The 3 Best Coffee Grinders Of This Year, According to Experts

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LeonardRenner
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The 3 Best Coffee Grinders Of This Year, According to Experts

Post by LeonardRenner »

"What is the best coffee grinder?" That's probably one of the most frequently asked questions we received from our readers. We're surprised because rarely anyone talks about the importance of grinding when it comes to making a good cup of coffee.

So, we've spent 74 hours looking through thousands of reviews and talking to our team of experts to find out what makes a good coffee grinder.

We tested seven of the best rated coffee grinders and found THREE that stood out the most for their high-quality and price value.

Grab a coffee and read on, because we have a lot to cover!

The Winner: Baratza Encore Conical Burr Coffee Grinder

Simple Operation

Out of the seven coffee grinders we tested, the Encore is the most user-friendly coffee grinder. Baratza retains the clear cone-shaped bean basket top and a small mono-chromatic body and features only one on and off switch on the side of the machine.

It doesn't have a timer or a dosage measurement system, which can be a deal-breaker for a lot of powered users but for most beginners, simplicity is king. There's no learning curve, so you don't have to fumble around knobs first things in the morning.

This is why we always recommend the Encore to newbies of the caffeine game. You can quickly get a cup of freshly ground coffee that has a balanced flavor profile - neither too bitter nor too acidic.

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High-Quality Burr

This balanced taste is thanks to its high-quality conical burr, the grinding mechanism of the Encore. It's a two-part gear-shaped component at the heart of the grinder, the space between which can be adjusted to get the grind size you want.

Unlike blade grinder which doesn't have a grind size setting and randomly chops the beans into smaller pieces of no particular size, the ground coffee from a burr grind is pulverized evenly.

This consistent grind guarantees an even extraction, which helps you achieve the taste profiles of different drink types. For example, French press and cold brew require coarse grind while your espresso machine would demand a finer grind.

Performance And Maintenance

Though you need to be by the Encore while it's operated since there's no timer, grinding is fast. In our test, we got 20 grams of fine grind after about 15 seconds, about the same time as other more expensive grinders.

Changing the grind size is easy: you need to twist the hopper from 0 to 40 with 40 being the coarse grind. Remove the hopper, and you have access to the removable burr, making cleaning and maintenance much more manageable.

In time, you'll need to recenter the burr due to centrifugal force induced misalignment. Or if the time is right, Baratza has replacement parts offered on the website at an affordable price, so you can repair and update your grinder in the long run.

For those reasons, we think the Baratza Encore is the best burr coffee grinder as well as the best coffee grinder of this review.

Baristas’ Pick: The Baratza Virtuoso Plus

The Baratza Virtuoso Plus, like its predecessor the now-discontinued Baratza Virtuoso, is no stranger to the best coffee grinder reviews - the top coffee grinder.

Price vs Value

Virtuoso is one of the top-rated coffee grinders from Baratza. All of the baristas we talked to agree that it should be the winner of this review, if not for its high price.

At $100 over the price of the winner, we expected this electric coffee grinder to house more advanced features. But besides the extra weights, the sleek all-metal design, and a digital timer, it doesn't have much above the Encore.

It could be a deal-breaker to hardcore coffee lovers. But for the average consumer who's looking to upgrade their own coffee routine or trying out a semi-professional coffee grinder, the Baratza Virtuoso Plus is the best home coffee grinder.

Operation And Performance

This isn't Virtuoso's best suit because though it has a timer, it's hard to use. You can add a second by turning clockwise but remove only a tenth of a second by turning counterclockwise.

You can't change it during grinding. We messed up and wasted some time to get it back on track.

During our test, the Virtuoso was the best burr grinder. It consistently produces uniform grind with a minimal amount of boulders and fines, compared to the other six grinders.

The Virtuoso grinds fast and doesn't make a chaffy mess afterwards. We got 20 grams of fine grinds for our espresso machine after 10 seconds.

Though we can clearly see how much grind we're getting through the clear grind bins back-lit by a LED system, which is a unique selling point of this model, we cannot directly tell how much we are getting.

The Virtuoso doesn't have an integrated scale like other grinders such as the Breville SmartGrinder Pro, so we really had to time it (with the timer) by trial and error.

Design

The Virtuoso is heavy. Though it doesn't weigh as much as a professional grinder, the all-metal and solid build provides a stable base.

Unless you're planning to move a lot, don't compromise on the weight. We advise you to stay clear of cheap plastics machines because they'll require more maintenance and tune-up in the long run.

The Budget Pick: OXO Brew Conical Burr Grinder

At $100, the OXO is the best conical burr grinder for the budget. In the market where high-quality conical burr grinders typically cost more than $150, we found the OXO Brew to be well-equipped and perform incredibly well.

Performance

The OXO Brew grinds fast, producing 15 grams of fine grind after 30 seconds, with 60-70% of weight being uniform. We brewed it, and the coffee tasted nice, with balanced acidity and bitterness. The aromas were retained, proving that the burr properly pulverized the beans.

OXO Brew didn't produce grind as fine as Baratza grinder, but if for regular drip coffee, you won't miss the fine grind. The performance on the coarse grinds wasn't stable anyway so if we suggest sticking with a medium grind.

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Designs and Operation

We were surprised that OXO Brew has many advanced functions such as a timer, a removable hopper, a decent burr and an interesting antistatic mechanism.

It's a compact grinder, though not a sleek one-piece due to the grind bin bulging out from the main body. But its oversized design catches all of the chaffs, preventing a mess from happening. The antistatic mechanism also helped to create the mess-free experience.

The hopper mark indicator is another plus with pre-indicated size by the number. Hence, there's little guesswork into adjusting the grind size. And it can be removed during operation.

One thing we don't like about the OXO Brew is how lightweight it's for a burr grinder. As mentioned before, the base weight allows the grinder to stabilize around the center, avoiding burr misalignment. The lightweight is due to plastics made up most of the grinder.

We don't think it's the best physics-wise, but for the price, you can't beat the OXO Brew.

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Final Words

So which one is the best electric coffee grinder? Leave a comment letting us know your thoughts.

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Last edited by LeonardRenner on Thu Dec 03, 2020 1:26 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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