1. Mazzer Mini
2. Baratza Sette 270W
3. Baratza Virtuoso 586
4. Rancilio Rocky
5. Breville Smart Grinder Pro BCG820BSSXL
6. Baratza Vario 886
7. Breville Dose Control Pro BCG600SIL
8. Gaggia 8002 MDF
9. Capresso Infinity 565.05
10. Cuisinart CBM-18N
Finding the most suitable coffee grinder out of such an overwhelming variety, is definitely not an easy task nowadays. Among so many models and types, ranging from blade to burr and manual to electric, we decided to review only the burr type. The reason for this, is due to the fact that are the most effective and consistent in terms of output. So here we present you the most exhaustive list of the Best Coffee Grinders for 2017.
One more Italian company with over half century of history producing exclusively coffee grinders, dosers and accessories can’t be wrong. Multiple of awards won and selling in over 90 countries can certainly back this up. Mazzer Mini is a doser grinder type that is considered a prosumer level product. That means that it fills the gap between the consumer and professional levels. Built in a solid aluminum case indicates its heavy duty origin.
A 250 watt powerful but also quiet motor spinning at 1600 rpm powers the grinder. Thanks to its flat 58mm stainless steel blades it can provide consistent and fast grinding. Its micrometric adjustment has infinite points for a wide selection of fineness. The adjustment is performed by turning the top burr, which sits on 3 strong springs, using a lever and secures with screws. A timer expands its versatility by selecting the desired grinding time.
At top sits a removable transparent bean hopper of 1.3 lbs capacity, with a plug at the bottom to not spill the beans while removing. The ground coffee container can hold up to 0.44 lbs of content. Finally as a doser model its levels can be also adjusted from 5.5 to 8 grams adding flexibility.
The top burr has marked settings but it is infinitely adjustable. After choosing the preferred fineness by turning the top burr you secure it with a stop screw. It may get some practice until finding the perfect setting though. Then you just set the timer to desired grinding time and let it go. Automatically starts the grinding until it reaches zero point.
With Mazzer Mini you can produce ground for drip or French press but where it excels is the espresso, as it offers more selections around this fineness. Selecting the coarser setting produced a not so coarse ground as it is not designed for this but was truly consistent. At the other end of spectrum yielded an extremely fine and talcy ground.
Maintenance is smooth also. To remove the burrs you have to take off the stop screw and turn about 4 and a half times clockwise. From there you can clearly see the two heay duty burrs which you can clean with a brush or replace them in case of worn out teeth. Another adjustment that you can do is in the doser but first you should remove the finger protect. You simply remove the two screws that hold it and turn the center bolt which in turn alters the fins’ height. This way the ground output can change from 5.5 to 8 grams.
The Mazzer Mini is a super fast grinder that provides a wide range of adjustments. But seems that is mainly designed for espresso grounds. Although some skilled baristas claim that you can adjust it for coarser grounds, we can’t back it up. Quite bulky will steal some more space of your counter compared of course to lower grade grinders. You will only realize its professional advantage in high demanding areas such as a coffee bar or other commercial environment.
Awarded as the best product of 2016 from Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) the Baratza Sette 270W denotes premium traits. Even if you are a beginner in coffee making you will be astounded just of the look of this stylish grinder. Utilizing a patented system of gear box achieves a speed reduction of 19:1 preserving the coffee freshness. The main virtue of the 270W though is its Acaia weighting technology which allows to grind by weight directly in the portafilter. This way you can always have constantly precise weight dosing.
The grind size is adjusted using two seperate settings comprising of a macro and micro ring. The first one serves as the main adjuster indicating numbers from 1 to 31 corresponding grindings from fine to coarse. While the second one offers finer grindings in a stepless manner with letters from A to I corresponding from even finer to coarser.
On top rests a bean hopper of 10 oz capacity with a handy key at the side which shuts off bean flow. Below you can see the elegant control panels which houses 3 weight presets, 2 time and weight programming buttons plus a stop and play/pause one. The inside non rotating burr is easily accessed by fully turning the micro adjuster to the right. A unique set of rubber wrapped arms can hold a portafilter or the supplied 5.5 oz grounds bin. Adjusting the width you can also use a Hario filter. An extra arm over these that holds the portafilter can be adjusted for height.
