The Best Burr Coffee Grinder For You In 2021 Is Below…
You’re here to find the best burr grinder. That tells me you understand how important grinding your coffee beans is when trying to brew an amazing cup of coffee.
True story: It took me years, and I blew somewhere around $1150 in wasted beans and crappy grinders (Ouch!) to understand the importance of grinding. I had amazing beans and brewers, but no matter what I did, my coffee tasted average. My grinder was letting me down, and I had no idea.
That’s what this article is about. I want to stop you from having the same problem I had by helping you find the right burr grinder for you and your needs. Read on to learn more.
Blade vs burr grinders (and why its so important)
First things first, I want to say: thank you for helping rid the world of shitty coffee.I know you’re here because you’ve already done your homework. You know the importance of getting the grind right. You want the best coffee possible.
You already know that only a fool would choose a blade grinder over a burr grinder. And you wouldn’t think of buying pre-ground coffee because you know that it just never tastes as good as freshly ground beans (if you want to learn the science behind this, read this article).
I respect you and thank you. I hope I can help you find the perfect grinder. Let’s do it, shall we?
How to Choose the Best Electric Burr Grinder
Please don’t be impatient. Spend 2 minutes reading this section, and you’ll know exactly what to look for in your perfect grinder.
Think About Consistency
I know it, you know it, we all know it. Whether pulling a shot of espresso or brewing a filter coffee, the aim is to end up with grinds that are very consistent in size. This means each ground will be extracted to the same degree, and your coffee will taste better.
Don’t take my word for it, listen to one of the best in the business, Scott Rao (1) has to say:
Clearly, grind size is extremely important to get right. This is the biggest advantage a burr grinder has over a blade grinder, and even if you are new to specialty coffee, I promise you’ll be able to taste the difference in the cup.
Manual Vs Electric Coffee Grinders
The first decision you have to make is whether you want a manual or electric burr grinder. In this article, we’re looking at exclusively electric grinders. They have the advantages of being faster and easier to use. If you brew a lot of coffee, you’ll definitely appreciate the ease of an electric grinder.
However, manual grinders are great options if you are brewing in smaller quantities. They’re less expensive, quiet, compact, and portable.
In fact, most serious coffee lovers have both. So if you’re looking for a hand grinder (aka a manual grinder or coffee mill), read this article.
Grind Settings: Pulse, Auto-Grind And Timed Grinding
The best coffee grinders don’t necessarily have to have all the bells and whistles; a great burr set is the most important thing. But if you’re grinding daily, multiple times per day, certain extra features go a long way when it comes to simplifying your life.
Most options available have 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. Some even have programmable dosing. You can teach your grinder exactly how much you want to brew.
Do you really need all these extra features? And 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 over complicate things, and save yourself some cash.
Number Of Grinding Settings – How Many Is Too Many?
Grinders with hundreds of settings could be a case of over-engineering. Yes, having more grind steps will allow you to do more. But do you really need 500 settings?
It totally depends on you and how you plan to brew coffee. As humans, we tend to fall victim to ‘more is better’ when buying new things, but in the case of grinders, you want just enough to balance functionality with price.
So instead of choosing a grinder based on the number of settings, here’s my advice:
- You’ll need 40+ settings if you want to use ALL brew styles (including espresso and cold brew) and you love to experiment like a true coffee scientist.
- 20 to 40 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.
You’ll need super-fine grounds for Turkish coffee (yes, finer than espresso). Such a small grind size is usually out of range of your typical electric burr grinder. You’ll need a Turkish grinder or one of the most expensive electric models. Likewise, you’ll need something that can grind extra coarse for cold brew. Check out our best coffee grinder for cold brew pick.
Feeling confused? For all you’ll ever need to know about coffee grind sizes, download our handy coffee grind chart.
Does It Grind Into A Portafilter Or Bucket?
Grinders that are designed to be paired with espresso machines usually have a handy little bracket that holds your portafilter in place. They grind your coffee beans and spit the grounds directly into the portafilter. If you’ve ever tried to transfer coffee grounds from a container into a portafilter without spilling, you’ll definitely appreciate this feature.
Grinders designed with drip brewing in mind will instead spit the grinds directly into a container. And grinders designed for all styles of brewing often allow you to switch between the two set-ups.
When buying your electric burr grinder, be sure to consider what you plan to brew and look for these features accordingly. 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 and make things hard to clean.
