What to Look for in a Coffee Grinder- The Ultimate Buying Guide

As someone who loves and enjoys coffee, you know that there are few things more satisfying than that fresh cup of steaming, aromatic coffee first thing in the morning.

While many people make a habit of going to the local coffee shop for their daily cup of coffee, it is a far more satisfying experience to grind and brew your own coffee.

That way, you always know it’s fresh and you can make your favorite blends every time. In addition, making your own coffee from freshly ground beans adds some fun to the whole experience and tradition of drinking coffee.

But before you start making your own coffee, there are a few things you should know about which coffee beans to buy, which coffee grinder to get and how to properly brew coffee to make sure you get the best taste possible.

How Does Coffee Grinding Work?

what to look for in a coffee bean grinder

Before you can put your coffee beans into a coffee maker, you have to grind them first.

Coffee grinding is also known as milling. The way you grind your coffee will depend on how you plan to brew it, so keep that in mind.

If you are going to be using a brewing process in which you keep the coffee beans in hot water for a long period of time, you will want to grind your beans coarsely, into larger bits.

If you are going to use a quicker brewing process, you will want finer ground coffee beans.

It all depends on the surface area of the beans that is exposed to heat. The higher the surface area, such as with finely ground coffee, the less time you will want it exposed to heat. This is why, if you brew coffee for too long, the result is a bitter tasting coffee because too much of the beans’ acidity was extracted by the heat.

When deciding on which coffee grinder to buy, a major consideration should be how you like your coffee.

Which Coffee Grinder Should You Get?

Now that you know a little about how coffee grinding affects the brewing process and the taste of the coffee, you can start figuring out which coffee grinder you should get. There are two main types of coffee grinders: burr mills and blade grinders.

Burr Coffee Grinder

how to choose a burr coffee grinder

With burr grinding, you will be using a coffee grinder that contains two grinding surfaces within the grinding mechanism. These are often conically shaped, or sometimes more like wheels with abrasive edges.

The two surfaces revolve around the coffee beans and effectively crush and tear them apart into small pieces. The benefit of this kind of grinding is that the natural oils are released from the beans during the crushing process, which is where the coffee’s flavor comes from.

Additionally, very little heat is generated from friction during this process, so you are not exposing the beans to significant heat which could alter the taste. This is an important point, because heat is a major factor that affects coffee aroma and flavor.

Burr grinders can come as manual coffee grinders or as electric grinders, for easier operation. Most commercial coffee grinders you will see are burr mills.

Blade Grinders

Blade grinders, also known as propeller grinders, act upon your coffee beans differently than burr mills. This type of coffee grinder contains blades that spin at high speeds in order to chop the coffee beans quickly. This is a typical kind of home grinder because it’s usually a bit cheaper than a burr mill.

They’re less expensive not only because the cost of production is lower, but also because they generally produce a lower quality coffee grind.

Because a blade grinder chops the beans rather than crushing and squeezing them, the result is coffee ground into differently sized particles, rather than all of them having a uniform size. When the grounds are different sizes, this makes the surface area of the beans less predictable, which has an effect on the brewing process, as we learned earlier.

Another disadvantage of a propeller grinder is that it creates more friction during the chopping process, which amounts to more heat. As we know, that heat acts upon the coffee beans, it can affect the taste and aroma of the coffee.

Now you should have a great idea of which coffee grinder to get. Although the blade grinder has some disadvantages, that doesn’t make it a bad choice. No matter which coffee grinder you choose, just be aware of the differences and the way that the grinding process affects the taste and aroma of the coffee.

Buying a Coffee Grinder – which grinder is good for you

how to choose a coffee grinder

 

Before doing so, it is imperative that you compare your many options. There are several top of the line coffee grinders on the market – some of which are going to be better for you than others.

As you learn more about the pros and cons of each, you can make an informed decision as to which one is going to fit best with your budget and kitchen. Remember, the coffee grinder that is right for you may not be right for the next person and vice versa.

