We all know the importance of having a good burr grinder to give us our coffee grounds prior to brewing. With the influx of so many grinders in the market, it can be confusing to tell which ones are actually good and worth it.
When choosing burr coffee grinders, keep two things in mind:
- What are you going to use it for? – Pour-over? French press? Espresso? Generally, the lower end burr grinders should be able to handle anything, except espresso shots. If you want to make espresso, then be prepared to shell out a bit more than an entry level grinder.
- How much is your budget?
To help you out, here’s is a list of my best burr coffee grinders for home use:
1. The Baratza Encore
This is probably the best entry-level grinder there is. With grind settings of 1-40, you could be experimenting with your grind settings for a long time! Grinds are consistent, allowing you the flexibility in honing in the sizes for all your drip, press, and pour over coffee needs. The Encore is also easy to clean as the burr is easily removed from the hopper. It also sports an anti-static grounds container, so your grounds don’t go jumping all over the place once you take the container out of the machine. Recently, Baratza has also upgraded the gear box, which will make the Encore more durable for long term use.
On the down side, this machine needs to be calibrated for espresso shots. And it will still pale in comparison to the higher end grinders in grinding for espresso. It could make fines that are “good enough” for high-pressure portafilters, which makes the Encore unique at its price point. It’s also a quiet machine, which is great so you don’t wake up your neighbors in the morning.
2. Hario Skerton Mill/Hario Mini Mill
I paired these two guys together because they basically fall under the manual burr grinder category. Not only are these grinders great if you’re under a budget, but both products are durable They use ceramic burrs that don’t heat up. They’re both portable. And both could even make espresso grinds! How cool is that?
Let’s take a quick peek in to these two grinders.
The outside shell of the Skerton burr is made up made of rubber and the grounds container is made of glass . It can hold up to 100g of beans in the hopper, and 75g in the container, which is perfect for huge batches of grinding. If you have a household with more than 2 people that drink coffee, then this is the one for you.
As an added tip: While the glass container could break while travelling, you could go out and fit the hopper onto a mason jar.
This little brother didn’t let his big brother get too far ahead of him. At a maximum amount of about 30 grams, the Mini Mill’s grounds container holds a lot less than the Skerton’s. However, unlike the Skerton, this one was designed for precision. With a cup label on the container, you could just keep grinding until you reach the recommended amount, then tweak if you want to add more or less coffee grounds. It totally eliminates the need to measure the weight of the beans before you start grinding.
The plastic container design of the Mini also means that you could bring the grinder anywhere without needing to worry about breaking it. If you brew up to two cups, or a mug of coffee at home or in the office, then the
Hario Mini Mill is the one you should be looking at.
3. Capresso 560.01 Infinity Burr Grinder
With a price tag that’s around the $100 range, this machine is hard to ignore. Capresso has made a burr grinder that gets things done for your home brewing with no fuss. And at the price range, this is considered as one of the best buys for a home burr grinder. It sports 16 grind settings that you could play around with to satisfy your grinding needs.
Although it states that it could go really fine, most people who have used the grinder say that the finest you should go for is a medium fine, which will be great for the pour-over brewing method, but not for espresso. From there, you could go coarser all the way to for French press or percolator.
The downside of the Capresso Infinity is the plastic container for storing coffee grounds. It creates static so the beans will jump around or cling to the walls once you take the container out and dose the beans over your brewer. Other than that, this is a great machine if you’re not interested in making espresso shots in the next few years, and if you don’t want the hassle of tweaking in minute grind sizes, like the Baratza Encore does.
4. Breville BCG800XL Smart Grinder
The space age grinder! Breville has thought about it all in making this grinder. It has a digital backlight LED display. With 25 grind settings, and an adjustable coffee strength control system, you get tons of grind settings without sacrificing grind consistency. It can dose anywhere from 1-4 cups or shots of coffee.
It even has a removable bean hopper that locks in all the unused coffee beans inside it. You could have 3 different hoppers with different type of beans so you could quickly change bean types should you find he need to. Its accessories include two different sized portafilter holders (50-54mm and 58mm). And it also gives you a grind container with a sealing cap.
But my favorite feature about this grinder is that it could grind in all settings from espresso to French press, which gives this machine a wider range than the other grinders below, but not far away from, its price range. If you have a budget around $200 for your grinder, then this grinder is a great choice.
5. Rancilio Rocky Coffee Grinder
This is what I would recommend for espresso lovers. The Rancilio Rocky is a beast! It’s able to dial in even finer espresso shots than the Breville Smart Grinder. And it uses flat burrs, instead of conical burrs, which experts say makes a more consistent grind. I’d highly recommend this for espresso making as you can fine tune your
shots with this grinder. It even has 55 grind settings that grinds from really fine to French press coarse.
The burrs in this grinder are also the biggest in this list – 50mm commercial grade grinding burrs! These are the same burrs that Rancilio uses for its other commercial grinders. As for sound output, the Rocky is a relatively silent machine.
It has 2 models, the doser and doserless version. I’d recommend the doserless though. As this is a list of home-use grinders, you probably won’t be making cup after cup of espresso like coffee shops do. The doserless model grinds the beans directly into the portafilter, making it easy to use. And you could easily address all other coffee grind needs (from pour over to French press) by letting the grinds fall into any other container.
Now this grinder also comes with a hefty price tag of around $350, but with burrs can compete with those of the $500 range grinders, you’re sure that this grinder will last a long time.
Well, that’s the end of the list. Do you have any other grinders that you recommend for home use? List them all in the discussion thread below!