I’m guessing you’re here to find the best burr grinder? That tells me you understand how important grinding your coffee beans well is if you want to brew amazing coffee.
True story: It took me years and I don’t-wanna-know how many wasted dollars and coffee beans to understand the importance of grinding. Back of the envelope calculations tell me I blew somewhere around $1150 in wasted beans and crappy grinders. Ouch!
I had amazinb beans and brewers, but no matter what I did; my coffee tasted average. My grinder was letting me down and I had no idea. Keep reading this article and YOU are not going to have this problem.
But you DO have another small problem: which burr grinder do you choose out of the 170 (and growing) for sale online? Whats the best burr grinder for your needs?”
I Want To High Five You…
First things first I want to say: thank you for helping rid the world of shitty coffee.
Yes, I’m talking to you reading this.
You’re here because you’ve already done your homework. You know the importance of getting the grind right.
You already know that only a fool would choose a blade grinder over a burr grinder (read more about that here).
And you wouldn’t think of buying pre-ground coffee because you know that it just never tastes as good as freshly ground coffee (if you want to know the science behind this, read this article).
I respect you, and thank you. I hope I can help you find the perfect grinder. Lets do it, shall we?
Looking For The Best Burr Grinder? Read This First
Don’t be impatient; spend 2 minutes reading this section and you’ll know exactly what to look for in your perfect choice.
Grind Settings: Pulse, Auto-grind and Timed Grinding
Most grinders a ‘pulse’. Push the button and your coffee grinds. Let go of the button and your coffee does not grind. Simple.
Some grinders have an ‘auto-grind’ function which allows you to grind without having to push the button. Turn the dial, the coffee grinds and you can check your Facebook news feed while you wait.
And then some grinders have a timed grinding function. Set the time, and let her grind.
Do you really need all these features? Are you willing to pay more for them?
If you grind for more than one cup at a time: yes, they will make your life easier. It gets annoying pushing and holding a button when you need to do it for minutes at a time, multiple times per day.
But if you just brew a cup or two a few times a day, a push to grind button will do the trick. Don’t overcomplicate things.
Number of Grind settings – how many is too many?
Grinders with hundreds of grind settings could be a case of over engineering.
Yes: having more grind settings will allow you to do more but do you really need 500 settings?
This totally depends on you. As humans we tend to fall victim to ‘more is better’ when buying new things..
Don’t choose a grinder based on the number of grind settings. Here’s my advice:
- You’ll need 40+ grind settings if: you want to use ALL brew styles (including espresso) and you love to experiment like a true coffee scientist.
- 20-40 grind settings will do if: You want to brew most typical brew styles, and experiment a little here and there.
- Less than 30 settings is fine if: you use standard brew styles, like French press and pour over, and are happy with leaving it at that.
NOTE: You’ll need super fine grounds for Turkish coffee. (yes – finer than espresso). And for cold brew you’ll need super coarse grinds. Make sure you check if your grinder can go this low/high before ordering (I’ve noted this in the reviews below)
Does it grind into a portafilter…or bucket?
Some grinders have a handy little bracket that hold your Portafilter in place (which is the handle thing that takes your grinds for espresso brewing). They grind your beans and spit the grounds into the portafilter.
And Some grinder will spit your grinds directly into a container.
If you want to brew espresso having a portafilter holder is very handy.
If you want to brew espresso AND other styles, make sure this bracket can be removed.
If you are not grinding for espresso you definitely don’t need a portafilter holder – It will just get in the way.
Getting Technical: Burr size, type, RPMs
While this section may seem a little nerdy or technical – your burr coffee grinder is usually your most expensive purchase – so the more you know the better.
We have high speed grinders and low speed grinders. Speed is measured in revolutions per minute (RPMs)
A little problem: The higher the RPM’s the more consistent the grind. But with speed comes heat, and heat is bad when grinding; it changes the flavour of the coffee (ruining it)
But here’s the catch…
High speed grinders get around the heat problem if they have large, flat burrs, and a powerful motor. These burrs mean you get super consistent grinding without risking heat buildup. The grinders that fall in this category are best for espresso grinding.
Low speed grinders generally have conical, ceramic burrs and grind at a slower speeds to avoid heat and static buildup. You’ll find these burrs in most home market grinders and most on this list.
So higher RPMS = better… IF the grinder has larger, flat burrs and a powerful motor.
If you are espresso brewing, you’ll prefer higher RPM grinders. Lower RPM grinders are best suited for manual brewing techniques.
