Top 5: The Best Espresso Grinder

Any true coffee fan should learn to make espresso for themselves, and doing so requires using the best espresso grinder. Even if a straight shot of this powerful liquid isn't to your fancy, the espresso shot is the base of popular drinks like lattes, cappuccinos, and mochas.

Of course, there's a lot that goes into finding the best coffee grinder for espresso. One of the most important aspects to consider is the grind quality and consistency. The best espresso grinders are able to grind beans to a fine powder, which is necessary for pulling a strong and flavorful shot. Other factors to consider when looking for the best espresso grinder include secondary features, storage capacity, and of course, price. Like any piece of coffee equipment, there's a lot to sort through, and it can be overwhelming if you don't what to look for.

Fortunately, we’re here to help. The following guide provided a detailed review of five of the best coffee grinders for espresso, in the hopes of making things a bit easier for potential buyers.

The Best Espresso Grinder of 2016

After going through many existing coffee grinder reviews, we have compiled a list that shows you the best espresso coffee grinder.
Based on features, convenience, performance, excellent build quality and great value for your money, we present you:
The Best Espresso Grinder of 2016
(Tip: Check the orange buttons for full detailed coffee grinder reviews and 1-on-1 comparisons)

WINNER

Porlex JP-30

If you’re in the market for a lightweight, small capacity grinder, the Porlex JP-30 may be just what you’re looking for. Easy to use and take with you also makes it a great travel companion

RUNNER-UP

Smart Grinder Pro

The Breville Smart Grinder Pro combines professional features with a decent price tag, perfectly suited for the home barista who takes making coffee very serious. Best seller on our site!

NOTEWORTHY

Mazzer Mini

If you want the absolute best in espresso level grinding, you're gonna want to have the Mazzer Mini. It has a hefty price tag though, which prevents it from being higher up in this list.

1. Porlex JP-30 Stainless Steel Coffee Grinder

The Porlex JP-30 uses high-quality ceramic burrs in every device. These ceramic burrs are fully removable and easy to clean. The entire device, from the handle down to the ceramic burrs, are dishwasher safe, although you may simply want to clean the device by hand.

Adjusting the grind can be a bit of a challenge, as it requires you to locate a specific nut near the burrs. Turning this will either tighten or loosen the distance between the burrs, helping to create the coarse or fine grinds that this grinder is capable of churning out. The Porlex JP-30 is designed to grind coffee in such a way as to provide a fully consistent and static-free grind. The consistency comes from the design of the burrs. The static-free finish comes from the stainless steel construction of the body.

This high-quality device is made in Japan from start to finish. At only 7.5 inches tall and 1.85 inches in diameter, you may be surprised by how small and how light the device is. The picture is a bit deceiving for the size. Note that it is indeed a small device, and holds only 30 ounces of whole beans. Grinding should take about 60-90 seconds, depending on just how much “oomph” you’re putting into the cranking process.

Pros

  • Stainless steel body.
  • The product is built from durable materials and will last ages.
  • Quality ceramic burrs.
  • Small and lightweight.

Cons

  • Grind setting adjustment can initially difficult.

2. Breville BCG820BSSXL The Smart Grinder Pro Coffee Bean Grinder

There's espresso coffee grinders, and then there's the Breville Smart Grinder Pro Coffee Bean Grinder. This advanced espresso grind represents the cutting edge of the grinder business. Using a precision timer and painstakingly crafted steel burrs, this grinder is able to grind beans to 60 different settings, including espresso.

By all standards, this unit is one of the best burr grinders for espresso available. However, it comes with one big downside: the price tag. This product is one of the more expensive grinders out there, and it really only seems reasonable for coffee shops or particularly wealthy and well-caffeinated consumers.

If you can afford it, however, this product is one of the best automatic grinders money can buy.

Pros

  • Precise burr settings produce a wide range of different grain sizes.
  • The hopper holds a large amount of beans.
  • The unit features an advanced precision timer.

Cons

  • Automatic grinders are a bit more difficult to service if they malfunction (but nothing to concerned about with this one).
  • The price of this product is likely to turn off some consumers.

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3. Mazzer Mini Espresso Grinder

In contrast to the other grinders on this list, this Mazzer espresso grinder is truly a commercial grade model, complete with the hefty price tag inherent to an industrial grade machine.

Of course, a machine of this caliber also offers extensive options to modify its performance for the perfect grind. It also has a fairly large hopper, suitable for commercial or extensive personal use.

To further prove that this grinder is one of the best espresso bean grinders available, Mazzer also calibrates all of their machines to the proper settings for espresso.

If you truly love espresso more than anything else, this espresso grinder will probably be your new best friend.

