10 best coffee grinders that make the perfect espresso
Make yourself a fresh and flavoursome morning cup of joe with a precision piece of kitchen kit
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If you’re going to do something, make sure you do it right. In most cases, what’s right is often a matter of preference. But when it comes to coffee – c’mon, let’s not kid ourselves here. There’s only one right way to enjoy the planet’s favourite beverage – with quality, freshly ground beans.
The fact that you’re here shows you already understand the importance of a fresh grind. The question now becomes: which coffee grinder will help you maximise the flavour and freshness of your coffee beans? Like it or not, the type of grinder you use and its performance will influence the final brew all the way to the taste. So getting the right one will be a crucial step towards brewing the perfect cup every time.
There are two main types of coffee grinders: blade and burr. Blade grinders lie on the cheaper end of the price spectrum since they cut beans and produce an inconsistent particle size. The blades also tend to heat up the coffee and burn some beans. Burr grinders are a bit on the slow and expensive side, but they crush your coffee beans to produce a more consistent aggregate and better quality grind.
When choosing which grinder to go for, there are a few factors to consider. Size and capacity is the most practical consideration. In most cases, counter space is always at a premium, especially if your coffee machine already takes up a lot of room. Unless you expect to regularly make coffee for several people, a small capacity grinder will do just fine.
You should also consider grind consistency, as this factor relates to the aroma, flavour and taste of your coffee. Whether you like your beans coarse or fine, you’ll want to avoid cheaper grinders that tend to produce an inconsistent mixture of both.
Finally, grinding your own beans means you’re already putting in extra work to get the perfect espresso. To avoid turning the morning grind into a job, make sure your grinder is user friendly and simple to operate.
To help point you in the right direction, we have selected ten of the best coffee grinders on the market.
Sage the Smart Grinder Pro: £199.95, John Lewis & Partners
With a downright stunning appearance and an extensive list of capabilities, the Smart Grinder from Sage is your very own miniature version of Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. In addition to a calibrated, high-precision, low-heat burr grinder that produces efficient and consistent results every time, there are 60 unique settings to maximise the potential of your selected brew.
The tech doesn’t stop there. Sage cleverly allows users to program the grind time in 0.2 second increments for total control over doses. All these intuitive grind settings can be monitored on the clear LCD display which shows the grind settings, time, and even number of cups selected. This comes with a grinder, two portafilter cradles (small and large), a grind container with a lid and a sealing cup and a conical burr cleaning brush.
Baratza Virtuoso Coffee Grinder: £208.80, Shop Coffee
Certainly the most popular grinder in the Baratza line, there’s a pretty good reason why the Virtuoso is also becoming the number one choice for professional baristas. In addition to a 450 RPM DC motor that reduces heat and friction while grinding, the unit incorporates 40mm commercial quality burrs which produce an extremely consistent grind.
The exterior is just as classy as the interior, with looks going beyond merely functional. The Baratza Virtuoso Coffee Grinder is clearly distinguishable by a sculptured metal base and top which only adds to the high end, classy and elegant image. This is definitely not a grinder that you’ll want to hide away in the kitchen. All in all, the Virtuoso is a top class grinder that produces results with style, function, and most importantly, elegance.
De’Longhi KG79 Coffee Grinder: £36.99, John Lewis & Partners
Don’t be fooled by the price range – sometimes, great things can come in cheap packages. The De’Longhi KG79 grinder is an innovative and affordable tool for coffee lovers on a budget. This unit stands out with its blocky shape and generously transparent containers and lids. The KG79 has the capacity to grind 120g of beans, which translates to roughly 12 cups with every grind.
De’Longhi clearly didn’t skimp out on the tech. The unit includes two grinding wheels which cut down on heating to preserve flavour and aroma. While the bottom wheel is there to stay, the upper one can be removed for easy cleaning. The control panel comprises of easy to use knobs to set the finesse of your grind as well as number of desired cups. The KG79 automatically shuts off after grinding the required amount of beans.
Krups GVX242 Expert Pro Combi Grinder: £79.99, Gourmet Coffee Cafe
If there’s one thing about Krups that you have to love, it’s their never ending taste for taking things to the next level. The company is constantly working to come out with better versions of their products. The proof is in the pudding – just look at the GVX242 expert pro combi grinder. This version has been reengineered and updated to outperform previous models.
