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Best Espresso Grinders (2020 Review)

The quality of the grind directly affects the quality of the espresso, and these espresso grinders produce a truly even grind.

Our Top Picks


Best Espresso Grinder

Breville

Editor's Rating

9.7

10

Breville BCG820BKSXL Smart Grinder Pro

This programmable model can grind beans directly into a portafilter. 60 unique grind-size settings will satisfy even the most discerning coffee connoisseur. Thanks to the digital timer and iQ dosing technology, you will always get just the right amount of freshly ground coffee.

Best Budget Choice

OXO BREW

Editor's Rating

9.4

10

 OXO 8717000 BREW Conical Burr Coffee Grinder

This grinder works quietly and is an ideal purchase for your home. 15 grind settings and additional micro-settings will help you customize the coffee to your taste, and the start timer will save your grinding preferences. You get a high-quality finish for optimal extraction of your espresso at a budget price.

Choosing a coffee grinder might sound easy—just drive to a store and purchase an affordable, nice-looking model.

But it's actually quite hard to find a high-quality grinder manufactured by a trustworthy company.

To help you solve this problem, the MyFriendsCoffee team has prepared a list of the best espresso grinders. Each model creates a fine, even grind that allows for a delicious cup of espresso.

And the best part? We've also prepared a buying guide to help you choose the grinder that is right for you.

Comparison of the Best Espresso Grinders

Breville The Smart Grinder ProThis grinder allows you to adjust the grind time in 0.2 second increments, and the iQ dosing technology prevents excess beans from grinding. Key Features
  • 60 unique grind settings
  • Clear LCD screen displays grind size, grind time, and number of shots or cups you have selected
  • Ability to grind coffee directly into the portafilter
View Latest Price →See Customer Reviews
OXO BREWThis device, despite its low price, provides an even grind. Plus, it's quiet, so it's great for home use. Key Features
  • Has 15 grind settings and additional micro-settings
  • The grounds container allows you to prepare 9 cups of espresso in one go
  • Quiet
View Latest Price →See Customer Reviews
Rancilio RockyThanks to its flat burrs, the model allows you to perfectly grind coffee directly into the portafilter in a matter of seconds. Each unit is tested at the factory prior to packaging. Key Features
  • Flat burrs for perfectly even grinding
  • Tinted bean hopper
  • 40 grind-size settings
  • Reliable; made of stainless steel
View Latest Price →See Customer Reviews
Mueller Ultra-GrindA small number of grind options and built-in scales make setting up this machine very easy. And the ability to grind the beans directly into the portafilter will save you time when working with an espresso machine. Key Features
  • Can grind beans for 30 cups at a time
  • Reduced noise level
  • 12 grind settings; easy for novices to use
View Latest Price →See Customer Reviews
Baratza ForteThis model is equipped with dosing functions both by weight and by time for maximum convenience. The grinder has a die-cast metal structure and professional ceramic flat burrs, which ensure reliable and durable operation. Key Features
  • 260 grind settings for the finest adjustment of espresso flavor
  • Professional ceramic flat burrs
  • Allows you to program and save up to 3 grind settings
View Latest Price →See Customer Reviews

The Best Grinders for Espresso of 2020

Detailed List of the Best Coffee Grinders for Espresso

1. Breville The Smart Grinder Pro - Best Espresso Grinder

With 60 unique grind settings, this programmable coffee grinder allows you to find the perfect grind for your espresso. And it'll even grind directly into a portafilter!

Editor's Rating

9.7


/ 10

 Breville BCG820BKSXL Smart Grinder Pro

The Breville BCG820BSSXL's intelligent settings will help you achieve perfect results no matter what. Thanks to the large number of intuitive grind settings, you can perfectly grind your coffee for any brewing method, including espresso.

The ability to grind coffee directly into a portafilter provides additional convenience and saves you time when preparing espresso. You can also grind your coffee into a container or directly into a paper filter. Choose a grind size, from finest for espresso to coarsest for French press.

The precision digital timer allows you to adjust and program the grinding time in 0.2 second increments, while the dose setting allows you to get just the right amount of freshly ground coffee thanks to iQ dosing technology.

A clear, concise LCD screen displays the grind size, grind time, and number of shots or cups you have selected.

The Smart Grinder Pro has stainless steel conical burrs that minimize heat during grinding and protect the essential oils in your coffee beans.

The model is equipped with a 16 oz bean hopper with a locking system for easy disassembly and transport.

