The best coffee grinders give you the opportunity to make your own professional quality coffee in your own kitchen, so it’s no surprise they’re become increasingly popular. But what do you look for when choosing a grinder? Here’s our buyer’s guide to coffee grinders to help you out…
Buyer’s Guide To Coffee Grinders
Conical Burr Grinders Vs Flat Burr Grinders
There is a difference in the grind quality you get from conical burr grinders as opposed to that from the flat burr models. Conical burr grinders actually produce two different sizes of ground coffee particles, and this is true regardless of the fineness setting you select. This is known as a bimodal grind.
Flat burr grinders on the other hand produce remarkably consistent particles. While this would seem to make flat burr grinders better, there are other things to take into consideration. For example, you need a finer grind with a flat burr. You’ll also end up with more waste because coffee inevitably gets caught up in the flat burr system due to its design. This also means you need to clean a flat burr grinder more often.
Conical burr grinders are also cheaper than their flat burr equivalents, as well as generally being less noisy due to the fact that their motor doesn’t need to be as powerful. An additional side effect of needing a lower power motor is that less heat is generated by a conical burr grinder.
To summarize, conical burr grinders are cheaper, quieter, run cooler, and need less care and maintenance than their flat burr alternatives. That said, flat burr grinders give you a much more consistent grind and this means you get a better quality of coffee. In practice, with modern grinders there’s very little difference between conical and flat burr models.
Stainless Steel Vs Ceramic Burrs
In general, most home coffee grinder machines have stainless steel burrs. That’s because they’re cheaper both to produce and to replace when needed. Ceramic burrs whilst being more expensive last longer.
Bean Hopper Size
While you may initially think that bigger is better when it comes to bean hopper size, that’s not necessarily the case. You only need a hopper that’s big enough to hold enough beans for the amount of cups you want to make. Anything bigger and you’re going to end up with coffee beans sat around in your hopper and becoming less fresh.
Number Of Grind Settings
The better quality (and higher price) of your grinder, the more grind settings you get. This allows you more control over the fineness of your ground coffee and helps you get the exact taste you want. We recommend you opt for a model with at least 20 different grind settings.
Ease Of Use
You want your grinder to be easy to use. With some models, you need to keep the grind button pressed or the machine will stop. With others, you just press the button or turn a switch and the grinder continues to grind until you press the button or turn the switch again. Better quality grinders will have both options.
Ease Of Cleaning And Maintenance
An important quality of a good grinder is how easy it is to clean and maintain. The bits you need to keep clean should be easy to get to and/or remove. Similarly, replacing parts should be straightforward.