Three Things to Consider Before Buying a Coffee Grinder

Think about these coffee grinder features to help find the best one for you.

If there’s anything better than the aroma of freshly brewed coffee, it’s the aroma of freshly ground coffee beans. They fill the room with a warm, earthy, delightful bouquet that is a precursor to an excellent cup of coffee. The fragrance is, somehow, simultaneously comforting and stimulating. There’s nothing else in the world like it.

That’s one reason why home coffee grinders are so popular with coffee aficionados. Another is that a grinder enables you to select grind size, because different types of coffee making methods need different types of grind (for instance, a French press is best with a course grind, while an espresso maker demands a fine grind). Grinding your own also means you can choose whichever bean you want, instead of limiting yourself to retail espresso grounds.

There are numerous coffee grinders on the market. The majority are one of two types: blade or burr. Blade grinders are very much like blenders. They do a good job of grinding beans, but you often wind up with grounds of inconsistent sizes. Burr grinders incorporate two round metal plates with numerous ridges, which produce grinds of the same size. Burr grinders can be adjusted to yield different size grinds. If you are shopping for a new or additional grinder, here are three good options.

The Electric Burr Coffee Grinder

Total Control Over Your Grind

Features European-made hardened steel burrs that are removable for easy cleaning. Baratza

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Electric grinders are convenient because they’ll grind coffee beans quickly, which is an advantage if you want a fine grind, or a cup of good coffee quickly. You can keep electric grinders on the kitchen counter next to your coffee maker. Look for a grinder with removable burrs so you can clean them, which enables the grinders to function well. Removable burrs are especially important if you also want to grind spices in the machine.

The Manual Burr Coffee Grinder

Manual Crank

Perfect for grinding on-the-go. JavaPresse

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One downside of electric grinders is the noise generated by both an electric motor and the burrs breaking down the coffee beans at a very high rate of speed. Manual grinders are slower to grind but much quieter, and they’re small so you don’t need to take up valuable kitchen counter space. And they’re easily transported, so if you’ll NEED a cup of good coffee when you visit your in-laws, you can toss a manual grinder right in your backpack. As with the electric grinder, look for a manual grinder with removable burrs for easy cleaning.

The Combination Burr Grinder and Coffee Maker

All-In-One Design

Load this machine with beans and water, press a few buttons, and let it do the rest. KRUPS

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Many hotels in Europe have coffee makers with burr grinders incorporated into them, and for good reason: They will produce an outstanding cup of coffee in a very short time. You can enjoy the same convenience at home with a combination grinder and maker. You load the machine with beans and water, press a few buttons, and come back in a few minutes (or the next morning) to a pot full of excellent fresh coffee. Look for a programmable combination machine that offers various grind settings and is easy to clean.