Focused at a medium to fine grinding they are mostly useful for espresso or drip and pour over coffee respectively. We started by choosing the weight of grind through the on board panel, which does it with an accuracy of a tenth of a gram. Then we simply stored our selction into memory by pressing one of the three preset buttons. That leaves two more different preselected grind weights for repeated accuracy. Finally we just pressed the play button and immediately started the grinding.
The output was truly fine and universally consistent at a phenomenal speed. A virtually slump free grind came out again and again eliminating fluffing. In the portafilter there was a very uniform and even distribution of grind. Its vertical design and the absense of chute shown extremely low grind retention in the grinder. In contrast to common concept its 40mm conical steel burr stays still while only the outer spins.
Furthermore the built in Acaia system does a remarkable job of weighting the inserted filter and produces an accurate output repeatedly. No matter if you place a portafilter, ground bin or Hario filter you will get the correct amount of coffee everytime.
One flaw that we noticed with larger grinds was a spilling of the produced amount when pulling the portafilter of the arms. That is probably to the so fluffy output, but it is an insignificant issue and a non existent with smaller grinds. Also the noise output measured out a couple of dB’s higher than simlarly priced models but not distracitng at all.
At that price range you should always do a thorough research before buying, but with Sette 270W you can’t go wrong. Velocity and precision is the middle name of this astounding grinder. Sold officially as a premium home grinder, that could also support a low volume commercial business with reliability. Very easy to clean, well designed and on a small footprint will be the best partner for your espresso machine. If though you are still in search of a respectable one, have a look at the marvelous Gaggia Classic.
Another remarkable product comes from a very well known company specialised in state of the art coffee grinders. Baratza manufactures its conical burr grinder in Europe to ensure their high quality standard. Baratza Virtuoso excels in making a uniform grind consistently and is suitable for many kinds of coffee such as espresso, drip, manual brewing or press pot. Since 2012 their models utilize the exceptional Gearbox 2.0 that includes a drive gear filled with 15% thermoplastic. This one reduced the noise significantly, is more durable and shock resistant.
The grind can be adjusted in 40 steps, from 200 to 1200 microns. This way you can grind any kind of coffee imaginable, from espresso to french press. The slow turning but powerful motor contributes to the reduction of noise too. The speed is kept automatically at 500 RPM to ensure less heat generated and support steady beans feeding. A 60 second timer at the right side can be adjusted to replicate grinding for consistent results.
Metal parts at front and bottom add durability and provide an elegant style. Additionally a push switch is placed in front also to power up the grinder conveniently anytime. This one works in conjuction with a portafilter that should be purchased seperately. On top sits the plastic hopper that can hold up to 8 oz of coffee beans. On the other hand the grounds bin capacity is at 5 oz.
Initially you just have to add the coffee beans into the container and secure the cap. Afterwards you just have to select the grinding output by turning the conteiner itself in 40 steps. Living up to its promises the procedure is surprisingly quiet for an electrical grinder and fast!
The output was tested repeatedly for various selections and the result was always consistent for each one. The grind was decent and produced a wonderful coffee. Furthermore cleaning is very easy too. You just open the bean hopper and the ring burr is exposed. It is advised to perform this once month to prevent clogging.
The dark colored container makes it a bit hard to see if the beans are flowing or just stuck inside though. A clear transparent one would serve better. Another flaw was the timer knob which has a sloppy feeling and calibration marks are non existent. So it would need some testing until figuring out the correct position to avoid over or under grinding. In any case you can use the front power button and keep it steady for as long as you need.
Finally you should be careful to not overfill the container as the smaller bin will not be able to handle the extra amount. This way you will avoid clogging. So if you need to grind more, you should better do it in several steps.
Virtuoso is excellent for providing a grind to make a wonderful cup of coffee. The build quality is top notch, it is fast and reliable. It is a perfect match for mid to high class coffee makers such as the Technivorm Moccamaster KBT 741 which is highly recommended. It may need sometime until you find the perfect calibration but if you care about a flavorable result you should not bother at all!
