We all want the best cup of coffee we can get, don’t we? I mean, that’s pretty obvious for most people, but I’d hazard a guess that it’s even more appropriate for people that have just started reading an article entitled ‘Best Coffee Grinders’. You’ve already acknowledged the fact that in order to get the perfect cup, grinders may have a role – and that’s why you’re here.
So let me tell you now – you’re on to something. A wise man once told me “it doesn’t matter how much you spend on your machine – your coffee is only ever going to be as good as your grinder”. Now this is an overused phrase, but that advice was genuinely life-changing for me, and it is so often overlooked.
Without wanting to get too bogged down in the detail, basically if you grind your own beans, your coffee will be fresher – the longer ground coffee is left open to the air, the more flavour and aroma is lost. Also, you have more control over your drink – the size and consistency of your grains to suit your taste.
For me, there’s also something incredibly satisfying about the process as well – it’s almost therapeutic. From the second I measure out the beans, it’s a moment of calm at the start of a busy day. A few minutes of peaceful control before I open Pandora’s Laptop to start my work.
Unfortunately, deciding that you need a coffee grinder is only half the battle. As with most things to do with coffee, there is an awful lot of choice out there, and it’s very difficult to know what is best for you. Which is where we come in.
What Type Of Coffee Grinder Is Right For You?
You have a couple of decisions to make to begin with when it comes to choosing your coffee grinder. Firstly Burr or Blade? Here’s a quick guide to help you:
Burr Grinders: Grinds the coffee between two ‘burred’ plates – one stationary, one spinning. The biggest advantage of these is that you get a uniform size to your grains, which makes for a better taste. They also give you more control over how fine your grains are, so you can modify it according to your taste, or what you are using to make your coffee in. You pay a premium for these though.
Blade Grinders: Grinds the beans with a rotating blade. The nature of the ‘chopping’ blade means you don’t always get the same uniformed size and control that you get from a burr grinder, but the cost of these is much lower.
You also need to decide between Manual and Electric – manual being much cheaper, with less that can go wrong, but obviously require more effort on your part. With an electric model, you just plug in and off you go.
Our Best Coffee Grinders
So with those decisions buzzing around your head, let’s look at some options. Below we have selected the nine best coffee grinders on the UK market to help you decide on the best one for your coffee needs:
Cuisinart Burr Mill Coffee Grinder
Perfect for: All your grinding needs!
Quite simply, this offers you everything you will need from a coffee grinder. With 18 grind settings, you can get the exact sized grains to suit your equipment and taste. You can set it to how many cups you are grinding for as well, from 4-18 (which equates to about 2-10 large mugs if you prefer), which helps you get the right strength for your coffee.
Aesthetically, the stainless steel finish and conventional design form a look that would look at home on any kitchen counter – a quiet sophistication that blurs the line between modern and conventional.
It is also incredibly easy to use – simply adjust your settings and hit start, and with the airtight bean hopper you can set it all up the night before without losing any freshness – perfect for blurry-eyed early mornings!
For ease of use and versatility, this machine has it all. While it can be quite noisy, the results you get are more than worth it. It’s one of the best grinders on the market.back to menu ↑
Krups Coffee Mill
Perfect for: People making their first foray into grinding their own beans.
The genius of this is in its simplicity. Compact shape, one speed, one button, two blades. It’s just a matter of loading your beans and then you’re away. You have full control over the size of the grind – the longer you press the button, the finer the grains (we found that a ‘pulse’ action works the best). The result is a well ground bean to your taste.
The sleek, oval design not only looks stylish, but the shape means that the beans move around much more, meaning the twin blades get to work much more efficiently. In just 25 seconds, you can have your beans ground down to the perfect size for an espresso, and much less for a larger, coarse grind.
It’s slightly smaller than some alternative options, but with a 15 cup capacity it is more than capable of satisfying domestic use. It will fit nicely on a worktop, but also would fit nicely into a cupboard if kitchen ‘real estate’ is at a premium!
It’s easy to clean (a quick wipe with a cloth will do it), easy to use, easy to store and looks great. Coming in at a price much lower than many of its competitors, this one of the best value grinders on the market.back to menu ↑
Melitta Molino Coffee Grinder
Perfect for: Users that want a burr grinder on a budget.
Next up, we have another burr machine, this one a slightly cheaper option from coffee innovators Melitta.