Burr Coffee Grinder Reviews: The 7 Best Coffee Grinders of 2018
Based on years of nerding out on coffee, and our friendly review/research team: these are the 7 best burr grinders in 2018.
Quick announcement – we use a secret weapon to take our grinds consistency from great, to un-friggen-believeable. Want to know what the secret is? >It’s this.<
And now, for the main event – the reviews:
The Bodum Bistro: Super Budget Option
You don’t want to ‘stoop’ to the low levels of buying pre-ground coffee; and you definitely don’t want to butcher your beans with a blade grinder. But you don’t have much to spend. Good news: the Bodum Bistro can help.
I’ll be the first to admit that this is NOT a high quality grinder. So why would I include it in the list?
Because it’s cheap, very easy to use and maintain, and its innovative because it’s very good at eliminating grinder static issues.
The material and build-spec mean its immune from coffee bean static – which is the leading cause of death for many burr grinders if left untreated. And it means minimal cleaning and NO clogging from oily coffee beans. This is a huge plus if you love convenience.
Simplicity, value, and style is what the Bistro flaunts…It’s a funky looking grinder that will grind well enough for your standard brew styles (such as french press and drip coffee). You could use it for espresso but you won’t be winning any awards for a perfectly pulled shot.
Grind quality and consistency? With 720 RPMs and conical burrs; it’s good enough.
Grind settings and limitations? No Turkish coffee and not suited for espresso, but for other brew styles you’re good to go.
BEST SUITED FOR: if you just want something cheap to grind for your standard home brew styles (e.g. French press or stovetop brewer) and you’re not fussy over consistency – give her a whirl.
But I’d suggest checking out the next grinder on this list:
The Baratza Encore: Best Value Burr Grinder
The encore is the entry level model in the Baratza grinder family – a brand well known for building high quality grinders for people that value good coffee.
Two ways to describe the encore: ‘great value for money’, and ‘minimalistic’.
The bad news: in the coffee market, price = quality.
The good news: The encore is the exception to this rule. Its priced extremely well and it grinds extremely well. The designers removed all the extra gimmicks that its bigger and better brother (the Virtuoso) had.
You get a grinder that can handle most brew styles, without the extras. You’re here to grind coffee right?
Grind quality and consistency? The Encore grinds at 450 RPMs and has 40mm conical steel burrs; perfect for all manual styles of brewing.
Grind settings and limitations? 40 grind settings means you’re good for most standard home brew styles. You could grind for espresso with the encore, but you won’t have a world class grind. Perfectly suited for manual brew styles.
BEST SUITED FOR: Those seeking a grinder that will simply grind coffee very well without the extra ‘nice to have’ features. This is the best valued grinder available right now and you won’t be sacrificing quality. Perfect for the home coffee hobbyist who is getting started.
The Baratza Virtuoso: Best for the manual-brewing hobbyist
The virtuoso is the most popular grinder in the Baratza line, and is arguably the most popular grinder in the home barista market.
It’s easy to use and you can’t deny that its sexy AF but the reason it’s so loved is the motor and burr design.
The 40mm commercial grade burrs and DC motor work together to reduce friction, heat and to grind beans extremely consistently. They say that if you ask a barista what grinder they have at home, chances are it will be a Virtuoso – That’s a strong vote.
Grind quality and consistency? Grinding at 450 RPMS with commercial grade 40mm burrs allows the Virtuoso to deliver very consistent grounds day after day.
Grind settings and limitations? 40 steps of adjustment means you can grind for every brew style apart from Turkish coffee. The virtuoso is great if you want to brew espresso and manual at home.
BEST SUITED FOR: You’re a versatile home barista looking to step up your coffee game. You love brewing manual styles of coffee but also venture into espresso based brews from time to time. You want something that is going to allow you freedom to brew in any style without getting too technical or expensive.
The Baratza Vario would not be out of place in a coffee shop; yet it was designed for the home. This means that you’ll find a Vario in the kitchens of home baristas who are serious about grinding and brewing perfect coffee.
230 repeatable grind settings means you can grind for all brew styles, and features such as the digital timer and programmable buttons make it easy to use once you’ve dialed in those perfect grind sizes.
Grind quality and consistency? At 1350 RPMs with 54mm flat burrs, the Vario grinds your beans as expertly as a professional roaster would.
Grind settings and limitations? 230 repeatable and saveable grind settings means you can brew any style you want. From fine to super coarse, the Vario can handle it all.
