The Best 25 Coffee Grinders of 2022

The coffee grinder is probably the a lot of underrated item of home barista gear, with lots of people spending most time choosing their coffee brewing gear, and then just buying a grinder as an afterthought. Given that you’re clearly looking for the best coffee grinders, and that you’re here, reading this post, then clearly you understand the importance of the grinder, so all good :-).

I did this when I first started getting into the home barista hobby. I spent ages researching the best espresso coffee machine for my budget (which was roughly zero at the time), and then just bought a coffee grinder without providing it much thought. Thankfully, as I’ll speak about shortly, the mill I bought turned out to be a wonderful option. 

A number of years down the line, although, I now fully find out simply how important the grinding machine is, and having used numerous coffee grinders, I likewise have quite a little bit of experience with them, so when I’m talking about the perfect coffee grinders, generally I’m talking from experience, not simply theoretically.

You’ll find lots of lists of the best coffee grinders which are merely scraped together lists with the marketing blurb just paraphrased, by someone who probably hasn’t been in the same room as any of these grinders. You won’t find posts like that here, and anyone who has read any of my posts will understand that I’m genuinely passionate about all things coffee, I put genuine time and effort into writing these posts, so the info you’re about to read is my genuine opinion on these grinders, usually from my own personal experience with them.

This post is specifically about electric coffee grinders, by the way. If you’re thinking about manual coffee grinders, see my best manual hand coffee grinders article.

The various types of coffee grinders

Coffee grinders differ primarily by their price point, not only, however mainly.

So at the extremely entry-level you’ll find blade grinders, which basically ought to be called “choppers” because blades don’t grind, nevertheless I digress. I’m not a big fan of these, I think they’re a pain to utilize, they’re noisy, and mainly due to the reality that they don’t grind, they chop – however I’m including them, because they’re the cheapest, lots of people buy them, and I think grinding your own coffee beans even with among these is usually a better preference than buying pre-ground coffee.

Next up we’ll move on to the “grinding wheel” grinders. These are a handful of grinders all with a similar design and a similar price point, and they have a couple of things in common.

1. They’re really cheap.
2. They have weird, blunt burrs, that the manufacturers refer to as “grinding wheels”.

Again, I’m not a massive fan of these for reasons I’ll explain when we get to this section, however I’m including them due to the fact that they’re cheap, they’ve very popular, and due to the truth that I think using among these is a step up from using a chopper, and certainly a step up from utilizing pre-ground. 

The next kind of grinding machine we’ll get onto is the entry-level burr grinders. There are truly rather a few of these, they’re all really similar, they have proper (usually stainless steel, conical) burrs, they tend to range from around £80 – £200, and many of these grinders are in truth fine for a lot of brewing methods, the one thing the majority of (there are one or two exceptions) of these grinders have in common, although, is that they’re all-rounder grinders, not specialist grinders, and a lot of of them won’t utilize espresso coffee with traditional baskets. 

Finally, we’ll get onto the mid-range grinders and upwards. This is where you’ll find grinders such as the Eureka Mignon, Sette 270, Niche Zero, and other high quality, popular grinders. Obviously, if you understand what type of grinding machine you’re looking for, you can literally jump to the relevant section. 

The Perfect Blade Coffee Grinders

So I’ll kick things off in the cheap seats ;-), with the inexpensive blade coffee “grinders”. Let’s be honest, these contraptions aren’t truly “grinders”, they have blades, how can they grind? They don’t perform brilliantly, in terms of particle uniformity, they produce uneven grinds, a lot of fines & many bigger chunks, and there’s no way to fix the grind size, the only thing you can control is how long you “grind” for.

So if you can, I would extremely highly advise that you skip this section and move swiftly on, nevertheless if you can’t stretch the budget & you absolutely should get one of the cheaper blade grinders, then have a look at these:

Duronic Electric Grinding machine CG250

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As far as these blade grinders go, this isn’t a bad one, well – I’d say it’s among the best of a bad bunch ;-). Unlike some of these (and yes, I’ve had the misfortune of using blade grinders) you don’t have to pick up the entire unit to empty the grinds into your brewer or portafilter, you just twist out the metal cup part, so that’s good. 

Some of the marketing blurb does have me shaking my head, if I’m honest, for example, this is listed as working for espresso, cappuccino, and Americano… The obvious error with this is that they’re all the same thing, cappuccino and Americano are of course crafted from espresso, and literally, saying that a grinding machine is compatible with espresso coffee is an error, too, even though it’s an error lots of of the coffee mill brands make. 

For me, the word “espresso” suggests traditional espresso, and traditional espresso is crafted with traditional filter baskets, which require a fine and precise grind.  Yes, you’ll probably manage to get a grind fine enough for espresso coffee with dual walled baskets, also called pressurized baskets, with one of these blade grinders and with most of the budget burr grinders, but listing them as being capable of “espresso” – can be problematic, as they’re not making it clear that this is espresso with dual walled baskets. 

If you have a budget espresso machine costing from £50-£150, then you’re probably utilizing dual walled, pressurized baskets – and if you have an entry-level home barista espresso machine such as the Gaggia Classic Pro or Sage Bambino Plus, then these come with both basic, traditional baskets, and dual walled baskets, so you can choose whether to use a higher quality mill & standard baskets or a budget mill (or pre-ground) with the dual walled baskets. 

This blade coffee mill has thousands of reviews, and most are really positive, for the money it doesn’t look like a bad punt at all, I do like the truth that it has a removable grounds cup, as I’ve referred to, and I think utilizing one of these and whole beans, would usually be a better preference than buying pre-ground. 

I say “usually”, the exception is if you’re buying coffee beans from a local roaster who’ll grind for you when you collect, or if you’re buying from me :-), all of my coffee at The Coffee works is available whole bean of course, but if you want it pre-ground, very select the pre-ground option and we’ll grind it as we’re bagging it up, on the same day of dispatch, to maintain maximum freshness:

Work with discount code CBNC25 for 25% off your first order at Coffeeworks

Muzili Family Electric Mill

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This is an even cheaper blade grinding machine, and I have got one of these – I bought it to experiment with using this type of grinder as an preference vs pre-ground, and while I concluded that I wouldn’t want to use among these vs utilizing a proper burr grinding machine, I also concluded that I’d quite have one of these than to buy pre-ground coffee beans, primarily speaking. 

Unlike the one above, this one doesn’t have a removable grounds cup, so I found it a little of a faff to dispense the grounds. It did the job, to a certain degree, but as with all grinders of this kind, there’s no way to set a particular grind size, all you can do in order to get any sort of repeatable grind is work with the same amount every time, and time the grind (chop).

I can’t deny how cheap it is, although, and to be able to work with fresh coffee beans for such a low price is impressive, it in reality is as cheap as chips. It’s worth noting that while this is sold as a multi-use “whizzer”, for use with nuts and spices too, I would just keep in mind that it can be very difficult to get strong flavours such as spices out of the blades of a machine like this, so if you do work with among these for spices and then go back to utilizing it for coffee, don’t be too surprised if you end up downing spicy coffee for a while ;-).

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If you can get beyond the brand name ;-), this appears to be a similar however mildly more premium version of the first blade grinding machine featured above, with the same sort of removable grinds cup, however by the looks of it slightly more in the way of finesse, and with multiple timer options.

The timer options seem like a good idea in fact, instead of having to remember how long you ground for to achieve a particular grind size, you can truly troubleshoot the timer wheel, so once you find a grind size that works (well, a grind time, which ought to result in a similar overall grind size) you can just leave it at that setting. 

Best Grinding Wheel Grinders

OK so next we’re moving on to what I refer to as “grinding wheel” grinders. These are sold as burr grinders, and OK, I suppose they do have burrs, nevertheless they’re what the brands themselves tend to refer to as “grinding wheels”, and what they all have in common is that they have round grinding disks which are relatively blunt.

In truth, when I’ve taken a couple of these apart to inspect the burrs, I’ve noted that the only genuine sharp surface is the heads of the screws that keep the burrs in place. 

