How to choose the right coffee grinder?!

Which coffee grinder should I buy?

Here we dive into all the possible types of coffee grinders for home & cafes and which coffee grinder is the best for you.

From manual 20g hand grinders all the way up to GBW OD’s, the bee’s knees!

Here we hope to make it easier for you to choose the right coffee grinder that suits you best.

Types of coffee grinders:

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Manual Coffee Grinder

This is what is also referred to as a hand-grinder, they generally come with a detachable chamber where the grounds are stored – much like how a doser sits on the front of electronic grinders, which we elaborate more on below.

Manual coffee grinders are great for extremely small batches of coffee. They require manual twisting and turning hence the name. The possibility of achieving the perfect grind varies on the hand grinder itself, we stock a huge range of manual hand grinders, that can be suitable for anything from an extremely fine turkish espresso to a course french press. Essential in mastering the final brew.

Best for:

  • single, small brews
  • speciality grinding

Pros:

  • Can be a very cheap
  • Great for fine-tuning

Cons: 

  • Cheap versions aren’t great for speciality
  • Requires manual twists and turns

Price Range:

  • Standard – £20 – £50+
  • Professional – Up to £300+
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Electronic Coffee Grinder – O/D (On-Demand)

No doser or chamber on an on-demand grinder! It’s exactly what it (doesn’t actually) say on the tin! These grinders grind as and when you push the button, button you say?, yes, there is no timer or manual switches, it’s completely electronic and automatic, these generally come with 3 buttons:

  1. Single Dose – for single baskets/single shots
  2. Double Dose – for double baskets/double shots
  3. Touch – grinds until you stop it by tapping the touch again.

Once you’ve got your recipe, the grinder can be set to dispense a certain amount of coffee for each dose-setting as above.

This usually works on timing, but now as tech advances we now also have GBW – grind-by-weight. Which exacts precision at it’s very best, the built-in scales allow grinding to an exact weight to ensure consistency every time!

Best for:

  • cafe’s & coffee shops
  • home-user options also available
  • the freshest coffee

Pros:

  • The best type of grinder for higher quantities & fresh coffee everytime
  • More expensive options have amazing precise GBW.

Cons: 

  • Can be a little more expensive

Price Range:

  • Home – £100 – £500+
  • Business – £350 – £3,500+
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Electronic Coffee Grinder doser – Automatic

Automatic electronic coffee grinders have worked very well over the years for busy coffee shops, but as technology developed and taste-requirements grew, some customers prefer a fresher cup of coffee now, however this grinder still serves a specific purpose for busy/non-speciality coffee shops.

Essentially, the grinder continuously doses until the doser has a certain amount of doses ready to dispense (Yes, lot’s of dosing!). It will keep grinding to keep the doser full until switched off, this is great when timing is of the utmost importance.

Best for:

  • busy cafes that need quick ground coffee
  • have-to-run home-users that don’t mind a less fresh brew

Pros:

  • The fastest possible continuous dosing system
  • Can essentially keep going without waiting for a grind

Cons: 

  • Not as fresh as grinding on-demand
  • May have excess grinds at the end of the day

Price Range:

  • £250 – £3,000+
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Electronic Coffee Grinder doser – Timer

A timer works very much like an egg-timer. you just turn the knob to the desired time to grind coffee and it will keep grinding until it has reached that time. The ground coffee will dispense into the doser chamber, ready for immediate dispensing.

Best for:

  • cafes that have busy periods in the day

Pros:

  • The doser means coffee is pre-grounded ready for dispensing

Cons: 

  • Not as fresh as grinding on-demand
  • Need to keep tabs on the doser and fill up when needed

Price Range:

  • £400 – £600+
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Electronic Coffee Grinder doser – manual

A manual electronic coffee grinder, such as the one shown below, operates on a manual switch.

Simple, switch on to grind, switch off to stop.

Straight into the doser, storing the grounds for busy periods/faster output.

Best for:

  • cafes that have busy periods in the day

Pros:

  • The doser means coffee is pre-grounded ready for dispensing

Cons: 

  • Not as fresh as grinding on-demand
  • Need to keep tabs on the doser and fill up when needed

Price Range:

  • £400 – £600+
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Electronic Coffee Grinder – Single Dose

A perfect solution to baristas looking to brew outstanding coffee, without waste, for both espresso and brew methods.

