2021's Best Coffee Grinder: A Detailed Review

A Reluctant Coffee Snobs At Home Set Up

“Coffee connects us in so many ways — to each other, to our senses, and to the earth that supports the coffee trees.”

These sweet words are from Jamaican entrepreneur and former soccer player Rohan Marley.

Do you want to connect with your senses and with the people surrounding you? Would you love to connect with the earth that supports the coffee trees?

It all starts with a coffee grinder.

Whether a blade or burr grinder, the most critical device to consider if you’re making your coffee at home is a good grinder. This is especially true if you want to make a delicious brew from freshly ground coffee.

A good grinder grinds your coffee evenly so that you can extract the most flavor out of the beans during the brewing process.

Also, an evenly-ground coffee affects the brewing time; finer ground coffee takes a shorter steeping time than coarse grounds.

However, unevenly ground coffee results in a low-quality brew.

Here’s something we can both agree on: choosing a good grinder takes research. This is because the market is flooded with many different varieties. Thus, you must be well informed on which brand suits your need for the most delicious coffee.

To make your work easier and ensure grind consistency from your coffee beans, we’ve prepared a detailed review of the best coffee grinders worth your time and money.

Ready to enjoy your favorite brew from freshly ground coffee?

Let's first get a few facts straight.

Are Burr Coffee Grinders Better?

The first thing to consider when choosing your grinding machine is the type of grinder.

There are two major coffee grinder types:

  • Burr grinder
  • Blade grinder

Burr grinders come equipped with a set of burrs. One burr is fixed, the other rotates on a motor while crushing the coffee beans. Compared to blade grinders, burr grinders are more consistent. They produce a fine powder and are less noisy.

Further, there are two types of burr grinders; conical and flat grinders. While the two grind coffee the same way, the difference between them is their ring model.

The outer ring of a conical burr is cone-shaped. It sits inside another hollow cone-shaped ring with angled teeth and a large base. Looking at it from above, it appears star-shaped. This burr has channels for the beans to pass through during grinding.

If you’re looking for a cooler, quieter, and cheaper burr grinder, conical burrs are the best. However, the downside of these burrs is that they’re less consistent.

A flat burr has two horizontally aligned rings with angled teeth lying flat against each other. One of the burrs faces down while the other faces upward. During grinding, the distance between these rings dictates the size of the coffee grounds.

Flat burr coffee grinders are more consistent than conical grinders. Yet, these grinders are more expensive — and they can be noisy, depending on the model. Especially if your kitchen has poor ventilation.

Buyers looking for premium quality coffee beans will find burr grinders ideal. They’re consistent and will give the best coffee flavor — and are therefore worth every penny.

On the other end, a blade grinder works like a food processor. It has blades that rotate on a motor, slicing the coffee beans into multiple sizes. This process is very violent and noisy, as the blades hit the coffee beans with force.

To regulate the size of the coffee grounds, you must time the grinding process. The longer you run the grinder, the finer the grind size becomes.

If you’re looking for a cheap grinder, blade grinders are the best option.

However, the downside of blade grinders is that they’re less consistent. The ground coffee beans come out partially powder, partially coarse. Equally, the blades’ rotation speed generates heat, which burns the coffee and spoils the taste.

Choosing between the two:

Burr coffee grinders emerge on top. They’re more consistent, generate less heat, and are less noisy.

2021’s Best Coffee Grinders — Our Top Picks

The Best Coffee Grinder for Home Use: Baratza Virtuoso Plus Conical Burr Coffee Grinder

Baratza Virtuoso
Source: Amazon | Baratza Virtuoso+ Conical Burr Coffee Grinder

Are you looking for an unassuming workhorse that grinds coffee beans precisely with refreshing consideration to detail and design? The Baratza Virtuoso Plus Conical Burr Coffee Grinder is the coffee grinder of your dreams.

This grinder is an upgrade to the classic Baratza Virtuoso. It comes with a 40-second adjustable digital timer display — boasting a consistent and fast grinding performance, unlike its predecessor.

Its funnel-shaped hopper is capable of holding 8 ounces of whole beans per session.

The Baratza Virtuoso Plus coffee grinder is made of plastic and stainless steel for impressive durability. It has a transparent LED-backlit ground bin; thus, you can see the brewing process and know when to empty it. The bin can accommodate a total of 142g.

This grinder also features 40 grind settings, backed by reinforced conical burrs. This means you can switch between a comprehensive range of brew methods, from fine to coarse grind settings such as AeroPress, fine espresso grind, and coarser French press grounds.

The 40mm stainless steel conical burrs are manufactured in Europe. The burrs allow you a very uniform grind with a unique lack of fines throughout its grinding range. This feature makes Virtuoso Plus burrs noteworthy for the press, espresso, and drip grounds.

Additionally, the Virtuoso Plus conical burrs come with a precision mounting setup for steady and precise grinding, delivering consistent coffee grounds.

