders come with two ridged plates known as burrs. The coffee beans are crushed between them when they are turned on. You can adjust the grind level to change the distances between the burrs and chance the size of the grinds that are produced.
Flat burr grinders offer a finer, more consistent grind size. They’re often used as dedicated espresso grinders by coffee shops. However, flat burr grinders are a broad category with some variations, which include:
- Dosing Grinders: These are designed to collect ground coffee into a chamber using a lever. When the lever is pulled, a specific amount of coffee will be released, typically into the espresso machine’s portafilter. They are ideal for regulating the amount of coffee that you are using and eliminate the need to weigh your coffee before brewing.
- Non-Dosing Grinders: The ground coffee will flow down a chute into the portafilter, and it’s down to the barista to control the dose of the coffee, typically using a scale. They offer more flexibility when deciding on the amount of coffee but can make it more difficult to control the coffee-to-water ratio.
- Stepped Grinders: These come with pre-set steps or settings. The grinder will click into the next step when you turn the adjustment, and one main advantage is that, once they are locked in, they will not change, which is ideal for keeping your brew consistent.
- Stepless Grinders: These do not have pre-set settings to hold burrs in place, which allows for an endless number of adjustments and micro-adjustments, giving you complete control over the size of the grind. However, they are more difficult to use and more prone to changing accidentally while using.
Conical Burr Grinders
These are the style of grinder that most professionals prefer when brewing coffee manually. They come with two burrs but are shaped differently to flat burrs. They offer the most precision when it comes to grind size and consistency. They are usually stepped and have a few different styles including:
- Steel Burr Grinders: Steel is a common material for both home and commercial grinders; however, one disadvantage is that they are more prone to heating up from prolonged use, which can impact the coffee taste.
- Ceramic Burr Grinders: These retain their edge better than steel and are more durable. Along with this, they are better at maintaining the coffee taste and aroma as they stay cool even when using for a long time.
If you’re looking for either a good value or high-end coffee grinder, check out these top rated coffee bean grinder reviews:
Mueller Ultra-Grind Conical Burr Grinder
If you’re looking for the best burr grinder for making large batches at home, this is an ideal option to consider. It offers a large, removable grounds container and comes with a lid that will maintain grounds freshness. The hopper is large and tinted and it offers consistent, precise grinds with adjustment options, making it ideal for either manual or espresso brewing.
LHS Manual Coffee Grinder
The manual coffee grinder from LHS makes it easier than ever to brew a flavorful cup of coffee. It uses ceramic burrs and there is a knob that you can use to easily adjust the grind level to the type of coffee that you want to brew. It has a slim and lightweight design that is ideal for traveling and is compact with a 4-cup capacity which makes it perfect for one or two people. It can be disassembled quickly and easily making it really easy to clean.
Sboly Conical Burr Coffee Grinder
Despite being an electric burr grinder, it’s not as noisy, neither does it generate heat by using a motor that has fewer revolutions each minute. Although this option will still be louder than a manual grinder, it is much quieter than most other electric grinders. It has nineteen grind settings and does an excellent job of making sure that the flavor and aroma of the grinds is maintained, along with offering excellent grind consistency at any fineness level.
Hario Skerton Plus Ceramic Coffee Mill
With ceramic burrs, this coffee mill is perfect for prolonged use as you can rely on it to stay cool during grinding. Along with this, it’s a great choice for durability since ceramic grinders retain their edge for much longer than steel. It’s a manual grinder that is ideal for traveling, with an option to store your grinds in the chamber with a screw-on lid for freshness.
VEVOK CHEF Coffee Grinder Manual
This manual burr grinder is the ideal option for brewing a single cup of coffee. It has a grinding chamber of around twenty grams, making it an ideal option for a pour-over coffee or a double espresso on the go. It is completely self-contained and weighs under two pounds, making it the perfect option for traveling, hiking, or camping, since it can be used anywhere and easily fits into your bag.
Mr. Coffee Electric Coffee Grinder
If you are looking for a precise and convenient option for the home, this automatic grinder offers more control compared to most blade grinders. You can use the buttons on the size to select your grind level and brew size and the machine does all the hard work for you with no need to hold the lid down. It comes with a handy Chamber Maid sweeping system that helps to make sure that all the grinds are kept contained in the chamber.
Baratza Virtuoso+ Conical Burr Coffee Grinder
This is the perfect choice for anybody who is looking for the most powerful, precise coffee grinder. It can be used for pour over and other coffee brewing methods and is one of the best burr grinder for espresso options. The timer can be precisely adjusted to a tenth of a second for the most accurate dosing and the 40mm steel burrs come with a huge forty adjustment levels. Compared to other burr grinders, it’s also faster, producing the perfect amount and size of grounds in less than thirty seconds.
OXO BREW Conical Burr Coffee Grinder
This coffee grinder has a very innovative hopper design, including a mess-free seal, allowing you to easily remove it without spilling any beans. It is made with tinted plastic that is designed to protect your beans from going stale without limiting visibility. It comes with fifteen major settings that also allow for micro-adjustments, giving you more control over your grind level.
When it comes to making pour-over and any other style of coffee at home, freshly ground beans will always win. With lots of great grinders to choose from, getting perfect coffee in the morning is easier than ever.