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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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