What We Like:

  • LCD display for convenient grinding
  • Large number of grind levels allow you to brew a great espresso no matter what espresso machine you have
  • Excellent anti-static hopper
  • Precision Digital Time allows you to program grind time and get the right dose

What We Don't Like:

  • Noisy
  • Coarse grind may not be uniform enough

2. OXO BREW - Best Budget Choice

Looking for the best budget coffee grinder for espresso? Look no further than the OXO BREW coffee grinder.

Editor's Rating

9.4


/ 10

 OXO 8717000 BREW coffee grinder

The OXO BREW Conical Burr Coffee Grinder is the best budget espresso grinder that delivers great results every time. Despite its inexpensive price, the device has 15 grind settings and additional micro-settings that allow you to get an even grind for espresso.

Choose your perfect espresso grind, and the start timer will keep those settings. Next time, the burr coffee grinder will start grinding with one touch.

Robust 40mm stainless steel conical burrs create a high-quality, uniform grind for optimal flavor extraction.

This model is aesthetically pleasing and is compact at just 12 x 7.4 x 16 inches. The hopper can hold up to 0.75 pounds of beans, while the ground coffee container can hold up to 0.24 pounds of grounds. This is enough to brew 12 cups of coffee at a time, so you can quickly grind enough coffee even for large gatherings.

The undoubted bonus of this model is its quiet operation. Any grinder, of course, will make noise, but the noise level of this unit is much lower than you'll find in other grinders.

The conical burr grinder has three features: a metal grounds container, a grounded power plug, and a low engine speed. This design eliminates any static problems, so there will be less clutter in your kitchen.

What We Like:

  • Uniform and consistent grinding
  • Easy to disassemble for cleaning
  • Compact
  • Quiet

What We Don't Like:

  • The grounds holder can sometimes vibrate during grinding
  • Dose can only be set based on grinding time
  • No space for scale beneath grounds holder

3. Rancilio Rocky - Best Premium Choice

This premium model has flat burrs, which are the best type of burrs. It grinds incredibly evenly, and the UV container protects the beans from sunlight.

Editor's Rating

9.6


/ 10

 Rancilio Rocky Espresso Grinder

The Rancilio Rocky Espresso Coffee Grinder is equipped with 50mm commercial-grade burrs and a powerful 166-watt direct-drive motor that operates quietly. The grinder can grind beans into fine powder in seconds.

The tinted hopper has a 0.65-pound capacity. It keeps the beans fresh and ready to grind on demand. This model is suitable for use with an espresso machine: You can grind coffee directly into the portafilter for ease of operation.

Because the portafilter support bar is easy to remove, you can also use larger containers or a paper filter to capture the coffee grounds.

The Rancilio Rocky is easy to use. You can program the grind size simply by unlocking the lever and quickly rotating the bean hopper. And the flat burrs provide an even grind.

The device has 40 grind size settings. Even the most discerning coffee connoisseur will be able to find the perfect grind.

Every Rancilio Rocky grinder is tested before being packaged and shipped. Rancilio specialists calibrate the burrs by testing the unit with real coffee beans. As a result, small traces of ground coffee may remain on the machine.

This model is made of stainless steel and has a high build quality. The model has a stylish design, fits perfectly in any interior, and, thanks to its compact size, fits easily in any kitchen.

The Rancilio Rocky will satisfy your family's drink needs for years to come.

What We Like:

  • UV hopper protects beans from sunlight
  • Compact size
  • Works quickly and quietly
  • Flat burrs

What We Don't Like:

  • High price
  • Some coffee remains in the grinding chamber
  • No dosage by time or by weight

4. Mueller Ultra-Grind - Best for Beginners

12 grind settings combined with the ability to grind beans directly into a portafilter make this model ideal for beginners.

Editor's Rating

8.7


/ 10

 Mueller Ultra-Grind Grinder

The small number of grind-size settings will not confuse a novice user. You can get an excellent fine grind for espresso, a coarse grind for French press, and a medium grind for AeroPress or pour-over. Grind size can be easily adjusted by rotating part of the device.

The Mueller Ultra-Grind is large enough to grind beans for 30 cups of coffee, yet compact enough to fit in your kitchen. And you can grind coffee beans directly into an espresso portafilter. This is great if you plan to use an espresso machine.

This conical burr grinder will provide the perfect grind size for a full-flavored cup of coffee. The grinder is made of alloy steel and has 40mm hardened alloy steel burrs, so it will give you years of trouble-free use.

