There are few morning pleasures as visceral as that burst of fresh coffee scent in the air while you grind your beans. And yes, you should be grinding them before each brew, so as to preserve its flavor, instead of it buying it pre-ground.
But as for how you’re doing that, go ahead and ditch the spice grinder or any other blade grinder in favor of a burr mill. Why? A blade grinder literally chops them up, which results in an inconsistent grind. You’ll have a mix of fine bits, coarse bits, and everything in between. Try to brew that wild mix and you’ll have a cup that tastes dull or even too bitter.
Instead, be sure your coffee grinder uses burrs instead of blades. A burr grinder crushes the beans rather than chops them and gives you a much more consistent result.
There are a few factors to consider: do you want ceramic or steel, conical or flat? Ceramic burrs will stay sharp longer and are cheaper. The downside is that they don’t transfer heat away from the beans as well as stainless steel ones. Heat isn’t ideal as it can negatively affect the flavor of the beans. Conical burrs control the flow of the beans through the mill better than flat ones, which can mean a more consistent grind if you’re dealing with larger amounts.
Whichever you decide on, make sure it has a setting for the brew method you prefer: finer is for quicker extraction methods like espresso or Turkish coffee while coarser are ideal for slower ones like French press and cold brew.
To help you, here are 15 coffee grinders that we recommend for your home set-up.
We’re recommending these products because we actually use, and like, them. Things you buy through our links may earn us a commission.
The Affordable, Small Apartment-Friendly Option
Java Presse’s hand grinder is the cheapest on this list yet it has ceramic burr blades, a sleek design, and 18 grind settings. It’s perfect for someone with limited space and a tight budget, yet looking to step-up their home brewing routine.
The Durable Hand Grinder
Maybe you have a roommate who sleeps in or you just prefer quiet in the morning? While a hand grinder is a bit more work, it’s also less noisy. Added bonus: it’s a fraction of the price of a machine one, and won’t take up as much space in your kitchen. Hario is about as trustworthy a name as they come in the coffee world, and their manual mill is just as reliable.
The Camper's Choice
A week on the trails doesn’t mean you have to give up fresh coffee. This grinder is small, but that’s a plus when it’s in your pack. The ceramic conical burrs offer a range of settings and the stainless steel body will hold up to the elements.
The Beginner's Choice
If you’re looking start out with a solid option, this is a great one that covers all the basics. For the price of a hand grinder, the KRUPS Precision grinder has flat, metal burrs, 12 settings, and a large bin for the grounds. Plus, you never have to guess if it’s the right amount: you can choose anywhere from 2 to 12 cups and it’ll automatically stop when it reaches that quantity.
The Set It And Forget It Option
Once you choose the grind setting on this machine, the rest is all touchscreen. Select the number of cups you want to brew, set the countdown timer, and grind away! And don’t worry about the LCD screen flashing all night long: it has a sleep mode for when it’s not in use.
The (Relatively) Affordable One Coffee Pros Love
With a seal of approval from the Specialty Coffee Association, this grinder is one professionals love and use. It has conical burrs and offers 40 different grind settings ranging from espresso to French Press so you have plenty of options. And if you’re tight on space, its relatively small size means it’ll fit on most kitchen counters.
The Elevated Work Horse
Baratza’s Virtuoso+ model is similar to the one above but it adds a few additional features. You’ll find a digital timer to help keep your amount consistent, a faster grind speed, and a slightly larger bin with LED lights for clearer viewing.
The Traditional French Grinder
The design of this wood-box grinder dates back to 1840 (and this style likely goes back farther to when coffee was first introduced to Europe during the late 17th Century). While you’ll have to hand crank it, it does use steel burrs, has an adjustable grind setting, and can hold up to one cup of beans which is more than your standard traditional mill.
If you’re not already using a scale as part of your daily coffee routine, you should. That being said, this conical burr grinder features an integrated scale that will automatically shut off the grinder when you’ve reached your desired amount. It also has a tinted container that protects your beans from UV rays, helping them stay fresh longer.
For The Precision Seeker
The Smart Grinder Pro not only has a whopping 60 grind settings, but it also allows you to adjust the amount and time, so you know exactly what you’re getting. This is the one to get if you want to have control over every aspect of your coffee experience.
If You Like Your Coffee A Certain Strength
De’Longhi’s Dedica grinder not only has 18 settings, but it also enables you to choose your brew strength as well. Meaning, if you set the grinder to French Press, you can customize it further with options for strong, medium, or light flavor. Add to that a clear LCD display, conical burr grinders, plus a stainless steel body and you have a durable, solid option.
The Colorful Option
With steel burrs, a slow speed to keep grind temperatures low, and 15 grind settings, this cherry red grinder is a colorful, cool addition to your counter.
If You Like A Retro Look
The appeal of this grinder or any other SMEG appliance is its mid century design and range of colors. Aesthetics aside, it also has the functions you’d want with stainless steel conical burrs and 30 grind settings.
The Fancy One Professionals Love
While it’s one of the more expensive grinders on this list, you’re getting beautiful design and top-notch features. With over 30 settings, an automatic stop function that kicks in after the last bean has gone through, and a built-in knocker that enables you to get every last bit of grind out, it’s a favorite among coffee professionals. One note: the container that holds the beans is designed to only hold a single-serving at a time which, as Fellow says, is “to limit exposure to staleness-inducing oxygen.”
The Top Of The Line Splurge
Even most coffee shops don’t use the Mahlkonig given it’s price-tag, but any barista would drool at the thought of using one. The EK43 is primarily known for its supremely consistent grind (achieved with flat, cast steel burrs), and its spout knocker to ensure all grinds are extracted from the machine. Beyond that, it looks great but you’re mostly paying for the wow factor, which, hey, if that’s what you’re looking for we’re not judging.