by Craig Lloyd on
If you’re ready to move on from subpar coffee in the morning and want to start making a worthwhile delicious cup of joe, here’s some coffee gear that will help get you started.
Good coffee starts with fresh ground coffee. A good coffee grinder can cost a mint—but it doesn’t have to. We’ve tracked down our top picks for electric coffee grinders that won’t break the bank.
Coffee grinders come in two major flavors: blade grinders and burr grinders. We’ve focused on burr grinders because they are superior to blade grinders in every way. Blade grinders are quick and cheap, but they produce an uneven grind which means an inconsistent flavor for you. Regardless of what kind of coffee preparation method you’re using, consistency in grind size is critical for good flavor extraction.
Burr grinders capture the beans between the two burrs, crushing them with incredible uniformity, and producing a more consistent blend of ground coffee as a result. It’s more expensive than a blade grinder, but the results are worlds better. Life’s too short for bad coffee, right?
When it comes to burr grinders, slower is better. Cheaper models run fast and, as a result, hot—which transfers heat into the beans and has the potential to alter the flavor. All of our picks feature slower grind speeds to avoid this issue.
The absolute top-tier premium burr grinders are incredibly expensive (some are in the realm of a mortgage payment and change). That doesn’t mean there aren’t great picks on the more budget friendly side of things though. None of the devices here cost over $150 but they’re still well regarded models that are perfect for daily use. We’ve narrowed things down according to your potential needs too, so you don’t have to spend time figuring out what works best for your situation.
Here’s our pick of electric coffee grinders.
In an ideal world, this should be the budget electric coffee grinder that everyone purchases. The Baratza Encore is widely regarded as the go to solution for everyone who wants high quality electric grinding in their home—the entire line of Baratza grinders is full of excellent values and the Encore is no exception.
The device has 40 individual grind settings, ranging from fine to coarse, with plenty of ways to fine-tune and get things exactly how you like them. An efficient motor means that overheating is never an issue, even when grinding for an extended period, and it’s rather quiet too. It has a bean hopper capacity of 227g with a grounds bin capacity of 142g, so it’s a decent size, plus it’ll grind at up to 1.1g per second. It’s seriously hard to find fault in this grinder, especially at this price point.
A firm favorite amongst the ReviewGeek team, the Capresso Infinity is pretty great. Again, it’s more expensive than some of the others here but it’s worth it if you know what you love. Its conical burrs are commercial grade quality which means a higher quality grind for you. It has four main settings, ranging from Extra Fine, Fine, Regular, and Coarse, with numerous settings in between.
the ability to grind 8.5 ounces of beans at a time means you won’t have to wait long for your brew either. It grinds automatically for 5 to 60 seconds, depending on what setting you use, with the design focusing on grinding slower for better flavor and less heat. It’s small yet powerful too, so you can easily store it for those rare times when you’re not making coffee. This bundle comes with a cleaning brush and tablets, which are sure to be useful.
Want to make a ton of coffee quickly and on a tight budget? The Cuisinart DBM-8 Supreme Grind Automatic Burr Mill is the coffee grinder for you. Its grind chamber holds enough ground coffee for 32 cups, depending on how large a cup you use, with a removable 8 oz bean hopper.
Alongside that is an 18 position grind selector that changes how finely ground the beans are, ranging from ultra fine to extra coarse. There’s a 4 to 18 cup slide dial too, for added functionality.
So, what’s the catch? At first glance you might think the catch is that it uses flat burrs instead of conical burrs in the grinding mechanism, but there are plenty of premium espresso grinders that use flat burrs too. The biggest issue with cheaper grinders is that the tolerances won’t be as tight as more expensive models and the resulting grounds won’t be as perfectly uniform as they could be. That said upgrading from pre-ground coffee or a blade grinder to this budget model will be a giant improvement so don’t let our criticism of the design tolerances throw you off.
You know how every once in a while there’s a secret bargain out there? A gadget that’s low in price but actually performs nearly on a par with devices two or three times its price? The Chefman Electric Burr Coffee Grinder is that coffee grinder. OK, it won’t quite perform to the standards of the Baratza or Capresso, but it’s far superior than anything else within its price range.
The grinder has 17 different grinding options, covering extremely fine to coarse. It deftly avoids overheating while it’s grinding, and it’s roomy too. It can hold up to 8 oz of coffee grounds which should mean between 2 and 12 cups of coffee depending on your prep method.
Crucially, it’s received great reviews from across the board because it simply does everything remarkably well for the price. Hidden gems are great like that.
If every penny counts then the Mr. Coffee Automatic Burr Mill Grinder is the electric grinder for you. Despite the low price, it still has room for 18 custom grind settings so, in theory, you’ll still get the consistency you need.
It holds up to 8 ounces of coffee beans via its removable bean hopper, and pretty much just works. It doesn’t quite create as consistent grounds as more expensive options with the finest settings still being rather coarse. That means it won’t be ideal if you’re making espresso, for instance. However, if you’re sticking with French Press or similar, you should still be fairly happy. It’s a good back up for those days when you can’t be bothered to hand grind.
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