How To Pick The Perfect Electric Coffee Grinder For You

Maybe you’re tired of grinding coffee by hand; maybe you need a way to grind for big groups of people; or maybe you’re just ready to speed things up a bit—an electric coffee grinder’s a great way to solve all those problems.

Sure, they’re quite a bit more expensive than manual coffee grinders, but they offer some benefits that’ll really stick out to some people.

  • They’re fast and good for big batches. Electric grinders can grind a handful of coffee beans in seconds, which can speed up your morning a bit. They’re also particularly handy for when you need to brew a big batch of coffee.

  • They enable you to preserve your beans’ freshness. When you can grind whole beans just moments before brewing, you get to experience coffee when it’s still fresh and flavorful (compared to stale pre-ground coffee).

  • They allow you to use any brewer you want. Want to give a french press a go? What about a pour over cone or Aeropress? With a grinder, you can switch the grind size to suit any coffee brewer.

  • Read: Manual VS Electric Coffee Grinders: How To Pick The Right One

    An electric coffee grinder can make a great addition to your coffee gear arsenal, but there are plenty of bad electric grinders out there. In this guide, I’ll show you:

    • How to tell if an electric grinder is worth your money
    • The kind of grinder you absolutely want to avoid at all costs
    • A few things you need to consider before pulling the trigger on a grinder

    By the end, you’ll have an excellent idea of what kind of electric grinder will best suit your coffee habits and lifestyle.

    How To Spot High-Quality Electric Coffee Grinders

    Not all electric grinders are made equally. In fact, there are many more junk grinders out there than good ones—and most people can’t tell the difference.

    Here’s what to look for and avoid when looking at electric coffee grinders.

  • Look for grinder manufacturers vetted by the specialty coffee community. We tend to be a little picky here in the specialty coffee industry, but most of us agree that Baratza and Breville have some of the best home electric grinders out there.

  • Avoid blade grinders (non-negotiable). Cheap blade grinders don’t actually grind you coffee—they just chop it up. This creates terribly inconsistent grounds that don’t brew at the same speed, which kills flavor balance. If you only have $20-30 to spend, go with a manual burr grinder instead.

  • Avoid over-promises for under $120. Widely considered the best entry-level home electric grinder, the Baratza Encore will cost you $120 brand new. Anything under that price point is going to use sub-par burrs that’ll give you sub-par results (but so many grinders will still say they have perfectly uniform grounds).

  • Yeah, there are thousands of grinders out there that look good, but here’s the thing: making electric coffee grinders is expensive, and if there’s one thing a manufacturer is going to skimp on, it’s the grind quality.

    Read: Home Electric Coffee Grinder Care 101

    For this reason, I strongly suggest having $120 as your minimum budget. If you would prefer to spend less, once again, opt for a manual grinder ($120 quality for only $20).

    4 Things To Consider When Buying An Electric Grinder

    We’ve already slimmed down the options quite a bit, but you still have some choices to make that’ll affect your coffee habits for years to come. Let’s explore them real quick so you don’t end up with a grinder you’ll regret.

    1. Grinder Noise

    Unfortunately, electric grinders tend to make a lot of noise. It’s understandable though—motors create noise and that’s just how it is.

    There are some grinder models, however, that have cracked the code to less noise. They’re not silent, but they’re generally quieter than your typical screeching electric grinder.

    Some particularly quiet electric grinders are:

    If you still need to quiet things down, you can try setting your grinder on top of a towel or holding it tightly while grinding to reduce vibrations.

    Read: 4 Signs It's Time To Replace Your Coffee Grinder's Burrs

    2. Number Of Grind Settings

    One of the best parts about electric grinders is their ability to grind at a wide variety of settings. If a grinder has 20 different settings—hard pass. Go for at least 40! The Breville Smart Pro Grinder has 60 settings.

    More grind settings means more flexibility and precision. With less difference between settings, you can be more precise when you’re trying to ‘dial in’ your grind size and brew better coffee.

    Read: How To Brew Better Coffee By Adjusting Your Coffee Grind Size

    3. Micro-Adjustments For Espresso

    If you’re looking for an espresso grinder, there are actually quite a few good options out there. However, some of them have micro-adjustments—but not all of them.

    The Baratza Encore is an excellent all-around grinder that you can use for virtually any method. It’s not amazing for espresso, but you do have 4-5 settings you can use for pulling good shots.

    The Baratza Sette 270, however, has micro-adjustments that allow you to fine-tune each setting. So instead of only 30 macro settings, there are also 9 micro settings per macro setting. That’s 270 different grind sizes—which offers a ton of flexibility and precision!

    Read: The Ultimate Guide To Making Espresso At Home

    Like I said, you don’t necessarily need all these micro settings, but they’re something you should strongly consider if you really want to become intimate with espresso brewing.

    4. Dosing Style (On-Demand, Weight-Based, Or Time-Based)

    The standard electric coffee grinder comes with two dosing options: on-demand and by timer. This means you can set a timer for 3 seconds, for example, or you can just hold down a button till you’re good to go.

    These two options are more than suitable, but there’s also a third, newer option that’s starting to become more common: weight-based dosing.

    Grinders like the Baratza Sette 270W allow you to set a target weight (20g, for example) and then grind to that target. They can be 1-2g off, but it’s pretty nice to be able to set the target, press the button, and let the grinder do the measuring.

    Read: 3 Reasons You Need A Coffee Scale To Brew Coffee

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    Electric grinders are handy, but they’re also a bit of a financial investment. Durable electronics and precise burrs aren’t cheap, but the rewards may be worth it to you if you’re looking to make convenient, stellar specialty coffee.

    Want to know another way to upgrade your morning coffee without breaking the bank? Buy specialty-grade, freshly roasted coffee beans.

    We source beans from the best coffee farms in the world, roast them carefully to highlight their best flavors, and ship them to our Coffee Club subscribers just two hours later—that way you get your beans when they’re as fresh as possible.

    The Coffee Club’s a great way to boost your coffee quality overnight and try incredible beans from around the world. Check it out!

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