12 Types of Coffee Grinders to Achieve the Perfect Brew
Author: Anne Cowart | Editor: Omar Alonso
Review & Research: Jen Worst & Chris Miller
Every coffee enthusiast loves to grind their coffee. Roasted coffee beans have oil and gas inside them, which boost the flavor and aroma of your coffee. Ground coffee loses its magic with time. Different elements alter the state of coffee and using the right types of coffee grinders makes all the difference.
If you are a coffee lover and want to experience the best taste of coffee, you need to grind your coffee beans freshly just before consumption. There are different types of coffee grinders available on the market today, which can help you get the best experience of coffee you need.
It's impossible to get back once you've started grounding your coffee. The fresh aroma and the pungent taste will hit you with the best caffeine buzz. Every coffee grinder doesn't produce the same results.
A good coffee grinder can make freshly brewed aromatic coffee that gives you the proper boost throughout the day.
12 Types of Coffee Grinders
Some coffee grinders are inexpensive and noisy, while some require more money but are silent. Let's discuss every type of coffee grinder available on the market today. You can choose the best option as per your requirements.
Blade Coffee Grinders
The blade coffee grinder gets its name from using a blade to break the coffee beans into smaller portions. These grinder blades spin simultaneously to crush the beans. They spin enough to produce the finer coffee grounds.
When the blade spins continuously, it affects the taste of the coffee depending on the size of the grinds and the over-extraction or under-extraction it results in. The size of the coffee grounds is quite uneven while grinding in a blade coffee grinder. It makes a loud noise when the blades spin to grind the coffee beans.
These coffee grinder types come in a compact size. Because of their convenient shape, they fit into a small kitchen and office spaces effortlessly. Besides, these types of grinders are easy to move, and the price is very affordable.
The installation process is also very easy that any person can do it without having prior experience. Most of the machines run with just the push of one button. The cleaning needs less time and effort.
Manual Coffee Grinders
Manual coffee grinders are quite simple machines. The size is generally small and can be held in one hand and operated with the other one. Performance-wise, they are middle-to-great-performance machines that generate uniformly sized grinds.
There are so many types of manual coffee grinders available on the market. The key differentiating factor among them is the material. Some have a wooden body, and some have a metal body.
These manual grinders can do a small portion at a time. As it is hand-churned and doesn't need any electrical force to grind the coffee, it produces less noise. The dispersion and reassembly are quite simple, making it even easier to clean.
Most of the manual coffee grinders are in the $20-$30 range. A vintage manual coffee grinder might cost a little more than the usual ones. It is because of its timeless appeal.
Grinding coffee beans manually doesn't infuse any extra flavor. That’s why the actual taste, aroma, and flavor remain intact in the grounded coffee.
People really get into buying a manual coffee grinder, fancy types of coffee makers, and the whole nine yards. These types of coffee grinders make great gifts for anyone into the art of coffee.
Burr Coffee Grinders
A burr coffee grinder, also known as a burr mill, produces a much superior ground coffee and flavors. In this type of grinder, the coffee beans are mashed against a fixed base with a grinder wheel. There are two revolving burrs in between where the coffee beans get squashed.
You can control the smoothness of the finished product by setting the positions of the burrs. This will give you finer and more accurate coffee grounds each time you grind your coffee. From several settings already present in the Burr coffee grinder, you can choose the optimum coarseness for your coffee machine.
In burr coffee grinders, the upper burrs are often detachable so that the grinding chamber may be cleaned when needed. For doing that with ease, burr coffee grinders sometimes come with cleaning brushes.
Coffee grinding discs made of cleaning solutions are also available with them. It passes through the grinder to remove built-up oils and grinds. After passing the cleaning disc through the grinder, more coffee beans must be poured through the grinder to remove the cleaning powder.
This procedure wastes some coffee beans but, in the long run, extends the life of your burr grinder and is highly advisable.
Burr grinders are divided into two different types of grinders according to their wheels... Flat grinder wheels or wheel burr grinders, and Conical grinder wheels, or Conical burr grinders.
Wheels Burr Grinders / Flat Grinder Wheels
The wheel burr grinder gets its name because it uses a burr to crush the whole coffee beans between a moving grinding wheel and a stationary surface.
Wheel burr coffee grinders have a high-speed rotation, from 10,000 rpm to 20,000 rpm. This high speed creates a louder, cleaner noise and a certain warmth in the ground coffee.
Wheel burr types of coffee grinders are messier and can't handle flavored coffee or oily coffee like the other burr grinders. It is also the cheaper of the two types.
Conical Burr Grinders / Conical Grinder Wheels
The conical coffee grinder has remarked its identity because of preserving beautiful aroma and flavor in the coffee. The design of this coffee grinder allows you to control the speed of your grinding.
As gear reduction reduces the speed, it also produces less heat and the most consistent and finest quality ground coffee.
