Last updated: August 11, 2021

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Welcome to our big coffee grinder test 2021. Here we present all the coffee grinders we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web.

We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best coffee grinder for you. You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy a coffee grinder.




Summary

  • A coffee grinder allows you to grind your coffee fresh and easily every day. You can choose whether you want to make powder for espresso or filter coffee.
  • A basic distinction is made between coffee grinders with beater, cutter and cone grinders. There are numerous grinders available on the market for each type of grinder.
  • Coffee grinders with impact grinders are well suited for making filter coffee and for grinding other products such as cereals or spices. Disc and cone grinders are gentler on the aroma and are therefore best suited for espresso and other coffee specialities.

The Best Coffee Grinder in the United Kingdom: Our Choices

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a coffee grinder

What makes a good coffee grinder?

The key features of a good coffee grinder depend mainly on the grinder. On the one hand, you should make sure that the grinder grinds slowly and thus at low temperatures. Secondly, it should have different grinding levels for varied coffee enjoyment.

  1. A good coffee grinder should grind the beans evenly at low speed. Too fast a rotation generates heat that alters the coffee oils and the coffee ends up tasting bitter to burnt.
  2. A high-quality coffee grinder should have an optimal fine adjustment of the grinder, as even slight differences in the grind will affect the taste and crema of the coffee. In addition, the correct grind can vary depending on the type of bean, which requires precise regulation, especially for espresso.

To maintain the quality of the ground coffee in the long term, you should fill the powder from the grinder directly into a container provided for this purpose.

Kaffeemühle elektrisch

A coffee grinder is a must for every coffee lover. Every day, the coffee powder can be freshly ground and used to make coffee. (Photo: Pexels / pixabay.com)

Is a hand grinder still up to date compared to an electric grinder?

In the meantime, the hand coffee grinder has already been largely pushed off the market by the electric version. Nevertheless, the mill, which seems to be "threatened with extinction", still exists in many small households, even if only for the small coffee enjoyment. Nowadays, there are still some hand coffee grinders on the market, but should they really be preferred to an electric grinder?

Even if the first thought of a hand grinder makes you think of the constant cranking, it still proves to be an inexpensive and high quality alternative to the electric competition. Hand grinders usually have a cone grinder and are ideal if you don't consume a lot of coffee. They also take up little space and, thanks to manual operation, are perfect for on the go, whether travelling or simply camping in a tent. So if you enjoy cranking, there's nothing stopping you from buying a hand grinder.

How much does a coffee grinder cost?

Coffee grinders come in all price ranges - from the inexpensive beater grinder for beginners, which only costs a few euros, to the professional cone grinder, which costs a three-digit amount. All in all, we think that these prices are reasonable if you want to enjoy fresh coffee every day without too much effort. Simple beater grinders are available for as little as 10 euros. However, if you place a lot of value on fully aromatic espresso, you should not skimp on the grinder and choose a disc or cone grinder.

Type Price range
Impact mill approx. 10-30€
Disc mill approx. 30€
Cone mill approx. 40€

How do I clean a coffee grinder?

To ensure that the taste of your coffee does not change over time, it is important to clean your grinder from time to time. So that you don't have to dismantle the whole grinder, we will show you below how to make your grinder shine in two simple steps.

Did you know that a coffee grinder can also stick together? Do not use coffee beans with a coating in your coffee grinder. When grinding coffee beans with a cocoa coating, for example, the grinder can become stuck due to the residue. This can eventually lead to your coffee grinder no longer being functional.

When the roasted beans are ground in the grinder, valuable fats come out, which then settle in the coffee grinder. Although this is not harmful to health, it can affect the taste of the coffee after a certain time. Therefore, it is important to clean the grinder regularly so that you can continue to enjoy your daily coffee as delicious and aromatic. Below we will explain how to clean your grinder step by step:

Step 1: Cleaning the surface, the bean hopper and the ejection opening

The surface can be easily cleaned with a clean cloth and lukewarm water. A microfibre cloth can also be used. When cleaning the bean container, it is best to detach it from the grinder. Then you can simply clean it with detergent and water. Some containers are even suitable for the dishwasher, but you should follow the manufacturer's instructions. Finally, the ejection opening needs to be cleaned. This can be done quickly and easily with a suitable cleaning brush or a hoover. It is important to make sure that the grinder is switched off.

Step 2: Cleaning the grinder

There are two ways to clean the inside of the grinder. The latter is becoming increasingly popular because of its simplicity.

  1. To clean the heart of the grinder by hand, you must first unscrew it. Then you have direct access to the grinder and can clean it with the cleaning brush. In some cases, you can even remove it from the mill with a lot of dexterity.
  2. An old household remedy is cleaning with rice. However, since rice grains are harder than coffee beans, there is a risk that the grinder will be severely damaged. For this reason, I would advise against this method and recommend cleaning with granules as an alternative. You can grind a granulate that is specially adapted to the grinder without any problems. The procedure is the same as if you were grinding coffee beans. You simply put the granulate into the container instead of the beans.

