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How to choose the best coffee grinder

Burr coffee grinders and low speed work the best

Daniel Haaf

With a good coffee grinder, you'll take coffee-drinking to the next level. There are coffee machines with built-in grinders, but if you want the best possible results from the grind, a separate coffee grinder is what you need.

So what type of coffee grinder should you choose? How much do you have to pay for a really good coffee grinder? Below we'll guide you through some of the most important things to bear in mind when choosing a coffee grinder.

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This is why you need a coffee grinder

By grinding the beans yourself before brewing your coffee, you'll get a more powerful, richer flavour that you simply won't get from a pre-ground coffee. The reason is that it keeps more of the aromatic oils from the beans when you grind them yourself.

In addition, you can choose the coarseness of the grind yourself and sometimes how fast the grinder should work. You can control the whole process yourself and get more control over the finished result.

Burr grinders are better than blade grinders

There are mainly two varieties of coffee grinders to choose from. The slighly cheaper, simpler models, use rotating blades. The best grinders, however, are made up of two revolving abrasive surfaces (called burrs) that are either flat or conical. The advantage with a burr grinder is that you get a smoother, more even result.

The conical burrs are slightly better than the flat models. The reason is that conical burrs are a little better at grinding evenly. In addition, the finished coffee powder keeps its taste just that little bit longer.

Ceramic or steel

Grinders are mainly made of ceramic or steel. Ceramic grinders can grind a larger amount of coffee beans before they need to be replaced. However, ceramic is a more sensitive material than steel and breaks more easily if foreign objects end up in the grinder. Ceramic is also worse at dissipating heat. If you are buying your first coffee grinder and don't have specific preferences to start with, both materials work equally well.

Avoid the cheapest coffee grinders

What distinguishes a slightly more expensive and high-quality coffee grinder from the cheaper ones is how finely ground and even the results are. If you are going to make espresso, it's important that you have a really good coffee grinder, while ordinary filter coffee, for example, is more forgiving if the grains are not evenly ground.

A good price point for a grinder is around 100 pounds or more, but there are great machines such as the Wilfa WSCG2 for less than that. It's a good machine for first time buyers who don't want to spend too much on a grinder.

The right settings for coarseness

It's important that your coffee grinder can grind the coffee beans to the right size. Check carefully before you buy your grinder so that the grinder can handle as fine or coarse coffee as you need. It should also have enough intermediate positions for that fine-tuning that gives you exactly the right size of ground coffee.

Electric or manual coffee grinder

In terms of appearance, manual coffee grinders are subjectively nicer than electric ones, but they are not particularly practical for everyday use. If you are going to grind coffee beans regularly, a powerful and precise electric coffee grinder facilitates. However, a smaller, manual coffee grinder is practical when you want freshly ground coffee even on the go and don't want to carry around an electric coffee grinder.

Questions to ask yourself before buying a coffee grinder

  • How big is the coffee grinder you are considering buying? Does it fit where you want it?
  • Is the holder for the coffee beans large enough?
  • How many grinding settings are there? Is it possible to fine-tune the degree of grinding?
  • Is there a timer so you can grind the exact amount of coffee beans?
  • How fast does the coffee grinder work? Does it keep a low and even pace that gives a precise degree of grinding
  • Does the coffee grinder make a lot of noise when it's working?
  • Can the grinder grind for a long time without a break for the blades or grinding wheels have to cool down?
  • How does the quality feel? Are there many plastic parts that look like they could break?

The right amount of coffee is crucial

When was the last time you weighed the amount of coffee for the coffee machine? And when did you think about how coarse-ground the coffee should be? Many people buy ready-ground coffee and measure loosely with a coffee measure when they load their coffee machine. But you have a lot to gain from grinding yourself and choosing the right coarseness on the beans.

A good starting point is to use 7g of ground coffee per cup for a regular coffee machine.

You set the coarseness of the coffee beans according to the type of coffee machine and the water's PH level. If you have soft water in the tap, you should choose a little coarser grinding while hard water does best with finely ground beans. If you want more flavour in the coffee, it's better to choose a coffee with a more powerful taste rather than pouring more coffee powder into the coffee machine.

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Coffee machine with grinder

If you're only going to grind coffee beans for your filter coffee, we recommend a coffee machine with a built-in grinder. It speeds up the process and you can still change the coarseness of the beans.

It's worth noting that what you gain in convenience, you lose in control and quality. If the grinder breaks down, you have to change the entire coffee machine.

What to think about when choosing a coffee machine:

  • The power should be 1,100 watts or more for fast brewing
  • Choose a newer model with eco-design and shutdown to reduce power consumption
  • ECBC-approved coffee machines are tested and approved by the Norwegian Coffee Association (NCA)
  • Coffee machines with drip stop reduces the risk of unnecessary spillage.

In our article The best coffee machine - this is how you choose, you can read more about what to look out for when choosing a coffee machine.

This article is written by Prisjakt’s editorial staff. No one else has influenced the content of it. There are no paid links or other types of advertising collaborations. Daniel Haaf can be reached at [email protected]