Before you do anything, you should get a better idea of what each grinder has to offer in terms of features. This will help you decide what you should spend your money on. Some consumers are most interested in those with the most features and best performance. Others, though, would rather focus on finding and comparing coffee grinders at the lowest price. Only you know what you are looking for and how much you are willing to spend.

Best Coffee Grinders for the Money

1. Bodum Bistro Electric Burr Coffee Grinder

One of the best options on the market is the Bodum Bistro Electric Burr coffee grinder. With this grinder, you can take your coffee drinking experience to the next level in no time at all. For a price of approximately $80, you will get everything you want and need at a price you can afford.

Pros

  • 14 settings ranging from coarse to fine. With so many settings, it is easy to get exactly what you are looking for.
  • Glass catcher instead of plastic. In short, this goes a long way in helping ensure better taste and aroma.
  • Comes in a variety of colors including black, red, green, white, and orange. Which one of these shades is best for your kitchen décor?

Cons

  • More expensive than many other options.

2. Mr. Coffee BVMC-BMH23 Automatic Burr Mill Coffee Grinder

Are you interested in a budget coffee grinder that still gets the job done? If so, you should consider the Mr. Coffee BVMC-BMH23 Automatic Burr Mill. This is one of the best sellers on the market for a variety of reasons. Although the price is low, this is just the start. The performance does not suffer and you are always going to be happy with the end result.

Pros

  • Only weighs two pounds. This makes the Mr. Coffee BVMC-BMH23 Automatic Burr Mill coffee grinder easy to move around your kitchen.
  • Uses burr plates instead of blades to ensure that you get the perfect blend, time and time again.
  • 18 custom grind settings. This is more than many of the higher priced options
  • Low price of approximately $35.

Cons

  • Only holds up to ½ pound of coffee beans – some people prefer more than this.

3. Kyocera Ceramic Coffee Grinder

With the help of the Kyocera Ceramic coffee grinder, you are always going to get pure, fresh, and flavorful coffee. On top of this, you only have to pay roughly $43 for this unit – which is much less than some of the other grinders currently on the market. The grinding mechanism on the Kyocera Ceramic is made from ceramic, which is close to diamond in terms of hardness. Not only does this ensure great results, but also durability.

Pros

  • Price. The Kyocera Ceramic coffee grinder is reasonably priced when compared to the competition.
  • Use of ceramic. This ensures that this grinder will work for you for an extended period of time.
  • Can be used with coffee as well as many other food products including sesame seeds, green tea, salt, and pepper.

Cons

  • The Kyocera name is not as well known in the industry as others.

4. Breville BCG800XL Smart Coffee Grinder

Sometimes you have to spend a little bit of money if you want the best of the best. And when it comes to the Breville BCG800XL Smart coffee grinder, that is exactly what you will get. Despite a price tag of $200, you get what you pay for when you buy this coffee grinder.

The Breville BCG800XL Smart coffee grinder is full of many top level features, including Dosing IQ, which automatically calibrates dosing every time the settings are adjusted.

Pros

  • LCD screen. With this large display, you will always know what you are doing – morning, noon, or night.
  • 25 grind settings. When compared to other grinders currently on the market, the Breville BCG800XL Smart has the most grind settings to ensure that you get the perfect blend every time.
  • Auto dosing system calibrates each dose without any intervention.

Cons

  • At $200, the BCG800XL Smart coffee grinder is four times as expensive as some of the more basic options.

As you compare coffee grinders, you definitely want to consider the four options detailed above. All of them are packed full of benefits and features. Despite a few drawbacks associated with each, you cannot go wrong when you decide to purchase one of these.

Here are three questions to ask yourself as you choose coffee grinders:

1. How much money do I want to spend? This is an important question because you will find grinders ranging from $40 to more than $200.
2. Which features are most important? As a general rule of thumb, the more money you spend, the more features you will gain access to. However, you need to know what is most important to you at the present time.
3. Do you have a brand preference? Again, you have many options including Bodum, Mr. Coffee, Kyocera, and Breville.

By asking and answering these questions, while also considering the four coffee grinders above, you should be able to make an informed buying decision soon enough.