BEST SUITED FOR: You’re ready to step up your home brewing game and start experimenting with micro adjusted grind sizes. Yes – you’ve reach ‘home barista nerd’ status. You want to be able to grind for all brew styles and experiment with new grind sizes. It’s time to create some legendary coffee.
The Rancilio SD Rocky: If You’re Serious About Home Espresso
The Rancilio Rocky is a commercial quality grinder designed for home use. In fact – don’t be shocked when yours arrives new with coffee ground dust within it – every model if factory tested with coffee to ensure they work perfectly.
Like the Baratza Vario above, the Rocky grinder was built for the home coffee brewing fanatic who wants the perfect grinding companion and is not willing to sacrifice on quality.
The difference, however, is that the Rocky is a workhorse and can handle more; it would fit in nicely with a large household or even small office office or cafe.
Grind perfectly consistent grinds for espresso and all other brew styles, and has a removable portafilter bracket in case you feel like grinding into a bucket for manual style brewing.
Grind quality and consistency? 1750 RPMs and 50mm burrs combined with a very powerful motor means the Rocky can grind large amounts of beans with ease.
Grind settings and limitations? 55 grind settings will allow you to grind for fine to super coarse with ease.
BEST SUITED FOR: Like the Baratza Vario; the Rancilio is a ‘step up’ grinder for those looking to get technical with their grinds and experiment – but the difference is, this bad boy is a work horse and will perform better under pressure. Great for coffee loving households, small offices or cafes.
The Capresso Infinity: Best Home Grinder That Can Grind Super Fine Grounds
The Capresso Infinity has 4 major settings: extra fine, fine, medium and coarse. And then, it has 4 settings within each setting.
Why does this matter?
Because you can grind super fine for Turkish coffee – the only grinder on this list that can do that!
Combine this feature with the commercial grade conical steel burrs, the slow grind time (for avoiding heat), and the easy-to-remove upper burr for cleaning; you have a fine home grinder that ticks many boxes…at an amazing price.
Grind quality and consistency? Commercial grade 40mm conical burrs and a nice low 420 RPM means the capresso infinity grinds at amazing consistency for the price its on offer for.
Grind settings and limitations? None. You can grind from super fine to super coarse, meaning you can grind for all brew styles, including Turkish coffee. Impressive.
BEST SUITED FOR: You want an affordable grinder that can grind for ALL brew styles, especially Turkish coffee. The Capresso is your boy – versatile and affordable.
The Breville Smart Grinder Pro: The Versatile Grinder
The Breville Smart Grinder Pro was designed for those who like techy solutions with plenty of options. In other words – it will make your coffee grinding, easy, repeatable, and give you flexibility between brew styles.
Do you want flexibility in brew styles? No dramas. The pro will grind your beans from fine (espresso) to super coarse (cold brew) and makes life easy for every choice; grind directly into the portafilter, container, gold tone filter basket or paper filter.
High quality burrs (which will last a long time), a sexy digital display and plenty of cool ‘make-life-easy’ features mean this grinder is fast becoming one of the most popular in the home barista market.
Grind quality and consistency? Low RPMs and high quality burrs means the Smart Grinder Pro delivers the goods at finer and medium fine grind sizes. Not so much at the more coarse settings.
Grind settings and limitations? 40 grind settings and micro adjustments means you can brew everything but Turkish coffee. Not recommended if you are a serious French Press fanatic.
BEST SUITED FOR: If you’re looking for a grinder that is above the entry level but not quite prosumer level, can dial in a fine espresso grind but handle most other manual methods, and has a tonne of handy features, the Breville Smart Grinder Pro is a winner.
THE VERDICT: What is the Best Burr Coffee Grinder?
This list is in no way exhaustive (i.e. there are hundreds of other burr grinders out there) however, these are the ‘top dawgs’ in the burr grinding space.
Each is a good option in the end, but our personal favourite: The Baratza Virtuoso Conical Coffee Grinder!
Why? Because it combines absolute precision with slow grinding/crushing power and is one of the quietest grinders on the market.
Lets not also forget that this grinder has been awarded with raving reviews from hundreds of coffee connoisseurs such as yourself – the people don’t lie
Burr Grinders are better compared to their blade counterparts. It’s very important to consider factors such as the material, shape, grinder size and maintenance procedures before choosing a Burr Coffee Grinder that can meet your needs.
Click the button above to see the best price on the Baratza Virtuoso, or read our detailed review of it here.
We hope you enjoyed our grinder reviews above and are one step closer to finding the best burr coffee grinder to be your coffee makers sidekick!