Best Coffee Grinders to Buy 2023

What are the benefits of grinding your own coffee?

Coffee beans stay fresher for longer than ground coffee, and so your coffee should taste better too. As soon as green coffee beans are roasted, they start to release CO2, which affects the taste. They will oxidise and slowly start to go ‘stale’ and have a flat taste. When coffee is ground, there is a higher surface area which is exposed to oxygen and that will cause them to lose their freshness faster, so it’s best to keep coffee in its whole form as close to drinking it as possible.

What type of coffee grinders are there?

There are two main types of grinders – electric and manual. It’s also important to look at the difference between the functionality: grinders can be blade or burr operated. Burrs, whether conical or flat, are usually steel or ceramic.

Blade grinders tend to chop the coffee with less uniformity or consistency which will affect the taste of your coffee, through a more uneven extraction. But they are more affordable, so if you’re on a budget then this is definitely still an option.

Burr grinders either have flat burrs or conical burrs. Flat burrs are often what is used in commercial cafe grinders. They have “teeth” that lay on top of each other and grind the coffee between them to produce more consistent, even grinds. Though if grinding through a lot of coffee, it can cause heat which can also affect the taste of coffee. That’s why you might hear an internal fan in some grinders. This partly contributes to these type of flat burr grinders being more expensive than conical burr grinders.

Conical burrs are where two cone-shaped burrs are placed one inside of the other to grind the coffee. This uses gravity to pull the coffee through as well as grinding more quietly. Conical burrs may be less consistent, but are usually cheaper.

Ceramic burrs are often found in domestic grinders because they don’t conduct heat as much and don’t blunt easily, so therefore last quite well.

Steel burrs are more hardy than ceramic, and start out very sharp and so will give more consistent grinds.

What to look for in a coffee grinder?

There are several factors to consider when buying a coffee grinder:

Price – how much are you willing to spend?

Size – do you want a countertop staple, or a model you can move in and out the cupboard?

Coffee style – some models are best for espresso, whereas others producer coarser grinders best for French press or pour-over brewing.

Design – materials should feel high quality, sturdy and safe to use, as well as aesthetically pleasing.

Grind style – as mentioned above, consider the style of grinder best suited to your coffee preferences and budget, whether you want a hands-on manual experience or sleek electric model.

Grind guide for different coffee brew methods

Extra fine – Turkish (consistency of cocoa powder or cornstarch)

Fine – Espresso/moka pot (finer than table salt, fine sand)

Fine to medium – Aeropress/manual pour-overs/V60 etc (similar consistency to table salt)

Medium – pour-over/siphon/most auto & drip coffee makers (normal sand)

Coarse – French press/cold brew (like sea salt)

Extra coarse – can be used for cold brew steeping for many hours, though I would still probably opt for medium to coarse personally (with a texture like peppercorns)

Best coffee grinders at a glance

  • Best uncomplicated blade grinder: Duronic coffee grinder CG250, £29.99
  • Best for precision grinding: KitchenAid Coffee Grinder 5KCG8433, £199
  • Best straightforward, no-nonsense grinder: Gastroback 42642 Design Coffee Grinder Advanced Plus, £159.99
  • Best budget coffee grinder: Bodum bistro electric coffee grinder, £36.53
  • Best manual grinder: Kilner hand grinder, £25
  • Best for different brewing methods: Melitta Calibra grinder, £64.99
  • Best for large amount of coffee beans: Cuisinart professional burr mill, £63.92
  • Best for easy use: Smeg coffee grinder, £109
  • Best for espresso coffee: Eagle 1 Prima by Victoria Arduino, £540
  • Best investment grinder: Fiorenzato All Ground, £790

Best coffee grinders to buy 2023

Duronic Coffee Grinder CG250

Best uncomplicated blade grinder

There’s no fancy packaging with the Duronic, just a simple cardboard box; no images to tease its content and even the opening gives little away. This grinder is no style icon, just a simple black, rigid plastic motor housing, a stainless-steel inner cup and a transparent grinder cover that controls the single-handed on-off switch. At just over 21cm tall assembled and a whisper under 1kg, it will sit quietly on any worktop and neither impress nor embarrass.

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The Duronic springs to life when used and is so simple. First, load the beans and decide what brew you’re aiming for – from the coarse grind for a cafetière to the fine, powdery grind for a full-flavoured espresso with a good crema. Then, press the plastic cover firmly in short bursts because, as we realised on testing, continuous pressing heats the blade as well as the ground coffee which spoils the finished drink. So, bursts are best. A blade grinder will never cut as evenly as a burr grinder, but we were more than happy with the finish from the Duronic.

What a surprise this simple, uncomplicated coffee grinder had in store for us. At under £30, we weren’t expecting remarkable results. Well, we were wrong.

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