The grinder includes a professional grade burr milling system that delivers anywhere between two to 12 cups of consistent grind every time. With a basic control panel, using the unit is as easy as it gets. All you have to do is set the number of cups and turn her on. However, there’s an extra button on the side that lets you set the finesse of the grind, meaning it can provide anything between espresso to cafetiere.
Melitta Molino Coffee Grinder: £44.99, Currys
Saying that Melitta knows its coffee would be an understatement. Melitta Bentz literally invented the first coffee filter in 1908. So it’s safe to say it knows both beans and equipment inside out. This is evident in this grinder, which is as practical as it is affordable.
But even with its low price, there’s no shortage of features to attract the modern coffee lover. For starters, the Molino lets users grind up to 14 cups worth of beans thanks to its generous 200g capacity bean container. The unit also provides 17 different grind options to maximise the taste of your preferred brew. With low power consumption and easy to clean, removable components, it’s easy to see why the Molino is becoming a household name.
Dualit Burr Coffee Grinder: £79.99, John Lewis & Partners
This offering from Dualit strikes a desirable balance between performance and cost with a stylish finish. This unit makes use of burr grinders powered by a 150w motor, which has been optimised for a slower, cooler grind.
At the top of this sleek model is a 250g hopper that can churn around 10 portions depending on your need. The control panel includes the standard settings for portion control as well as multiple settings for the grind finesse. You can choose from coarse consistency for percolaters, medium for filter machines and a finer consistency for espressos. Burrs are removable for easy cleaning.
Cuisinart DBM8U Coffee Grinder: £54, AO.com
Smart, elegant, and expertly crafted, the DBM8U from Cuisinart is a heavy duty monster built for demanding professionals. In addition to looking the part, the manufacturer definitely didn’t hold back on performance. The DBM8U effortlessly stands out with its massive, circular hand dial that lets you easily choose from 18 different grind fineness selections.
This unit uses a burr grinding mechanism to create uniform grounds exactly as preselected. But what makes the supreme grind truly supreme and ideal for working professionals is the ability to make a staggering amount of grind in a short time. The handy slide dial lets you grind anywhere from four to 18 cups worth of beans – a desirable bonus if you’ve got guests or customers waiting.
Klarstein Trieste Coffee Grinder: £67.99, Amazon
Here’s another basic model designed for the budget conscious coffee lover. It gives you all the necessities without the luxury of added bells and whistles. It’s this practicality and affordability that makes the trieste a viable option as a starter grinder for homes.
The grinder boasts of a compact design with a 150 watt motor to drive the burrs. At the top is a fairly sized bean container that can hold up to 300g of beans. Even for a low price model, the workmanship and technology is impressive. Users can select from 15 different grind options and six stage adjustments to get the powder just right. The unit has lower working noise compared to similar grinders and comes apart for easy cleaning.
Baratza Encore Electric Burr Coffee Grinder: £149, Amazon
Baratza is known for building high quality products for people who value good coffee. And looking at the Encore Electric Burr, it’s clear this entry level model offers incredible value for money. In an industry where price equals quality, Baratza has managed to create an exception to the rule.
For a model that doesn’t come with all the extra gimmicks found on the Virtuoso model, the Encore actually performs extremely well. Its arsenal of features includes 40 individual grind settings and commercial quality 40mm conical burrs. The high speed 45-RPM motor is surprisingly quiet and reduces both static and heat build-up for a better grind. With an added auto-grind feature, what more could a coffee lover want?
Bodum Bistro Electric Burr Coffee Grinder: £79.99, Amazon
Known for their high aesthetic quality, Bodum’s products have the uncanny habit of turning anyone into a fan. The Bistro coffee grinder is a stylish little worker from Bodum that does quite a serviceable job. If you’re tired of buying pre-ground coffee, the bistro would make the ideal starter grinder.
It features a colourful, compact design with an anti-slip friction clutch. The body is a sturdy aluminium with a hardy 8oz container at the top. The bean container can be twisted through 14 points to select the coarseness. Bodum also included a timed grinding feature to set exact grind time as well as a with a quick grind feature for when you’re in a hurry.
The verdict: Coffee grinders
For the true coffee connoisseur who wants the professional barista experience and is willing to spend a bit more for it, the Sage Smart Pro Coffee Grinder has your name written all over it. It’s a solid commercial grade all-rounder that excels in elevating both the quality and quantity of the grind.
Those with domestic or minimal coffee needs will be more at home with a smaller, lighter unit such as the Dualit grinder. The De’longhi KG79 is ideal for budget conscious users just looking for something affordable to help escape pre-ground life.
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