There’s nothing like grabbing a latte or Americano from your local coffee spot but let’s be real, a daily (or even weekly) coffee habit really adds up. Not only can making coffee at home be fun, but it can also save you some cash. However, crafting the perfect drink isn’t the easiest task, especially when you don’t have the right equipment.
When it comes to making espresso at home, you’re going to need an espresso grinder that produces a fine and consistent grind. Although a coarse ground may work for whipping up coffee in a French press, it can make even top-notch espresso beans create a watery, acidic, or possibly sour espresso shot.
Here are six of the best espresso grinders for at-home baristas.
Dubbed the “ultimate entry-level grinder,” the Baratza Encore is one of our top choices for grinding espresso beans at home. The Encore is affordable (compared to other quality coffee grinders) with a price tag of $139 and easy to use with basic controls—including a simple on/off switch and pulse button—but also offers a level of precision to give you cafe-quality espresso at home. With 40 grind settings at your fingertips, you can fine-tune your ground beans for not only espresso but any other coffee brewing methods, from French press to Chemex. It uses 40-millimeter commercial-grade conical burrs for a consistent grind that falls neatly into its clear grounds bin.
The coffee grinder stands at a little over a foot tall and was designed to be compact enough to store in your kitchen cabinets. Not to mention, it also got a makeover in 2020 for a newer, more sleek look. Plus, the Encore is also backed by Baratza’s one-year warranty.
While a manual coffee grinder might not be your go-to for your daily espresso (unless you’re up for the workout), it’s a great option when you’re traveling and looking to make coffee on-the-go, especially paired with an AeroPress. The portable 1Zpresso JX-PRO, which weighs less than two pounds and costs $159, offers 40 clicks on the dial to get your espresso grind just right. It uses a 48-millimeter steel conical burr for better grinding efficiency and comes equipped with a brush for easy cleaning.
If you’re looking for a high-tech espresso grinder, look no further than the Baratza Sette 270Wi. The Sette 270Wi is the first home grinder with a grind-by-weight function that lets at-home baristas say goodbye to any dose weight concerns, according to the company. Through a digital scale, the grinder automatically calculates and controls the dosage based on changes in coffee beans or grind size. The grind gets even more accurate each time you use it, narrowing it down to one-tenth of a gram. And with the 40-millimeter steel conical burrs, it produces a clump-free, well-distributed grind quickly each time.
Whether you’re drinking espresso one morning or drip coffee the next, you can grind beans without all the fuss using three customizable weight-based presets. The only setback—aside from the $549 price point—is that the Sette 270Wi is slightly louder than other Baratza grinders, but with the consistent grinds it produces, we’ll take it.
The Rancilio Rocky espresso coffee grinder is another home option made by one of the top commercial coffee grinder brands. With this grinder, you can choose from 55 levels to make grounds for everything from espresso to French press coffee. It’s equipped with a hopper that’s tinted blue for UV protection to keep your coffee or espresso beans safe from the sun. The Rancilio Rocky Espresso coffee grinder also has a powerful but quiet operation system with 50-millimeter steel flat burrs that are built to last. It also features a thermal protection function that automatically turns the motor off to prevent overheating or damage to the grinder.
But heads up! This grinder is on the heavier side and may not be as portable as other home espresso grinders. Plus, the Rancilio Rocky is slightly more expensive costing $414.
The Eureka Mignon Specialita is the most expensive espresso grinder on our list at $699 but has all the extra features to back up the price. It’s a sound-insulated grinder, making it quieter than most coffee and espresso grinders on the market. The Eureka Mignon Specialita features a touchscreen display so you can adjust your grind time for multiple doses.
This grinder has 55-millimeter steel flat burrs to get you a finer grind in no time. It also has a wider chute for fluffier, more even grounds. The Eureka Mignon Specialita also has a grind system that is adjustable from below the motor, making cleanup and disassembly easier without losing your previous grind settings.
At less than $200, the Breville Smart Grinder Pro provides a solid home espresso grind at an affordable price. And it’s called a “smart” grinder for a reason. The grinder features a dosing technology called Dosing IQ that measures doses by time, which can be adjusted in .2-second increments for a precise and consistent dose each time you use it.
On top of saving your grind preferences, you can also use any of the grinder’s 60 settings for all of your coffee needs. With 40-millimeter steel conical burrs, the Breville Smart Grinder Pro can help you improve your coffee-making skills at home without breaking the bank.