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Which is the Best Burr Coffee Grinder In 2020? Find out below, and why you need a grinder

So you’re on your way to brewing artisanal coffee in the comfort of your home, right? You’ve got almost every variable tested and perfected, but there’s still just one little “oomph” missing in your coffee. You need to find the best coffee grinder for some really fresh coffee.

You’re buying pre-ground coffee. It’s freshly roasted, but still pre-ground – and that’s the issue! You need to get yourself a burr coffee grinder in order to really start brewing amazing coffee.

We went through this same process when we were starting out with brewing coffee. When we stopped buying pre-ground beans and started grinding just before brewing, the difference was mind-blowing.

There was a time where I could not imagine ever having black coffee. After buying fresh beans and grinding in a burr grinder just before brewing, I’ve started almost exclusively drinking black coffee. I don’t want any additives to dampen the coffee flavor, of course!

That’s where we come in – we’ve simplified the buying process for you, choosing the best coffee grinder options and explaining what makes a grinder good or bad.

Let’s get this party started!

Related:

8 Best Burr Coffee Grinders in 2020

1. Bodum Bistro (Budget) Burr Grinder

Bodum Bistro Burr Grinder, Electronic Coffee Grinder with Continuously Adjustable Grind, Black

Bodum is a very well known name in the coffee world, most notably for their excellent-yet-simple-yet-elegant french presses. My first foray into proper coffee was with a Bodum french press.

The Bistro Burr Grinder by Bodum is no exception to the quality you’d expect from these guys. Most burr grinders are quite expensive but the Bistro is actually quite cheap at $97.80 as of today.

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When you’re worried about breaking the bank in order to break open your coffee beans, the Bistro is a good start to get you converted to always grinding just before brewing.

Another huge advantage of the Bodum Bistro is that it is very low maintenance. The grinder is built with materials that are not susceptible to something called “coffee bean static” – the burrs will not themselves get affected when their grinding coffee beans and releasing all the compounds and oils.

It should be noted though that the Bodum Bistro is not really suited for grinding beans into an espresso or Turkish coffee consistency.

For most other brews, like drip, french press, or cold brew, it absolutely shines.

The motors spin at 720 RPM, and conical burrs grind the beans into a consistently sized grain all the way down. One major gripe that I felt with this machine though is that the only way to initiate the grinding process is with a timer button – so you can only set to grind for a fixed time, push the button, and wait it out.

You can’t manually grind a little bit more to iron out inconsistencies, and you can’t automatically have the machine spit out a grind of a particular consistency. Instead, you’ll have to consult the manual and experiment a little bit to see how much time is required to get the grind size you need.

That being said, please bear in mind that this is a budget burr grinder and it is unreasonable to expect high-convenience features in it.

If you tick off the two things below, the Bistro is the perfect coffee grinder for you:

  • You don’t drink espresso or Turkish coffee
  • You are on a budget
  • You still want to grind beans at home

2. Baratza Virtuoso Coffee Grinder

Baratza Virtuoso - Conical Burr Coffee Grinder

With a relatively high variety of 40 grind settings, the Baratza Virtuoso is one of the most popular burr grinders available on the market today and definitely makes it near the top when talking about the best coffee grinder.

Baratza is known for making some really good grinders, and the Virtuoso comes right at the top of the list – making this quite an impressive machine.

The design is really sleek and functional – coffee beans go into the top container, get ground through the burrs, and collect in the container below. There’s no option to ground right into a porta-filter, but that’s not a huge dealbreaker.

At 450 RPM, the commercial grade burrs will churn out extremely consistent grounds – so your espresso today will definitely taste like your espresso tomorrow!

The commercial burrs are also designed in such a way that they help heat to dissipate very easily by reducing friction as much as possible.

The 40 grind settings will allow you to grind for cold brew all the way to espresso, but not quite fine enough for Turkish Coffee.

It seems that Turkish coffee is the most finicky of the lot! As far as the price of grinders is considered the Virtuoso falls in middle ground, so if you’re looking to get more serious with your java and you wish to have a better tasting brew, you can justify the price tag.

Since these are such robust machines they’re pretty much a one-time purchase and should last you quite a long time.

