Welcome to our comprehensive guide on the best coffee grinders for espresso! We understand the importance of a perfect grind for that perfect shot of espresso and have put in the hard work to bring you the top options on the market.
After testing over 20 different models, we narrowed the list to the absolute cream of the crop. Whether you’re a professional barista or a coffee enthusiast at home, our expert recommendations will help you find the perfect grinder for your needs. So, let’s dive in and discover the best heroes for a delicious espresso experience!
Do We Choose Conical, Flat Or Blade Grinder?
According to our experts, burr grinders are superior to blade grinders in terms of consistency. Burr grinders use a milling action to grind the beans, resulting in a uniform and precise size. On the other hand, blade grinders chop the beans, leaving them uneven in size and resulting in over-extracted and under-extracted coffee. Burr grinders also allow for more control and the ability to adjust to personal taste preferences.
Noise level is also an important factor when choosing a grinder. Almost every model makes some sort of noise, but we categorized each as either “loud” or “quiet,” depending on the level of sound it produced. This helps ensure that early-morning noise is kept to a minimum, so you don’t disturb your sleeping partner or roommate.
1. Baratza Encore – The Best Espresso Grinder for Most People
The Baratza Encore has been a mainstay in the market for over 10 years, and it’s easy to understand why. Although coffee culture is often exclusive and intimidating, this conical burr grinder is affordable and user-friendly.
With 40 settings ranging from fine espresso grinds to coarse French press grinds, there is something for everyone. Around 20 on the medium setting should do the trick for those who prefer drip coffee. Close to 30 is perfect for espresso, and 10 is ideal for French press and machines that don’t mind course grind. Additionally, its ease of use and compact size is suitable for families of all sizes. It should fit under most counters, being only 14″ tall.
The Baratza Encore is a great choice for most people due to its easy cleanability and repairability. No tools are necessary to disassemble the machine, and replacement parts can be easily acquired. Additionally, it comes with a one-year limited warranty.
- Relatively low cost
- Easy to clean and maintain
- Consistent grind
- Wide range of settings
- Relatively quiet
- Can produce a small amount of static
- Difficult to adjust grind size precisely
- Can clog if not cleaned regularly
2. Breville Smart Grinder Pro – A Close Runner Up
Breville demonstrated its commitment to innovation when it released the Smart Grinder Pro, drawing inspiration from Apple’s design philosophy. This grinder was designed to improve and simplify the grinding process at home, with user-friendly features that make it accessible for beginners while also providing a range of flexible options to accommodate more experienced users.
This Breville coffee grinder is equipped with 40 mm conical steel burrs, providing a consistent grind that rivals some of the best burr grinders in its price range. To view our top picks, click here. The 165-watt motor runs at 450 RPM to prevent heat build-up in the ground beans, although it may be slightly louder than other models.
The design of Breville’s machine demonstrates that it had the user in mind. The box includes two portafilter holders, one for 50-54 mm and another for a traditional 58 mm portafilter; both are removable and held securely in place with magnets. A magnetic base plate is also needed to catch any coffee dust when grinding into your portafilter.
No matter your experience level, the Pro will meet your needs. Its user-friendly controls make navigating its extensive settings a breeze, and its advanced capabilities will satisfy even the most discerning coffee lovers. It’s an ideal accompaniment for beginner home espresso machines and French presses.
- 60 precise grind settings
- High-quality stainless steel conical burrs
- Large hopper capacity
- Intuitive LCD display with lots of settings
- Removable grinds catcher and static-reducing filter
- Easy to clean and maintain
- Expensive compared to other grinders
- It can be noisy when grinding
- Grinds can be inconsistent at times
3. Bodum Bistro – Most Affordable Espresso Grinder That Still Does The Job Well
Bodum Bistro is an economical burr coffee grinder, making it accessible to all. However, we must acknowledge that this model does not offer the highest quality grinding experience, but that is quickly made up for the super low price it sells for.
Despite its affordability, this coffee grinder offers a significant quality improvement compared to blade grinders and is easy to use – making it the ideal budget option. The Bodum Bistro boasts a 35mm stainless-steel conical burr grinder and a 720 RPM motor, offering 12 settings. This makes it suitable for drip or pour-over brewing and can be made to work for espresso as well. Additionally, the borosilicate glass grounds container helps to reduce static cling, facilitating an easier cleanup. It has a decent friction clutch, which warns the user if any stones are present in the grinder to protect the burrs from being damaged.
Overall, the Bistro offers great value for money with its user-friendly design and easy cleaning and maintenance. Additionally, the modern look of this appliance is sure to add a splash of color to your kitchen. To get started, simply twist the beans hopper to select your desired grind size, use the dial to set the grind time from 0-20 seconds, then press the start button – the timer will remember your settings each time you use it.