One thing you’ll love about this grinder is its performance. It’s powered with a high torque DC (direct current) motor to effortlessly operate the burrs. Despite the fast performance, the motor turns gently, providing a soundless process for a long grinding cycle.

Also, the circuit is equipped with an automatic reset thermal cutoff switch for added safety. The DC motor provides smooth processes while maintaining the burrs’ speed at 500 RPM, reducing static generation, heat, and noise.

The grinder measures 6.69 x 6.69 x 12.6 inches and weighs approximately 3.6kgs.

Pros Cons
  • 40 different grind settings
  • Digital timer display — the knobs allow you to adjust the grinding time precisely
  • Transparent backlit ground bin — you can monitor the brewing process and know when to empty the bin
  • Expensive
  • A little bulky

Customer Review

Mace Customer review
Source: Amazon | Mace Customer Review

Best Simple Design: OXO BREW Conical Burr Coffee Grinder

OXO BREW Conical Burr Coffee Grinder
Source: Amazon | OXO Brew Conical Burr Coffee Grinder

For beginners looking for a flexible coffee grinder that provides consistency, the OXO grinder should top your list.

Here’s why.

Operating the machine is easy. You only need to follow these two simple steps:

  1. Turn the dial to select the duration (in seconds) you’d like the machine to grind.
  2. Press the center button of the dial to start the grinding process, and voilà...! Your coffee grounds are ready.

This conical burr grinder comes with a funnel-shaped hopper that can hold up to 0.75 pounds of beans in one session. The hopper empties all of its contents into a steel grinding component before feeding the beans into a stainless steel grounds bin.

When serving family or friends, this grinder’s grounds container can accommodate up to 110 grams (equivalent to 12 cups of brewed coffee).

The grinder has 15 grind settings plus extra micro settings. Depending on your taste preference, you can make adjustments to achieve the flavor that best suits — whether a coarse grind for a French press, a medium grind for pour-overs, or a fine grind suitable for espresso.

One thing you’ll like about its performance is the grinding speed. The OXO burr grinder grinds faster than most grinders and stays quiet throughout. It can churn up to 23 grams of coffee beans in approximately nine seconds.

Besides the grinding speed, this machine maintains above-average grind consistency while extracting the coffee’s flavor. The durable conical burrs are made of 40 mm stainless-steel that ensures optimal flavor extraction.

This grinder weighs 4.5 pounds and measures 7.4 x 12 x 16 inches.

The OXO BREW conical burr coffee grinder offers a fairly reasonable price for a quality coffee grinder.

Pros Cons
  • User-friendly
  • Affordable
  • The compact design makes it long-lasting and dependable
  • Low static to prevent mess
  • Quickly produces quality and above-average ground consistency
  • Unlike competing grinders, it lacks scale

Customer Review

tweety customer review
Source: Amazon | Tweety Customer Review

Best for French Press, Pour-Over, and Espresso Coffee: Breville Smart Grinder Pro

Breville Smart Grinder
Source: turbosquid.com

This beautiful grinder is designed for coffee enthusiasts who prefer ‘cups’ for French press or filter and ‘shots’ for espresso.

It consists of 60 individual grind settings that are split by category — the finer settings produce powdery grounds, while the coarsest settings are ideal for French press coffee. These settings are categorized by percolator, drip, manual press, and espresso.

Regardless of how coarse or fine you want your beans, the settings will help you achieve maximum flavor to suit your favorite beverage.

It features a precision electronic timer that allows users to adjust the grinding time in 0.2-second increments for a consistent dose amount for every grind. The grinding time is displayed on a sleek LED screen.

Beginners will find this feature handy, especially if they don't know what exactly to choose. You only need to hold down the timer’s button, and it'll start counting up from zero as you play around with the most suitable settings.

Another great feature of Breville Smart Grinder Pro is the dose IQ. Here, you simply enter the number of cups or shots you need, and it'll automatically adjust the dosage accordingly. All you need is to program your desired shot for each ground type, and the system will remember.

This means you can use the same dosage to produce multiple portions. Whether you want to make espresso, French press, or pour-over, just indicate your preference, and the grinder will program itself.

The 40mm stainless steel conical burrs are designed to reduce grinding heat. Similarly, they protect the necessary oils in the coffee beans while grinding them directly into a strong plastic container with drip, espresso, and French press cup markings.

What sets this grinder apart from other brands is the pair of magnetic portafilter (PF) holders — one is the standard 58mm PF size and the other is 50-54 mm, found on the Breville automatic espresso machine. You can fix your portafilter to the holder and grind directly into it without any mess.

Pros Cons
  • 60 different grind settings
  • Precision electronic timer that lets you adjust the grinding time in 0.2-second increments
  • Grinder for different coffee styles
  • Attractive stainless steel design
  • Has cradles compatible with espresso portafilters
  • Expensive

Customer Review

Katie DiBenedetto Customer Review
Source: Amazon | Customer Review

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Featured Image: Unsplash by Daniel Norris

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