I do think they’re a better preference than the blade grinders, however still, I’d definitely prefer “proper” burrs, to these kinds of burrs, so if you can afford to jump up just a few quid more in some cases, then I’d advise leapfrogging these and starting off at the entry-level burr grinders below.

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The GVX231 grinder by Krups has been around for almost 20 years, and I think it was the first coffee mill of this kind, which is why I’m putting it first in this section. I may be wrong, and apologies to DeLonghi if their KG79 below was first, but from what I can ascertain, the Krups is the first of this sort of mill. 

There is a newer version, the G VX2 42 but that one is a lot more expensive, it’s more expensive than some of the entry-level burr grinders, which have proper burrs, so I can’t actually see the benefit of going for that one unless I’m missing something. 

Features:

Size & Weight: 21 x 17 x 30 cm – 1.95Kg
Hopper Capacity: 225g
Burrs: Stainless grinding wheels, not a traditional burr set
Grind Settings: 17
Dosing: 12 dosage selections

My Observations

As I’ve pointed out this is among the grinders that have these blunt grinding wheels, and while in theory I’d rather have burrs than blades, and at least you can select a grind size with these, the fact is that they’re in fact crushing the beans quite than grinding them. 

Grinding coffee involves burrs that have sharp “teeth”, for want of a better word, and the beans are relatively (depending on the grinder) precisely ground up into uniform-sized chunks. OK, you always have some fines and some bigger grinds, but with in reality blunt wheels like this, you’re going get quite a bit of exploding coffee beans, leading to all manner of particle sizes. 

This grinding machine and the Krups below are very, really similar. Simply with the two units I have, it’s difficult to tell them apart, they even have the exact same brand of plug, so whether they’re made by the same factory, I’m unsure, nevertheless they look and conduct really similar, and the burrs look spookily similar. 

I’m telling you this basically so that if you’re trying to decide between one of these grinders, you don’t waste too much time choosing, as they are extremely similar. 

Espresso Grinding

An important note on this grinding machine is that as with the other grinders at this kind of price point, it won’t grind fine enough for espresso if you use basic, non-pressured baskets. As I referred to earlier, if you’re using a budget espresso coffee machine with dual walled baskets, then you’ll be able to utilize a mill like this, nevertheless, if you’re utilizing fundamental, traditional baskets, it’s unlikely you’re going to be able to grind fine enough with any of these grinders, and you likewise don’t have the fine-tuning adjustment you’d want for dialing in the grind with traditional baskets.

The blurb says it grinds for espresso coffee, as do most of the reviews – while a number of others say it doesn’t, and I think the main thing here is fundamental baskets vs pressured baskets.

I did an experiment utilizing a bag of whole bean coffee and a bag of the exact same coffee pre-ground, both supplied by Blue Coffee Box.

I ground the beans via the Sage Smart Grinder Pro, the Krups coffee grinder, and also the De’Longhi KG79.

Via the Smart Coffee grinder Pro, I was able to get ideal results, with plenty of range left (I was at about setting 16, so nowhere near finest). With the Krups GVX231, and the De’Longhi KG79, I couldn’t get anywhere close to acceptable via fundamental baskets, so very under-extracted espresso.

With pressured (or Dual-Walled baskets, as Sage calls them) baskets, I got the kind of espresso coffee I’d expect from pressurized baskets. So if you’re using a budget espresso coffee machine that comes with pressured baskets, as the majority of of them do, then you ought to find the Krups grinders, and the De’Longhi KG79 is fine – however I wouldn’t expect to get fine enough to utilize with basic baskets.

For manual brewing methods like pourover, drip coffee machines, Aeropress and so on, you’ll be able to grind fine enough, but still, I’d recommend going for a coffee grinder with proper burrs if you can, as the improved particle uniformity these will provide, must translate into better cup quality.

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The DeLonghi KG79 is another coffee mill that has been around a long time, and as I’ve simply said, this is extremely, very similar to the Krups grinder above. It’s a bit more petite than the Krups, and it’s mildly lighter, plus it does have a smaller hopper at 110g – however they’re extremely similar grinders, with “burrs” (grinding wheels) which look pretty much identical to me.

Features:

Size & Weight: 16 x 13 x 26 cm. 1.5Kg
Hopper Capacity: 120g
Burrs: Stainless grinding wheels, not a regular burr set.
Grind Settings: 17
Dosing: 12 dose selections

My Observations

This is marketed as a “professional” coffee grinder. No, very no! Stuff like this basically winds me up, I don’t discover why marketing people have to make such huge jumps into alternate realities when writing marketing blurb.

This is not a professional mill, to call it a professional coffee mill would indicate it’s for professional work with, which would make it a commercial grinder that a Barista may work with, and, no… definitely not! Commercial grinders cost thousands of pounds, I’m sure no one expects a grinding machine costing basically a few tenners, is going to be a commercial coffee mill. 

But forgetting that, this is an incredibly low cost grinding machine that as with the Krups, will give similar results to blade grinders, but I think simply a little bit better control over grind size, as you can change the actual distance between the burrs in order to change the grind size, quite than just changing the time as is the only control you have over the blade grinders. 

There are lots, and lots of really good reviews about this grinding machine, from users who state it’s good for a range from Espresso to cafetiere, while some complain that it won’t grind fine enough for espresso, and as I discussed earlier, this will just come down to whether you’re utilizing a standard basket or pressurized basket. 

I’ve used all three of the grinders in this section, and I think they’re all a much of a muchness to be honest, especially where particle uniformity is anxious, and none of them are brilliant in this regard,  you do get quite a lot of fines, and larger chunks of ground coffee (boulders) as I’d expect from such a cheap grinding machine with these dull burrs.

It does grind fast, so the beans do become heated to a certain extent. But when all said and done it’s an exceptionally cheap grinding machine, and it will do the job as well as any other coffee grinder at this price in my opinion.

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The Melitta Molino has been around for a few years, occupying a similar space to the Krups & Delonghi grinders above, and it’s an incredibly similar preference, with the same dull “burrs”, and again this is an choice for anyone who just can’t currently afford to spend another £20-£30 on a grinder which has proper burrs.

Features

Size & Weight: 9.5 x 16.5 x 25.5 cm – 1.6Kg
Hopper Capacity: 200g
Burrs: Stainless grinding wheels, not a classic burr set.
Grind Settings: 17
Dosing: 14 dose selections

My Observations

As I’ve said, I do think it’s a case of splitting hairs, actually, among these very cheap grinders. I’ve used all three, and there’s really not a excellent deal of difference, in truth with the experience I’ve had of these three grinders, I’d just say if you’re going for one of these, go for the perfect deal you can get. 

At the time of writing, for example, the Molino is available for a price cheaper than even the blade grinders above, and it’s quite a little bit cheaper than the other two in this category, so I’d grab this if I was wanting a basically cheap coffee mill and I wasn’t too fussed about getting a better cup quality by investing in a mill with proper burrs. 

Perfect entry-level burr grinders

So now we’re moving up to the entry-level burr grinders, and these start at around the £50/£60 mark.

Keep in mind, though, that if you’re looking for a coffee grinder for espresso, many of the budget burr grinders in this category are fine for dual walled baskets, but aren’t compatible with traditional baskets, as they won’t rather go fine enough and the grind adjustments aren’t small enough for the fine tuning you’ll need to do when dialing in with traditional non-pressured baskets. 

I’ll point out in my observations for each one, whether or not it’s capable of espresso coffee with basic baskets.

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There was a low cost coffee mill around for a while, which I thought was basically actually good for the money, and better than the majority of the other similar priced options. This grinding machine was discussed as “Sboly”, which I found a bit of a strange name. You’ll see my review of this mill below.

The reason I mention this is that this grinder appears to be the Sboly’s long-lost twin ;-). 

Features:

Size & Weight: 19.3cm wide x  24.3cm deep x 31.2cm tall. 2.2 Kg
Hopper Capacity: 200g
Burrs: stainless steel conical burrs
Grind Settings: 19
Dosing: 12 dosage selections

My Observations

This coffee mill is about the lowest price “proper” burr coffee mill available in the UK.