First impressions are good – the little flashes of colour work well against the stainless steel and black, and the large, friendly settings dial create a pleasant appearance. A welcome addition to any kitchen counter.
Crucially though, the functionality is good too. With 17 grind size settings, you can create the perfect sized grains for whatever you are working with (from 1-3 for a fine espresso, all the way to 12-17 for a larger french press). You get consistent results every time.
Once again, the simplicity of the design is what appeals to us. All the major compartments come away, making filling, emptying and cleaning a walk in the park. The dial is so simple a toddler could use it (probably best not to give them a cup afterwards though…)
One thing we did find is that it can be quite fiddly to reassemble after you have cleaned it – once you work out exactly how it all fits together though, this is not a problem, and considering the lower price compared to others on the market, this does not put us off at all.back to menu ↑
Melitta CALIBRA Grinder
Perfect for: The coffee perfectionist with a big budget
From first glance, you immediately recognise that this is a cut above most other grinders. The digital display of the integrated scales completes the look of a product that is really bringing the coffee shop into your kitchen.
With a whopping 39 grind settings, this piece of kit is really for the coffee aficionado that is looking for their perfect cup of coffee, and wanting to spend the time and money to get it just right. It’s so simple to adjust as well, with just a twist of the bean container.
The scales are great too, with the display showing how many cups your beans will make (you can set it to display grams with a bit of tinkering). Again, this is ideal for someone who wants consistency in their coffee making.
Is it completely necessary?
But it’s this type of feature that really completes a luxury item, which this surely is.
All the compartments are removable for cleaning, and are dishwasher safe as well. The shiny finish, while looking fantastic, can show up fingerprints, so be warned that it might take regular wiping to keep it looking so darned attractive.
This all comes at a premium, of course, with this being one of the more expensive grinders available. In this instance though, you absolutely get what you pay for.back to menu ↑
MLMLANT Manual Turkish Coffee Grinder
Perfect for: Traditional coffee aficionados, that enjoy their coffee even more after some physical exertion.
Our first manual grinder on the list is this sleek MLMLANT offering.
With 18-click settings for grain size, this manual burr grinder is as versatile as many of its electrical counterparts, and because it is you that is doing the grinding, it offers you complete control over its performance. The ceramic plates won’t heat up during use, so you don’t lose any flavour during the process.
You can get a complete grind in under two minutes, which is obviously much slower than an electrical, but a much more authentic experience. And let’s be honest, if you’re contemplating a manual grinder, speed is not at the forefront of your mind.
The biggest advantage is, arguably, its biggest flaw – at just 17cm in height (slightly bigger than a smartphone), this is much smaller than most other grinders. While this offers a capacity of enough beans for just four cups, it does mean that it is incredibly handy for transporting – whether it’s for a camping trip, a holiday, or just to take into the office.
Made out of stainless steel, this doesn’t only look great, it’s also incredibly durable – perfect for just throwing in a bag on your way out of the door. This is a grinder that is built to last, and comes at a price that will fit most budgets.back to menu ↑
DE’LONGHI KG79 Coffee Grinder
This simple, no frills burr grinder from De’Longhi is a great option for people that just want better coffee.
To look at, this is little more than a black box. While it won’t get much in the way of gushing praise from guests, it also won’t look out of place in any kitchen. To be honest though, this grinder is much more interested in getting the job done than looking pretty.
It offers you everything you could need – with a pretty standard 17 grind settings, you can get grains for whatever equipment that you’re using – you can produce a delightful crema for your espressos. It also gives you capacity for up to 12 cups of coffee, which will satisfy the needs of most kitchens.
The neat Auto-Stop function is a wonderful addition. You simply set the dial to the number of cups you are making and it will automatically stop when your grains are ready. Leaving you to get on with making your breakfast, or simply just stare into space while you come to terms with the daunting reality of being awake. Once you get used to this feature, you’ll get fantastic results.
As you would expect, this is easy to clean (a quick wipe down with a pastry brush will do day-to-day) and its compact design makes it easy to store.back to menu ↑
James Martin ZX595 By Wahl (Mini Grinder)
Perfect for: People who want to test the waters of grinding beans before spending big
The next blade grinder comes from celebrity chef James Martin, and it’s a very handy little gadget for people making their first steps into grinding coffee.