3. Baratza Encore: Best Coffee Burr Grinder For the Money

Baratza Encore Conical Burr Coffee Grinder with Bin
  • Featuring 40 individual grind settings, from fine to coarse, the Encore can please any palate with its gamut of accurate and repeatable grind settings. The Encore has an accurate medium to coarse grind for the increasingly popular manual brew methods such as pour-over, Aeropress, Siphon and Chemex.
  • The efficient DC motor keeps your beans cool, even during extended grind times, while a combination of electric and gear speed reducers slow the burr to 450 RPM, ensuring a smooth bean feed and reducing noise, heat and static buildup.
  • A convenient, front-mounted pulse button makes it easy to grind on demand into your brew basket. Whether you are looking for an espresso grinder or a grinder to help you explore that extensive range of brew methods, the Encore is a great all around home grinder.
  • Speed to Grind: .8 to 1.1g/sec.; Bean Hopper Capacity: 8 oz (227g); Grounds Bin Capacity: 5 oz. (142 g); Weight: 7 lbs. (3.1kg); Dimensions WxHxD cm: 12x35x16 cm; Power Rating (North America): 110 V AC 50/60 Hz. 1 Amp; Power Rating (Other): 230 V AC 50/60 Hz. .5 Amps; Safety Listing: UL/CSA/CE/EK; Designed & Engineered: Seattle, WA, USA.
  • The Encore is lauded by coffee experts as THE go-to entry level grinder for those brewing coffee at home. The Encore gives a great grind for drip/manual brew and also grinds fine enough for espresso.

Baratza is easily one of the best known brands when it comes to coffee grinders. There’s just no brand that quite competes with it in terms of quality and consistency of grind.

Though many Baratza grinders are quite expensive, the Encore is actually comparatively easy on the wallet without sacrificing any quality.

The Baratza Encore is powered by a 450 RPM motor connected to 40 mm burr grinders. These will deliver consistent and evenly ground coffee to you every single time you use it.

Like the Virtuoso, the Encore also has 40 grind settings which should be more than enough for all the coffees you could possible want to brew at home – again, with the exception of Turkish coffee.

If you’re not quite at the serious hobbyist level and you want to get your feet wet with a good machine that can do timed and pulse grinding(the Bodum can’t do pulse grinding), then the Baratza Encore is a good choice. It’s a slightly simplified version of the Baratza Virtuoso, which is targeted to a more serious coffee enthusiast.

That being said, you can certainly get the Encore and it will grow with you as you progress from coffee drinker to coffee connoisseur.

4. Capresso Deluxe Conical Burr Grinder

Capresso 565.05 Infinity Conical Burr Grinder Bundle with East Coast Blend and Coffee Measure (3 Items)

The Capresso is a versatile grinder that’s very special on this list because it is the only coffee grinder that we’ve got here which is capable of grinding superfine grounds suitable for Turkish coffee or Arabic coffee.

There are a total of 16 grind settings but they can be divided into 4 categories: coarse, medium, fine, and superfine. This means the Capresso can grind cold brew coffee all the way to Turkish coffee and everything in between.

If you’re into drinking a wide variety of coffees – including Turkish and the Arabian Qahwa, then you’ll need to get yourself a Capresso grinder.

At 420 rpm with 40mm conical stainless steel burrs, the Capresso grinds at a speed slow enough to be consistent but not generate too much heat from friction.

The only drawback with the Capresso is that it can’t grind quite as many beans in one go as some of the other grinders we’ve listed can.

Again, this is only a problem if you’re looking to brew a lot of coffee in one shot – if you’re just grinding for one or two people, then this is a non-issue.

I really like how affordable and functional the Capresso is – even though it does not have the name brand power of say Bodum or Baratza, but with its price range and features it gives those grinders a run for their money.

5. Baratza Vario 886 Deluxe Coffee Grinder

Baratza Vario Flat Burr Coffee Grinder

The Baratza Vario 886 is one of the most expensive burr grinders on this list and for good reason. This is one of the most customizable grinders you can find, period. It has 230 settings that you can use to really fine tune your grinds down to a science.

The Vario 886 could be your graduation present from casual coffee drinker to master home barista. You’d normally expect a grinder of this caliber to be found at a local cafe, but this machine is actually meant for home use.

It’s also the most powerful of the grinders listed here, with a 1350 RPM motor powering 54mm ceramic burrs.

To justify getting the Vario 886, I think you’d really have to be a coffee fanatic – it’s quite an expensive machine and if you’re just getting something for casual brewing, this can easily become overwhelming. To contrast, the simpler machines we’ve listed here have 16 grind settings – this has 230!

That said, if you’re into experimenting and fine tuning, and you like to keep a diary of every coffee you’ve had and how it tasted, this is certainly the machine for that level of dedication.