Cleaning your grinder is critical for it to keep performing, but it’s not exactly a thrilling activity. Choosing something easy to clean is a great decision in the long run, and some grinders are better for this than others. For example, Eureka grinders allow you to open up the grinder and clean the burrs without losing your grind setting.
Getting Technical: Burr Size, Type, RPMs
While this section may seem a little nerdy or technical, your grinder might well be your most expensive coffee purchase. So the more you know the better.
We have high-speed grinders and low-speed grinders. Grinder speed is measured in revolutions per minute (RPMs), which affects your final brew in several ways.
A little problem: The higher the RPM, the more consistent the grind. But with speed comes heat, and heat is bad when grinding. Heating your coffee beans changes their flavor, and not for the better. It can add an unwanted burnt or bitter taste.
As per the Coffee Technician Guild’s website (2):
High-speed grinders get around the heat problem if they have large, flat burrs, and a powerful motor. Larger burrs grind faster, which means the grinding is over and done with before heat has a chance to build up. These burrs result in super consistent grinding, and the grinders that fall in this category are best for espresso grinding.
Low-speed grinders generally have conical burrs and grind at slower speeds to avoid heat and static buildup. You’ll find these burrs in most home market grinders, including most on this list.
Let me sum it up quickly for you.
If you are pulling shots of espresso, you’ll prefer higher RPM grinders. On the other hand, lower RPM grinders are best suited for manual brewing techniques.
When it comes to burr shape, experts disagree as to whether flat or conical is better. It’s really just a matter of personal taste. Most professional coffee tasters feel that flat burrs give a more consistent grind, which results in a cleaner cup. Conical burrs, on the other hand, yield more fines and produce a cup with more body.
Read more about flat vs conical burrs here if you really want to nerd out on this topic.
Finally, let’s talk briefly about burr material. There are two common options, steel or ceramic. Ceramic is harder than steel, which means that it takes longer for the burrs to dull. But ceramics are also brittle, which means that ceramic burrs can break if your grinder is dropped or something harder than a coffee bean makes it into the hopper. These days, we’re seeing steel more than ceramic, especially in higher end grinders.
Burr Coffee Grinder Reviews: The 11 Best Coffee Grinders of 2021
Based on years of nerding out on coffee and coffee grinders our friendly review/research team, these are the 11 best burr grinders in 2021. Get one of these and you’ll be miles closer to making the best coffee of your life.
The Virtuoso Plus is the updated version of the Baratza Virtuoso, which has been one of the industry’s favorite coffee grinders for the past 2 decades. It’s easy to use (and you can’t deny that it’s sexy AF) but the reason it’s so well-loved is the exceptional motor and burr design. Read our full review of the Virtuoso+ here.
The commercial-quality burrs and DC motor work together to reduce friction, heat, and 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! The upgraded ‘+’ model features a digital display and timer to make grinding even easier than before.
Grind quality and consistency? Grinding at 550 RPMs with commercial-quality 40 mm conical burrs allows the Virtuoso to deliver highly consistent grounds day after day.
Grind settings and limitations? 40 steps of adjustment mean you can grind for every brewing style apart from Turkish coffee. The Virtuoso is great if you want to brew espresso and manual at home. This is a great choice if you brew with coffee makers like Hario brewers or the Aeropress.
Looking for something cheap? 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 (read our full review of the Bistro here).
We’ll be the first to admit that this is NOT a 10/10 grinder. So why would we include it in the list? Because it’s cheap, very easy to use and maintain, and it’s innovative because it’s very good at eliminating grinder static issues.
The material and build-spec mean minimal cleaning and NO clogging from oily coffee beans. The borosilicate grounds bin also keeps this machine free from static-cling. This is a huge plus if you love convenience.
Simplicity, value, and style are 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. The Cuisinart Supreme Grind is another budget grinder that often gets talked about, but the Bistro is a much better option.
Grind quality and consistency? With 720 RPMs and conical burrs, it’s good enough (better than using a hand grinder).
Grind settings and limitations? Not suited for Turkish coffee or even espresso, but for other brew styles, you’re good to go.
The Encore is the entry-level model for this brand (a brand well known for building quality grinders for people that value good coffee). Two ways to describe the Encore: ‘great value for money,’ and ‘minimalistic.’
There’s a rule in the coffee market, price = quality. And when it comes to coffee grinders, a small budget is usually a bad idea. The good news: The Encore is the exception to this rule. It’s priced extremely well and has outstanding grind consistency. 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? Full review of the Encore grinder here.
