One of the most important factors in making great coffee is grinding the beans just before brewing the coffee. But, you need to make sure that your coffee beans are properly ground to the correct coarseness for the coffee maker and that the beans are not burned during the grinding process. This is why having a good coffee grinder is important. In this article, we review what you need to look for in a burr coffee grinder and some of the best burr coffee grinders you can purchase for your home.
Note that there are grinders that use a metal blade. Metal blades tend to burn the beans and will not adjust properly for coarseness. You basically just end up with a bunch of broken bits. Therefore, we don’t recommend a blade grinder. Also, there are numerous coffee bean grinders that are commercial grade. We concentrate on burr coffee grinders that are suited for common people who make their coffee at home.
A quality burr coffee grinder machine will ensure you get an even extraction of flavors and aromas every time you grind up a fresh batch of coffee beans. When looking at burr coffee grinders, you need to consider a variety of factors including: coarse control, burr type, size, quality of the materials, ease to clean, and noise.
Burr Coffee Grinder Features
Regardless if you only brew the same type of coffee, you should have a burr coffee grinder that can adjust for coarseness. Even if a grinder is set for a medium grind, it will not be the same as another machine. Therefore, you need to be able to control the coarseness so that you can grind it to what is appropriate for the coffee maker you are using. Along with being able to control coarseness, you will be able to grind beans appropriate for French press, percolator, espresso, or other machines. Many lower cost models will have different settings for coarseness. But, there are higher ends that allow greater flexibility in having unlimited control. In our opinion, the step settings is more the appropriate for people.
Burr Type (Conical vs Flat)
There two main types of a burr grinders, conical and flat. Conical is fairly new and is better than a flat grinder for a variety of reasons. First, the conical type will not produce as much heat. This means you are less likely to burn the beans which changes the flavor of the coffee. Also, conical will allow for better control on the grind size. The downside to conical is that it is more expensive.
Different Grinders will come in different sizes. Some of the high-end burr coffee grinders will take up a large amount of counter space including the height for the hopper. As with all appliances, check where you are going to put it on your counter and make sure you have the room for it. In our opinion, a coffee bean grinder is not something you want to have as a prominent piece in your kitchen. So, we have recommended a number of compact grinders in our list.
Some manufactures will use more plastic then others and it will have a large effect on the durability of the machine. If you are looking for a burr coffee grinder that will last you a number of years, be sure to spend the extra money now on high quality materials. For example, ceramic burr types will last longer but will also cost more than stainless steel. Also, make sure that the machine has a strong motor. Many manufactures can lower the cost on their machines by providing a smaller and weaker motor.
Ease to Clean
Even if the machine is always grinding the same beans, you will want to clean your grinder every now and then. You will want to reduce the amount of old ground coffee that gets mixed into your new ground coffee. Old coffee loses its flavor and different sized grinds may either flow through the filter or it may not allow the water to flow through properly. Therefore, having a maker that is easy to clean is important to look at.
Different burr coffee grinders will use different motors and burr type which will affect the amount of noise created. If you tend to be up before others in your family and want to brew your coffee first thing in the morning, you might want to pay some special attention to the noise level. A good conical burr type and a slow moving grinder, will contribute to reducing the noise and will create a consistent grind.
Recommended Burr Coffee Grinders
1. Capresso 565 Infinity
The Capresso Infinity is not what you’d expect to be on the top of a best list because of its price. But, the company put the money in the most important areas to create a very good grinder at an excellent price. The grinder has commercial-grade conical burrs and a geared RPM reduction motor. This allows a slow grind that gives you less noise and minimum static build-up which results in accurate and reliable grinding with maximum coffee flavor and aroma. 16 different grind settings lets you grind for very fine for Turkish coffee to very coarse coffee for percolators. The machine is very easy to use, easy to clean, and has an excellent compact size.
2. Baratza Virtuoso
The Baratza Vituoso is a professional-quality grinder that offers 40 different steps for coarseness giving you a large grinding range. The machine has 40 mm hardened steel conical burrs which are easy to remove and clean. There is an efficient DC motor that reduces the grinding speed which keeps your beans cool, reduces static, and reduces noise. The machine is elegant and offers a 60-second timer plus a pulse button. This allows you to grind directly into an espresso basket. The Baratza Vituoso is also very easy to use.
3. Breville BCG800XL Smart
With 25 steps for grind coarseness, the Breville BCG800XL Smart grinder enables you to find the perfect grind you are looking for. The grinder has an LCD screen to display grind setting, number of cups/shots, and customized grind amount. The “smart” part of this grinder is that is can calculate how much to grind based on the selected coarseness to give you the correct amount of ground coffee. The unit has durable stainless steel conical burrs and a grinds at a slow speed to prevent burning the beans and reduce friction noise. There is a 1 lb. air-tight hopper that can be removed with the beans and a removable catcher that prevent unintended spillage. Overall, a stylish burr coffee grinder that is an excellent value for the money.
4. Cuisinart DBM-8 Supreme Grind
If you are looking to grind your own beans but don’t want to spend a lot of money for a burr coffee grinder, the Cuisinart DBM-8 Supreme Grind is an excellent choice that gives you a lot for your money along with elegant styling in a compact size. There is an 18 step grind selector allowing you a wide range of coarseness to choose from and a dial where you can select the amount of coffee you need (4 – 18 cups). The burr plates will give you a high-quality uniform grind and they are easy to remove and clean. The unit is extremely easy to use and a heavy-duty motor that will hold up for a long time. There is a removable 8-ounce bean hopper.
5. Bodum Bistro Electric
An excellent value for a compact simple-to-use burr coffee grinder is the Bodum Bistro. This grinder comes in a variety of stylish colors and can be adjusted with 14 settings for coarseness by twisting the upper chamber. The Bodum Bistro is made from a combination of materials including borosilicate glass, steel, plastic, rubber and silicone and comes in a variety of colors including black, orange, red, green, and white. The borosilicate glass container catches the grounds and by using glass instead of plastic, it prevents static-friction from occurring which prevents getting grounds all over the place. With only 2 buttons, the unit is simple to use and provides a compact burr coffee grinder at an excellent price.