There was a grinder known as “Sboly” which I reviewed (video above), and which really quickly became an incredibly popular grinding machine, because it has proper conical burrs, and it’s actually extremely good for the money. What tends to happen, and this happens with some of the lower cost espresso machines too, is that a factory will produce the machine, and various businesses will buy them and sell them under different brand names.

This is why you’ll see some cheap espresso machines which look identical but have different brand names. Not basically with coffee related products, this kind of thing occurs in most product categories.

I’m assuming this is what’s happening here, as the Sboly coffee grinder disappeared a while ago, however now this coffee grinder is available in the UK which appears to be the identical coffee mill – and I’m glad it has due to the fact that I do think this is a cracking little mill for the extremely small cost. 

When I say “proper” burr grinder – as I’ve pointed out, the grinding wheel grinders in the last category I explained do have “burrs”, but they’re these blunt “grinding wheel” burrs, which I believe are better than blades, however not as good as proper burrs, at least where particle uniformity is worried.

So the reason I think this coffee grinder is worth looking at, is that for the price, I think it’s the cheapest grinding machine on the market that has proper burrs. I bought this grinding machine, and the previous sboly version which appears to be identical, and the burrs these grinders have look very similar to the 38mm conical burrs used in several of the other grinders which are all close to or more than double the price in some cases.

It’s worth pointing out though that this is still an incredibly cheap coffee grinder, you’re not investing in a brand name, so it’s worth being mindful of the fact that you’re taking a risk by taking a punt on an unknown brand. If you want to up the investment slightly to take a little less of a risk on a known brand, keep going and you’ll find some brands here that you understand, including Gaggia & Sage.

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The Melitta Calibra is a relative newcomer, but Melitta themselves indeed aren’t. Melitta invented drip coffee!

Back in 1908, a lady by the name of Melitta Bentz began experimenting, with the goal of making a cleaner cup of coffee. What she created was the first known filter holder and drip filter for coffee.

This was a long time ago, of course, and the Melitta company has come a long way since then, but they’re still in coffee, producing bean to cup coffee machines, filter coffee machines, and more recently coffee grinders.

Features:

Size & Weight: 37 x 12 x 23 – 2.4Kg
Hopper Capacity: 375g
Burrs: 40mm stainless steel conical burrs
Grind Settings: 39
Dosing: Manual and by weight

My Observations

This is an interesting coffee mill from Melitta, for the price, and to me the many interesting thing about this budget grinding machine is the integrated scales. I think this is an incredibly clever touch, though it’s worth noting that the scales are at the bottom where the grinds container sits, and not in the hopper itself, and I didn’t find them to be massively accurate if I’m honest.

I’ve seen this coffee grinder getting a little bit of stick in the reviews for this, due to the truth that of course if you’re grinding directly into a portafilter or into a brewer that you can’t balance on the bottom bit, you can’t use the scales. The reality is though it is in fact rather an ask to build scales into grinders in any other way than Melitta have done here. 

It’s possible, but the grinders that have such ability are usually a heck of a lot more expensive than these sub £100 grinders. What I’d say is if you’re wanting to grind for espresso coffee, get a dosing cup that fits your portafilter, put this on top of something that will fit on the scales, to raise the dosing cup up so it’s closer to the grinds chute, tare the scales and then load your portafilter this way.

Keep in mind that when I talk about utilizing a portafilter, this won’t go fine enough for espresso coffee with standard baskets, however it will work fine for pressurized baskets. I did try this, and on the really finest setting, even with really darker roasted beans (which usually don’t require rather as fine a grind) I wasn’t able to get a shot time anywhere near what I’d be happy with.

I in truth like the way you just have to push the button to eject the hopper, and that when you do that the hopper automatically locks so you don’t get coffee beans all over the place.

In a nutshell, I’m in truth impressed with this mill, for the price, when it comes to manual brew methods such as pourover, Aeropress, and cafetiere – and espresso with pressurized baskets.

Gaggia MD15 coffee mill.

Gaggia MD15 mill.

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The MD15 from Gaggia is a conical burr coffee mill that they’ve launched specifically for their lower end espresso coffee machines, the Gran Gaggia, Carezza, and Viva, and for the Gaggia Classic Pro with the pressurized baskets (the Classic Pro comes with both basic and dual walled pressurized baskets).

Features:

Size & Weight: 19.3cm wide x  24.3cm deep x 31.2cm tall. 2.2 Kg
Hopper Capacity: 350g
Burrs: 38mm stainless steel conical burrs
Grind Settings: 15
Dosing: On demand and 5 dose selections.

My Observations

For decades, Gaggia had the Gaggia MDF grinding machine, which I always thought was a bit of a funny one, as it was a mill aimed at the domestic market but had a doser.

Doser grinders are the grinders you’ll be familiar with from seeing baristas in cafe’s frantically flapping the doser lever to dispense coffee that has already been ground and is sitting in the doser for fast access for the next few shots, and these sort of dosers aren’t truly suitable for home utilize. 

Anyway, as far as I could see the truth the MDF was a doser grinding machine was the only thing that put off most people from pairing their Gaggia Classic with this grinder, so when I heard Gaggia were bringing a new doserless coffee grinder to the market, I was simply excited to see what they were going to produce. What they came out with wasn’t at all what I was expecting, to be perfectly honest.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with the new Gaggia MD15 Mill, however what they’ve crafted is a coffee grinder great to pair with the lower cost Gaggia espresso coffee machines such as the Gran Gaggia and Gaggia Viva, and all other cheaper domestic espresso coffee machines utilizing pressurised baskets. 

I was expecting them to bring out a grinder intended as the great pairing for their flagship traditional espresso coffee machine the Gaggia Classic Pro, however that’s not at all with the MD15 is, it’s a grinding machine suited to utilize with pressurized espresso baskets and manual brew methods, it won’t grind fine enough for espresso with standard, traditional espresso baskets. 

So simply keep in mind, if you’re looking for a coffee grinder to pair with something like the Gaggia Classic, Sage Bambino Plus, Rancilio Silvia, and so on, with traditional espresso coffee baskets, this isn’t the right mill to look at.

Nevertheless if you’re fine with pressurized baskets, or if you’re grinding for manual brew methods such as filter & cafetiere, then I think the MD15 is well-positioned to compete with the other options. 

Best Coffee Grinders. Gaggia MD15 dosage selection.

Best Coffee Grinders. Gaggia MD15 dosage selection.

It’s rather a nice looking little coffee mill, it’s truly modest to work with with grinding volume (dose) selections in the form of coffee beans, and it’s not especially loud.

All in all, for the price, which is only forty or fifty quid more than the likes of the Delonghi and Crups grinders (and this is definitely a better choice as it has proper burrs, as I’ll talk about when I come to those grinders), I don’t think this coffee mill is a bad preference as long as you don’t want a grinder for espresso coffee with fundamental baskets.

By the way, if you were looking at the Sboly mill, which is a budget coffee mill which used to feature on this page until it completely disappeared from existence fairly lately for some strange reason, I’d advise looking at the Gaggia MD15 instead. It’s a few quid more than the Sboly mill was selling for, but not a great deal – it has really similar features, but the Gaggia is just a little of a nicer built machine and is almost as inexpensive.

If you’re thinking of buying this grinder, if you order it from Gaggia Direct, utilize the discount code COFBLMD15 and you’ll get the coffee grinder for £60 less than RRP (until end of July 2022).

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This is an incredibly interesting looking grinding machine from Barista & Co, for grinding for manual brew methods, with among the most interesting features being the easy removal of the coffee mill unit, the part which houses the burrs.

Features:

Size & Weight: 34.5cm tall, 11.5cm wide, 22cm deep. 2.3Kg
Hopper Capacity: 240g
Burrs: 29mm stainless steel conical burrs
Grind Settings: 40
Dosing: On demand and timed with 10 second increments.

My Observations

Barista & Co have come up with a different, and rather intriguing design for this mill, with a removable grinding unit. This part can be easily removed to clean, which means it can be easily replaced too.