We review one of the most popular coffee grinders in market from the renowned Italian manufacturer. Rancilio Rocky is available in doser and doserless version. Most of the parts and features are common for both models and obviously the main difference is the doser device. This time we take a look on the doserless model as it displays the most interest. The doserless model is more suitable for people who don’t grind massive volume of coffee and seek smaller but fresher quantity.
Enclosed mainly in a stainless steel case with some plastic parts combines style and durability. Armed with an 10.5 oz. bean hopper, 50mm flat stainless steel burrs and a slow turning but powerful 140 watt motor. Notably the hopper has a blue coating that blocks UV light and prevent the beans of going stale. Simplistic design with just a push power on at the bottom and clearly marked steps around the hopper. A lever next to the bean hopper serves as a lock for it. A removable ground tray sits at the bottom.
We filled the hopper with 4 oz. of beans and closed the lid. Adjusting the fineness is performed by pressing the lever while turning the hopper. At first we tried the coarsest setting to check if the output is suitable for French press or drip. Turning counterclockwise you meet the ending point. Next you just place the portafilter under the chute on the sturdy arms and press the push button. The output at this selection was too coarse and not the optimum for French press or drip coffee. So we had to turn the bean to a finer position. But going clockwise is not that simple.
With most of the other grinders you can adjust from coarser to finer only during running. With this one it is even more complicated. You need to hold down the lever next to the hopper and simultaneously press the power switch. It can be tricky to perform this at first but it’s absolutely feasible with the right technique. So at bout middle setting we got a nice ground for pour over.
Turning down to the finest point we got a pretty fine ground appropriate for espresso. Not suitable for Turkish coffee though. The stepped adjustment is very useful for changing frequently the output and having consistent results. So if you go from coarser to finer and then you need to return exactly where you came from you don’t have to guess.
Cleaning is straightforward too. You just turn the hopper at zero position and remove the 3 flathead screws at its bottom. From there just unscrew the top burr and by means of a clean brush you can remove the coffee residue.
Due to its doserless version it is more suitable for home use or a low volume environment, with potential for commercial use also. Very easy to use and ideal for a wide range of grounds from French press to espresso, but not for finer kinds. A great match for Rancilio Silvia espresso machine which stands at an equal quality level. Undoubtedly a clear winner in its price range.
Although a medium priced burr coffee grinder the Smart Grinder Pro is equipped with many features that can blow away similar priced grinders. It originally came as a replacement to its popular predecessor that was for many years in market. The drawback of the old model though was the limited 25 grinding settings. The new Pro version overcomes this limitation and goes more than double with a decent 60 settings.
The dose is automatically adjusted whenever you change the grind and there is an additonal option for cup or shot selection. Turning the knob at the right of the grinder will guide you by means of the bright LCD display through the grinding settings. Ranging from finer to coarser from espresso to press coffee respectively in 60 steps.
A removable tray that secures in place with magnet serves as an overflow catcher. Two portafilter cradles of 50-54mm and 58mm come with the package. Of course a grinding container is included with airtight sealing and markings for coffee volume. The removable hopper has a coffee bean capacity of 16oz which is more than adequate for most users.
As a bonus at the bottom of the base you will find a convenient cord storage. Furthermore the cable has an assist plug attached for easy and safe removal from the wall socket.
Before starting you should make sure that you insert the correct craddle into the grinder. For our testing purpose we used the 58mm. Afterwards we programmed the grinder at 12 grind size which is nice for espresso and also selected the number of shots at 4. Of course the higher the number of shots leads to longer grinding times.
The grinding process can begin by pressing the start button or simply by pressing the portafilter towards the grinder for a moment. Using the pause function you are able to settle and collapse the coffee in the filter basket. Subsequently you can reinsert the portafilter and continue the grinding. Soon we got our fresh smelling grounded coffee.
In case that you like drip filter coffee it is better to grind into a gold tone filter or into a paper filter basket. So you just adjust the grinding setting to around 50, which is the filter coffee level and place your filter under. Then just press the start button and let the grinder do its job.
If you meet the limits of the grinding range and you need the coffee even coarser or finer you can always adjust further. You simply remove the hopper and you see the top burr which can be fixed mechanically in 10 steps. That along with the electronic programming adds up to a whopping 600 different settings!