A unique dose consistency and very close to zero retention. Available with the new Blow Up system on some of the Eureka range, making it possible to grind each dose while keeping the grinding chamber clean.

This type of grinder is usually paired up with a scale, the container is tared to zero and the exact amount of beans are weighed before putting them into the grinder, ensure the exact amount for your brew.

Best for:

  • home baristas that want a precise dose
  • speciality, specific grinding

Pros:

  • zero retention
  • unique dose consistency
  • no waste

Cons: 

  • requires a bit more work
  • can be expensive, just like anything!

Price Range:

  • £450 – £5,000+

Other things to look out for:

Grinder Blades / Burrs

Different types of coffee grinder blades and burrs explained:

  • Ceramic: High-strength, long-lasting. They start off less sharp than a steel blade; however they will retain their original sharpness almost indefinitely.
  • Steel: Corrosion resistant, no rust, shorter lifespan, lose their sharpness faster than a ceramic blade. But more precision in your grinding.
  • Conical: A cone-shaped centre burr and an outer serrated burr helps produce well-ground coffee time after time. Naturally energy-efficient and heat resistant. Doesn’t produce as evenly ground coffee than flat burrs.
  • Flat: Two donut-shaped burrs that face one another with very sharp edges. Allows beans to stay between the burrs until they are perfectly ground up. Louder than conical burrs. Less efficient. But more precise.
  • Burrs: Made up of two revolving burrs in between which the coffee is ground. The beans are crushed between a moving grinder wheel and a non-moving surface.
  • Blades: A chopping blade in the centre of the grinder that looks like a propeller, similar to a blade in a blender or a food processor. More power for faster grinding, but coffee grounds can be uneven in size. Can impact flavour.

Adjustability & Suitability (Course to fine)

Coffee grinder adjusting and suitability explained

Depending on what you’re brewing with, read the grinders description to ensure you can achieve the perfect grind for your brewing equipment – whether it be an espresso machine or a simple yet elegant moka pot!

The Hopper

What is a coffee grinder hopper?

A hopper is where the roasted whole coffee beans are poured into.

Look out for the holding capacity that suits your requirement, for larger grinders, you can normally upgrade the hopper sizes from 300g to 1.2kg.

The Tamper

What’s a coffee tamper?

When grinding espresso, you’ll need to tamp the ground coffee in the portafilter handle, some grinders come with a built in tamper, alternatively you can purchase a premium robust tamper to upgrade the cheap plastic ones that usually come with espresso machines.

The Display

What types of coffee grinder displays are there?

Some grinders, particularly on-demand electronic grinders come with a display, these usually show how long it is grinding for, the weight if GBW and sometimes even more vital information.

The Speed

What speed coffee grinder should I go for?

You’ll generally find the speed in the description of the grinder you’re looking at. Quality always comes first, so unless you need a rapid grinder, this isn’t usually much to worry about. If it’s really that important to be fast, start looking at a grinder-doser option. Generally the bigger the burrs the faster the grinder.

GBW – Grind by weight

What is grind by weight GBW on a coffee grinder?

This is really game-changing. Precision at it’s very best. The grinder dispenses the coffee based on the live-weight-reading. Ensure consistency in your perfect brew recipe, time after time!

Blow up system

What is a blow up system on a coffee grinder?

“The mechanism” eliminating the retention with a blow. Blow up systems, generally found on some of the Eureka range, make it possible to grind each dose while keeping the grinding chamber clean. 

  • Extremely Low Retention – Conceived for specialty coffee, the mechanism generates an air flow able to clean the grinding chamber and grind all the coffee beans, without waste, for a perfect coffee in the cup.
  • Cleaning – Conceived for supporting the barista in the everyday use. Fast, easy to use, to always provide you with a freshly ground coffee.

What else?

What else to look out for when buying a coffee grinder?

There’s a lot to consider, but generally only if you really know what you’re looking for. For most, a simple informed decision is the best.

We hope this blog helps you make the right choice – but if you really want to know what you’re getting. Get in touch and discuss with us in more detail.

What are your thoughts?

We love coffee and work hard to always provide the latest and best equipment in the coffee industry. We write these blogs to help others get information on common asked questions.

  • Did we go deep enough into the subject?
  • Was it easy and informative?
  • Did you enjoy reading this blog and did it answer your questions?

Let us know in the comments below!

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