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Sure, you can buy your coffee already ground, so that all you have to do is scoop the stuff right from the bag into your coffee maker of choice, and your coffee would be just fine. (There’s seriously nothing wrong with buying the pre-ground stuff, as long as you store it properly in an airtight container that’s UV-protected!) But if you’re willing to add one extra step to your coffee routine, you will notice that your resulting brew tastes a little fresher, bolder, and better. To go this extra mile, you’ll need a coffee grinder. Which one? Let’s take a look.
First, let’s back up a second. There are two types of coffee grinders out there: blade grinders and burr grinders.
Got it? Now, let’s take a look to see which machines other sites recommend. (While there are plenty of cool-looking and small hand-cranked grinders — like in the photo above — none of them came up in these reports.) In true Kitchn fashion, we added our own thoughts at the end, too.
1. Baratza Encore Coffee Grinder
The Best Coffee Grinder, According to Wirecutter
The folks at Wirecutter said this burr grinder churns out grinds more evenly than almost any other machine they tested. They liked that there’s no learning curve to figuring out how to use it, it’s got a decently small footprint, it’s easy to clean, and that it’s incredibly reliable. While it can’t grind coffee fine enough to please super-serious espresso makers, Wirecutter says it can make a “serviceable shot” and it’ll work with basically any filter you’ve got.
Buy: Baratza Encore Coffee Grinder, $139
2. Krups Coffee and Spice Grinder
The Best Blade-Style Coffee Grinder, According to Cook’s Illustrated
When it comes to burr grinders, Cook’s Illustrated also picked the Baratza Encore that Wirecutter liked. So for this entry, we’ll focus our attention on Cook’s Illustrated pick for a blade-style coffee grinder. They liked this one best during an earlier test and picked it again, years later, while updating the post. They love that the machine has a big clear lid (so coffee drinkers can see the grinding process) and that the grind button is off to the side (as to not block the view). The grinding chamber is big enough to hold enough beans for a full 10 cups. And thanks to its oval shape, it’s easy to load and empty the compartment and no full beans are left behind.
Buy: Krups Coffee and Spice Grinder, $20 at Crate & Barrel
3. OXO BREW Conical Burr Coffee Grinder
The Best Coffee Grinder for Most People, According to Serious Eats
Our friends at Serious Eats took a smart approach and recommended coffee grinders based on the type of drinker at hand. While they recommended one machine for serious coffee geeks (a Baratza, which seems to be out of stock), and another for budget-conscious coffee geeks (the Baratza Encore), they said this one will appeal to the most people, collectively. (It’s also the budget pick from Wirecutter, for what it’s worth.) The price is just right — you can certainly spend more, but if you spend less the quality really starts to suffer, Serious Eats points out. The editors say it’s great for anyone who wants more control and to experiment, but doesn’t need to nerd out too much over coffee science.
Buy: OXO BREW Conical Burr Coffee Grinder, $100
4. JavaPresse Manual Coffee Grinder
The Bestselling Coffee Grinder on Amazon
The bestselling coffee grinder on Amazon has 17,500-plus reviews, more than 11,600 of which are five stars. This is a manual grinder, with 18 settings and a removable hand crank. While we prefer a burr or even a blade grinder at home, because this grinder doesn’t require any electricity, it’s a great option for those that love to camp and bring their joe on the road.
Buy: JavaPresse Manual Coffee Grinder, $40
Kitchn’s Thoughts on the Best Coffee Grinder
Another Critics’ Picks where we like every single one of the nominees! If we had to pick a favorite, we’d have to go with Serious Eats. We totally agree that this OXO grinder is probably not for the super-geeky coffee folks, but for most of us — who just want fresh, good coffee at home — it’ll get the job done. And it’ll do it well. It’s got stainless steel conical burr grinders, 15 coarse settings (plus micro settings between those), and a generously sized hopper and grounds container (the latter holds enough to brew up to 12 cups).
Do you have a coffee grinder you love? Is it one of these?
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