Pros

  • Consistently grinds beans at a high quality over thousands of uses.
  • There's tons of different ways to fine-tune your grind.
  • The unit looks and feels like the extremely high-quality machine that it is.

Cons

  • This grinder has large dimensions, especially for a home setting.
  • The extremely high price of this unit makes it unattainable for many espresso fans.

4. Baratza Preciso - Conical Burr Coffee Grinder

This Baratza espresso grinder is touted by many as one of the best high-end consumer grade grinders available. Between its ability to make fine adjustments, increased grind speed compared to other units, and it's high-quality burrs, it's easy to see why the Baratza Preciso earned its accolades.

One of the most interesting features of the Preciso is the Portahold, which allows you to attach a portafilter directly to the grinder to decrease mess and speed up the espresso brewing process.

Though the price of this unit might be too high for some buyers, for those willing to make the commitment, they'll be rewarded with one of the best coffee grinders for espresso.

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Besides the Preciso and Vario listed in this Top 5, Baratza's got both higher-end and lower-end coffee grinders.

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Capresso

Capresso has a number of excellent grinders, at the same price as the higher end espresso coffee grinders.

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Breville

Breville offers some of the best coffee grinders on the market, with great looks and at very competitive prices. 

5. Baratza Vario-W 986 - Flat Ceramic Burr Coffee Grinder

The Vario is another Baratza espresso grinder, though it differs significantly from Baratza’s other entries to the marketplace.

The Vario’s main focus is on providing exact measurements of grounds to perfectly fit portafilters or other espresso machines. This is achieved through the use of a scale sensing bar, which keeps each grind with 0.2 grinds of the previous.

Of course, this product also functions to the same high standards as Baratza’s other products, utilizing high-quality flat burrs to produce a consistent grind.

There's little doubt that the Vario is one of the best coffee grinders for espresso.

So what is the best Espresso coffee grinder?

Imagine the taste of espresso, aka black nectar, ground in the best espresso grinder, pulled from a high-quality espresso machine. Delicious! Perhaps no other style of coffee has become so widespread and beloved in today’s world. Whether it's consumed straight as an espresso shot or used as the base for drinks like lattes, cappuccinos, and mochas, there's no denying the ubiquitous status of espresso in today's society. In fact, most coffee shops are happy to add a shot or two of espresso to any drink on their menu, even to their brewed coffee (this is typically called a “red-eye”).

With all the popularity and hype surrounding espresso, it's no surprise that thousands of products exist to aid in pulling the perfect shot of espresso. For the actual brewing process, consumers can purchase everything from a shoddy $20 home machine to carefully calibrated commercial units worth tens of thousands of dollars. Though achieving a proper water temperature and pressure are certainly critical in pulling a proper shot, equally as important is achieving a decent grind. The quality of your espresso bean grinder directly effects the body, strength, and flavor of the final product. Any espresso aficionado looking to pull their own shots at home or in the shop owe it to themselves to research and purchase the best burr grinder for espresso.

So what goes into determining the quality of an espresso grinder? Without a doubt, the most important factor is its ability to consistently produce a fine grain size. Espresso is one of the strongest types of coffee available, so much so that only one shot glass’s worth it produced at any time. Most people can't stand the bitter taste of pure espresso and require generous helpings of frothed milk and sugar to down the powerful liquid.

The grinding process is key in bolstering an espresso shot’s strength. Espresso beans should be ground to extremely fine consistency, like a powder. This maximizes the surface area of the bean and allows as much of its flavor as possible to escape when exposed to hot water. The best coffee grinder for espresso should be able to achieve this fine consistency with little to no work, and the grinds should be more or less the same size.

Another important factor to consider is the size of the grinder. Though some grinders are targeted towards producing individual cups of espresso, typically cooked on a stovetop, others are large mills that can store many liters of beans. Before making a purchase, consider how often you'll be using your espresso grinder and purchase a unit with a storage capacity that's just larger than what you need. The unit should hold enough beans that you aren't constantly refilling it, but you also don't want beans to sit there for days and become stale.

Finally, you'll want to consider the stylistic aspects of the grinder. Some companies produce more attractive grinders than others or offer unique and useful features. Still, others choose to produce standard manual grinders but focus their efforts instead on producing a durable grinder that'll last for decades. In our above espresso grinder reviews, we have focussed on five of the top espresso grinders, pointing what their strongest selling points and shortcomings are, in an effort to aid readers in deciding what espresso grinder is right for them.

Our Best Pick: Porlex JP-30

Porlex JP-30 Stainless Steel Coffee Grinder
List Price: $50.99
Price: $50.99
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