The only drawback of the grinder was its slightly lower power motor as opposed to its competitors.
A truly great competitor of the recently reviewed Baratza Virtuoso stands out with dignity. When you will try the Smart Grinder Pro you will realize how much time and money you had lost with cheap grinders. It will be hard to find a grinder with that kind of control and user friendliness at this price level. Uniform ground, super adjustable and notably quiet. A perfect companion for your coffee maker that can’t be missing of your kitchen counter.
Considered as an entry point to high end espresso grinding, Baratza Vario 886 can deliver a grind even for prosumer level machines. With features such as macro and micro grind adjustments you can have precise control of output for virtually any kind of ground. As a commercial grade grinder it makes use of 54mm flat ceramic burrs which are capable of a much more accurate grinding. On top of that they will last twice as long as a typical set of steel burrs. A powerful 180 watt but low turning DC motor gives motion to the burrs, offering low noise operation.
But power is useless without control and the Vario handles this very well. An innovative LED panel on front with three programmable buttons allows for grind accuracy stepped from 0.1 sec. All of the time adjustments are shown on a clear LCD panel. The basic grind adjustment is performed by a 10 step macro slider on the right. But each of the macro setting can be fine tuned in 20 more steps by the micro slider on the left. That makes for a whopping 200 steps in total which is more than enough.
On top there is an adequate 8 oz. conical semi transparent bean hopper. For ground collection you have the option of using the portafilter holder or the supplied 6.3 oz coffee bin. The grinder case is comprised mainly of plastic with an emphasis of metal on crucial parts such as the portafilter holder.
Operation can be done automatically or manually. Pressing each of the three buttons you can set the grinding time within 10 sec intervals. The default settings are 10 sec. for first button, 20 sec. for second and 30 sec. for the third one. However all of them can be reprogrammed down to a tenth of a second and stored in memory. Utilizing its programmable function we set the time at 12 seconds and selected an espresso grind.
After pressing the start button the grinder produced a fine espresso ground with uniform texture. The ground was consistent for any kind of setting ranging from espresso, drip coffee or French press. In addition its ceramic burrs stayed cool during operation and provided a ground full of aroma preserving its crucial oils. Notably its coffee retention remained very low, leaving very few residue in the machine. So you can be assured that you will get the most of your beans in your coffee bin.
Reaching the burrs for cleaning is a piece of cake, after removing the bean hopper. Using the supplied tool and turning slightly the top burr, until it unlocks, you can clearly see the internals. An additional trimming tool allows for calibration of burrs from below as well.
Some things to consider. Even though the portafilter is not adjustable it holds most of the portafilters well but some will require holding them. Regarding the adjustment sliders, although very functional, they are not so stable and have been reported slipping after long use. Nevertheless the company is aware of this issue and supports with an exclusive kit for this. Regarding its noise level it was not the most quiet grinder we have seen. Its mainly plastic body couldn’t hold the noise at the low levels that are capable of some other fully metal grinders.
If you need a grinder suitable for numerous brew types at a prosumer level, we highly recommend the Baratza Vario. Its multiple grind settings are more than adequate for even the most demanding situation. Very easy to adjust and program will supply ground from espresso to French press with repeatability and precision. However at this price range we would expect a more durable case, made out of stainless steel, that would keep that noise at more comfortable levels like the Mazzer Mini.
Similar priced next to its popular brother Smart Grinder Pro, features a simplistic design and easier control. Stainless steel conical burr grinders that can be adjusted in 60 steps, 12 oz. bean removable hopper and 130 watts powerful motor create a decent setup. Additionally it has a timer control that counts up to 50 seconds, which can be used as a manual control too with a standard start/stop function plus an extra pause.
In case the 60 settings are not enough you can further adjust the fineness by adjusting the upper burr. Two portafilter holders are provided which can handle from 50-54mm sizes or standard 58mm as well. As a bonus in the ground tray is included an adjustable dosing trimming tool for all the supported portafilter sizes. Most of the structure is enclosed in plastic with metal finish, which is not the most optimum choice. The top front though is made of stainless steel.