Early 2020 saw the release of the Encore in white, and I gotta say, I’m loving the new style Baratza is heading.
Grind quality and consistency? The Encore grinds at 550 RPMs and has 40 mm conical burrs; perfect for all manual styles of brewing.
Grind settings and limitations? 40 settings mean you’re good for most standard home-brew styles. You could grind for manual styles like drip coffee, and you can grind for espresso with the Encore, but you won’t have a world-class grind. Perfectly suited for manual brew styles.
This gorgeous machine would not look out of place in a coffee shop, yet it was designed for the home. You’ll find this grinder in the kitchens of home baristas who are serious about grinding and brewing perfect coffee.
230 repeatable settings mean you can grind for all brewing 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, you’ll be grinding your beans as expertly as a professional barista.
Grind settings and limitations? 230 repeatable and saveable settings mean you can brew any style you want, from ultra-fine to super-coarse, you’ll have it all.
The only thing that’s been holding us back is the price. As far as home coffee grinders go It is expensive, but still not as expensive as Eureka models, the Fiorenzato F4 or these higher-end coffee grinders. For more info on this solid grinder, read our Baratza Vario review here.
The Rancilio Rocky is a commercial-quality grinder designed for home use. Don’t be shocked when your new machine arrives with coffee dust within it -every model is factory tested with coffee to ensure they work perfectly. Like the 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 in a large household or even a small office or cafe. It produces perfectly consistent grinds for espresso and all other brewing styles, and has a removable portafilter bracket so you can grind into a container for manual style brewing.
Grind quality and consistency? 50 mm flat steel burrs combined with a very powerful 1725 RPM motor means the Rocky can grind large amounts of beans with ease.
Grind settings and limitations? 55 settings will allow you to grind from superfine to super-coarse with ease. Check our full review of the Rancilio Rocky here.
This grinder has 4 major settings: extra-fine, fine, medium, and coarse. And then, it has 4 sub-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 40 mm conical steel burrs, the slow grind time (for avoiding heat), and the easy-to-remove upper burr for cleaning, and you have a fine home grinder that ticks many boxes… at an amazing price.
Grind quality and consistency? Hardened steel 40mm conical burrs and a nice low 450 RPM means the Infinity grinds at an astonishingly consistent level for its price.
Grind settings and limitations? None. You can grind from ultra-fine to super-coarse, meaning you can grind for all brewing styles, including Turkish coffee. We even recommend this grinder for cold brew lovers. Impressive!
Read our Capresso Infinity review.
The Smart Grinder Pro was designed for those who like tech-y solutions with plenty of options. In other words, it will make your coffee grinding, easy, repeatable, and give you flexibility between brewing styles. The Pro will grind your beans from espresso-fine to French-Press-coarse, and gives you the option of grinding 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 popularin the home barista market. Coffee grinders that tick this many boxes are hard to come by at this price range.
Grind quality and consistency? Low RPMs and high-quality burrs mean the smart grinder pro delivers the goods (or should I say, delivers the grinds) at finer and medium-fine grounds. Not so much at the coarser settings.
Grind settings and limitations? 60 settings (and 10 and micro-adjustments) mean you can brew everything but Turkish coffee. Not recommended if you are a serious French Press fanatic, though. Read our full review of the Breville Smart Grinder Pro.
In recent years, Fellow has made a name for themselves manufacturing trendy brewing equipment and accessories. So when they announced their intention to make a burr grinder, the hype was off the charts. Fortunately for coffee lovers, it was well deserved. The Fellow Ode Coffee Grinder is everything it claims to be.
The most important thing to note is that this grinder is designed for drip coffee, not espresso. If you like to brew in anything from a French Press to a Chemex to an Aeropress, you’re in luck. The Ode’s 64 mm flat burr set and 31 easy-to-adjust grind settings will deliver the perfect fluffy, uniform grounds. Also note that it’s a single-dose grinder with a capacity of 80 g. So it’s best suited to brewing a few cups rather than a whole carafe.
Like all Fellow products, the Ode stands out from the crowd for its stunning design. It’s very compact, with a spare, industrial look and matte black finish. Admittedly, you pay a premium for the brand and its aesthetic, but I’d argue you’ll get your money’s worth.
If you want to get serious about espresso, and you’re dropping a lot of cash on an espresso machine, a proper espresso grinder is crucial. In fact, many espresso experts argue that the grinder is even more important than the machine!