I do think this needs to probably be more obviously marketed as a grinder for manual brew methods or for espresso only with dual walled baskets. The reality that this mill comes with a portafilter cradle would give buyers the impression that it’s a mill for espresso, and even though they do state on their website that this isn’t an “espresso specific” mill, what they don’t explain clearly is that as many of the other grinders in this category, it’ll grind fine enough for using with dual walled, pressurized baskets, nevertheless not for traditional baskets.

Having said that, Barista & Co have responded to some of the Amazon reviews (which is impressive as it’s quite rare to find a brand replying on Amazon) explaining that they’ve lately tweaked this grinder to be able to grind finer for espresso coffee, and that if anyone has a mildly older model which doesn’t have this modify, they gave their email answer and asked customers to email them for instructions to tweak their coffee grinder to grind finer.

I’m not totally sure what the crack is here if I’m honest, because there are recent reviews (current at the time of writing) that contradict each other where grinding for espresso coffee is anxious, with one user saying they choked their Sage Bambino at a finer setting, with standard baskets, however with another user saying that it doesn’t grind anywhere near fine enough for espresso with basic baskets. 

This could of course be that it’s two users utilizing different espresso coffee machines and very different coffee beans, but it could likewise be an indication that the newer models will grind much finer, and it could be that the person singing its praises (who bought a few months later on. compared to the other guy) has a newer model with the finer grinding ability.

Interestingly this is the only conical mill I’ve seen so far with a 29mm burr set, the majority of in this category have slightly bigger 38mm burrs. In theory, this does mean that the burrs will have to spin at a higher RPM to match the grinding speed of a coffee mill with bigger burrs, however, they’re extremely keen on pointing out in their marketing blurb that this grinding machine ensures a excellent particle uniformity, so I’m assuming they’ve chosen this burr size for a specific reason. 

Wilfa Svart coffee grinder

Wilfa Svart coffee grinder

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Features:

Size & Weight: 20cm wide x 15.5cm deep x 31.2cm tall. 3.9 Kg 
Hopper Capacity: 250g
Burrs: 40mm stainless steel conical burrs
Grind Settings: 17 (34 if you count the half steps)
Dosing: Timer

My Observations

The Wilfa Svart, while saying it out loud may sound a little bit weird (Wilfa’s Fart?) is a fairly popular coffee grinder at this price point, particularly for manual brew methods. 

I’ve used this grinding machine, and while being entirely honest I don’t think there’s much difference in grinds quality and therefore cup quality between this coffee grinder and some of the cheaper 40mm conical burr grinders, the build quality is noticeably better on the Svart vs some of the cheaper, similar grinders – I likewise think it’s a few decibels quieter than some of the cheaper options. 

The hopper is turned in order to fix the grind, and there are handy instructions on the hopper to tell you roughly what grinding range you’re within. 

Remember, no question what coffee grinder you choose, you’ll need great coffee beans to produce perfect coffee. These are the beans that I use daily:

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Baratza Encore

Baratza Encore

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Features:

Size & Weight: 11.94 x 16 x 35.05 cm 3.09 Kg
Hopper Capacity: 227g
Burrs: 40mm stainless steel conical burrs
Grind Settings: 40
Dosing: On demand

My Observations

The Baratza Encore is a grinder which has been around for a good few years now and is one of the a lot of popular entry-level grinders, particularly for manual brew methods, and for espresso coffee with pressurized baskets. Baratza is owned by Breville, by the way (who we know as Sage, in the UK), which is only basically anecdotal information as they are run as completely separate businesses.

It has 40mm conical steel burrs, and a DC motor geared down to 450 RPM, with the intention of reducing heat generated while grinding, and also reducing noise and static. 

With the second generation gearbox, the encore is more durable and quieter than the first version, and Baratza apparently did some truly vigorous testing of the failsafe built in to stop the grinding machine from breaking if foreign objects end up in the burrs, by trying to grind metal screws, which lead to everything stopping instantly and the thermal cutout being triggered, with no damage to the gears or the motor.

If you do accidentally grind a rock, or even worse a diamond, you’d be best checking the burrs for damage (especially if it was a diamond as those things are tough! But if you do find a diamond in your coffee beans you’ll probably be able to afford replacement burrs) nevertheless it’s unlikely that any damage will be done to the rest of the grinding machine. 

The Encore has 40 grind settings, and it’ll do fine for manual brew methods, but, if you’re looking for a grinder for espresso coffee, the Encore won’t rather get fine enough for espresso coffee with standard filter baskets.

If you have a lower cost domestic espresso machine such as the Swan Retro, Gran Gaggia or DeLonghi Dedica EC685 with pressurised baskets, the Encore ought to be fine for you.

As far as these kinds of grinders go, which are geared towards manual brewing or espresso coffee only with pressurised baskets, I think the Encore is among the perfect quality choices, nevertheless it’s among the the majority of expensive too, so it needs to be in fact.

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This is the slightly cheaper and slightly shorter sibling of the Smart Coffee mill Pro, below, and it’s more or less the same grinder but without the digital grind size controls, timer programming and LED display.

Update: Sage Discount Codes!
If you’re in the UK and you’re thinking of buying any Sage coffee brewing equipment or coffee mill (or any other product from Sage Appliances) you might want to drop me an email. Click here to join my “Brew Time” mailing list, and then email me ([email protected]) to see if I have a recent discount code to Share. Sage Appliances sometimes share codes with me, I can’t publish them – and there’s no point as they’re usually time-limited anyway, however they do allow me to share them with subscribers via email.

Features:

Size & Weight: 20(W) X 16(D) X 34(H)cm. 3.54Kg
Hopper Capacity: 340g
Burrs: 38mm stainless steel conical burrs
Grind Settings: 60
Dosing: On demand and timed

My Observations

This is the first coffee mill so far that I’m featuring (by price) which is capable of espresso coffee with fundamental baskets, and this is a great all-rounder mill, capable of a wide range of brew methods from cafetiere to espresso – and as I’ve explained, it’ll get you fine enough (with most coffee beans) for espresso with traditional baskets, too.

This is the slightly more budget sibling to the Sage Smart Coffee mill Pro which I’ll discuss shortly, and the main differences are that it has a slightly lower-powered motor (130W vs 165W) and that you fix the grind via the hopper while on the smart coffee grinder pro there’s an LCD screen and a grind adjustment dial, oh and the hopper is mildly smaller and holds fewer beans too, 240g capacity vs 450g.

While this isn’t an espresso specialist grinding machine, I think it’s about the cheapest coffee mill on the market which is capable for espresso coffee with traditional baskets, and it likewise has fairly small grind adjustments, however being a stepped coffee mill it is very quick and modest to make big grind adjustments. So let’s say you’re dialed in for espresso coffee but you need to grind for cafetiere or filter, you can easily jump up to the desired grind size, and then jump straight back to where you were.

Espresso specialist grinders usually have stepless adjustment, which makes them excellent purely for espresso coffee, however not so truly good for jumping around to grind for different brew methods. 

The Iberital MC2 Grinder with the Gaggia Classic.

The Iberital MC2 Coffee grinder with the Gaggia Classic.

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The Iberital MC2 is among the very cheapest espresso specialist grinders, it sits in between the Sage Dose Control Pro and Smart Mill Pro in terms of price, it’s not as good looking, it’s not as user friendly or visually appealing as the Sage grinders, and it’s a little messy, but I simply can’t argue with how well it performs for espresso, given the price. 

Features:

Size & Weight: 16.5cm(W) X 27cm(D) X 37.5cm(H). 4.5Kg
Hopper Capacity: 500g
Burrs: 38 mm stainless steel conical burrs
Grind Settings: 60
Dosing: Timed

My Observations

The Iberital MC2 is an Italian made coffee grinder, that someone made me aware of via a Facebook article a while back, singing the praises of this low-cost grinder. Intrigued, I got hold of one & tried it, which was then given away to a lucky coffeeblog reader.

At the time this coffee mill was quite a little bit cheaper than it is now, thanks to Brexit, Covid, and so on, this grinder has increased in price quite a little, and by quite a little more than numerous of the other prices have increased, so the difference in price between this and the dosage control pro, for example, isn’t as much as it once was, nevertheless it’s still a affordable mill given how well it performs for espresso.