Grinding with the Dose Control Pro is really fun. After choosing the appropriate size of fineness from zero to fifty, which corresponds from finer to coarser, there ar two ways to grind. One way is by setting the timer control and the other manually using the same knob. What is interesting is that during grinding you can pause the process for a maximum duration of 10 seconds and then resume. This helps to settle the ground in the portafilter by shaking it a bit.
If you have put into the hopper the wrong beans by accident you can easily remove them by detaching from base. A useful lock inside will keep the beans in the hopper and prevent spilling over. Choosing the finest setting we collected a very talcy ground which did not look ideal. It seems that espresso coffee is not its strong point and the effect was more prominent with darker or oily beans. On the other hand the medium coarse was great for a nice drip coffee and the coarser one excellent for French press. All of the grounds were consistent which is impressive considering its price tag.
In addition the supplied razor came in very handy, as it assisted to shave the excessive ground of the portafilter and keep a steady amount into it. But if you want to use this grinder for espresso machine you should have a pressurized portafilter or else get prepared to tamp hard. Furthermore we noticed about 3-4 grams of residue inside the grinder, so you should know that you will not get full output of the beans.
Offering a lot of versatility with 50 settings plus 10 more and a creative timer control sounds like a good deal. However the lack of producing proper finer ground or the excess of plastic case gives an overall low grade feeling. Maybe not the best grinder you can get for the money and you better spend some more to go for its big brother Smart Grinder Pro.
Beloved by many users for long time the Italian made Gaggia 8002 MDF predisposes as a proper grinder for a basic setup. Some of its specs are normal sized 50mm steel burrs, regular powered 120 watt motor and typical plastic housing. Its ground coffee container has a capacity of 8 oz. and the bean hopper 10 oz. respectively. The grinding settings count up to 34 which is average in the coffee grinder world. Lots of mediocre stuff here without surprises.
Its burrs have a flat shape, which is optimum for espresso ground and driven by a gear reduction system. This way the burrs run slower and the coffee doesn’t degrade from high temperature that could be produced. Additionally there is less static charge so the motor will not stall and has a steady grinding. As a doser model is designed towards coffee drinkers that make a lot of coffee during the day. Using the doser you can have a steady flow of coffee for repeatability. In this model you get a typical 7 grams dose coming out of 6 pie shaped compartments.
Although the machine has a lot of plastic outside it is quite heavy which declares some serious equipment inside. Producing a consistent ground in a short time was not an issue. Adjusting the fineness is performed by rotating the bean hopper clockwise or counterclockwise, for finer or coarser respectively. That way you can get from espresso to French press with precision. For activation just pressing the power switch at the bottom right is enough. No highly sophisticated automatizations here.
Its portafilter holder is loose and doesn’t lock the portafilter in place properly. The same goes for the doser level which has a cheap feeling. Staying on the counter is not its strong point too. Lacking rubber feet makes the grinder move around during operation. However its main function which is proper grinding is adequate. Not the fastest machine around but quick enough processed the coffee beans flawlessly. In spite of its narrow selection range of 34 steps it supplied almost any kind of ground in favor of finer settings. But the abundance of plastic used exposed high levels of noise that we found quite annoying.
Unfortunately, cleaning was a disappointment as one of the most complicated process we have met. First you should remove the lid of the hopper where you will see 2 rubber caps. Removing them will reveal two philips head screws that you have to unscrew. Soon your hopper will be loose and you can detach it. Afterwards you have to remove two more screws that hold the top plastic piece. From there upon you have to use a 7mm wrench to unscrew two more bolts and finally you can see the burrs. If that was not enough now you have to insert the hopper into the top burr again and rotate it counterclockwise. You will hear a clicking sound like choosing the grinding setting. When this sound is off you have fully detached the top burr! From there you can continue with a clean and dry brush.
If you are stepping up from a blade grinder maybe you will get excited with this one. But if you have the slight experience with burr grinders will face a great letdown. Its cheap toy feeling makes it hard to justify its price tag. However its performance is satisfactory and the name behind it can provide a sense of assurance. From our experience you can get equal or higher quality by choosing another grinder, not apparently from Italy.
