Since you are here you are mostly going to buy the best coffee grinder. That‘s cool but hold on…
Just to let you know, no matter how much expensive coffee maker or espresso machine you might have bought.
This decision of buying top rated coffee grinder will alter either for or against, the whole course and experience of coffee making for you.
With a lot of research and experiences that has been shared with me via email, I came to know that, most of the people who does not get the desired taste with their espresso machine are not exactly due to issues related to the espresso machine, but with the ground they use.
Most of them I found out to be using either pre grounded coffee or a low quality grinder in their house.
Let’s go ahead and dig deeper so you don’t have to be down that lane!
What is a Coffee Grinder?
A coffee grinder is a device used to grind the roasted coffee beans, for brewing the coffee. There are several types of coffee grinders around which works in different ways and I will discuss each of these type in a moment.
However these machines can be broadly classified into two groups and they are industrial devices and small grinders for home use. I am going to limit our discussion to the grinders which are useful for home brewing.
A Brief History of Coffee Grinders
Coffee started to be used as beverages in the early 1200AD by the Ethiopians and the beans were roasted and then grounded in stone mortar and pestles.
Later in 1400AD the Turkish started roasting the beans in small perforated iron cubicles and then grind them in circular rollers, and in the same time hand cranked milling devices were invented for the purposes of grinding spices. This later started to be used as the coffee grinder.
Long after this in 1665 a person named Nicholas Book from London claimed he could make properly working coffee mills for the purpose of grinding coffee and it started becoming available in London from that period.
In 1798 Thomas Burf received the first US patent for coffee grinder. And in 1870 John Gulick patented a device named Champion 1 which became the widely used commercial coffee grinder during that time.
In the year 1898 Hobart Manufacturing Company first patented the eclectic coffee grinder which kicked off the development in the area of coffee grinding.
Advantages of Home Coffee Grinders
Aside from the fun of smelling freshly grounded coffee, owning the best coffee grinder has lots of other benefits:
You get a fresh coffee: If you own a espresso machine or other coffee making devices you love to have your coffee fresh. Once a coffee is grounded it starts to release CO2 which escapes unless it is stored quite well and makes the coffee taste stale. That’s why it is best to ground your coffee instantly before brewing.
You Can Control The Grain Size: This is really the most important feature why you must and should buy a coffee grinder. Controlling the grain size controls the taste of your coffee.
Thick Crema: Yes if you got me right. If you want that thick crema like they serve in the cafes, you need to ground your coffee just before brewing it.
It’s Cheaper on the long run: It will cost much lesser to buy whole roasted beans, than pre grounded coffee. This can save you a lot of money every month.
Did I mention it is just cool: Ohh Yes! It’s pretty cool to own one you know.
What are the different kinds of coffee grinders available?
Below are the lists of different kind of coffee grinders that are currently available:
- Conical Burr Grinders
- Flat Burr Grinders
- Manual Grinders
- Electric Blade Grinders
Which One Should I choose?
The above list is arranged in the best to worst performance order; however everything depends of the budget that you might have set for purchasing the device.
I always advise to first decide on the budget and then select the best grinder available in that budget. That always ensures you get value for money.
Let’s go ahead and discuss the working principle of each and find out the advantages and disadvantages of each one, so you can make an informed decision.
Burr is the type of grinder which possesses two grinding heads which can be either conical type or flat type. Conical being the best of all grinders available, it’s the basic principle how these two devices work. Let’s move onto each of them and find out the advantages and disadvantages for each.
i) Conical Burr Grinders:
Conical burr grinders are probably the best coffee grinders money can give you. Some of the best can typically range from $200 to $500 and upwards.
These grinders’ teeth can be made up of either steel or ceramic steel ones being less costly and with more longevity with a bit of tradeoff with the quality of the grind.
While the ceramic ones are mostly installed in the pro level devices. Although the difference is very minute to be found in terms of quality and hence the steel ones can be easily be purchased for home use.
An in-depth working of the both would be shown in a separate video, so let’s go ahead and check out the advantages and disadvantages of the same.