The MC2 is in reality an espresso grinder, and still, at the newly increased price, it’s probably one of the cheapest espresso specialist grinders. This isn’t an all-rounder coffee grinder like the Sage grinders, it has a worm dial adjustment which is great for fine-tuning, but not wonderful for creating big changes to alter from one brew recipe to another. 

I wasn’t a big fan of the timer only grinding, I do like the ability to grind on demand, and I found it to be a little more messy than other grinders, it’s definitely a bit of a rough diamond, the grind button popped off a couple of times, it’s quite clear that most the build cost here has gone into performance. There are no bells or whistles here.

If you’re after a mill purely for espresso coffee even though, the MC2 is definitely worth considering if you’re on a especially tight budget, as it’s a lot of coffee grinder for the cash, purely based on performance.

For more see my Iberital MC2 mill review.

Nemox Lux Coffee Grinder

Nemox Lux Coffee Grinder

Check Price – Gaggia Direct

The next entry-level burr coffee mill up, in price, is the Nemox Lux, which is basically the same grinding machine internally as the Iberital MC2, but in a nicer, more aesthetically pleasing shell, and with stepped adjustment. 

Features:

Size & Weight: 9.5cm(W) X 18cm(D) X 30 cm(H). 2 Kg
Hopper Capacity: 500g 
Burrs: 38 mm stainless steel conical burrs
Grind Settings: 10
Dosing: On demand

My Observations

This is essentially the Ibertial MC2, however less rough around the edges, and with a stepped grind adjustment. 

There’s no doubt this is a nicer looking and sturdier sensation grinder than the MC2, and to be honest my only problem with it is that I find the stepped adjustments to be too big. I mean, they were always going to be – I’m in truth not rather sure what they were thinking if I’m honest. I can only assume that they wanted to make a stepped adjustment coffee mill that was really easy to make big adjustments, and they weren’t literally thinking about espresso coffee. 

If they were aiming this coffee mill purely at manual brew methods, then OK I’d still think 10 is a little on the low side, more like 15 – 20 would be have been better, however the fact is, this coffee grinder will go fine enough for espresso coffee, so it’s a shame given that this is the case, that they’ve not also given it at least some level of fine-tuning ability. 

I’m not saying they ought to have added a worm dial, although to make it available as a worm dial preference I think would have been an very popular option, actually, I’d hazard a guess that if they sold such an option it would outsell the other version by many times. But at least they could have given us more than 10 grind settings. 

Anyway, they haven’t, so the Lux isn’t best for espresso, it’s a good all-rounder for manual brew methods and it will grind fine enough for espresso coffee with basic baskets, however getting dialed in I found it to be a little of a pain, thanks to the big grind adjustments. You can mod it, to add a worm dial, by the way, but it just seems like a little of a faff.

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I’ve had one of these grinders for over six years at the time of writing, and I think it’s a brilliant coffee mill. In my modest opinion, if you’re looking for a fantastic allrounder grinder and you want the ability to grind for espresso coffee with standard baskets too, then this is probably the best of this sort of grinding machine, for this sort of money. 

Features:

Size & Weight: 22(W) X 15(D) X 38(H). 4.1Kg
Hopper Capacity: 450g
Burrs: 38 mm stainless steel conical burrs
Grind Settings: 60
Dosing: On demand & timed

My Observations

If you’re looking for user friendliness and beginner friendliness, I don’t think you’ll find a mill to beat the Sage Smart Coffee mill Pro, at this price, particularly if you want a grinding machine for multiple brew methods, as it’s so easy to make big grind adjustments with this coffee mill and easily find your way back to where you were. 

The price of these grinders has increased recently with basically about everything else, so while these used to be a sub £200 coffee grinder, they’ve increased in price by about a tenner, so they’re literally over the two hundred quid mark now, however – I do sometimes have discount codes, do it’s worth emailing me ([email protected]) to ask if I have a recent discount code. If I do, I’ll send it to you.

See my Sage Smart Coffee grinder Pro Review

Sage (Breville as they’re known everywhere else, they sold the brand name in Europe in the 80s, so the Breville we understand of here is a different brand) are extremely clever, and they really do make smart products, especially where user-friendliness is concerned. 

So with this coffee mill there’s an LCD display, which tells you what grind size you’re at and what brewing method you’re in the range of with that setting, it has 60 grind settings, you can dose on demand or via a timer, and it comes with a portafilter cradle for using for espresso, and with a grinds container for manual brew methods. 

There’s simply not a lot I can say about the Smart Coffee mill pro when it comes to negatives. 

If you do enough science you will find some people saying that the impellers wear, which causes issues after a few years of grinding – this was actually resolved several years ago when they started creating the impeller (the fan-shaped component that is responsible for brushing the grounds into the chute) out of a sturdier material, so don’t be put off if you read about that. 

I’ve ground a heck of many coffee with mine over the years, and I’ve had no issues with the impeller, not only have I found it extremely simple to use, nevertheless it’s been a genuine workhorse, too. 

I have to admit, I’ve not really looked after my smart coffee mill pro when it comes to keeping it clean, I’ve not extremely maintained it as well as I needs to have, and still, it’s been brilliant.

As I’ve come to expect from Sage coffee Machines the Smart coffee mill pro excels when it comes to user-friendliness. As you’ll see if you watch my video above, it’s just ridiculously easy to use, it simply is smart. It grinds more than fine enough for espresso and will grind for the majority of brew methods including cafetiere, Aeropress & pourover.

The only harmful for espresso is that worm dial adjustment grinders (see the Iberital MC2 below) give you a slightly better ability to finely tune in the grind, this is a stepped grinder though the steps are really small.

Likewise when grinding for espresso the smart grinding machine pro does create slightly clumpy grinds, however I think this is probably just down to small conical burrs, and you can easily sort this with the WDT recipe, which simply involves using a pointy implement to distribute the grinds in the basket and break up the clumps.

Best mid range & upwards coffee grinders

OK so we’ve dealt with the entry-level, now to talk about what I’m referring to as mid-range for want of a better word, and upwards. 

Rancilio Rocky.

Rancilio Rocky.

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The Rancilio Rocky has been around for ages and is probably on the underrated side. Some will argue that it’s overrated, this may have been the case in the past, but these days it’s not that often that this coffee grinder will come up in conversation, and as the cheapest proper flat burr coffee mill on the market, I think it’s an exceptionally worthy option at this price.

Features:

Size & Weight: 12 x 25 x 35 cm – 7 Kg
Hopper Capacity: 300g
Burrs: 50mm tempered steel flat burrs
Grind Settings: 55
Dosing: On demand 
Motor power: 166W
RPM: 1725
Special features: Very solid build quality

My Observations

As I’ve said, this was once an exceptionally popular mill, particularly when paired with the Rancilio Silvia, for obvious reasons, but I think there’s just so much competition at the entry-level that the Rocky probably doesn’t seem like the most obvious preference, but the reality is that this is the cheapest flat burr coffee grinder I’m aware of, it’s a good £12o cheaper than the Eureka Mignon Manuale at the time of writing, and all things considered It think it’s worth a look.

It’s an exceptionally well made, sturdy mill, with high quality 50mm tempered steel flat burrs, and to me, it looks more along the lines of a small commercial coffee mill. I’ve put the build quality as the special feature due to the reality that even though this is a no-frills grinding machine, there are no bells or whistles, the build cost has clearly gone into the components and build quality, as it does look and feel extremely solid and sturdy considering the relatively low price.

The only thing I think is a bit of a pain, is that you simply need four hands to operate this coffee mill, if you’re to do it adequately. You in truth needs to have the grinding machine running when adjusting the grind, at least while adjusting it finer, and this is true with any grinder, but you have to push a little bit paddle down while turning the hopper to fine-tune the grind. If you’re doing that, that’s your two hands busy, how are you going to hold the portafilter, and how are you going to press the grind button? 