It also has a portafilter holder that you can grind beans into and directly place in your espresso machine.

Besides, it’s also an amazing conversation started and a great way to keep the conversation going over lots of cups of coffee 🙂

6. Rancilio Rocky Coffee Grinder

Rancilio Rocky Espresso Coffee Grinder

Another huge name in coffee of course is Rancilio. Rancilio makes the Rocky coffee grinder, which is ironic, because once this machine is done with your coffee beans, they’ll be anything but rocky.

Like the Vario 886, the Rancilio Rocky is a commercial grade machine in a home machine’s clothing. This grinder is POWERFUL. It could be considered the best coffee grinder in terms of power.

Sporting a 1750 RPM motor and 50 mm burrs, your coffee will be ground to an even, perfect consistency every single time. There are 55 settings which allow you to tune your grinds to the exact level of fineness or coarseness that you like.

Rancilio is so finicky about perfection that every machine is tested with actual coffee beans before they ship it out. I’m dead serious!

This level of quality control is definitely apparent in their end products.

Because this is a much higher end machine, you’ll also have to expect to pay top dollar for it. However, if you wish to feel like a barista at home, grinding right into portafilters and to a perfectly tuned consistency that only you know the secret to, then the Rancilio Rocky is certainly worth considering.

Read the full Rancilio Rocky review here

7. Breville BCG820BSSXL The Smart Grinder

Breville The Smart Grinder Pro Coffee Bean Grinder, Brushed Stainless Steel

Of all the grinders listed so far the Breville Smart Grinder is most definitely, well, the smartest, high-tech grinder there is. It’s very versatile and can grind to a wide variety of consistencies, all the way from very coarse to fine.

Unfortunately, it will still not be able to manage a grind fine enough for Turkish Coffee.

Note: At this point I feel like it’s necessary to mention that if you’re really going to drink that much Turkish coffee then there are pre-ground Turkish coffees available – it’s not quite as good at grinding yourself but if it’s just not possible with the equipment you have it’s the next best thing.

The burrs are very well-built with a 40mm size. The motor is 450 RPM and you can grind beans into a wide variety of containers depending on what you’re planning to brew. Grind into a portafilter, a filter basket, a paper filter, or a regular container – whatever works for you.

There are a total of 40 different settings so you can really fine tune the coffee to your taste.

8. Krups GX5000: Best Cheap Burr Grinder

KRUPS 8000035978 GX5000 Professional Electric Coffee Burr Grinder with Grind Size and Cup Selection, 7-Ounce, Black

The Krups GX5000 Burr Grinder is the most inexpensive conical burr grinder on our list. If you’re really on a budget, then this is the one to go for.

It has 9 levels of grind settings from coarse – think french press and cold brew – all the way to fine – think espresso. There are 5 sub-notches between each setting, for a total of 45 settings. The burrs are made of stainless steel, and produce fairly consistent grinds in a very short time.

One major issue with this machine however is that there is a lot of static buildup so when you empty the grounds container, the statically charged coffee grounds tend to stick to your countertop and they get a little tough to remove.

Still, considering how cheap the Krups GX5000 is, we had to include in our list as an absolute last resort for someone who has to grind their own beans but just doesn’t have a big budget. It will do the job well enough, but don’t expect the exact same performance as some of the more expensive machines.

Related:

Coffee Burr Grinders: a buying guide

Now that you’ve seen our 8 picks for the best coffee grinders (conical burr grinders of course), let’s go a little into the nitty gritty(pun 100% intended) of coffee grinders and what to look for.

Manual grinders vs electric grinders

Roasted coffee beans are not soft, so it takes a bit of energy to grind them into right consistency. For home use, I would suggest you get an electric grinder, simply because it takes less time to grind and it’s far more convenient.

Manual grinders are really useful for traveling – they can easily be tossed into a suitcase along with your Aeropress and you won’t even notice the weight in your bag.

You can use a manual grinder at home but it will give you a good workout every morning!

Burr Grinders vs Blade Grinders

I must admit, the first time I bought a coffee grinder, it was a blade grinder. I didn’t know any better back then. But then I realized that the grounds were not very consistent, and I found out from researching that consistent grounds are key to good coffee.

The way conical burrs are designed enables you to get a really smooth, even, and consistent grind. This allows for even extraction of flavor from the coffee all the way through.

