Last Updated on February 21, 2023 by Marie Cooper
The best burr coffee grinders to buy today are reviewed below. We all know that a perfect brew begins with the perfect grounds. That’s how you avoid over or under-extracted coffee, and getting the perfect grounds begins with buying the best grinder.
The 3 Best Burr Coffee Grinders in 2023
Baratza Virtuoso+ Conical Burr Coffee Grinder
Pros: The wide range of grind settings (40 in total) enables you to make coffee using a wide range of brewing methods. Whether you like Chemex, Espresso, Aeropress, Hario V60, French Press, or automatic brewers, the conical burrs of this machine and its grind settings which range from fine to coarse make it possible to get the perfect grounds for your preferred brewing method.
This product also comes with a programmable digital timer with a 40-second limit. This timer is precise and can be adjusted to a tenth of a second for the utmost precision. While the machine grinds your coffee, you’ll be able to see the grounds clearly in the grounds bin thanks to its led backlight.
The Baratza Virtuoso+ hopper can hold up to 8 ounces of whole beans. The product is stylish and it’s impossible to not get the results you want with this grinder.
Cons: This product is expensive. You have to be willing to shell out at least $240 or more depending on where you purchase it from if you want to own this product. You’ll also have to deal with static, as with most grinders.
OXO Brew Conical Burr Coffee Grinder
Pros: The OXO Brew is affordable and comes with 15 grind settings, all of which produce uniform grounds regardless of what setting you select. The settings allow you to choose from fine grounds all the way to coarse grounds for espresso, French Press, and more by simply turning the hopper. It works for oily beans too.
It comes with a timer as well, and its timer has a one-touch feature which means it remembers your last setting and you can get the machine grinding your coffee beans in no time without having to set up the timer again.
You can grind as much as 0.75 pound of beans at once in this machine. Static electricity is one thing you won’t have to worry about thanks to its grounds container which is specifically designed to preclude the buildup of static electricity.
Cons: Some models come with a flaw where the grounds container doesn’t lock in place, which can cause displacement while grinding.
Cuisinart DBM-8 Supreme Grind Automatic Burr Mill
Pros: The Cuisinart DBM-8 offers you 18 grind settings which you can choose from using its grind selector. With these settings, you can make ultra-fine grounds, all the way to extra-coarse grounds. Its bean hopper can hold as much as 0.5 pound of beans and it’s dishwasher safe.
This product has a removable grind chamber which holds enough grounds for 32 cups of coffee. Its bean hopper is removable too, which eases the cleaning process. It has the one-touch grind feature too. You just need to select the number of cups you want using the cup selector dial, pick your grind size from the 18 settings, and hit the start button.
Lastly, you get a scoop/cleaning brush with your purchase and a cord storage solution which allows you to wrap excess cord around the tabs under the base of the grinder.
Cons: This machine is relatively loud and since it’s fully automatic, you’re limited to the options its cup selector dial offers you. Static buildup is also another concern, but not a huge one since it’s not considerable.
Best Burr Coffee Grinders – Other Options to Consider
The truth about burr coffee grinders is there are a good number of quality products on the market, and that’s the case with other types of products as well. During my research and testing, I found 8 products that I would wholeheartedly recommend.
The 3 models featured above are my top 3 picks, and they’re featured because I do not wish to feature more than 3 products in order to avoid overwhelming you with a lot of options.
However, if you wish to explore more options and take a look at a wider range of high-quality models to choose from, then check out these other 5 burr grinders that are just as great at producing uniform grounds as the ones featured above:
- Smeg 50’s Retro – Read reviews and check price
- Baratza Encore – Read reviews and check price
- Eureka Mignon Crono – Read reviews and check price
- Capresso Infinity Plus – Read reviews and check price
- KitchenAid KCG8433 – Read reviews and check price
Top Features to Pay Attention to in a Burr Grinder
There are a variety of settings that these wonderful little machines offer you, but you don’t need a ton of them. If you have just fine, medium, and coarse settings on your machine, you can produce grounds for pour-over, drip, espresso, or any other brewing method you use. So, in terms of settings, there is nothing to worry about. Just make sure your chosen model offers you these 3 grind sizes to choose from, and I’m sure all burr grinders offer these.
You also need to buy a grinder with the right hopper size if you like storing your beans in the hopper instead of loading them in every time you need to grind some. So, if you’re this kind of coffee drinker and you drink a lot of coffee, then consider buying a grinder that comes with a large hopper. Note that beans will lose their freshness and flavor if left in the hopper for more than a few days, so be sure to store leftovers in a cool, dry cupboard where they won’t be exposed to light and air if you’re certain you won’t use them for a good while.
What’s the Difference Between Burr and Blade Grinders
Burr grinders are a little different from their blade counterparts and grind beans in a different way using a different mechanism. With the blade ones, coffee beans is blitzed into pieces and they get smaller as the blade revolves around the machine and cuts through the beans. Burr machines usually have a set of two burrs between which beans are crushed.
There isn’t just a difference in the mechanism for both types of machines, there is also a significant difference in results, and this where burrs truly shine. You see, burr machines aren’t the superior option just because they have a more complicated way of grinding beans. They’re the better option because they produce better results.
With blades, you’re going to get inconsistently sized grounds. The end result is usually a mess of fine and coarse grounds mixed together, some smaller than your brewing method calls for, others larger, and some the ideal size. This leads to uneven extraction. You also won’t be able to pick your desired grind size. You simply grind till you’re satisfied with the results.
