Introducing Our Coffee Grinder Recommendations
One of the biggest variables when brewing speciality coffee at home is grind size - how fine or how coarse you grind your beans. We’ve spoken about grinders before in previous articles, but here we’re going to make it super simple and make some recommendations based on your coffee preferences.
Not all coffee grinders are made equal. You have blade grinders which slice the coffee - not recommended as they don’t produce consistent grounds, and then you have burr grinders which grind the coffee between plates in a circular motion which is less abrasive and creates much more consistent grounds when talking grind size. If you have grounds of different sizes then the water won’t extract the coffee evenly leading to over or under-extraction.
1/ Filter coffee grinders
So, now we’ve promptly determined that a burr grinder is the way to go, how do you choose the right one? This all depends on how you want to prepare your coffee at home and which brew method you prefer. If you enjoy filter coffees at home via methods such as a V60 (read our V60 brew guide), French Press (read our cafetiere brew guide) or Aeropress (read our Aeropress brew guide) then you’ll want to grind your coffee on the coarser side. Luckily, if this is your preference, many burr grinders will do the trick just fine. Grinders such as the Wilfa Classic Aroma and Baratza Encore (two popular choices when getting into burr grinders) will do a great job and you really needn't look much further!
2/ Espresso coffee grinders
Things get a little more complicated if you prefer home espresso coffees, or if you want the option to grind for espresso from time to time. This is because typical burr grinders such as the one’s mentioned above don’t grind fine enough. Espresso is best achieved when the grind size is fine and you need to consider a grinder that can achieve this. You’ll often find there’ll be grinders specifically for espresso but if you want the option to make a range of different coffees then getting a dedicated espresso grinder might not be the best option for you. If you’re just getting into making coffee at home then Sage do two fantastic grinders that will work for both coarser grounds and finer grounds for espresso coffees. The Smart Grinder and Dose Control Pro Grinder are both easy to use and give you plenty of flexibility across brew methods. The grinders help you dial in your grind size using grind settings labelled for your different brew methods (Espresso, V60, Aeropress etc) which eliminates guess work and provides a perfect starting point for adjusting.
The Sage grinders will be a little more expensive but will give you versatility across all brew methods and grind sizes so if you do enjoy variety in your coffee making then these are going to serve you well. However, if espresso coffees aren't going to interest you then there’s little need to invest in a grinder that can grind fine enough for espresso - you could stick to the Wilfa or Baratza and get great, consistent results.
Our most recommended coffee grinder - the ODE by Fellow
Oh, and then we come to the Fellow ODE Grinder, which is, comparatively expensive to all those aforementioned, but dubbed the master of coffee grinders, and therefore our most recommended. Powerful, precise and a piece of design beauty, it is the ODE grinder that you may find within the kitchen of GUSTATORY HQ. Boasting a grand total of 31 grind settings, and a unique single dose load bin for maximum bean freshness, as well as various other small design details such as magnetic catches, noise reduction features and more, we really can't commend the ODE any higher. This all said, the ODE grinder would require more of an investment than that of Sage, Wilfa or Baratza, and so it really does depend on what you'd like from your grinder - we fully recommend all of the grinders as mentioned.
We hope this article provides you with some useful points of comparison and some things to consider if you are in the market for a good, reliable coffee grinder. As we say, all grinders are different but if you stick to a burr grinder and ensure, if you enjoy espresso, you buy one that can grind fine enough, you won’t go far wrong.
GUSTATORY (adjective): curating excellence in taste.