- Very affordable
- Consistent grind
- Plenty of settings
- Large hopper
- Easy to clean
- Quite loud when using it
- Not as precise grind as others
- Hopper is not airtight
4. Capresso Infinity – The Best For Fine Grind
The Capresso Infinity is perfect for those just starting with home grinding. This automatic conical burr grinder features 40mm hardened steel burrs, driven by a 450 RPM motor to ensure consistent results every time.
The Capresso Infinity features a low RPM motor, resulting in quieter operation and cooler grinding. Despite its slower speed, it is remarkably efficient, producing up to 3g/s of output.
The Infinity coffee grinder features 16 grind settings, ranging from Extra Fine to Coarse. Although it produces an exceptionally fine grind, its limited range of options makes it unsuitable for espresso brewing.
The Capresso Infinity grinder offers great value with its competitive pricing, quiet operation, and swift grind speed. It is also incredibly easy to use – simply twist the bean hopper until the indicator matches your desired fineness setting.
Adjust the timer dial to your desired grind time, ranging from 5 to 60 seconds. The machine will automatically cease grinding once the timer has elapsed.
Overall, the Capresso Infinity Coffee Grinder is ideal for those seeking a reliable, entry-level burr grinder. With its superior quality and long-lasting durability, this grinder will satisfy even the most practical consumer. You can confidently buy this grinder if functionality is more important than looks.
- Somewhat affordable
- Relatively quiet
- 8 different settings
- Can be inconsistent
- Not great for grinding lots of coffee
- No timer or auto shut off feautre
5. 1Zpresso JX Manual – The Best Manual Espresso Beans Grinder
The 1Zpresso K-Max is the newest flagship model from the Taiwanese brand. First and foremost, you get a very convenient external adjustment of the grind size. This makes it very easy to switch between drip coffee, espresso & French press.
The second obvious advantage is that it has a magnetic catch cup. It seems like a small thing, but again, it makes the whole user experience a bit more frictionless every time you use the grinder.
The catch jar features a magnetic attachment, making it easily removable with a swift tug. This is an effective addition to everyday life and provides a more convenient alternative than unscrewing something on and off.
The 1Zpresso JX is unique because it includes a feature not found on other models: the ability to unscrew the bottom and replace it with a base specifically designed for espresso brewing.
The K Plus has a slimmer bottom and wider base, creating better balance than its counterpart’s heavier top. As such, it is less likely to be accidentally knocked over.
Overall, it’s easily one of the best manual grinders for espresso, but the relatively high price can scare some away. As usual, you get what you pay for, but you might be able to find a lot cheaper manual grinders on Amazon or eBay. Will they be as good as the 1Z JX? Well, not quite!
- Lightweight and portable design
- Ceramic conical burrs
- Stepless grind adjustment
- Easy to use
- Pricey for a manual grinder
- Small capacity
- Takes time to grind compared to electric
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the difference between burr grinders, blade grinders, and manual grinders?
Burr grinders, blade grinders, and manual grinders are all coffee grinders, but they work differently and produce different results.
Burr grinders crush the coffee beans by using two revolving abrasive surfaces (burrs). They tend to produce a consistent grind size and are often considered to be the best type of grinder for coffee enthusiasts. They can be further divided into conical burr and flat burr grinders. Conical burr grinders have burrs that are cone-shaped and are less expensive, while flat burr grinders have burrs that are flat and tend to be more precise and costly.
Blade grinders use a blade that spins to chop the coffee beans. They tend to produce an inconsistent grind size, with some beans ground fine and others ground coarsely. They are generally less expensive than burr grinders.
Manual grinders, also known as hand grinders, use a crank that turns to grind the beans. They are often small, portable, and lightweight, and they tend to produce a consistent grind size like burr grinders. They are usually less expensive than electric burr grinders but require more effort.
In summary, burr grinders are considered the best option for coffee enthusiasts as they produce consistent grind sizes; manual grinders are a good budget-friendly option. They require more effort, and blade grinders are the least recommended option as they produce inconsistent grind sizes.
Should I Buy Fresh Beans For Espresso?
Whole beans will always be more flavorful than pre-ground; the fresher they are, the tastier they’ll be. We recommend looking for a local coffee roaster – simply search “coffee roasters near me,” and you’re sure to find one close by. You may even find locally roasted beans at your local grocery store.
Search for bags of whole beans with the roasting date printed; this is usually only found on local brands. If there are no coffee roasters in your vicinity, you can purchase high-quality beans from an online source.
If you’re unsure which type of coffee to choose, our guide to the best subscription coffee services is a great resource. These services provide fresh beans delivered to your door regularly, allowing you to easily explore and discover new varieties.