Searching for the best espresso grinder? As quality coffee becomes an even bigger trend, you’ll see lots of options out there. This New York Times article explains why good coffee is dependent on a quality grinder. How do you select the perfect one?
By reading our coffee grinder reviews, of course. We’ve done the work for you. This article lays out the pros and cons of the best espresso grinders on the market. Your budget may help you make the ultimate decision.
You don’t need to buy the most expensive grinder to brew great tasting espresso. Check out the different features that we’ve described below to determine if the espresso bean grinder you’re considering will work for you.
You probably already have an idea of what to look for in an espresso coffee grinder. You need something that lets you control the grind and delivers a true espresso texture. Even a slight difference in the machines can affect the taste of your black gold.
When you grind a coffee bean, you increase its surface area. This changes the amount of coffee that comes into contact with the water or steam. A finer grind delivers more surface area and a stronger taste.
We make it our mission to review the best espresso coffee grinders available. We’ll let you know which one we like best, which one has the most impressive features and which one offers the best quality for its value.
In this article you will find the best espresso grinder for 2018, along with its pros & cons. You will also find an alternative, along with a comprehensive report of how it differs from the #1. We have also included a more pricier alternative, to show you what you can get if you raise your budget.
Best Choice for Espresso Grinder
Best Budget Espresso Grinder
Best High-end Espresso Grinder
The goal of each of the reviews on Let's Grind Some Coffee is to do an insane amount of research, so you don't have to anymore. We work with a number of talented and experienced writers, who know what they're talking about. Each writer is responsible for conducting his/her own research, so there's no miscommunication possible. When doing this article we only owned the Handground Precision Grinder. For conducting this article we used other product reviews, customers comments, and instruction videos and manuals.
Sometimes we've had the products in our hands to test it directly, but in most cases, we rely on other espresso machine reviews, product manuals, comment sections, Youtube videos, forum discussion and so on. This way you don't only get our opinion, but a collective opinion of experts all around the globe.
By combining all of our findings in our reviews, each article should serve as your definite resource to base your decisions on. As the research can get quite extensive, our individual product reviews tend to be very long and detailed. However, when making a "Best Pick" article like this one we try to be as comprehensive as possible. We will break down the pros and cons of each product as clearly as possible, so you know what you're buying. If you want to learn more about a product you can read its longer and more detailed review.
We base our "Best Choice" on a couple of points, including:
The feature set, build quality/durability and output quality. After we rate each finding, we have a look at its price. We want you to be able to afford the product you're interested. It's easy to get a maximum score with a product costing $5,000+. While this ultimately may be the best product you can get, its price tag will prevent most people from being able to afford it. Therefore, the price of a product is an important consideration before declaring a product the best.
For each category, we list the following options:
- What is the overall best product, based on price vs. quality?
- What is the best product under $XX (where we use a relevant budget)?
- What is the best product is money is not an issue?
This way we think we can satisfy anyone looking for a product, as well as being able to show what you can get for each different price range. After all, it's up to you whether you think a better product is worth its money, we just make sure you know what you're getting.
Don't hesitate to leave any feedback or questions in the comment section. We're more than happy to help. We're always open to adding relevant information to the article if there's an omission or if something is unclear, just let us know.
Not every coffee grinder is capable of producing the fine grind needed for making a delicious espresso. As we've said many times on this site, consistency is the key for espresso. As it's such delicate coffee, any irregularity in the process results in a too bitter, or too sour cup of coffee. Other methods like French press are more forgiving, but not espresso.
Because espresso grinding requires a high quality grinder, you'll end up spending more than with regular coffee grinder. Especially electric grinders can run in the hundreds of dollars, due to the strain caused by the fine grinding, which requires higher quality build materials. The manual espresso grinder in this article, the Handground Precision Grinder, is a bit more affordable. Because you are doing the work, a hand grinder is less prone to overheating, nor does it need an expensive motor to operate (because, well, you are the motor).
A dedicated espresso grinder like the Mazzer Mini is for those who only want the best. While this grinder produces the best coffee grind of all espresso grinders featured in this list, it can only do espresso. This means that if you want to use a different method like drip coffee, you're going to need a separate grinder. The Rancilio Rocky is an allrounder, capable of producing both espresso grinds, as well as the more coarser grinds.
The Rancilio HSD-ROC-SD Rocky Espresso Coffee Grinder looks sleek on your counter, operates quietly and grinds beans to an optimal texture. It’s a burr grinder, which produces a more consistent grind than a blade grinder.
Burrs grind a few beans at a time. They offer much more control for the size and uniformity of the final grounds. The 50 mm burrs in the Rancilio Rocky are commercial grade. This grinder will help you get coffee house beverages in the comfort of your own home.
It’s designed to grind 7.7 pounds of coffee per hour. We hope you’re not drinking that much yourself. However, if you are entertaining guests or running a bed and breakfast, you can get great use out of the Rancilio Rocky without worrying about burning it out.
