All coffee will go stale. While ground coffee is convenient, its most likely stale before it finds its way to the shelf. Coffee grinders range from moderately affordable prices to the ridiculously expensive. Finding the best coffee grinder, even for the aficionado like ourselves, can be difficult with so many options available. Even the best coffee grinder consumer reports can be misleading.
Which leaves many coffee lovers asking why is finding the best budget coffee grinder so important?
Why Everyone Should Own a Coffee Grinder?
Coffee is very similar to food. While any type can get the job done, there’s certain types that taste amazing when prepared properly. This is where the grinder comes in to play. By waiting to grind the bean until the last minute, you’ve brought forth flavors that would get lost if pre-ground and packaged ahead of time.
The bottom line is that coffee beans don’t brew themselves. By using a coffee grinder you’re bringing the best quality out of every bean you purchase. Owning a grinder also allows you to have versatility in enjoying different styles while using the same beans. For instance, you might want to use a drip coffee maker one morning and a French press for after dinner.
In an effort to make purchasing a coffee grinder simple, we’ve gone through the painstaking efforts of drinking and grinding massive amounts of coffee. Not that any of us were complaining. From blade styles to the big debate of whether electric or manual is number one, here is the Best coffee grinder 2017 guide for every type of coffee drinker.
Types of Coffee Grinders
There are two major types of coffee grinders. An electric and a manual. Each type uses either a blade or burr mechanism to grind the beans.
Manual Coffee Grinder
A manual coffee grinder is exactly what it sounds like. Instead of relying on a motor, the beans are ground by the power of your muscles. These are great to take on-the-go, economical, smaller than electric grinders, and produce consistent results. The best manual coffee grinder will most often have a burr mechanism, not a blade. While manual coffee grinders have less parts that can wear out or break, they’re not designed for grinding large amounts of beans at one time. But if you don’t mind putting in the effort, the rewards of using the best manual coffee grinder can be extremely beneficial and economical on your wallet.
Electric Coffee Grinder
These types of grinders as fast and convenient. Simply add your beans into a top container, push a button, and watch the magic take place in less than a minute. Electric grinders are also powerful. Using a complex motor system, these bad-boys can be fine-tuned to produce the exact style grind you’re looking for. While they can produce more grounds per volume than a manual, the best burr coffee grinder contains more components that might wear and tear. Replacing parts on them is often not cheap, especially when you consider the amount of money it costs to purchase one.
Blade Coffee Grinder
Of all the coffee grinders, an electric blade grinder is the most affordable and offers a wide variety of products. Designed with a propeller like blade, the results however are inconsistent. Speed of the blade produces heat through friction, which causes oxidation. Also, it’s difficult to get a uniform grind. Blade grinders are fine for novices, but they won’t achieve high quality results often associated with the best burr coffee grinder.
Burr Coffee Grinder
The best burr coffee grinder can be manual or electric, grinding the beans through serrated gear-like discs called burrs. The discs rotate against each other as the bean passes through and is crushed. This technique produces a consistent grind with every use. A quality coffee maker with an attached grinder will most often have a burr grinding mechanism.
Dosing Coffee Grinder
These styles of grinders are often the best coffee grinder for espresso and Turkish coffee. A dosing grinder has a container with pie cut sections. The ground coffee beans pass through the grinding burrs and into a chute which drops it into the separate pie sections. Each section holds around six to seven grams which is equivalent to one shot. The sections rotate, allowing only one pie section to disperse the grinds at a time.
Electric VS Manual Coffee Grinder
The electric vs manual coffee grinder debate amongst coffee aficionados is like the argument of vinyl vs digital for the die-hard music fan. You might ask yourself then — does it matter which one I purchase? Both have their pros and cons, and each one produces a consistent high-quality grind. In determining which one would fit your needs the best, ask yourself these three questions:
Asking yourself these questions will help to determine which coffee grinder is better for your personal tastes. If answering these questions is too difficult, purchasing a manual and an electric grinder is not as absurd as it sounds. I’m not going to lie to you, we’ve got a nice collection going of both styles.
