Coffee aficionados who demand only the freshest, most aromatic coffee aren’t satisfied to simply scoop and brew, they enjoy the science of brewing the perfect cup of coffee.
Grinding the beans is a big piece of the puzzle, and the importance of buying the right grinder for your tastes shouldn’t be underestimated.
While starting with a good quality coffee bean is important, we think that the Capresso 560.04 Infinity Conical Burr Grinder would be ideal for those just getting into the world of grinding coffee at home.
In this buying guide, our coffee grinder reviews compare top rated models, and answer a few common questions about the grinding process.
Top 7: Best Burr Grinders
1. Cuisinart DBM-8 Supreme Grind Automatic Burr Mill
The Cuisinart DBM-8 Automatic Burr Mill comes with a slide dial that allows you to decide the total number of cups of coffee that you want. It ranges from four all the way to 18 cups – although the grind chamber holds enough for 32 cups of coffee, if you’re a true addict!
It also features an 18-position grind selector. This means that you should be able to get the grind you desire, whether you like your grounds to be super-coarse or ultra-fine. However, if you are a true coffee connoisseur, you may not be satisfied with the sometimes-inconsistent grind that this machine produces.
The size of this gadget is pretty compact, and cleaning it isn’t overly taxing as we’ve covered in our full Cuisinart DBM-8 review.
The only major issue we found is that although it’s advertised as a stainless steel model, the unit has a lot of plastic in the construction. Combine that with coffee dust and you may end up getting a lot of static cling.
Of course, this is just something to keep in mind, and we think that keeping the unit as clean as possible can help.
You might consider the Cuisinart DBM-8 Burr Mill if you’re on a budget or are new to grinding coffee at home. Although not the fanciest gadget on the market, it does a good job for a great price.
2. Mr. Coffee Automatic Burr Mill Grinder with 18 Custom Grinds
The Mr. Coffee automatic burr mill has enough room for up to half a pound of coffee beans.
This is pretty good, but might prove to be a flaw in the sense that there are other competing grinders with higher capacities.
This unit also has 18 customized grind settings, and removable grinding and hopper chambers, making it easier to clean and manage. This is very similar to the Cuisinart DBM-8.
What sets this model apart is that the Mr. Coffee grinder comes with sensors to let you know if you have installed the bins for grounds and for coffee beans correctly. This is definitely a useful feature to help prevent coffee grounds or dust from spilling all over the counter.
Competing models typically use blades instead of burr plates to help ensure that you get the best flavor possible and a more uniform grind.
SEE ALSO: Burr Grinder vs Blade
Again, this is a budget model, which may not produce 100% consistent grinds to suit the elite coffee drinker, but the Mr. Coffee burr grinder is another good option for those considering experimenting with grinding at home.
3. JavaPresse Manual Coffee Grinder, Conical Burr Mill
As a manual grinder, the JavaPresse Manual Coffee Grinder was made for those who are enthusiastic about manually creating grinds from coffee beans.
This grinder is able to make grinds for drip coffee, pour over, French press and espresso. Whatever your preference, you should be able to find a grind that suits your needs with its eighteen grind settings.
The portability of this unit also makes it easy to travel with. Forget drinking hotel coffee, grind your own right in your room, no electricity required.
This is a manual conical burr mill which can handle grinding oily beans. Compared to burr mills, this should jam less often and still provide a consistent grind.
Finally, another great point about this grinder is that it can also be used to grind spices and herbs. If you decide grinding coffee beans manually is not for you, you still have reasons to keep this unit in your kitchen.
Being a manual grinder, it does take quite a long time to grind, even for only one cup of coffee, and grinding may not be very precise with this model.
While the JavaPresse coffee grinder requires a little elbow grease, we think that it is a great option to consider for those who don’t require multiple pots of coffee per day. It is also a great choice to take on a camping trip, as it is lightweight and easy to throw in a backpack.
4. KitchenAid Burr Coffee Grinder
If you’re looking for a fine grind, the KitchenAid KCG0702OB coffee grinder might be a good choice for you. With a total of 15 grind settings, this kitchen wonder ensures optimal consistencies at low grinding temperatures.
Holding up to seven ounces of beans, it’s designed for durability and performance – the KitchenAid comes with stainless steel burrs. Stainless steel is ideal considering how tough coffee beans are to grind.
However, as with most coffee grinders, this burr grinder can be a challenge to clean. The biggest concern is that there are a couple of glass components that you’ll have to be careful with as you clean. Although the hopper that holds the whole beans is thicker glass, the glass catcher for the grounds is rather thin and fragile.
The modern and sleek design helps it blend in with many contemporary kitchens. This isn’t a small grinder that you can pop in a drawer, so you will need to consider where it will be stored.
KitchenAid is a reputable and well-known brand for kitchen appliances. Apart from its unique looks, the KitchenAid KCG0702OB burr grinder is a premium looking grinder, but for the higher price tag, lacks some features of other machines in this price range.