Think of it this way – even a tiny proportion of extra fine grounds can make a french press coffee muddy, and a tiny proportion of coarse grounds can make an espresso lose part of its intensity.

To make seriously good coffee, you need a conical burr grinder. As you saw above, you don’t really have to break the bank to do so. Burr grinders come in budget and high end models.

Number of grind settings

Generally speaking there are 3 major grind functions. Coffee grinders either pulse, auto-grind, or timed-grind.

Pulse is like the first button on your blender – the burrs will spin as long as the button is pushed. This is good for grinding small amounts of coffee, as you can just drop a handful of beans in the grinder, press the button as long as it takes to grind all the beans, and enjoy your coffee.

If you’re making more than one cup of coffee at a time, you may find it annoying to have to push and hold the pulse button and stand there looking around as you wait for your coffee to finish grinding.

Aut0-grind is where you simply turn the knob on your grinder to the desired setting, and it will automatically grind the beans. This is the most hands-off method and the most useful for grinding large amounts of beans at once.

Timed-grinding, as the name suggests, is where you set a timer and the grinder will continue for that long.

In addition, there are a wide variety of grind settings in each grinder. The settings are essentially the coarseness or fineness of the grounds. Some simpler machines have 10 settings, whereas bigger, more expensive machines have up to 200.

At some point, I feel that having too many grind settings becomes inconvenient more than anything else – but you can use the multitude of settings to really dial in your coffee just the way you like it.

Whether you’re willing to spend all that time and money(buying so many coffee beans) is another thing altogether.

You’re not exactly going to use all 230 settings on an espresso, though. Espresso grounds are fine so you’ll probably be experimenting within the fine range of the settings, not even touching the medium or coarse range.

Burr sizes and RPMs

The speed of your grinder is measured in RPMs – you probably have seen this abbreviation in your car’s dashboard too.

RPM stands for revolutions per minute. The faster the grinder, the more consistent the grounds, but with a catch.

Fast grinding builds up a lot of static electricity and heat. Heat, as you know, is bad for coffee grounds – it can screw up the flavor profile.

To get around this, high speed grinders have large, flat burrs that help dissipate the heat more easily through a process called gear reduction, so your coffee is not damaged.

Lower end grinders tend to have slower RPMs and conical burrs. Most home grinders you’ll find(as well as the ones on this list) have lower RPMs and conical burrs.

The lower RPMs are 100% fine for home brewing.

Other features

All other things considered, there are a few other creature comforts that some grinders have and others don’t, like the ability to grind directly into a portafilter, which is great for espresso brewing, or a touch screen, which is a convenience more than anything else.

Bottom line

If you’re still stuck for choice and having trouble making a decision, I’d suggest you take the middle road and go for the Baratza Encore. It’s medium budget and has all the basic functionality for brewing everything from cold brew to espresso and everything in between.

Baratza Encore Conical Burr Coffee Grinder with Bin
  • Featuring 40 individual grind settings, from fine to coarse, the Encore can please any palate with its gamut of accurate and repeatable grind settings. The Encore has an accurate medium to coarse grind for the increasingly popular manual brew methods such as pour-over, Aeropress, Siphon and Chemex.
  • The efficient DC motor keeps your beans cool, even during extended grind times, while a combination of electric and gear speed reducers slow the burr to 450 RPM, ensuring a smooth bean feed and reducing noise, heat and static buildup.
  • A convenient, front-mounted pulse button makes it easy to grind on demand into your brew basket. Whether you are looking for an espresso grinder or a grinder to help you explore that extensive range of brew methods, the Encore is a great all around home grinder.
  • Speed to Grind: .8 to 1.1g/sec.; Bean Hopper Capacity: 8 oz (227g); Grounds Bin Capacity: 5 oz. (142 g); Weight: 7 lbs. (3.1kg); Dimensions WxHxD cm: 12x35x16 cm; Power Rating (North America): 110 V AC 50/60 Hz. 1 Amp; Power Rating (Other): 230 V AC 50/60 Hz. .5 Amps; Safety Listing: UL/CSA/CE/EK; Designed & Engineered: Seattle, WA, USA.
  • The Encore is lauded by coffee experts as THE go-to entry level grinder for those brewing coffee at home. The Encore gives a great grind for drip/manual brew and also grinds fine enough for espresso.

Last update on 2020-09-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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About Shabbir

Shabbir is the Chief Caffeine Officer at Coffee In My Veins. When he's not weighing out coffee beans for his next brew, you can find him writing about his passion: coffee.

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