Flat vs Conical Burrs
The differences in results between a flat and conical burr are subtle. Both grinds appear to be the same, but when examined at a microscopic level the conical has two particle sizes. The flat however, produces even particle grounds.
Conical burrs require less energy, which means less heat. They are also the preferred burr if you’re looking to have the best manual coffee grinder for French press. Flat burrs work well with longer shot espresso pulls.
Steel vs Ceramic Burrs
Comparing these two burrs is like comparing a mustang to a lotus. Steel burrs work better with course grinds and are on the rugged side. They are the best budget coffee grinder on the market, but can dull over time.
Ceramic burrs last much longer than steel and are suited better for finer grinds. They have a longer life than steel if taken care of properly as they are much more fragile.
Different Type of Grind for Different Types of Coffee
Depending on what type of coffee you prefer, the grind will vary. The best coffee grinder will allow you to produce various types of grinds through a settings feature. This is important, especially if you enjoy multiple types of coffee.
A coarse grind will look similar to large grains of salt. These grinds are best used when brewing with a French press, cold brews, plunger pot, and percolators. The best commercial coffee grinder should produce a large amount that is of a consistent grind.
Medium grind can range from medium coarse to medium fine. This grind is for drip coffee makers with flat bottom filters, pour-over, and vacuum pots.
A fine grind does not have visible individual grains. Its smooth, but not quite powdery in texture. Use a fine grind for drip coffee makers with a cone shaped filter, moka pots, and for espresso. The best manual coffee grinder for French press will produce a fine grind that is unbeatable amongst its competitors.
The Turkish grind is the finest possible type of grind you can create, much like flour or powder. This super fine grind should only be used with Turkish coffee pots. Having the best burr coffee grinder will ensure that the beans are ground fine enough to make a high quality cup that blows the competition away.
Here is how to make Turkish Coffee.
Importance of Maintenance
Keeping your coffee grinder clean is essential regarding taste and quality. Grounds tend to get stuck in little nooks and crannies, especially fine grinds. The consequences of not performing maintenance on your grinder will cause broken parts, poor taste, oil buildup, and even a dead motor.
When purchasing the best coffee grinder available the last thing you want is to invest in replacement parts, or a new grinder. Taking care of a burr grinder on a weekly basis is simple, involving only a soft brush and a cloth.
Each month a thorough and deep clean of your grinder should be done to keep it running at its peak performance. This can be accomplished by using food safe cleaning pellets (not rice) which remove oil buildup and bean dust. Another option is to break the grinder components down and clean them individually. Using a brush, wooden toothpick, and a damp cloth will restore your grinder to an out-of-the box condition (be sure to grind small amount before using again).
Criteria for Selecting the Best Coffee Grinder
Being the proud coffee aficionados (snobs) we are, we’ve painstakingly tested hundreds of various coffee grinders. Through this selective process we were able to narrow down four types of the best coffee grinder available on the market today.
How did we come to these conclusions?
Criteria for Selecting The Best Coffee Grinder
Here’s a detailed breakdown of key criteria and questions we asked in determining the best coffee grinder.
Finding the best coffee grinder for you should be easy. But since it’s not, we’ve done all the work for you.
Here are the four best coffee grinders of 2017 from manual to electric.
Best Electric Coffee Grinder: Capresso 565.05 Infinity Conical Burr Grinder
The Capresso Infinity conical burr grinder is the best commercial coffee grinder comes at an economical price, beating the competition by landslide. It’s great for those who are constantly on-the-go. It is commercial grade, and is compact enough that it’s easy to store and find room to use on a counter.
Features and Benefits
The Capresso 565.05 Infinity is great for grinding large quantities of coffee beans at one time and best coffee grinder consumer reports has it in the top five. It features a total of 16 different settings with four sub-settings for course, medium, fine, and extra fine. The Capresso 565.05 Infinity comes with a built-in timer that runs from five to 60 seconds long, allowing you to multi-task while grinding. Able to hold four ounces of beans, the grinder has a lid that remains sealed.