5. Capresso 560.04 Infinity Conical Burr Grinder
The Capresso Infinity grinder comes with 16 grind settings – four for each base setting, from extra fine to coarse. It holds 8-½ ounces of whole coffee beans. The grounds container can hold four ounces.
The motor grinds slowly, meaning it reduces both the noise and the static cling produced – in fact, this machine has the slowest grinding speed of any matching machine – less heat output means maximum flavor and aroma in your coffee grounds.
We love the built-in timer, which means you don’t have to physically stand over your machine pressing a button. It can go from 5-60 seconds.
The burrs are commercial grade and do produce a lovely even grind without heating the beans – and without making too much noise in the process.
This machine does a great job at producing fine grinds, but does seem to struggle to produce coarser grinds.
One major niggle that users seem to experience is that it requires quite intensive daily cleaning, due to grounds building up around the burrs – particularly a problem if you are using darker, more oily beans to produce a dark roast style of coffee.
With a nice and quiet operation, this is well suited for those looking for a grinder that can produce a quality fine grind to make aromatic and flavorful coffee.
If you’re still on the fence, our Capresso Infinity vs Baratza guide dives deeper into what makes this grinder stand out.
6. Bodum Bistro Burr Grinder
This model has a pretty compact and funky design that is also practical. It has a nice grip surface to stop slipping and the coffee catcher is glass, helping to reduce the annoying static cling that many machines suffer from.
It has 14 different grind settings and a pre-set timer – note that this only goes to 20 seconds, so for finder grounds you’ll have to set it a few times.
A nice addition is a great, tight sealing lid on the coffee bean hopper, keeping your beans fresher for longer. We also like the handy guide on the inside of this lid that gives you hints about figuring out the right grind time for various grind sizes.
This is one of the less messy models, due to the reduced static cling thanks to the borosilicate glass collection jar.
We think the Bodum Bistro grinder is a pretty nifty purchase. It sits at a good mid-range price, is compact, practical and stylish, and a breeze to clean. Great for someone looking to upgrade from a cheaper model in the search for the perfect grind, or wanting to get off to a good start with their coffee brewing.
7. Breville The Smart Grinder Pro Coffee Bean Grinder
The stainless steel burrs are supposed to reduce the grinding heat and protect the oils, aroma and flavor of the bean. Low heat grinding is ideal when grinding the best kona coffee which requires a bit more care in preparation.
This beast puts many other models to shame, boasting an epic 60 grind settings – you can’t get more precise than that.
Even the electronic timer is super precise, letting you adjust your grind time by 0.2 second increments.
The bean hopper can hold 18 ounces and the beauty of this model is that you can grind straight into a portafilter, grinds container, or even a good old paper filter!
Sometimes it’s the small things that can make or break your daily routine, and one of the small touches we love with The Smart Grinder Pro is the removable magnetic grounds tray. If some extra ground coffee starts to build up in the tray at the bottom, as is commonplace with many machines, you can easily remove the tray to give it a quick clean.
Annoyingly, the grounds receptacle lid is ineffectual, in fact, it’s probably better to do away with it altogether to prevent it from partially blocking the chute.
One of the more expensive grinders on our list, we believe this Breville Smart Grinder Pro model is still a great buy for the money, giving many of the options and thoughtful extras of a much more expensive machine.
If you’re looking for a coffee grinder that will provide consistent and quality coffee at the push of a button, while operating smoothly and silently, invest a little more and enjoy delicious coffee whenever you want.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Use A Coffee Grinder?
It can be very difficult to grind coffee at home without using a coffee bean grinder, and truthfully, it would mean resorting to some rather old-fashioned methods. Do you want to crush the beans with a mortar and pestle? How about hammering the beans in a plastic bag?
Not only are these approaches time-consuming, they may even have a negative impact on the quality of the final product. After all, the majority of those who grind coffee beans at home don’t do it out of necessity, but for the sake of making a better cup of coffee.
The benefits of using a grinder to grind coffee are much the same for individuals as they are for ground coffee manufacturers, such as ease and speed of production, and greater control over texture.
However, freshness is where it benefits consumers more, as you get to brew directly after grinding, while manufacturers simply package the grounds and ship them off, hoping the coffee doesn’t end up sitting on the shelf too long.
What Is The Best Grinder For Espresso?
A great shot of espresso starts with choosing high quality and only the best espresso coffee beans before grinding them into fine coffee powder. The grinder chosen will also help determine what quality of coffee you get.
Delicious espresso requires uniformly sized coffee grounds, so this is one of the key things to look for in a coffee grinder. Many coffee lovers claim that a good grinder is actually more important than a good espresso machine!
If your grinder can consistently produce a fine, even grind, then even the most budget espresso machine should be able to pull a fine shot of espresso out of it.
Burr grinders are ideal for espresso because their low speed settings help prevent burning the beans while grinding.