You could single dose, and if you’re single dosing (just throwing in the beans you’re about to utilize) then you’ll probably be fine adjusting the grind both ways while it isn’t running, in which case two hands should suffice.

By the way, you’re clearly interested in improving cup quality given you’re looking to upgrade your grinding machine (unless it’s your first coffee grinder, of course, but in any case, this will still be relevant) but what about upgrading the quality of your coffee beans? Can I recommend some incredible quality, freshly roasted coffee beans, I hear you ask – sure :-). Here’s a shameless plug…

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Baratza Sette 270

Baratza Sette 270

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The Sette 270 is definitely a mill I think you must have on your shortlist if you’re looking at the entry to mid price range and if you’re looking for a coffee grinder for espresso coffee and/or pourover, and if you’ve read negatives about this mill or if you have a unwanted impression of it for some reason, I’d highly recommend reading below about the changes Baratza have crafted to this coffee mill. 

Features:

Size & Weight: 13cm wide x 40cm tall x 24cm deep. 3.2Kg
Hopper Capacity: 285g
Burrs: 40mm conical steel Etzinger burrs
Grind Settings: 30 stepped macro adjustments & stepless micro fix with 9 indicators.
Dosing: On demand plus three programmable timed presets
Motor power: 240W
RPM: 550
Special features: Ring burr drive system – direct grind path, for lower retention.

My Observations

The Baratza Sette may seem to be a coffee mill that callsfor no introduction, but it probably callsfor a re-introduction, as I get the impression that lots of people aren’t aware of the fairly standard changes that have been crafted to the Sette 270.

This is a 40mm conical steel burr coffee grinder, and it’s a coffee grinder that has been primarily well accepted within the home barista market along with the Eureka Mignon as one of the obvious choices for an entry to mid-level burr mill, particularly for espresso coffee although it’ll work well with manual brew methods too.

One of the changes I’m referring to is that as well as the 30 macro grind steps, meaning bigger grind adjustments, there is an additional stepless micro-adjustment for espresso. I think this is genius and is something I think Baratza has truly got right with the latest iteration of the Sette 270.

Any mill that is intended to be used for espresso and/or for manual brew methods simply need the ability to make macro and micro adjustments, and I’m surprised, if I’m honest, that all of the other coffee grinder brands haven’t followed suit here, as it just steeps sense. 

The other alter is that they’ve introduced a totally new drive system which spins the outer ring bur instead of the central conical burr. What this means is that the coffee falls directly into the grinds chute, and this leads to a lower retention, of approximately one gram, I’m told. 

In case you’re not familiar with retention, grinds retention, or more specifically what’s mentioned as “exchanged retention”, refers to the coffee that ends up in your basket, or your brewer, or whatever, the next time you utilize the grinder. What this indicates is that if we don’t want to utilize some stale coffee when we brew for the first time of the day, we need to purge some coffee to ditch that exchanged retention, and we also have to purge each time we troubleshoot the grind, or we’ll be using a mix of grind sizes. 

How much you need to purge depends on your mill and how much it retains, and this is exactly what the Niche Zero was built to answer, which will feature shortly, as this is a grinder that achieves really close to zero retention, and is brewed as a single dose mill, meaning you weigh the beans before you chuck them in, quite than filling a hopper and then weighing the ground coffee. 

However this change on the sette 270 truly puts it really close to the Niche Zero in terms of grinds retention, so it’s a big deal. 

The reason I explained earlier that this grinding machine is good for espresso coffee and small batch pourover, is because, with a grinding range of 230–950 μm, it’s primarily geared up towards finer grinding. It’ll work well for small-batch pourover brewing with Kalita Wave, Hario V60 & Chemex, however if you’re wanting to go more coarse than this for cafetiere and/or bigger batch filter brewing, you may find this doesn’t quite have the necessary range on the more coarse side of things.

Eureka Mignon Specialita Coffee Grinder

Eureka Mignon Specialita Coffee Grinder

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Features:

Size & Weight: H: 350 x W: 120 x D: 180mm – 5.6 Kg
Hopper Capacity: 300g
Burrs: 55mm Flat hardened steel
Grind Settings: Infinite stepless micrometric regulation
Dosing: On demand plus two programmable doses via digital touch screen
Motor power: 310W
RPM: 1350
Special features: Silent technology

My Observations

In my humble opinion, the Eureka Mignon is one of the perfect mid ranged grinders, and all things considered the Specialita is my favourite of the range. It’s a fairly big range which starts with the Crono at just over two hundred pounds, and the XL at just over £700, however the Specialita is roughly in the middle of the price range, I’ve used it for quite a while paired with various espresso machines, and I’m very impressed with it. 

It’s compact and solid, it’s clearly really well built, it’s quiet, the infinitely fine micrometric adjustment brews it fantastic for dialing in, the two programmable doses are wonderful, and it’s extremely quiet and relatively mess-free. 

I can tell you from personal experience that these grinders are sturdy, because when I tried to grind a lump of copper with this mill, twice – it did no damage whatsoever. No, I didn’t do this on purpose ;-). The mill jammed and turned itself off, I adjusted the grind much more coarse and tried grinding again, it jammed again. I took it apart and discovered that a lump of copper had ended up in with some coffee beans I’d received, odd. I removed it, with no problem whatsoever. 

Grinding foreign objects can happen, although I’d usually think of this as pebbles rather than lumps of copper, as it does happen occasionally that a stone or very small pebble will end up in a bag of coffee beans. Manufacturers handle this in various ways, and clearly, the way Eureka deals with it works well.

Literally a quick comparison, and it’s not a fair comparison as I’m talking about a grinder at half the price – however the Sage Smart Grinder Pro has a clutch as a failsafe, similar to the clutch on a cordless drill, which is in place to limit the amount of torque that can be applied to the burrs.

This works really well too, and I’ve experienced this, the only downside – and I’m guessing the reason that some of the premium brands including Eureka and Niche have a different system for this, is that this can mean occasionally that if you’re using a particularly lighter roasted and/or non-pourous bean which can be quite a little bit harder than a standard coffee bean, can trick the Sage grinders to thinking they’re trying to grind stones. 

It’s important to point out though, that grinders that don’t have some sort of failsafe will strip gears or cause other damage when they encounter something too hard for that grinding machine to cope with. 

Anyway, I’m a big fan of the Mignon Specialita, and there’s extremely little I don’t like about it. The only thing I can think of, if you were pushing me for any criticism, would be that though the grind adjustment is infinite, the numbers are far apart. There are 10 settings on the adjustment wheel (0-5 with half step increments), but if you’re grinding for anything other than espresso you may end up going over a full revolution of the wheel and being at 0 again with no reference to tell you that. 

There are the majority of other versions of the Eureka Mignon, for more see:

Eureka Mignon Models Reviewed

Baratza Vario Coffee Grinder

Baratza Vario Coffee Grinder

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Features:

Size & Weight: 13cm wide x 37cm tall x 18 cm deep. 4.8 Kg 
Hopper Capacity: 300g
Burrs: 54mm ceramic flat burrs 
Grind Settings: 10 macro steps each divided into 20 micro adjustments
Dosing: On demand plus three programmable timed presets
Motor power: DC motor
RPM: 1350 
Special features: Big grinding range 230 to 1150 microns

My Observations

The Baratza Vario is an interesting option, particularly when weighing up your options with the Sette 270 wi below, as they’re almost the exact same price nevertheless offer slightly different specialities. 

The Vario is essentially the same as the really popular and more expensive bigger sibling of the Vario, the Forte (which you’ll find a bit further down this post), with the same 54mm ceramic burrs, and the same big grinding range from 230 to 1150 microns, which makes it a great all-around grinding machine. The super-precise control over grind size is likewise a excellent feature, and though the Vario doesn’t rather have the same precision here, a total of 200 grind settings (20 micro settings to every 10 macro settings) is many dialing in power. 

Combining a wonderful grinder with great coffee will produce the best results. This is the coffee that I choose to drink:

Use discount code CBNC25 for 25% off your first order at Coffeeworks

Sette 270 WI Coffee Grinder

Sette 270 WI Coffee Grinder

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So this is simply the Baratza Sette 270 but with built-in scales and Acaia technology. What this suggests is that you can create and store doses basically by weight, not by time, thanks to the integrated scales. 

