Coffee starts to stale 10 minutes after it is ground! Grinding before you brew is important for a good cup of coffee. Here are some factors to consider when choosing a coffee mill-
- How do you brew your coffee? (Filtercone and paper filter? Espreso? French Press?)
- How much coffee do you need to grind at one time? (Will determine which capacity hopper you need.)
- How much you want to spend? (Though money will buy you a better grinder, there are some alternatives to get you in your grind range, keep reading.)
For drip coffee consider a mid priced conical milll from Baratza. If money or countertop space is a factor, a whirling blade mill like the Bodum Bistro will do the trick. A less noisy option is a manual mill which gives you an even grind and can be a good choice if you are brewing only one cup at a time.
You cannot get a good espresso extraction without a quality coffee grinder that can achieve a fine even grind. Our mills for espresso are built to last and serviceable after warranty. An inexpensive alternative to an eletric mill is a manual mill, which will give you fine enough grind for espresso, though it will take some time and muscle to achieve.
You can compare any of our mills based on the the "Additional Info" information we give for each mill. We also include the grind range so you can determine if the mill is right for your brew method of choice!
Grinding for espresso? Grinding for drip brewing or French press? The Baratza Vario is an excellent grinder that does both and occupies a minimal amount of real estate on your countertop. It's professional-grade but made for home use which means you can expect a lot of high quailty features in a small package. The two slider levers give you micro and macro controls which allow for fine tuning up to 230 repeatable grind settings. We like how it comes with both a "Portaholder" and and an 8oz grounds bin and noticed that the narrow, even stream of ground coffee coming from the Vario also makes dosing into a portafilter a lot easier than most home espresso grinders.Learn More$449.00
The Zassenhaus Knee Mill is a hand-powered grinder featuring the same grinding mechanism as the Box Mill, with an obvious improvement: the narrower profile and indentations in the side allow you to hold the grinder between your knees while sitting. This is handy when you grinding at a fine setting, when there is more resistance.Learn More$90.50
It's immediately apparent when you handle a Zassenhaus how remarkably functional and simplified they are: these are precision instruments built sturdy for everyday use and made of fine materials ... not an antique reproduction to decorate a kitchen shelf. The Box Mill is the traditional Zassenhaus design, with a heavy-gauge chromed stainless steel handle.Learn More$82.50
The Model 169 DG Closed Hopper Walnut Zassenhaus mill is perhaps a deluxe version of the closed hopper mills. It features a sturd cast iron top on a walnut finish base. The narrow neck between the cast top and the bottom allows you to get a good grip on the mill with your one hand as you crank with the other.Learn More$135.50
This is a great mill for the road, in the original nomadic spirit of Arabic coffee: roasted, ground and brewed in one sitting by merchants and traders. The handle and knob are solid cast brass. The sides are solid brass with decorative traditional scroll designs.
The Encore is an all-around grinder and a good choice if you mostly drink french press or filter drip and an occasional espresso. It's an appropriately named replacement for Baratza's popular "Maestro" grinder. The gearbox has been improved and Baratza claims to have tested it by tossing some steel screws into the moving burrs and the thermal cutout safely stopped the gearbox, preserving the gears...and it's quieter than the old gearbox. Another change is the replacement of the timer with an on/off dial.Learn More$129.00
The Virtuoso Mill is a great all-around mill and a good choice for espresso with it's commercial grade 40 mm conical burr set. It also grinds about twice as fast as the Encore without a higher RPM and is about a pound heavier. In our tests it produces a more consisten and even fine grind.Learn More$229.00
The K3 Elite is Compak's doser model. Ground coffee flows into the "doser" on the front of the machine, and you pull a level to push grounds out. In commercial applications, the doser is often kept full of grounds, in which case the doser should push out the same quantity of grounds with each pull of the lever. But, in home applications you'll probably just be grinding enough coffee for a shot or two of espresso, so in this case you can't rely on the doser to push out a consistent amount of coffee. What a doser will do at home, though, is break up clumps. Static in the grinds causes them to clump together at finer grind levels, and these clumps can be a headache when trying to achieve a perfect espresso. Clumps in the puck can lead to channeling and other extraction problems. The action of the doser hitting the grinds tends to break up the clumps.Learn MorePrice From: $575.90
The K3 Touch is Compak's doserless model. This means that the grinds fall straight from the burrs into your portafilter. The advantage here is that there's no doser to trap old, stale grounds.
Also, it's much easier to grind into a container (if grinding for brewed coffee) with this machine than with the K3 Elite. The tradeoff is that your espresso grind will have more clumps than with a doser grinder, so you'll have to be more careful to properly distribute grinds in the portafilter basket.Learn More$543.75