What Is The Best Burr Grinder?
Going with the most expensive model might not necessarily bring you the best quality machine or coffee grind. Machine performance and ground consistency are some important factors to look at.
Typically, coffee grinders are made to sit out on the kitchen counter, so style may be important to you as well. For example, the Mr. Coffee BVMC-BMH23 and the Cuisinart DBM-8 Supreme Grind both offer 18 different texture settings and have removable grinding chambers.
The Capresso 560.01 Infinity has only 16 texture settings and the KitchenAid Pro Line coffee grinder with 15. But this doesn’t mean that they are inferior.
In contrast, the Baratza Encore has an incredible 40 grind settings to choose from and is easy to operate.
It all depends on if you’re an average joe who enjoys a tasty cup of coffee in the morning, or a total coffee aficionado who has coffee making down to a fine art. You will have to decide on what features are most important to you: price, convenience, versatility.
If you’re a hardcore espresso lover you’ll be wanting a machine that specializes in producing super fine, even grounds. At the other end of the scale, if you’re a French Press fanatic, you’ll want something that can produce chunky, coarse grounds.
How Do You Grind Coffee For An Espresso Machine?
For espresso, green coffee beans should be roasted carefully to help bring out the flavor, and should be ground only when needed to preserve the rich espresso aroma. If you’re planning to roast at home, see our best home coffee roaster comparison guide for the best rated roasters.
The lesson here is that if you love a good shot of espresso, you cannot cheap out on the espresso coffee beans, and using a burr mill will be better than a bladed grinder.
There are different ground settings for all grinders, and while some indicate the result as super fine or fine, you will get numbers for most, requiring you to test the finer settings until you get the espresso you like.
If your espresso turns out bitter, you are probably grinding the beans too long, causing excess friction and burning. You should use short bursts lasting two seconds to get the best result.
An easy way to tell if you have achieved a fine espresso ground is to take a pinch in your finger. If it clumps up, grind it until it remains fine after rubbing between them.
Should I Clean A Coffee Grinder?
Coffee may stick to the grinder, as could oils from the beans. This calls for regular cleaning to prevent bad tastes in your coffee or espresso.
Use a vacuum to quickly remove large amounts of coffee grinds and try using a new toothbrush to reach the hard parts. Therefore, you should look for a grinder whose parts you can disassemble for easy cleaning.
SEE ALSO: Does coffee go bad?
Are Manual Coffee Grinders Good?
There are many reasons why someone would skip the automated convenience of an electric coffee bean grinder and opt for a manual one. The most common reasons are portability and price.
However, the best manual coffee grinder is the one that gives us the least hassle and lasts for a decent amount of time. It should produce a consistent grind, be easy to operate, and it wouldn’t hurt if it was aesthetically pleasing when stored on your countertop.
For example, the Porlex JP-30, Hario Ceramic Coffee Mill, and the Kuissential Ceramic Burr Mill have great grinding consistency and a compact size, but the stainless steel Porlex JP-30 tends to stand out due to its sleek ergonomic design.
However, we would choose the JavaPresse as our top pick because it stands out to us as being the best overall value and quality, as noted in our review.
Can You Use A Coffee Grinder For Spices?
Generally, yes! But it depends on the spice you use. If a spice is particularly moist, it can cause your coffee grinder mechanisms to rust.
Professional chefs use coffee grinders for grinding spices, so why can’t you? However, it is not a good idea to use the same grinder for both spices and coffee. No matter how well you clean the parts between use, you’ll end up with coffee that tastes like spices and spices that taste like coffee!
Most commonly, spice grinders are blade grinders, rather than burr.
As with coffee beans, freshness is key when preparing spices. By storing spices whole in the pantry, you can grind only as much as you need and use them straight away.
Because perfect grind size and consistency isn’t so essential when grinding spices, you can easily pick yourself up a cheap blade grinder to dedicate to the job without breaking the bank.
Because most spices are smaller than coffee beans, you only need a small grinder. Sharp blades are important too, for harder ingredients like peppercorns.
Like coffee beans, spices don’t hold their flavor well with heat. It’s better to grind them in shorter pulses to keep those blades from overheating.
Easy access to ground coffee has made owning a coffee bean grinder unnecessary for the average household. Alternatively, there are coffee makers with grinders that give you the best of both worlds.
If we had to choose just one coffee grinder, it would be the Capresso 560.04 Infinity Conical Burr Grinder. This unit has a decent size profile, plenty of grind options and simple operation. While it may not suit everyone’s budget, it’s one we think you should consider when comparing models.
However, for many people, having the perfect cup of coffee in the morning can set your day off on the right foot, and the daily ritual of crafting that divine cup is half the enjoyment.
All coffee grinders need a bit of regular TLC to protect the parts and help them to serve you for many years. Look for a brand made of durable parts that cannot rust easily and can be disassembled easily for cleaning.