This espresso model has an auto-stop function, so it stops grinding after the required amount of beans have been ground. This is a great function for beginners.

The conical burr Mueller is ideal for preparing a variety of coffees. It is perfectly engineered and gives a very uniform high quality sanding. And running the engine at low speeds protects the beans from overheating.

What We Like:

  • Large capacity
  • Small number of grind settings makes it great for beginners
  • Can grind coffee directly into a portafilter

What We Don't Like:

  • Few grind settings makes it unsuitable for advanced users
  • Its coarse grind is not as good as its fine grind
  • Portafilter adapter made of plastic

5. Baratza Forte - Best Commercial Choice

This is an excellent commercial espresso grinder with 260 steps of grind adjustment so you can brew any style of coffee.

Editor's Rating

9.0


/ 10

 Baratza Forte AP

This commercial espresso grinder is equipped with a digital scale for accurate weighing. It also has a digital timer. The device allows you to program up to 3 different grinding parameters, and its control panel is intuitive and easy to use.

The Forté has 10 macro and 26 micro settings. Combinations of these give a total of 260 grind options.

Its 54mm professional ceramic flat burrs provide high performance and will stay sharp. They are designed for precise and even grinding. The device has a high capacity—it can grind up to 5 pounds of beans per day.

The combination of German Mahlkonig professional ceramic burrs and the powerful engine will ensure a long service life.

This burr coffee grinder is ideal for preparing grounds for espresso and all other brewing methods. And the locking hopper allows for easy hopper removal for quick bean changes. You can easily experiment with different varieties of beans.

This model are comes with a portafilter holder, which ensures convenient delivery of coffee directly to the portafilter and helps reduce clutter with a funnel that guides the grounds into the basket.

The Baratza Forte has a stylish, compact body with die-cast metal construction. It is not only beautiful, but also practical to use.

The robust Baratza Forte universal grinder offers exceptional quality for home or light commercial use.

What We Like:

  • 260 grind size settings
  • Equipped with digital scales
  • Allows you to save up to 3 grind settings
  • Has a portafilter holder

What We Don't Like:

  • High price for home use
  • Imprecise dosage when grinding by time
  • Scale only works with the ground coffee basket
BEST ESPRESSO GRINDERS

Why Do You Need a Grinder?

Pre-ground coffee loses its taste and aroma very quickly, even when it's in good packaging. Whole beans retain their taste and aroma much longer if you grind them right before brewing. You can save a lot of money by buying whole beans because you won't need to throw out tasteless ground coffee every few weeks.

Plus, it's hard to find consistently high-quality ground coffee. It's much easier to find high-quality whole beans, buy a high-quality espresso grinder, and grind your own beans.

What to Look for

When it comes to choosing a grinder, there are some great options on the market. But which one is right for you?

To buy the best espresso grinder, consider the following factors.

Type of burrs

There are two types of grinders—blade and burr. Blade coffee grinders are not a good option because they can't produce a uniform grind and because the quickly rotating blades can burn the coffee. Also, the high speed builds up static, and particles stick to everything they come into contact with.

That is why we will only consider burr coffee grinders. They are the best coffee grinders for making espresso.

Burr grinders work by crushing coffee beans between two wheel-like burrs. The size of the grind is determined by how much space is between the burrs. This means that you can dictate the size of the coffee grounds much more accurately and more consistently than with a blade grinder.

Let's find out what to look for when choosing a burr grinder.

Steel or ceramic burrs

The material from which the burrs are made affects the taste of the coffee, the evenness of the grind, and the longevity of the grinder.

Steel burrs are durable because they're they're coated with special materials like titanium; unfortunately, this greatly increases the cost of the grinder. Coffee from cheap, uncoated steel-burr grinders will acquire a metallic taste.

Ceramic burrs don't wear down as quickly, but they're prone to breaking if you drop the grinder. Still, ceramic burrs are nearly as strong as diamonds, so the burrs will remain sharp and grind coffee better than steel burrs.

Flat or conical burrs

Flat burrs grind the coffee more evenly, which helps you brew tastier coffee. However, flat burrs also rotate very quickly and can overheat the coffee grounds, leading to a poor aroma and taste.

Conical burr grinders give a slightly less uniform grind, but they're more barista-friendly than flat burr grinders because you don't have to adjust the grind size as often during the day.