One of the standout features of this espresso grinder is its quiet but powerful motor. With 166 watts, the direct-drive motor spins at 1725 RPMs. Although it’s powerful, it’s quiet. You won’t wake up the entire house as you make your brew every morning.
When you’re bleary-eyed and waiting for your a.m. espresso, you don’t want to have to fiddle with a complicated machine. That’s one of the reasons we love the Rancilio Rocky. You can pre-load it with up to half a pound of coffee so that all you do is press a button when you’re ready to grind it. However, storing beans in the grinder may leave excess oils behind. For a cleaner taste, you might want to load as you go.
To Burr or not to Burr?
Burr grinders are far superior to blade grinders, as they allow for a more consistent grind. Two burr are rotated against each other to grind the coffee, with different grind setting to get the grind as fine or coarse as you need.
To Burr or not to Burr?
Changing the grind setting is easy too. Simply unlock the lever and turn the bean hopper to the desired setting. You have 50 settings from which to choose. Therefore, you can adjust the coarseness of your espresso powder depending on your specific needs.
This is our favorite all-around best grinder for espresso. We like how reliable it is. This workhorse will give you years of optimally ground coffee. It also fits well under the cabinets on most countertops and is relatively easy to clean.
Most importantly, you can see how consistent the grind is just by inspecting the grounds. That makes for a delicious shot of espresso.
Pros & Cons
If you want to know more about this grinder, check out our Rancilio Rocky review.
Many people have fond memories of their parents’ or grandparents’ manual coffee grinders. You might recall the aroma that wafted through the kitchen as your grandmother ground the beans every morning.
The Handground Precision Coffee Grinder is the best hand espresso grinder we have found. Just because we have the technology to create electric grinders doesn’t mean that they’re the only suitable option.
This manual grinder is quiet, is portable and produces a consistent grind that’s easy to control. The 40 mm burrs are smaller than the one on the Rancilio Rocky. However, it has a triple-mounted axle that prevents the burrs from wobbling.
The burrs on this manual espresso grinder are made of ceramic. They stay cooler during the grinding process than the stainless steel burrs on the Rancilio Rocky.
On the other hand, the edges of the stainless steel burrs may be sharper than those on ceramic burrs, resulting in a higher quality grind.
Load up to 100 g of beans into the hopper at once. It’s marked off in 10 g increments, making the process easier if you don’t have a scale to weigh the beans.
If you think that manually grinding your espresso beans would be hard work, think again. The handle on this grinder is placed on the side of the machine. That makes the cranking motion more natural than when the handle is located on the top of the grinder. It stays stable while you crank it. Although grinding to an espresso fineness may require patience, it doesn’t require sweat or tears.
When you’re cleaning this grinder, stay away from the dishwasher. Don’t store your beans in the hopper. Residual oils will collect on the machine, affecting the taste.
Pros & Cons
If you want to know more about this grinder, check out our Handground coffee grinder review.
If you love your espresso and only your espresso, the Mazzer Mini may be a great option for you. It’s a higher end model, and it only produces a fine grind. We list its features and benefits in a more detailed review of the Mazzer Mini here.
As you probably already know, you have lots of options for producing a brew using espresso grounds. Some people prefer the finer grind even for cold brew. Therefore, you’re technically not completely limited to the coffee that you can produce using this finer grind, as long as your filter is capable enough.
At 58 mm, the burrs on the Mazzer Mini are larger than those on the Rancilio Rocky or the Handground Precision Coffee Grinder. Most people say that the bigger the burrs are, the better. They will grind more coffee at one time. However, that’s not necessarily an issue if you don’t produce large doses at once.
Speaking of doses, the Mazzer Mini has a doser. That means that you can put the perfect amount of grounds for your espresso shot into the portafilter basket immediately after grinding.
Newbies might find the dosing mechanism cumbersome. If you’re only brewing one shot at a time, you will be able to determine the appropriate amount of beans to use with some experimentation. Especially if you have a scale, you can produce the perfect espresso with the right amount of beans without using a doser. If you pull several shots at a time, using the doser can save you the hassle of weighing out each one separately.
This model is often purchased by people who have used and loved the Rancilio Rocky. It’s just as reliable in regards to durability, if not more so. Home Barista says it almost seems like it’s cast from a solid piece of metal.
Almost every component of the Mazzer Mini can be purchased separately. You can replace the doser lid, hopper, burrs and crumb tray if necessary.
Pros & Cons
If you want to know more about this grinder, check out our Mazzer Mini review.
These grinders are all quite different in regards to their operation and cost. Now you have a better idea of what’s available and what a high-quality grinder can do for you.
If you want the option of making something other than espresso, the Mazzer Mini may not be the ideal option for you. However, if you love your tried-and-true espresso, get ready for an even cleaner, richer taste by using any of these grinders.
We hope you found this article helpful in your search for the perfect espresso grinder. Let us know which one ends up being your favourite.