Burrs are different. Since the distance between the upper and the lower burr determines the grind size and burrs produce uniform grounds, you can pick your grind size and get grounds the exact size you want, with each particle being the exact same size as the other. All burr grinders offer you grind size options.
There is a noticeable difference in coffee brewed from beans ground by blades and beans ground by burrs. Even if you don’t know a lot about brewing and you’re simply just the average coffee drinker, you’re going to notice the difference.
That said, blade grinders have the advantage of being cheaper and smaller. They cost less and take up a smaller amount of space, and this makes them a great option for the causal coffee drinker who either can’t afford a good burr grinder or doesn’t really care about drinking the best quality coffee.
Types of Burr Grinders
The types of burrs installed in a burr grinder determines what it’s called and how expensive it is (although it’s not the only factor). You’ll come across three types while shopping for one — flat, conical, and disc.
Flat and disc belong to the same category, but disc is a cheaper variant of flat burrs. They have ring-shaped burrs lined with knobby protrusions. Instead of cutting through the beans, they break them, leading to inconsistent grounds similar to those produced by blades.
Therefore, the best types to buy are flat or conical machines. The flat ones have ring-shaped burrs while the conical ones have V-shaped burrs. Both produce uniform grounds thanks to the grooves they are lined with. The grooves are responsible for cutting beans until the desired size is achieved.
How Much to Spend on a Burr Grinder
It depends on what you’re looking for, but most coffee experts would recommend investing in a high-quality model that will produce excellent results and last a long time. You’ll only have to buy it once and you’ll be grinding and brewing excellent coffee for at least the next few years.
The lower you go in price, the lower the quality and durability you get. However, this doesn’t mean you have to buy one of those super expensive models. Sure, go for it if you can afford it, but it’s not necessary. Anything that isn’t too cheap is good enough in my opinion.
A lot of people don’t really pay attention to the quality of their grinders, but these same people are ready to splurge on a high-quality coffee maker. This is wrong. If you can afford it, don’t just buy a top-of-the-range coffee maker, buy a grinder of equal quality too.
By doing this, you’ll get the absolute best brews from your expensive brewing equipment because grind quality also impacts brew quality significantly, not just how good your brewing equipment is.
What to Look for in a Coffee Grinder
First off, let’s talk about how coffee is extracted. Coffee beans are made of soluble molecules and some of these are good for your brew while others are not so good. Therefore, the aim of brewing is to extract these good molecules — as much of them as possible — without extracting the undesirable ones in the process.
What leads to under-extracted coffee is failure to extract enough of the soluble molecules that you want. You’ll get a sour brew that is sometimes weak, but not always, when you under extract your coffee.
Over-extracted coffee have a bitter and harsh taste to them as a result of extracting too much of the desirable molecules along with the unwanted ones. Now, guess how much the grind size of your grounds affects extraction — it does to a great degree.
The flow rate during a brew is determined by grind size where flow rate is relevant, for example, in pour-over brewing. Water seeps through large particles faster than small particles, which means the finer your grounds, the more coffee is extracted since water stays within them for a longer period of time.
Grind size doesn’t just determine flow rate and, by extension, extraction; it also determines surface area which also affects extraction.
The molecules in fine grounds are more accessible and easier to extract thanks to the greater surface area of finely ground coffee, which leads to faster extraction. Coarse grounds have less surface area, which has the opposite effect on extraction in contrast to fine particles.
Now that you know the impact of grind size on brew quality, you can now see how important it is to get a grinder that can give you the exact grind size you need, offers you a wide range of sizes to choose from so you can grind for any brewing method, and produce uniform grounds so each particle has the same size as the other. This is how you ensure you don’t brew under or over-extracted coffee.
Should You Grind Spices and Nuts With Your Coffee Grinder?
The short answer is no. Even though it’s possible to grind spices and nuts using a burr grinder, it’s not recommended because they are designed to grind coffee beans, not nuts and spices.
Using yours for any other purpose aside from producing coffee grounds will cause it to wear out faster. You don’t want to spend a good amount of money on a nice grinder only to ruin it by grinding all kinds of stuff with it. If you really want a simple machine for nuts and spices, consider buying one of those cheap blade grinders and using it exclusively for your nuts and spices.
How to Make Your Burr Grinder Last Long With Proper Maintenance
A lot of coffee enthusiasts think simply brushing away grounds after using their grinder will help them get more use of out it, but that isn’t true. You have to put more effort into maintenance if you want your machine to last long.
Start by removing the top burr and cleaning it gently by brushing each side. This simple cleaning step has a lot of advantages. It keeps your machine performing at its best, prevents clogs, and prevents off flavors which can find their way to your coffee when oil and bean residue builds up. You can also remove the lower burr if yours is removable and clean it the same way as you did the top burr.
If you’re unable to remove the burrs, use a vacuum cleaner with a wand attachment to vacuum the burrs by poking the wand around them. This will get rid of a lot of grounds stuck in there, but nothing beats removing and cleaning them. Wash the hopper and the grounds container too using soapy water, and either let them air dry or wipe them with a lint-free cloth or paper towel.
This deep cleaning process should be carried out every 4 to 6 weeks or as recommended by your manufacturer. For those who grind oily beans frequently, more frequent cleaning might be necessary (experts recommend biweekly cleaning).
Grinding Coffee Beans Doesn’t Get Any Easier Than This
The best burr coffee grinders will put your blade grinder to shame. If you’ve never tried one before, you’ll be amazed at the results you get when you try it out for the first time.
Now that you know what the best models to consider are, you just need to compare them and see which one fits your needs the most. You can find most of the information you need through the links above, but if you have any unanswered questions, you can also shoot me an email and I’ll do my best to answer your question.