Best Coffee Grinder
The three main types of coffee grinders are blade, flat plate, and conical. Conical burr grinders are the original type of grinders and use burrs placed at a near vertical orientation which spin at a low speed so there’s no burn taste. These provide the most consistent coarse grounds used in French press or pour over coffee but will also make good medium to fine grinds as well.
Next, you have blade grinders which use sharp cutting blades spinning at very high speeds to cut and chop coffee beans to grounds. The least expensive option, they work best for medium type grounds ideal for drip machines and percolators. Because of their operating speed, they can sometimes burn the beans and slightly alter the taste of your coffee. Unless you grind beans very infrequently, we recommend skipping this type of grinder altogether.
Lastly, you have flat plate burr grinders which turn slower than blade grinders so there’s less of a chance the coffee will burn. They use horizontal burrs on a flat plate (hence the name) which do a credible grinding job for all coffee grinds, but they excel at finer grinds like espresso and Turkish blends.
For the purpose of this list, we’re concentrating on electrically powered grinders because they grind larger quantities of beans faster and easier, especially when you’re making more than one cup of coffee. Every one of these grinders will be easy to take apart and clean which is helpful if a bean gets caught in the mechanism, the blades gum up from very oily or flavored beans, or if a foreign object accidentally gets into the grinder.
Baratza Encore Conical Burr Coffee Grinder
Cuisinart DBM-8 Supreme Grind Automatic Burr Mill
Rancilio Rocky HSD-ROC-SS Coffee Grinder
The Baratza Encore is the closest thing to a commercial-style coffee grinder for your home, and it's incredibly reasonably priced as well. Though it may be the entry-level model in Baratza's grinder lineup, it comes with all the hardware needed to provide the most consistently ground coffee you’ve ever had - even espresso blends. The Encore doesn't have the LCD screen or various timers or sensors found in the higher-end models; instead, it's as easy to use as a vacuum cleaner. Simply fill the hopper, choose how much coffee to be ground, and adjust the fineness of the grind by turning the hopper. There's a simple rotary on/off switch to control the operation, and the design of the grinder itself ensures that all of the ground beans make their way into the bin. The hopper holds eight ounces of beans and the bin holds five ounces of ground coffee. This also one of the best grinders designed to limit your ground from clinging to the bin due to static electricity. There are certainly more expensive options available that offer varying degrees of extra control, but we feel that the Baratza Encore performs well enough to make it difficult to justify the pricier grinders.
If you want a capable burr grinder that uses the flat burr technique, the Cuisinart DBM-8 Supreme Grind Automatic Burr Mill should suit your needs. Using flat discs used to grind the beans and an 18 position grind selecting twist dial, you'll find the grind you need for virtually any type of coffee you want to brew. The bean hopper holds eight ounces, but the grind bin holds a staggering 32 cups worth of ground beans. No matter how large your coffee maker is, you'll have enough grounds available after they’ve been ground. This burr grinder has a pulse button and an auto-shut off once the desired amount of beans have been ground. At about half the price of a typical espresso grinder, the Cuisinart DBM-8 Supreme Grind Automatic Burr Mill will perform remarkably well for all but the finest ground beans. This burr grinder comes covered by an 18 month warranty.
Grinding coffee for espresso is a notoriously finicky process, as many of the more inexpensive units on the market simply cannot produce the fine grinds required with any degree of consistency. Though the other grinders we recommend can turn out espresso-grade results, frequent espresso drinkers would be better served by a grinder that can accommodate espresso-specific tasks. The Rancilio Rocky is notable for its excellent grind consistency of the grind, thanks to commercial-grade burrs and a 140-watt direct drive motor. Despite the powerful motor, it is one of the more quiet-running grinders here. The hopper holds up to half-pound of beans, and this grinder features a doser that can fill an espresso filter with just the right amount of ground coffee with minimal effort. Weighing in at nearly 20 pounds, it's certainly not going to go anywhere when you’re grinding coffee. It's expensive, but as any espresso enthusiast knows, there's always a premium worth paying for a quality product.