Buying Guide: The Best Coffee Grinders For You

How to Buy a Coffee Grinder

How to Buy a Coffee Grinder

When it comes to brewing aromatic, delicious coffee, the secret is in the beans. Grinding your own coffee ensures the fresh, full-bodied flavor you want from your coffee, but you'll need to learn how to buy a coffee grinder in order to get the most out of every bean. Whether you crave a full, dark roast to wake you up in the morning or you love a sweet flavored coffee with dessert, you'll be able to brew a better cup when you use this coffee grinder buying guide to help you choose the right grinder.

There are several different types of coffee grinders to choose from, and you'll need to look at features, capacities and grinding style to choose the right grinder for your coffee drinking needs. Using this information, you'll be able to choose the perfect grinder for your coffee drinking needs. Remember that coffee grinders are more than just coffee accessories; they are the key to making the ideal pot of coffee, every time.

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Types of Coffee Grinders

Part of learning how to buy a coffee grinder is understanding that there are three basic types of coffee makers. The one you choose will depend on what type of coffee makers you might use. Not all grinders are ideal for grinding beans for espresso machines or drip coffee makers, so consider the best use for each type of grinder as you conduct your coffee grinder comparison.

Conical Burr Coffee Grinders

Burr Coffee Grinder

Conical burr coffee grinders are the most affordable and reliable option for everyday use in the home, and they are ideal for use with drip coffee makers. These specialty electrics create a fine coffee ground, making them ideal for espresso. A conical burr coffee grinder works by shaving each coffee bean instead of actually grinding it. This produces less heat transfer during the grinding process, which retains freshness and flavor.

Disk Burr Coffee Grinders

Disk coffee grinders are slightly more expensive than conical burr grinders, but they grind beans quickly and evenly. This makes disk burr grinders ideal if you want to grind beans immediately before brewing a large batch of coffee. These grinders are able to process a lot of coffee quickly, so you can grind a pound of coffee in just a few minutes. Disk burr grinders do tend to be a little louder than other options, but they make up for it with speed and a perfectly even grind.

Blade Coffee Grinders

Blade Coffee Grinder

Blade coffee grinders are the preferred choice for basic brewing methods, like French press, cold extraction, tea kettle for pour-over, drip and percolator. They can be used for a variety of methods because it's easy to control the coarseness of the grind; the longer you run it, the finer the grind. While these machines handle small amounts of coffee quickly and efficiently, the result tends to be inconsistent. If you're expecting to recreate coffee-house flavor at home, opt for a burr grinder instead as the uneven grind means a degree of uneven flavor extraction. But if you're not particularly concerned about the nuances of your coffee, you probably won't mind the subtle inconsistencies. Other great features: these grinders are easy to clean, compact and can grind enough coffee for a full pot of coffee in a matter of seconds.

Coffee Grinder Capacity

As you learn how to choose a coffee grinder, you'll see that it's important to consider the capacity. If you're only brewing single cups of coffee or only brew on occasion, a 2.5-ounce grinder might be ideal for you. For serious coffee drinkers or if you plan to serve several guests, grinders that can tackle up to a pound of beans at a time might be the better option. Your grinder should have a hopper large enough to accommodate enough beans to brew a typical pot of coffee. Larger capacity grinders often come with built-in canisters that let you store your grounds until you are ready to use them. Some smaller grinders, especially blade grinders, can also double as spice grinders for peppercorns, curries and cinnamon, making them excellent cooking tools for your kitchen.

Coffee Grinder Settings

If you're using your grinder with a drip coffee maker and an espresso maker, you'll want to make sure you choose a grinder that allows you to adjust the coarseness. Espresso machines require an almost powdery grind, while coffee makers need a courser grind that's more like coarse sand. If you're only use a French press or percolator, you won't need to adjust grind size and coarseness as these methods are more forgiving and simply require a coarse grind.

Coffee Maker Design

Weighted Base Coffee Grinder

One of the most important aspects as you learn how to buy a coffee grinder is the design of the grinder itself. If you want to show off your coffee, choose a model with a hopper that has a heavy, weighted base to prevent tipping as you grind your beans. If you are short on counter space, look for a compact grinder with cord storage, so you can store the grinder in your cabinet when not in use. Your grinder should be easy to disassemble for cleaning, as your burrs or blades need to be wiped down with a dry cloth to remove oils and residue from time to time. You can also choose a multipurpose coffee maker that comes with a built-in coffee grinder, which saves space and lets you grind and brew at the same time for peak freshness in every batch. Be sure to look at the different design features when you conduct your coffee grinder comparison.

Learning how to buy a coffee grinder is the first step towards enjoying a full-flavored pot of coffee every time you brew. Whether you enjoy the occasional espresso with dessert or you need your morning cup of java to get started in the morning, you'll get the most out of every drop when you one of these handy small kitchen appliances.

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