One grinder sure to deliver is the Baratza Sette 270. Built with espresso in mind, it includes a portafilter holder and a massive 270 grind settings, so you can perfectly dial in that shot of espresso. Though as a side note, if you like the style of the Sette 270 but plan on brewing filter coffee, consider the less expensive Sette 30.
Sette means seven in Italian, and it references the grinder’s unique shape, which is much smaller and lighter than many of its competitors. The most innovative aspect of this grinder is that Baratza has inverted the conical burrs. Counter to most others, the top burr rotates rather than the bottom. As a result, it grinds extremely fast and with very little retention.
You’ll probably appreciate that fast grinding, because the most common complaint about the Sette 270 is its volume. This grinder is loud, so you’ll want it to be done as quickly as possible.
Electric coffee grinders are notoriously loud, an inevitable consequence of the power required to pulverize those dense little coffee beans. While there’s no way to reduce the power needed, some grinders are better than others at using noise dampening materials and design to minimize the sound you hear.
Our pick for the best quiet grinder is the Eureka Mignon Silenzio. I mean, it’s right there in the name; silenzio is Italian for silence.
Along with its top-of-the-line noise insulation, the Silenzio is an equally excellent grinder in every other way, as you would expect from this well regarded Italian brand. Like the rest of the Mignon series, it features an attractive square design, compact footprint, and durable stainless steel casing.
It’s easy to adjust the grind size using the knob, which is conveniently located on the front of the machine. Because the adjustment is stepless, you have an essentially infinite number of settings, guaranteeing espresso perfection. You can either grind manually or set a timer for a precision dose. Either way, the 50 mm steel flat burr set ensures consistent, fluffy grounds.
If you’re looking for a stylish way to add some flair to your coffee bar, consider this KitchenAid burr grinder. It’s available in four colors — empire red, matte black, charcoal gray, and onyx black — each of which is sleek and attractive. It was designed to pair perfectly with KitchenAid’s espresso machine, so bonus style points if you have both.
This grinder is incredibly easy to use, with 70 different grind settings and almost as many smart features as the Breville Smart Grinder. It includes Smart Dosing Technology, which means you just tell it how many cups of coffee you plan to brew and it doses automatically.
The KitchenAid KCG8433DG is designed to be used for either drip or espresso, so it includes a portafilter holder. Conveniently, the portafilter holder is adjustable between the commercial standard 58 mm or the more common home machine size of 54 mm.
Interestingly, KitchenAid doesn’t provide any information about the burr set in this machine, so it’s probably nothing to write home about. Given the price and the fact that KitchenAid isn’t a specialty coffee company, I’d venture it’s on par with the Capresso Infinity or Bodum Bistro. You might not want to pair it with a prosumer espresso machine, but it’s a great choice for the average home brewer wanting a fresh look.
Along with the Capresso Infinity and Bodum Bistro, the Oxo Brew conical burr grinder is one of the most popular entry level models on the market. Compared with the others, it even has a few outstanding features that put it a cut above.
For starters, it has best in class grind consistency. Despite having a conical burr set, it approaches the consistency you’d expect from a flat burr grinder. And it does so while maintaining the low retention that is a hallmark of conical burr grinders. However, don’t expect an espresso-level grind from it. It’s best if you used it for grinds ranging from French press to Aeropress size.
Secondly, its build quality is outstanding for a budget choice. It has a remarkable amount of stainless steel, including exterior paneling and the grounds catch bin, so it can handle the abuse of day to day life. It also has an easily removable top burr, which makes cleaning and maintenance very straightforward. This grinder will outlast most others in its price category.
The major user complaint about the Oxo Brew is its sound. While it isn’t appreciably louder than the rest, it is noticeably more high-pitched. Those with sensitive ears may want to consider an alternative. It also has relatively few grind settings, so it is probably not the best choice for dialing in a perfect espresso.
This list is in no way exhaustive (i.e., there are hundreds of other grinders out there) however, these are the ‘top dawgs’ in the burr grinding space. Each is a good option in the end. But, the overwhelming industry favorite is Baratza Virtuoso Plus.
It combines absolute precision with slow grinding/crushing power and is one of the quietest grinders on the market. This translates to an EXQUISITE cup of coffee. Let’s not forget that this grinder also received raving reviews from hundreds of coffee connoisseurs such as yourself – the people don’t lie.
We hope you enjoyed our grinder reviews above and are one step closer to finding the best burr coffee grinder to be your coffee maker’s sidekick.