Cleaning the Capresso 565.05 Infinity is easy as the bean container. The upper burr lift off, allowing you to have easy access to the grinding chamber. A cleaning brush comes included, making it simple to brush away debris and wipe down.
Best Manual Coffee Grinder: Hario Skerton Ceramic Coffee Mill
Enter the world of taking grinding to a slower and more methodical pace. The Hario Skerton Ceramic Coffee Mill is the one grinder that might convince you that manual is the only way to go.
Features and Benefits
The Hario Skerton Ceramic coffee grinder is easy to assemble, and just as simple to use. It is designed with two main parts – an elegant glass container to hold the grinds, and a grinding unit above the glass in the simple color of black. This is the best coffee grinder for espresso, Turkish, and French Presses.
Store with ease as the Hario Skerton Ceramic Coffee Mill is compact and lightweight. The glass container can hold up to a 100mg of grinds, making it ideal for a latte or shot to get you going in the morning. It comes with a portable design, allowing you to take it with you for traveling and camping. The Hario Skerton also has a silicone lid, making it easy to travel with grounds still in it.
You can see the unboxing video of Hario Skerton Ceramic Coffee Mill
Note: There are two types of these grinders available – one with a white burr mechanism, which is a FAKE – and one with a black mechanism, which is genuine.
Best Expensive Coffee Grinder : Hamilton Beach 80365
The Hamilton Beach Coffee Grinder removes the guess work out of finding the perfect setting grind. It comes with five individual settings, providing options for various textures of grinds. The most excellent feature is the cup selector, allowing you to switch the number of cups you plan to make. A simple push of a button starts the grinder, and the unit shuts off automatically when the grinding is complete.
Features and Benefits
The Hamilton Beach 80365 Custom Grind is one of the most expensive coffee grinders on the market, but for good reason. The hands-free option allows you to multi-task while operating, along with being one of the simplest grinders to use. This custom hands-free grinder allows you to choose from five different flavor settings, including drip, percolator, and expresso.
With an automatic shutoff feature, you’ll never have to worry about over grinding. The Hamilton Beach 80365 Custom Grind also fits up to 12 cups of coffee grounds. The blade is Stainless Steele and the platinum design is of the highest quality.
Overall Best Coffee Grinder: Baratza Encore Conical Burr Coffee Grinder
For a great coffee drinking experience, the Baratza Encore Conical Burr Coffee Grinder delivers on all fronts and is the best coffee grinder 2017. Featuring 40 individual grind settings from course to super fine, this coffee grinder is ideal for the novice and the newcomer. The Baratza Encore has burrs which give a consistent grind with each use. The results are amazing, especially with espresso.
The efficient motor keeps your beans cool, even during long grind times. It also comes with a combination of electric and gear speed reducers slow the burr to around 450 RPM. This whole process ensures a smooth bean feed with minimal noise, heat, and static buildup.
Features and Benefits
The Baratza Encore has significantly increased the strength and durability of the drive transmission by creating a second-generation gearbox. This state-of-the art gearbox has a new motor mounting plate and drive shaft. The Baratza Encore is much quieter than the competition which uses metal gears. Also, the circuitry is equipped with an automatically thermal cutoff switch which can be reset.
Additional features of the Baratza Encore include a burr calibration system that produces a full range of grinds. The grinders can even be user calibrated. The slower speeds of the grinder move the beans through the burrs, evenly grinding them, while producing consistent and optimal results with each use. The burrs are easy to remove without the use of tools for easy cleaning.
Purchasing any of these four best coffee grinder 2017 will improve the overall taste of the coffee you’ve come to love and enjoy. Owning a grinder isn’t adding an accessory, but more of a way of enjoying the perfect cup whether it be in the morning or at night.
Treat yourself to the best coffee grinder and discover a whole new world of taste that you’ve never experienced before.