Features:

Size & Weight: 13cm wide x 40cm tall x 24cm deep. 3.2Kg    
Hopper Capacity: 285g
Burrs: 40mm conical steel Etzinger burrs
Grind Settings: 30 stepped macro adjustments & stepless micro troubleshoot with 9 indicators.
Dosing: On demand plus three programmable timed presets
Motor power: 240W
RPM: 550
Special features: Weight-based dosing with integrated scales

My Observations

This is the dosing by weight version of the Sette 270, and if you’re familiar with the 270W which likewise had the integrated scales, the W I is an updated model which addressed some of the niggles of the W version. 

The latest version truly displays how smart Baratza is, and how well they’re able to answer user feedback. While the W was a popular and welcomed model, there were a few creases that they’ve ironed out well with the new version. Among the issues with the W was that people were finding it difficult to get a stable dosage on unstable surfaces. 

They dealt with this matter well on the new version, with an adjustable portafilter cradle and adjustable grinds container cradle, allowing the grinder to compensate for the instability. They also tweaked the new i version so that it automatically adjusts to counter offset, which suggests that for example if you set it for a 21g dose and you get 21.2g, over the course of a few shots it’ll fine-tune this automatically so you start getting closer towards the exact dose.

Niche Zero Review.

Niche Zero Review.

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While the Niche Zero doesn’t look like a representative mill, and I suspect there was some eyebrow-raising, and even some sniggering from the well established mill brands towards this strange-looking grinding machine initially, I don’t think anyone is laughing now… Simply, in my opinion, the Niche Zero has changed the market for home coffee grinders.

Features:

Size & Weight: 12.2 cm w x 21.1cm deep x 31.1 cm tall.
Hopper Capacity: 50g
Burrs: 63mm Mazzer Kony conical hardened steel burrs
Grind Settings: Infinite stepless with 50 indications
Dosing: Single dosage
Motor power: DC motor
RPM: 330 (geared down to 330 rpm)
Special features: Single dosing & close to single retention

My Observations

What initially looked like a really odd, strangely designed grinder – in fact, it didn’t look like a mill at all – has quickly become arguably the most impactful home barista coffee grinder ever made.

Martin Nicholson who designed this grinder, was really experienced when it came to designing products, after working as a product designer for a few decades for some of the UK’s many well-known brands, nevertheless thankfully, he wasn’t particularly experienced where coffee grinders were concerned.

So here’s an experienced product designer whose ideas wouldn’t have been polluted deep-rooted grasp of the way things are usually done, and the impacts speak for themselves! While a lot of the other grinders at this sort of degree in the past are modeled on commercial grinders, just due to the reality that that’s the way things are usually done – James appears to have looked at what the home espresso coffee enthusiast required, and designed a grinding machine specifically to meet these requires. 

What resulted was a coffee mill which looks far more at home in a modern kitchen than in a cafe (even though I do learn quite a few coffee shops do use them as decaf or backup grinders), nevertheless far more important than the stylish design is just how perfectly the grinder performs for the home barista. 

In a nutshell, this is an ultra-low (almost zero) retention coffee mill, designed for single dosing, with commercial-grade Mazzer Kony burrs 63mm burrs.

So what James clearly recognized was that the target market for this grinder, needed:

To not have to waste coffee by purging when dialing in 
To be able to single dose
The torque to grind all beans regardless of roast profile and porosity
High quality burrs capable of producing uniform grinds
A coffee mill that looked at home in the home

The success of this grinder over the past few years has suggested that the Niche Zero hits these requirements. For me what’s special about this mill is that it isn’t simply delivering on one particular area, it’s close to perfection from literally about all perspectives. For example, they could have purely focused on the single dosing and zero retention side of things, they could have focused purely on the design side of things, they could have focused purely on performance – but they’ve ticked off all of the possible boxes for home baristas. 

Actually, I think there was only one area the Zero initially came up short on, which was popcorning. When you grind the last few beans in the hopper in any coffee grinder, you’ll usually get a little of popcorning where the beans fly around because there’s no weight of other coffee beans feeding them into the burrs. With a single doser coffee mill, the latter part of the grind is always going to end up popcorning, and in theory, this could lead to less uniform grounds, although it’ll only ever affect the last couple of beans so it’s probably not a huge deal anyway. 

However soon after the initial release, they fixed this with a modest plastic plate that fits over the burrs. This works very well, the only question with it is if you’re grinding a bigger dose you might find it slows down the grind mildly. I literally remove this disk if I’m using the Niche to grind a larger dose, for example, if I’m grinding 40g or so for a cafetiere brew.

I work with the Niche Zero paired with my Sage Dual Boiler, a great pairing.

                   

Eureka Mignon Oro Coffee Grinder

Eureka Mignon Oro Coffee Grinder

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The Eureka Mignon Oro is the first real contender I’ve seen in terms of a coffee mill aimed at competing with the Niche Zero.

Features:

Size & Weight: H: 321 x W: 128 x D: 260mm – 7.2 Kg  
Hopper Capacity: 45g
Burrs: 65mm diamond inside burrs
Grind Settings: Infinite stepless micrometric regulation
Dosing: Single dose
Motor power: 350W
RPM: 1650
Special features: Big burrs – fast grinding.

My Observations

I wondered when we might see one of the big mill brands stepping up to take on Niche, basically due to the reality that they’ve clearly found an remarkable Niche (couldn’t resist that, sorry) market for this grinding machine, and as you can only get the Zero directly from Niche, this indicates that all of the various coffee gear re-sellers are unable to target this market.

So if a big brand with a decent distribution network manages to create a genuine contender to the Niche, this gives them, via their distribution network, access to this market that Niche has all to themselves.

I’ve not used the Oro yet (I will be doing very soon, and I’ll update this post accordingly) but on paper at least, they appear to have done an exceptionally good job. Simply what they’ve done is to take their Mignon Xl, with its really high-quality diamond inside 65mm flat burrs, and its rapid (around 3g per second!) grinding speed, and they’ve put it at an angle to create a more direct, gravity-fed grind path, and they’ve paired it with a bellows to further decrease retention.

The big difference between this and the Niche Zero is the grinding speed. These big 65mm flat burrs lead to fast grinding without any worries of heating up the coffee, and there’s no doubt that the Oro is going to grind faster, at around 2.3 – 2.8g per second for espresso grinding vs around 1.5 – 1.8g per second with the Niche Zero. 

These are for home work with, so speed isn’t actually the many important thing for a lot of people – in reality, the design of the Niche purposely offers preference to torque over speed with the motor being geared down to turn the high rpm of the motor into torque, however there may be some people who do feel the need for speed, and who may be interested in the grinding speed of the Oro. 

I have to say I literally like the look of the Oro, it looks like they’ve literally given Niche a run for their money with the Oro, even though it’s early days and the proof is in the pudding, which is a actually weird saying. The only thing I have to say negatively is that I think it’s a shame that Eureka didn’t keep the touch screen programmable doses from the Mignon XL on the Oro. 

The one thing that I wish the Niche Zero had, is dosing. The humble on-off switch is cool, however when you’re in a rush in the morning and trying (and failing because I just can’t do it) to multi-task, having to stand there for 10-15 seconds waiting for the coffee grinder to finish isn’t a massive deal, nevertheless I’d prefer being able to work with a programmed dose if I choose to. 

I understand why Niche did this, as it’s all part of the minimalist design, however given that Eureka has brewed the Oro utilizing the Mignon XL which does have a touch screen display with a programmable display, it seems they’ve removed that purely to make it more like the NZ, which I think is a mistake, personally. I think if they’d have kept the doses, they’d have possibly tapped into a market of people who enjoy the idea of the NZ but who want the ease of work with of being able to grind pre-set doses.

Baratza Forte Mill.

Baratza Forte Mill.