Conical burr grinders run at 500 runs per minute. It is much lesser than the wheel burr grinders. Because of the less spin, it causes less noise. The arrangement of conical burr grinders helps you keep your machine clean, and it doesn't make a mess.
Although it is more expensive than the wheel burr grinders, the premium quality ground coffee it produces is worth every penny. The conical burr grinder is excellent at handling oily and flavored coffee beans.
Like their manual counterparts, electric grinders are easier to operate. There are so many grinding settings in an electric grinder that allow grinding a large amount. It takes less time to grind coffee beans. It fits in both household and commercial uses.
This one doesn't require any hand power to operate. The external power source makes it easier to grind the coffee with precision. Only by pushing a single button you can get evenly sized coffee grounds.
This automatic process requires a hefty price to pay. A high-quality, long-lasting electric grinder will cost you at least $100. There are also some cheaper options available for electric coffee grinders.
Cheap electric coffee grinder types contain low-quality materials and equipment. The cheaper one produces inconsistent grind sizes and has durability issues. The newer and more advanced models come with more lucrative features than the older ones.
Even the most expensive electric grinders have a few drawbacks. Electric grinders are loud and require frequent maintenance. The cleaning process also needs expert hands.
Espresso enthusiasts often find the other different types of coffee grinders monotonous, boring, and limited in their options. For this reason, we have espresso coffee grinders.
These coffee grinders enable brewers to make fine changes to grind size in order to get the perfect shot. As espresso enthusiasts are well aware, even minor adjustments may turn a shot from runny and unpleasant to rich and sweet.
Many espresso coffee grinders come with a portafilter holder. And we all know the portafilter is the magical device where the coffee and the water marry each other and give us the espresso shot.
Having a portafilter holder ensures that you will always be able to find your portafilter when you have a craving for your espresso and want to get into Keurig alternatives instead of the same old routine.
Coffee enthusiasts who travel a lot know that nothing is worse than having to start a day with awful coffee. A travel coffee grinder can give you access to great-tasting coffee wherever you go and whenever you want.
With your loyal coffee grinders with you, you can easily be the favorite person on any tour or holiday as everyone enjoys whatever types of donuts and coffee on your behalf.
There are various travel grinders on the market, including portable electric grinders. None of them provides the service that a manual burr grinder delivers.
Convenience, simplicity, and consistency — whatever you need — manual travel grinders are far better choices than portable electric grinders.
Gear Reduction Grinders
As opposed to high speed grinders, these low speed grinders have multiple gears to help reduce the resulting speed of the burrs. These types of grinders also tend to use DC rather than AC power and have a longer lifespan than faster grinders.
People find that these produce less noise than the higher speed options and create less heat, which is something people swear makes a difference in the taste of the coffee. But having more durability is something to consider if you don't like having to maintain or re-purchase items like these.
Direct Drive Grinders
As far as price goes, direct drive types of coffee grinders are among the most expensive. Part of the reason is that instead of reducing the speed of a high speed motor with several gears, they're designed with lower speed motors from the outset.
This low speed is preferable to some coffee drinkers because they produce much lower heat and less static. This keeps any heat and electricity from encountering the coffee. These types of grinders also far more durable and very quiet. Fancy coffee shops will use these to avoid creating too much noise for their customers.
Dosing Coffee Grinders
You have a certain style of coffee grinders that come in dosing and non-dosing varieties. These are largely meant for drinks like espresso where the dosage matters. In the dosing types, the ground coffee is ground and sent into a receptacle called a portafilter.
This portafilter has (usually) six equally sized sections to be filled with the coffee grounds for the perfect dose. The portafilter spins (by hand most of the time) and pushes the coffee grounds through holes for your usage. Each section will hold around 6 to 7 grams of ground coffee beans.
Non-dosing coffee grinders of this style perform the same function except there's no portafilter with pre-measured sizes, so you'll need to manually weight your grounds so you don't have too much of a dose. This is preferable to large coffee shops who are making a lot of espresso.
Stepped Coffee Grinders
The steps here on these coffee grinder types refer to settings on how fine you want to grind your coffee beans. You can think of them as settings, rather than a smoothly rotating knob that can change on you by accident. You can lock the setting into place and not worry about it moving on you. You'll feel and sometimes hear a click, which lets you know you're in a new position.
In the same fashion there are stepless coffee grinders that don't have these pre-built settings. These offer an "infinite" number of settings but in my opinion a stepped grinder is always a better choice. You won't need to or want to get that granular about the choices.
Types of Coffee Grinders to Get it Just Right
Grinding your coffee is the first step to becoming a coffee lover or enthusiast. And buying a coffee grinder is the start of that beautiful journey. And at some point you'll be cleaning coffee stains out of carpet, so learn that procedure at some point.
Grinding and brewing your own coffee will elevate your coffee drinking experience to such a level that you will never go back. It is very hard to decide what types of coffee grinder you should invest in first.
We will tell you to just go for it. Whatever different types of coffee grinders you choose, you can only go down the right path of grinding coffee after that.