- Because of the inherent design, these devices can grind coffee without generating much heat.
- Almost nil or no static charge is generated which clumps the coffee together making it taste awful after brewing.
- The grind is consistent almost throughout the devices lifetime.
- Can easily be services because of the design feature.
- Produces less noise and vibration.
- These are not the cheapest devices around and can cost a portion of the whole budget, but are also a good investment.
So if you are looking forward to buying the best coffee grinder this should be your choice. For you easiness I have also reviewed the best conical burr coffee grinder for the year.
ii) Flat Burr Grinder:
Flat burr grinders are the second best thing you can own, for the purpose of grinding roasted coffee beans.
These devices have two flat blades with teeth’s on them which chews through the coffee bean slowly grinding it to the necessary texture as required.
There are two different variations in the flat burr grinders. The less pricey devices comes with a big un-sharp steel blades and the costly ones have small sharp blades which can cut through the coffee beans with ease and smoothness, with less vibrations.
The inherent design of the device has some faults which puts it to a disadvantage compared to the conical burr grinder. However they are far better than manual and blade grinders.
Let’s go ahead and find out the advantages and disadvantages of the flat bed grinders:
- These devices are more affordable and cheap compared to the conical burr grinders.
- The grind is more consistent and regular compared to manual and blade grinders.
- The grind particle size can be effectively controlled with greater ease compared to the blade grinders.
- The ones with steel grinding blades can last for close to five years if used properly.
- Gives the best value for money for regular household use.
- The flat blade devices can create heat while grinding and sometimes gives a burnt smell to the coffee.
- These devices are more prone to creating static charges and make the coffee grounds cling together.
- The blades are not easy to replace and needs to be taken to service center for changing when required.
If you are looking forward to a value for money purchase this is the product line you should choose. In a separate article I have reviewed the best flat burr coffee grinders that are available.
iii) Manual Grinders
Manual grinders as the name suggest to be operated manually. These are also of the burr type but are much smaller in size than the electronic counterpart and hence are much more portable. The working is all the same as the regular burr grinder.
These are ideal for carrying around while on a trip or camping. But I would personally not suggest it for a day to day use. The reasons for which would be pretty clear if you check the disadvantages.
- Small in size and easy to carry while on a trip
- Affordable and low priced hence acts as an alternative to the pricey variations.
- Can grind sufficient coffee for 2 people at once.
- Some of the costly ones can outperform flat burr grinders.
- Can be quite slow at times.
- Not a good choice for daily use, as you will feel the pain of hand cranking after few days and would take away the enjoyment of sipping coffee at morning.
- Cannot grind enough beans in one go if you have a large family.
- Can give inconsistent results from time to time.
If you are looking for a device to grind coffee during your next trip, go ahead and get one from our selected best handheld manual coffee grinders. However if you are looking one for a daily use, our suggestion is to stay away from these devices as it can be quite tiring after some time.
iv) Electric Blade Coffee Grinders
Electric blade coffee grinders is at the bottom of the hierarchy of all the coffee grinders available for home use and probably should be your last choice while purchasing a device for your home. However several people do use them as they can be used for multiple purposes.
So we went ahead and prepared a list of best electric blade coffee grinders for you, so you don’t have to do the legwork before you decide to buy one.
Let’s go ahead and look into the advantages of these electric blade devices:
- Electric blade coffee grinders are pretty cheap and affordable.
- They can be used to grind spices and herbs along with roasted coffee beans and hence serves as a multi utility device in your kitchen.
- They have grind control knobs which if used correctly can sever you better than a hand held device in many cases.
- The devices last long and the blades can be easily replaced.
- Serves the purpose okay if you are using French press coffee or drip feed coffee maker.
- The process these devices use is not really grinding but chopping instead. The beans are chopped by a high speed blade.
- The grounds can be inconsistent between different batches.
- Not exactly suitable for brewing espresso.
I have given you a brief intro about all the coffee grinding instruments and their working procedures, and I am also going to feature the best devices in each category separately for your convenience.
So go ahead and choose your pick!