The KRUPS electric coffee grinder is a great option for those that do not need a lot of bells and whistles with their grinder. You choose the grind size by the length of time you allow it to run. This more manual process is perfect for some, but others may prefer more direction and options for determining optimal grind size. The KRUPS grinder includes an oval design and stainless steel blades, as well as a safety feature that requires the lid to be attached for the blades to spin. Users have expressed concern that the grounds tend to stick to the base of the grinding chamber as well as under the blades, so this requires additional work to ensure this stays clean. Others have mentioned that the lack of a removable chamber for the grounds makes emptying them a bit more challenging. However, for the price, this is a great pick for any level of coffee user, as well as those looking to grind other items such as spices.
If you are not a morning person, the obnoxiously loud sound of most electric grinders may be grating in the morning, and a manual grinder may be more up your alley. This ceramic burr grinder housed in a stainless steel body will provide an even grind every time, without the noise that comes with the electric grinders. Albeit, the trade off means that you will be exerting more energy to manually grind your coffee, but just consider that a pre-caffeine energy boost. It is small and easy to use on the go and is adjustable for desired grind size.
The Hamilton Beach grinder is fairly quiet compared to other electric grinders on the market. Crafted with stainless steel blades and a removable grinding chamber for easy grounds transfer and cleaning, there is much to appreciate about this appliance. The biggest concern is the small capacity of the chamber itself which requires you to run multiple grinds for larger batches. The cord wraps up around the base for "hidden" storage as well, which is convenient for tight spaces and aesthetics. Great buy for the price.
The OXO conical burr grinder comes complete with stainless steel burrs, .75 pound whole bean hopper, and 110 gram capacity anti-static metal collection cup for grounds. The anti-static is designed to keep grounds from sticking to the walls for easy transfer, though one complaint is that the cup does not lock in place and can vibrate out of place causing grounds to miss the cup. Choose between 15 different grind size settings, as well as micro settings between each. The grind timer will remain in place after running so that you can simply press the start button again for a second run without having to re-adjust the timer knob -- unless you desire a different grind time -- which is very useful. Easy to use and less than most electric conical burr grinders so a good value option.
Here at Oola, coffee is a passion for many of our staff, and our team relies on the Baratza Encore for our coffee grinding needs in the office. Andrew Nagy, our Coffee Club President shared that "While expensive, it's a GREAT grinder. It's mechanically very sound, and with semi-regular cleanings, it should last for a very long time." Baratza's conical burr Encore is a great grinder for those with little to no familiarity with the process and can get you fresh grounds in no time at all. Some have found that the grounds bin can be messy during use, but easily cleaned.
If you are looking for a low cost burr grinder option, this flat burr blade hybrid is a great option. While it is unlikely to get you as fine of a grind as you need for true espresso, this unit does a fine job improving on the straight blade grinding option while adding the hopper and collection bin features of higher end grinders. This unit does tend to build up static which can cause grounds to stick to the grounds up and can be a bit noisy when running, but still a great buy as a hybrid. Just know that it is not a conical but rather a flat burr grinder which makes a big impact on the overall price.
There are many coffee grinders on the market offering unique options for the coffee connoisseur, the "joe" Schmoe, and everyone in between. Don't get left in the finely ground coffee dust of your peers, make sure you know what you are looking for so that you can adequately determine what option will be the best for your coffee bar. Here are a few key features to keep your eyes out for while comparison shopping. Don't forget to take a look at our top picks for coffee makers after you select the perfect grinder.
There is a big difference in the grinding mechanisms used in various machines. Traditional blades are generally found in less expensive models and do an adequate job of chopping the beans, but are less precise than other methods. Burr grinders traditionally come in two varieties: flat or conical. Conical burrs are the most efficient at ensuring an even and consistent grind every time and conical burr grinders are also often the most expensive options available, with even the lower priced models still topping $100. They are generally made from metal and the shape allows for a more consistent feeding process than flat burrs. Flat burrs are often made from a ceramic material which can be slightly less expensive while still providing a good consistent grind.
Different drinks require a different fineness of grounds to be able to achieve successfully. Espresso requires an ultra fine grind whereas as French press calls for a more coarse grind. Since not all grinders are created equally, you will want to ensure that the machine you get will work with the drinks you plan to use it for. Certain grinders are just not adequate enough to get the fineness needed for espressos so don't spend money on a product that won't fit the bill.
If you are noise adverse, especially early in the morning before your first cup, you will want to carefully choose a grinder that will not start your day off on the wrong foot. As one member of our team recently stated, "There is nothing worse than starting to grind and realizing it sounds like two tractors having a fight in the middle of your kitchen." Manual grinders can certainly help with this, but some electric grinders are far less noisy than others so do your homework.