First of all, we love the ‘bullet’ design. It looks great on the counter, but also it’s light and compact, so easily stored away when not in use.
The function that separates it from many of the other grinders on the market is the ‘pulse’ option on the main button. This not only gives you a bit more control over how fine you grind the beans, but it also helps to ‘agitate’ the grains, meaning you get a more uniform size.
It is important to point out that this is designed, and marketed, as a multi-use grinder – with more emphasis placed on its ability to handle herbs and spices as well as coffee beans, as you might expect given Martin’s endorsement. Don’t let this put you off though – it is more than adequate when it comes to coffee beans.
The lid can be a little bit fiddly to get off (but this eases with use), but as a budget option for a coffee grinder, this is a wonderful option.back to menu ↑
Hario Mini Mill PLUS
Perfect for: The coffee enthusiast that is often away from home
Another burr hand grinder now – this one is an excellent, compact offering from Hario.
With a 24g capacity, this will grind you enough coffee for a couple of cups, and with easily changed settings using the reinforced hexagonal adapter, you have complete control over the size of your grains.
At just over 17cm tall, and crucially no glass, the portability of the grinder is one of its major selling points. For those that love their freshly ground coffee, but often find themselves away from home, this is an essential! It also doesn’t take up too much room in the kitchen, as opposed to the bulkier electric options.
We found that it takes roughly the time it takes to boil the kettle to get the right sized grains for a cafetière – obviously longer than an electric, but not so long that it impacts the start of your day.
Obviously, you won’t get an electric burr grinder in this sort of price range, so if you wanted to see the difference between a burr and a blade, this is a really great option – and you can always keep it in the cupboard for your next trip away, even if you don’t use it every day.
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Shardor Electric Coffee Grinder
Perfect for: Users that want a simple, well made blade grinder
You know what you’re going to get from this from the first glance – with no buttons and a sleek design, it’s the simplicity of this grinder that really jumps out at you. Load the beans in the top and press down on the lid – it couldn’t be easier.
On top of that, you have the removable compartments that make cleaning straightforward, as well as coming with a 2-in-1 spoon and brush tool, which makes measuring your beans, and the quick wipe down after use, stress-free.
It can grind enough beans for about 4 cups (2 mugs) of coffee, so this is most suited to small kitchens, but its size also means it doesn’t take up much counter space, and it is easily stored away in cupboards. With a 1m power cable, you have flexibility of where this device lives, rather than being tethered right next to the sockets.
The blade design is efficient with 24,000 rotations per minute, and they even provide a handy guide to help you determine how long you should grind to achieve your desired sized grains.
This is priced in the mid-range for blade grinders, but it feels like a top-end product – it’s incredibly well made and sturdy, so definitely one to consider if you are looking down the blade route.
Grind Settings Quick Guide
A quick word on grind settings, and why they are so important to your coffee.
Basically, the surface area, and therefore size of your coffee, impacts the extraction rate – the finer your grains, the larger the surface area and the faster the extraction, which gives you a stronger coffee. Too fine though, and you can get over-extracted, bitter coffee.
What type of coffee, and how you are making it, will dictate how fine you want your grains. As a rough guide, Turkish coffees and espressos require finer grains, filter coffees work best with a medium sized grain while a French press would be best utilised with a more coarse grind.
Our best advice would be to follow this rough guide, and then experiment. The beauty of the grinders we have mentioned above is that you can discover the exact sized grain that suits you the best – and the trial and error involved in discovering this is all part of the fun. Take your time over drinking your coffee and really enjoy it – even make notes if you want to, to get it absolutely perfect.
Which Grinder Should You Buy?
So, with all that in mind, which grinder is the best? Well, I’m afraid the rest is up to you – but we are confident that whatever you are looking for in a coffee grinder, you will find it in the list above.
Once you have decided on a budget, and what it is you want out of a grinder, it should be quite straightforward. A burr grinder will always give you the most control over your grains, but they won’t fit every budget – you will be able to pick up a blade grinder for less money, and they are more versatile, but you won’t get the complete experience of grinding your beans. Perhaps you want to try a manual grinder to really get that traditional feel to your coffee making process?
The one thing we can say with real confidence is that whichever grinder you go for, if you pick from the list above, you will have a top quality grinder at your disposal, and be well on your way to enjoying the best coffee you can make in your home. Enjoy!