Check Price – Shop Coffee

Features:

Size & Weight: 13cm wide x 36cm tall x 18 cm deep. 6 Kg
Hopper Capacity: 300g
Burrs: 54mm ceramic flat burrs 
Grind Settings: 10 macro steps each divided into 26 micro adjustments
Dosing: By weight or by time
Motor power: DC motor
RPM: 1950 
Special features: Integrated scales + Big grinding range of 230 to 1150 microns

My Observations

The Baratza Forte is considered by several to be among one of the extremely perfect coffee grinders for home baristas, for both espresso coffee grinding and for brew grinding. As with the Baratza Sette 270 wi, the Forte has integrated scales so that you can choose to dosage by weight, and with the mix of macro and micro adjustment, you have a huge range of 260 settings from 230 to 1150 microns. 

This is a commercial-grade mill, and it truly has a lot going for it including fast grinding and a huge grinding range to cover all brew methods, and being able to dose by weight is wonderful, too. For me, even though, the ultra-precise dialing in this coffee mill enables, with each of the 10 grind steps having their own 26 (A-Z) micro-adjustments, is probably the greatest attraction. 

Caedo E37SD Coffee Grinder

Caedo E37SD Coffee Grinder

Check Price – Shop Coffee

If you check out the price of this grinder, you’ll see we’ve taken a huge leap in price, and I’ve done this on purpose, just to show what a huge range of grinders there are over such a huge price range once we start getting up to the higher end of things, price-wise. If you do have the budget, though, and if you’re pairing with a high-end espresso coffee machine such as the La Marzocco Linea Mini, and you want a single doser, have a look at the Ceado E37SD.

Features:

Size & Weight: 21.2 cm wide x 30.9 cm deep x 37 cm tall. 13.2 Kg
Hopper Capacity: 50g
Burrs: Flat 83mm Titanium Coated 
Grind Settings: Stepless worm dial plus fast alter Macro adjustment
Dosing: Single dose 
Motor power: 400W
RPM: 1400
Special features: Really quiet, super fine adjustment. Looks like a Dalek.

My Observations

OK so as I’ve said, we’ve taken a big jump in cost price, and we’re talking some serious coffee grinder here, with 83mm flat burrs, super fine worm dial adjustment, and very smart macro adjustment.

While this isn’t a coffee grinder for the masses, as a lot of us just can’t afford to spend this type of money on a mill, it’s an very high-end single doser mill for those who can afford such an investment, and who can justify such a spend to their better half!

If you’ve ever watched Doctor Who, you’ll probably agree that you’d half expect the grinding noise to be a constant repetition of “Exterminate…” nevertheless no, it doesn’t do that, and literally the grinding is incredibly quiet. 

This is a big, heavy-weight grinder, and if you do end up buying this mill just keep in mind that as with some bigger commercial grinders, it will take a little bit of breaking in, so don’t be too worried if you seem to be getting inconsistent impacts initially. Once broken in, although, this coffee grinder is known for incredible quality grinding. 

I’ve heard that there is a little of popcorning with this mill, and I’m unsure if this is an out of date opinion and they’ve updated the mill since then, but this is one of the potential slight pitfalls of taking the hopper off a grinding machine, putting bellows on there and calling it a single doser. As Niche discovered with their first version, popcorning happens basically because the last few beans have no beans above them to feed them into the burrs, so they tend to bounce around a bit. 

While I doubt that this will make a huge difference to cup quality, I do find it surprising that spending this sort of money on a home coffee mill, doesn’t buy you perfection – and I’d have thought that the cost of fixing this (a little bit plastic plate would do it) would be negligible. Again, I may be talking rubbish, as they may have already fixed this slight question.

Among the key features of this coffee grinder is the combination of micro and macro adjustment with a worm dial, which I think is an incredibly clever feature. Worm dials give you the very finest adjustments, but they’re only truly suitable for using one brew method, you wouldn’t want to change from espresso coffee to cafetiere and back again with a worm dial. 

So what they’ve done is devised a way to just disengage the worm dial and make macro adjustments of the grinding wheel as you would with the Niche Zero, and then re-engage the worm dial, extremely smart!

25 Best Coffee Grinders – Conclusion

OK, so that’s all of the grinders I decided to include in this rundown of the best coffee grinders in the UK at the time of writing. I realize that I brewed a big jump between the Forte and the E37SD, but as I’ve explained I’ve simply done this to show you how much choice there is when you get higher up in budget.

I could have included most more higher-priced grinders, but I’m sure you don’t want to spend the time it would take you to read the report on lockdown parties at no.10 just reading a article about the perfect coffee grinders ;-). You may argue that would be a more entertaining read, though, and you’re probably right. 

Anyway, if you do want to see a number of other options for coffee grinders at a much wider price range than I’ve covered here, check out the full range at Shop Coffee:

All Coffee Grinders @ Shop Coffee

Home Coffee Grinders @ Shop Coffee

Kev’s Perfect Coffee Grinders What the FAQ

So I’m literally going to address a few of the a lot of widely asked questions here, in the hope that I can help to steer my fellow coffee botherers towards ending up with the excellent grinder for their requirements. 

What are the best coffee grinders?

If you’re looking for specific grinders, then I’ve given lots of options, above, however I think this question relates to the forms of coffee grinders. If that’s the case, then the best coffee grinders are burr coffee grinders, not the cheapest blade grinders (which are still better than pre-ground in lots of cases), not the in fact cheap “grinding wheel” grinders (which are better than blade grinders, in my simple opinion) but grinders that work with either flat or conical burrs with sharp teeth.

What are the best brands of coffee grinders?

This is a little of a subjective thing, but some of the greatest names in coffee grinders are, Sage (known as Breville outside of the UK), Baratza (who’re now owned by Breville) & Eureka (who mainly make commercial coffee grinders).

Niche are extremely well known for the Zero, yeah they literally make the one coffee mill, but they have sold most them over the past few years. Wilfa is a well-known coffee mill brand especially at the entry-level, and for manual brew methods. 

Then when we speak about the commercial grinders that are often used by home baristas, there are many brands including Mazzer, Mahlkonig, Victoria Arduino, Anfim, Ditting, Cunill… there are lots of. 

Needs to I buy a single doser grinding machine?

This depends, in fact, on you. Single doser grinders are very popular, generally thanks to Niche – yes there were several home baristas who were modding the Mazzer Mini and other grinders prior to the NZ being created, to make them doserless and single doser grinders, however I think the huge success of the Niche Zero is the main reason that single dosing is now such a popular practice. 

In short, if you have a good or improving palate, and you’re dialing in each shot – or working hard with each manual brew to get the great cup, then single dosing is a good idea to help you to enhance results. 

If, on the other hand, you don’t weigh your coffee, you don’t have a clue what I’m going on about re dialing in, and you actually want to make coffee and don’t see yourself as a home barista by any stretch of the imagination, then going for a single doser may be a pointless exercise. Using a more traditional grinder with a hopper will probably be fine for you, even though I would advise you don’t store coffee in the hopper.

Rather than filling the hopper, try storing your coffee in an airtight container and truly sticking in the hopper what you think you’re going to work with that day. If you’re not happy with the impacts you’re getting from utilizing a more regular mill and loading the hopper, then utilizing a single doser is certainly a way to move towards upping your home coffee game.

What is the perfect grinding machine for espresso?

As I’ve explained a few times within this article, it depends on whether you’re utilizing basic, traditional baskets, or dual walled, pressurized baskets. If you’re utilizing pressured baskets, then a lot of of the entry-level burr grinders I’ve spoken about will be fine. If you’re utilizing fundamental baskets, although, you need an espresso coffee capable coffee mill. 

Espresso coffee capable grinders have both the ability to grind finer than standard burr grinders and have  finer adjustment to allow you to make small adjustments to the grind size, in order to allow you to dial in, which just indicates to wonderful the espresso coffee extraction. 

If you’ve not yet got your espresso machine, by the way – you might find these posts helpful: 

Best Espresso coffee Machines Best Home Barista Espresso coffee Setup

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This post to start with appeared at Coffee Blog – The UK Specialty Coffee Blog – For Lovers of GENUINE Coffee!