Is An Expensive Coffee Grinder Worth It? Tried And Tested

Having a grinder at home enables you to have freshly ground coffee whenever you like. Pre-ground coffee can be helpful, but truthfully, coffee is only fresh within thirty minutes of grinding. Whole coffee beans remain at optimum freshness for over two weeks after being roasted.

Expensive coffee grinders are undoubtedly worth it, especially if you value the flavor of freshly ground beans in the morning and plan to use them often. A decent grinder is essential if you have discerning tastes and you want to achieve the same results as a professional barista. People who enjoy espresso tend to prefer a finer ground style than what you’re likely to purchase pre-ground from a store, and spending a bit more money will help you produce the type of grind you prefer.

Choosing the best type of coffee grinder depends on personal preference. Certain factors come into play when deciding on a coffee grinder for your particular needs.

You must consider that there are two main types of machines, blade, and burr. We will look at these coffee grinders and discuss how much you should spend on a grinder to help you make your decision.

Do You Need An Expensive Coffee Grinder?

You can grind coffee with a grinder you picked up at the store for $15, and it will chop up coffee beans for you, but that’s all it will do.

Many coffee lovers are willing to spend hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on a machine as they know it will grind coffee perfectly.

You must consider what factors make a grinder special – it isn’t about just slicing up the roasted beans. Good coffee demands beans that are uniformly sized.

If you love coffee, you can tell the difference between coffee ground in a $100 grinder and one for $2o, and it comes down to the build’s quality.

You will find those high-end units containing more metal than plastic, not to mention that quality control is far superior to a substandard grinder.

We are talking about burrs spinning closely at high speed – this is what produces even grinds, and your coffee will taste so much better. These machines consist of a superior build, components, and it’s a better-tested product.

While you don’t need to buy a quality coffee machine, you need to spend more than $20 on a grinder. Burr grinders are specially coated to stop the beans from overheating, and it keeps grind retention low, which prevents oxidization of leftover grinds, so burr grinders are worth considering.

How Important Is A Good Coffee Grinder?

The right grinder is perhaps one of the most essential pieces of equipment contributing to making the perfect espresso shot- it really plays a starring role.

If you try to get away with a substandard unit, even the most high-tech espresso machine will disappoint. You cannot make a decent espresso without a good quality grinder, producing a consistently even grind. It will also prevent the coffee from clumping together.

Additionally, it keeps the beans cool while grinding and evenly distributing coffee into the basket. At the same time, inconsistent grinds cause all kinds of problems.

Different coffee makers call for different-sized coffee grinds; for a French press, you need a coarse grind because it uses a wire filter.

This method doesn’t deliver much in flavor, but you can compensate by brewing it for longer. This way, the water soaks in the coarser grains longer.

You need a medium grind for a Moka POT as it uses a metal filter, and you want to avoid clogging it up with tiny grinds or the grinds going into the brew.

You need a fine grind for espresso because the steam pressure will extract as much coffee from the beans as possible.

Generally, a fine grind offers the best extraction because there is more surface area for the water to pass through the beans. Making a good espresso needs a balance of many factors – the coffee, grind, tamp, pressure.

There are two kinds of home-use coffee grinders: the standard blade grinder and the burr grinder:

Blade Grinders

Blade grinders have two-sided blades that spin and chop the beans simultaneously and often result in an inconsistent grind.

These machines are available to purchase in your local grocery store, and they are convenient. However, they do not have grind settings and can burn your coffee.

They tend to be cheaper but using them is a false economy as they are more of a hindrance to your coffee making than a help.

Burr Grinders

Burr grinders, on the other hand, grind beans with two burrs (or serrated discs). You can set the grind you like, load the beans into the chamber to begin grinding. Ground coffee then collects in a second chamber, ready for use.

Burr grinders tend to produce a uniform, consistent grind; this is because rather than slicing the beans, this grinder crushes them, making the force of the impact more evenly. Also, the machines are durable and stay sharp for many years.

Burr grinders come in manual and electric. Manual burrs are an excellent option for coffee grinding novices as they are small and durable.

Surprisingly, the hand burr grinders at $20 to $30 are cheaper than blade grinders but function much better.

How Much Should I Spend On A Coffee Grinder?

The cost of a good coffee grinder depends on its materials and available features. The quality of your grinder will determine the texture of your coffee beans and the flavor of your final brew.

Cheap grocery store coffee grinders usually cost anywhere between $10 t0 $20; these are typically blade grinders with simple motors.

These machines make lots of noise and don’t produce a uniform grind. They will break down your beans, but you can’t rely on consistent texture.

You can find a manual burr for this price, and it will work better for you, although the parts might be low quality and have a shorter lifespan.

Most coffee grinders cost between $20 and $70; this is a mid-level price point. However, decent burr grinders cost around $35.

You will have a good unit for this price that will produce a consistent grind and it will last a long time.

If you wish to spend a bit more, High-end coffee grinders can cost under $1oo. These units have grind and speed settings and automatic shut-off features.

Manual grinders at that price generally have retro or artisanal designs. The extra cost can come from an attractive appearance, a replaceable blade, or some other feature that makes your grinder better than the rest.

Coffee grinders operate on a simple mechanism, so it can be challenging to design one that costs more than $80.

However, if you study the world of high-end grinders, you will find ones made with quality materials and deliver truly automated convenience.

These machines cost between $100 to $200, and they are significantly larger than cheaper grinders; they are perfect for making whole coffee batches at once.

These grinders are designed for coffee shops or artisanal use. It is completely unnecessary to spend this much money on home brewing.

A coffee grinder will take up a lot of space in your kitchen, so it’s essential to get the right appliance for you.

Whether you choose to buy an automatic blade grinder or a manual bur mill, you should check for some things before purchasing. Examine the contents to select a grinder that will last you for years:

  • Propellers or metal burrs
  • Solid internal structure
  • Metal internal construction
  • Hand crank or sturdy buttons
  • Smart and simple features
  • Smooth and quiet motor
  • Easy access for cleaning and maintenance 

You could spend so much money on a grinder and find that your shots are poor. The chances are that your distribution may be off-kilter.

Distribution concerns how evenly dispersed the grinds are in the portafilter. If poorly dispersed, you will have a coffee shot that looks decent for a few seconds and becomes a light-blonde mess-up.

When this occurs, the water is not extracting flavor uniformly, so the final shot tastes terrible.

To prevent poor distribution, spread the grinds around evenly, fill any fissures and push the grinds to the edge. If you don’t have a consistent grind, you cannot make a decent espresso.

Final Thoughts

If you love your coffee and are interested in learning about different flavors and bean varieties, you want every part of the experience to be perfect. You cannot truly enjoy all that coffee has to offer when the beans are poorly grounded.

A good grinder is built to last and will produce even grinds every time you use it. You don’t need to spend much cash on a decent grinder, but you need to pay somewhere between $35 to $100.

Burr grinders have the edge over other units, and if you’re new to grinding coffee, it might be best to invest in a manual grinder to get a feel for it before moving onto an electric grinder.

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