The best coffee grinders for the homeby Ben Sibley
Freshly-ground coffee is the key to making a flavoursome cup at home. Here are the best options for making the most of your morning brew.
Reaching for a great cup of coffee? Step one is quality beans. Step two is the kit to grind them. The best grinders give you consistently-ground coffee, with particles the same size and few tiny fragments of coffees - known as fines.
Why are these qualities good for your cup of coffee? Uniform particle size ensures even, optimum extraction. Fines, due to their minuscule size, extract rapidly and contribute unwanted bitter notes. So, minimising them means maximising the full potential of your coffee's flavour profile.
The likelihood is that a commercial grinder (those you'll find on the bar at your local coffee shop) isn't the right option for your coffee making at home. Fortunately, there are a plethora of options for both manual (hand) and electric grinders. We've picked out a selection of our favourites, for all budgets.
If you're in the market for a well-made, considerately designed manual coffee grinder, the Timemore C2 is hard to beat.
For those who’ve used a Comandante, grinding with the Timemore is familiar both in terms of experience and results. As with the Comandante range, the grind setting is adjusted by turning the bottom part of the grinder clockwise (finer) or anti-clockwise (coarser).
A ‘click’ will tell you when you’ve moved the setting. Using clicks as reference points for adjustment means recipes can be easily shared between users, with no need for dialing in. No dialing in, no wasted coffee, no wasted time.
The detachable base sounds basic but the pure practicality of it means it’s one of the Timemore's key features. Unscrew the base and use it to weigh your beans, tip the beans into the top of the burr chamber and then screw the base back on. Grind the beans and unscrew the base again to pour your ground coffee into your brewer. Like all of the most efficient solutions, it’s super simple and highly effective.
For the money, this manual grinder is unbeatable. Plus, it looks pretty damn fly.
Pound-for-pound, this is - without doubt - the best electric grinder money can buy. It produces results with such quality and consistency that it isn’t far off commercial grinders that cost 15-20 times more.
The Svart Aroma's grind presets are considerably more accurate than other electric grinders at this price point. And the high-quality conical burrs provide consistency levels above its rivals. Find your sweet spot and you’ll rarely have to adjust the grind setting. Use it ten times, walk away, use it another ten times and you won’t have to change a thing.
You can grind for moka pot, you can grind for French press and the results remain excellent. Powered by a low-RPM, high-torque motor that produces minimal heat, coffee is ground in a temperature-stable environment that preserves flavour and aroma.
All of these benefits at this price point? Sound too good to be true? Its design has led to some suggesting that the Svart Aroma looks like, well, a bin. Truthfully, it’s a fair comment. But we’re less concerned with how it looks and more concerned with what it can do. And so should you be.
It’s the insatiable quest for perfection that defines a coffee professional. The desire for absolute control over every minute detail, every variable, every potential outcome. It’s a thirst seldom quenched. After all, as American philosopher Eric Hoffer opined, ‘Nature attains perfection, but man never does.'
While accepting that its nature’s world and they’re just living in it, the quest demands that the coffee professional has the very best equipment to grind their coffee.
Kinu’s flagship manual coffee grinder – the M47 Classic – is the answer.
Manual grinders are prized for their low number of parts versus their electric counterparts. Fewer parts allows costs to be allocated to higher-quality materials that are less likely to fail and more likely to deliver consistently excellent results.
This is immediately obvious with the M47 Classic. Its heavyweight stainless-steel body encases conical steel burrs which are protected with Black Fusion coating for durability. While other manual grinders weigh in at around 700g, this heavyweight tips the scales at 900g. It feels bulletproof.
The grinder is stepless - there are no preset grind settings and therefore you’re working with micrometric adjustments. Unlike ‘click’ manual grinders, you’re not moving between size 3 or 4. With the M47 Classic you’re looking at 3 to 3.1 to 3.2.
Every tiny increment is an opportunity to improve flavour. It gives you more precision than its direct rivals, most electric grinders under £500, and even many commercial grinders.
If that wasn’t enough, Kinu offers custom burrs designed specifically to grind coffee for pour over brewing. While the stock burrs are perfectly capable of delivering excellent results for Orea, Kalita, V60 brewing, the pour over burrs give even more uniform particles and even less fines.
The aim is enhanced flavour and clarity in the cup, And after using the custom burrs ourselves here in the roastery, we can’t argue with that hypothesis. If you’re brewing pour over coffee, the M47 Classic fitted with Kinu’s pour over burrs is the ultimate setup.
It should be noted that no presets means no reference points – so it will take more care and attention to find the perfect setting. If you ground coffee for espresso on Tuesday and want to make a pour over on Wednesday, you’re going to have to spend considerably more time adjusting than with a stepped grinder.
But remember, you’re a coffee professional and you’ve got infinite control over the grind size, what more do you want?
If you live, breathe and sleep coffee, you shouldn’t be buying any other grinder. The Kinu M47 Classic is a milestone for not only manual hand grinders, but domestic grinders in general.