Number of settings

To fully enjoy the taste and aroma of coffee, you need to experiment with the grind size. Modern coffee grinders can have dozens or even hundreds of grind settings, although 3 is enough—fine, medium, and coarse.

Hopper capacity

Compact grinders can typically store 4-6 ounces of coffee in the bean hopper. Large, stationary models can store between 7 and 70 ounces of coffee.

Small rotary grinders (with a capacity of up to 3 ounces) generally don't have a dosing system—they grind as many beans as you add. Stationary coffee grinders sometimes come with a dosing system, either automatic or manual. A dosing system allows you to grind just enough beans for your cup of coffee, no matter how many beans are in the hopper.

Grinder size

Coffee grinders come in a variety of sizes, from compact to more bulky.

If you plan to store your grinder on the kitchen counter, your only size limit is the space where you want to keep the grinder. If you want a portable grinder to take on trips, choose a small model.

Cleaning and maintenance

Many beginners don't think about this point when choosing a grinder and are disappointed when it turns out they chose a grinder that's difficult to maintain and clean. Make sure to choose one that's easy enough to clean so you don't get behind on maintenance.

Manual or electric grinder

As their names suggest, manual grinders allow you to grind beans by hand, while electric grinders grind the beans automatically.

Manual grinders are not the best option for espresso.

Grinding with a mechanical model will take longer and require more effort.

Also, some manual models have a complex grind-size adjustment mechanism. This can cause difficulties in changing the operating settings. But mechanical grinders are more affordable and quieter than their electrical counterparts.

If you want to be more involved in the preparation of your own drink, then manual models are definitely for you. But if you want to save time, choose an electric unit.

How to Calibrate an Espresso Grinder

Several variables—grind size, dose, and extraction time—affect the taste of your coffee.

The grind size is how coarse or fine the grounds are. Water passes through coarse particles faster. How does this affect taste? The drink will be more acidic. If the grind is too fine, the drink will be more bitter.

Extraction time is the time water takes to pass through the coffee grounds. This variable has a huge influence on the final taste of the beverage. If the extraction time is short, the drink will not be saturated enough. Too long, and the drink will be too bitter.

The dose is the number of grams of ground coffee that you use to make one cup of coffee. The less coffee you use, the faster the water will pass through. If the dose is too small, the drink will turn out sour, and if the dose is too large, it will be quite bitter.

To calibrate the grinder, you need to change each variable and see how it affects the taste of your cup. It is not recommended to change several variables at once, especially if you're a beginner, as this complicates the process.

It is important not to be afraid to experiment with the taste of your coffee.

FAQ

Do you need a special grinder for espresso?

Not every coffee grinder is suitable for espresso preparation. It is necessary to choose one that will produce a fine, uniform grind because the taste of the drink depends on the uniformity and size of the grind.

Why are espresso grinders so expensive?

The more expensive a grinder, the more even a grind it produces. Plus, don't forget that expensive grinders have a large number of grind settings and allow you to brew both espresso and other types of coffee.

What is the correct grind for espresso?

Fine grinds are great for espresso. But be careful—if you use too fine a grind, the coffee will turn out to be very bitter; if you use too coarse a grind, the drink will be too watery. Correct grinding has a huge impact on the quality of your espresso.

What type of grinder is best for espresso?

There are two types of grinders: blade and burr. For the perfect espresso, grind size and uniformity are very important. Because burr grinders provide a more even grind than blade grinders, the best type for espresso is a burr grinder.

Why is a burr grinder best for espresso?

All high-quality coffee grinders use burrs. If you use a burr grinder, you will not only have freshly ground coffee, but also an even grind that will give you the best espresso. Blade grinders are not suitable for brewing espresso as they don't produce a uniform, high-quality grind.

Are blade grinders really that bad?

Blade grinders are not suitable for preparing espresso, as it is impossible to get a uniform grind when working with them. No matter how long you grind the beans, you'll never get a uniform grind. Since the beans remain in the same chamber and are ground several times, some pieces will be ground more finely than others.

What is the best home coffee grinder?

A home-use model should be compact and quiet and grind enough coffee for your family. The OXO BREW grinder has all these features. With a compact size of 12 x 7.4 x 16 inches and a grounds container that can hold enough grounds for 12 cups of coffee, it's a great choice for you home.

Sources

  1. Grinding at home - five senses
  2. Espresso 101: How to Adjust Dose and Grind Setting by Taste - Home-Barista.com

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