An entry level burr coffee grinder from Capresso steps in as the head of its conical burr line. Very simple and compact features a transparent bean container which holds up to 8.8oz of coffee beans. On the front side is placed the timer switch which can be set to grind from 5 to 60 seconds. According to company the Capresso Infinity can produce grind from extra fine Turkish to coarse utilizing its Swiss assembled steel conical burrs.
The adjustment of the fineness is performed by twisting the container in 16 clear marked steps. In charge of collecting the ground is a tiny 4oz see through container at the bottom. Capresso promises a low level of noise that is achieved by means of its gear reduction motor grinds. Low speed and friction could prevent heat build up and preserve the qualities of coffee. But is it everything as promised?
Removing the beans container you can see clearly the steel coniacl burrs. A first inspection reveals the teeth having wide gaps between them. That indicates that the output may not be so consistent as the typical grinder. So we placed all back and we were ready for a first round.
Using the machine is pretty straightforward. You just setup the timer at the preferred setting, that happens to be a power switch also. The numbers on it are just for reference and don’t represent anything like seconds. Just numbers from 1-10. After selection the grinder powers up and the timer starts counting backwards.
So we filled the container with coffee beans and did 3 kinds of tests each one for a different fineness. At the finest setting the ground produced was not that fine. You can easily detect the granular form that will not be suitable for your topnotch coffee maker. Moving to the next sample extracted from the fine setting we still felt the granular form but it is more consistent. Going into the medium zone turned we noticed the ground getting more steady but far from ideal.
Concerning the noise level we were expecting higher level from such a small plastic device. It turned out that Capresso did a good job on this one. As a side note, keep in mind that the container is not antistatic and the coffee sticks around after grinding. That means that you will need to tap it a bit to let the coffee settle down.
Overall seems like a nice option for drip pour over, french press but not suitable for espresso. As an inexpensive model Capresso Infinity can escort your equally cheap coffee maker. On the other hand if you already possess a premium coffee machine seek for a higher level model such as the Baratza Virtuoso or the Breville Smart Grinder Pro.
Cuisinart is a company that carries many kinds of household items at a very reasonable price range. One of their best sellers is the Cuisinart CBM-18N coffee grinder. Its main traits are the steel conical burrs, an 8 oz. bean hopper, 18 settings for grinding and a blue backlit LCD screen. At the bottom sits a trapezoid transparent coffee bin. It has also selection for coffee output, from 1-14 cups. Very basic design and features housed in a fully plastic case doesn’t impress to say the least.
Using the CBM-18N is really easy as it is a very simplistic model. Just choose the amount of coffee for grinding and the fineness. On the LCD screen you will see the selected output volume and the fineness, but keep in mind that the latter is not performed by the buttons. It is adjusted by the bean hopper by hand and you just see the reading on the LCD screen. Apart of the position number it also shows a tiny coffee cup icon to indicate the active range. The selection can be executed by a press button automatically or manually with a button next to it.
Choosing the desired output is conveniently performed by rotating the bean hopper. There are three different sections that correspond to three coffee types. From section 1-6 you can grind beans for espresso, from 7-12 it is better for drip or pour over and from 13-18 it is mostly for French press. Turning clockwise until position one you can get the finest possible ground out of it.
So at position one we found that the espresso ground was not consistent. Moving at the medium setting of drip coffee we found a higher inconsistency which unfortunately maxed out at the French press setting. The whole process was noisy and sounded mostly like a vacuum cleaner while the coffee had a tendency to stick on the coffee bin. This effect was more prominent at coarser settings. You can solve this by hitting the bin on the counter a couple of times but will not remove all the coffee from walls. Also note that you should not leave residue on the walls as the next time even more dust will add up.
A burr grinder is a nice surprise at this price range but you can’t expect too much. You get a noisy grinder with high output deviation, especially at coarser settings. Few fineness positions that don’t allow for flexibility and an odd shaped coffee bin that won’t allow easy cleaning. If you are desperately looking for a cheap burr grinder you can give it a shot, but you will get what you pay for. It is always wiser to invest some more in a grinder such as the Breville Dose Control Pro and avoid headaches.