A superficial cleaning should be carried out once a week, while a monthly interval is sufficient for cleaning the grinder.

Decision: What types of coffee grinders are there and which is the right one for you?

Good coffee depends first and foremost on the quality of the beans, but right after that comes the coffee grinder. Beans processed by a good grinder retain their ingredients and aroma. The grinders of the coffee grinder are of particular importance. Basically, we can distinguish between three different types of coffee grinders:

  • Impact mills
  • Disc mills
  • Cone mills

How does a beater grinder work and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The particular advantage of this grinder is its price. If you are looking for a simple filter coffee grinder for little money, the beater grinder is exactly the right one for you. The beater or propeller grinder is a very simple design and you may remember it from your youth or from your grandparents. Although it is called a grinder, it actually works in a similar way to a blender. The beater mill works with a beater blade that grinds the beans by rotation.

Advantages
  • Inexpensive
  • Easy to clean
  • Suitable for filter coffee
Disadvantages
  • Uneven grind
  • High grind speed
  • Unsuitable for espresso

However, the result of the ground bean is often very irregular, as some parts are pulverised but others remain coarse. For this reason, a propeller grinder is also very unsuitable for espresso machines. However, if you are looking for a simple and inexpensive grinder for filter coffee, a beater grinder is exactly the right model for you.

How does a disc grinder work and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

If you are looking for a coffee grinder for both espresso and filter coffee, we advise you to choose a disc grinder. Due to the large variety of offers, you can choose between numerous grinders with ceramic or steel grinders. Currently, disc or flat grinders are the most common coffee grinders. The beans are ground between two discs that lie on top of each other, with one fixed and the other rotating. The greater the distance between the grinding discs, the coarser the powder.

Advantages
  • Price-performance ratio
  • Even grind
  • Largest product range
Disadvantages
  • High grinding speed
  • Expensive ceramic grinder

However, these grinders often work at a high speed because they have to transport the ground coffee to the outside, where it is then ejected. Specially made steel and ceramic are used to make the grinding discs, the latter being more durable and therefore cheaper.

How does a cone grinder work and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Do you prefer a small amount of coffee that is aromatic? Then a cone mill is the perfect companion for you. It grinds your coffee gently at low temperatures. A perfect treat for all espresso drinkers! The cone mill is very similar to the disc mill, except that it works with a cone. The beans fall directly from a storage container above into the grinder and then back into a collecting container as ground coffee.

Advantages
  • Even grind
  • Low grinding speed
  • Very suitable for espresso
Disadvantages
  • Higher purchase price

Thanks to this mode of operation, they manage with far lower speeds and therefore heat up less. This type of grinder is therefore more suitable for larger quantities and is gentler on the aroma. It is also very suitable for the espresso machine, as it grinds very evenly.

Buying criteria: You can use these factors to compare and evaluate coffee grinders

In the following, we would like to show you which factors you can use to compare and evaluate coffee grinders. This will make it easier for you to decide whether a particular grinder is suitable for you or not. In summary, these are:

  • The type of grinder
  • Size of the coffee grinder
  • Operation
  • Grinding degrees
  • Bean capacity
  • Sieve tray

Type of grinder

The type of grinder, i.e. the beater, disc or cone grinder, has already been discussed in detail above. Nevertheless, we would like to point out once again that the type of grinder is probably the most important criterion when buying a coffee grinder, because it has a significant influence on the final result.

So first ask yourself how you like your coffee best. If you want a small amount with a big effect, only disc and cone grinders will do. However, if you want to stay true to your filter coffee machine or French press, then a percussion grinder is perfectly adequate for you.

Impact grinders may not be particularly gentle on the aroma, but you can also use them to grind other products such as cereals or spices without any problems.

Size of the coffee grinder

A coffee grinder always takes up space in the kitchen or cupboard - don't forget that. Depending on how often you make your own coffee powder, you will want to allocate more or less space to such a device in your household. The most space-saving is a simple hand coffee grinder. However, there are also electric coffee grinders that do not take up much space due to their small bean containers.

Coffee grinders with an attached container take up the most floor space and are also quite tall, but they are also very practical because you don't have to refill them after each coffee. Since each grinder has an individual design, it's hard to say how much space it will take up in your kitchen.

Nevertheless, we looked at various models and came up with an average value. Most coffee grinders require a floor space of about 20 x 15 cm and are 20 to 30 cm high. A large coffee grinder is usually associated with a higher production capacity than a smaller device.

Operating mode

If you are planning an enjoyable breakfast alone or as a couple, you will grind fewer beans for your coffee than when having a cosy coffee chat with your friends. And because only freshly ground coffee tastes best, it's important that you have the ability to produce the right amount at the right time.

Hand coffee grinders tend to be designed for small quantities. They can grind up to 70 g of coffee beans. That makes about 5 - 7 cups of coffee, depending on the desired strength level. However, it always tastes best when you grind it yourself.

Depending on its dimensions, an electric coffee grinder is also suitable for making a larger quantity at once. If you need coffee quickly and easily in large quantities, an electric grinder is therefore just the right option for you.

Number of grinds

If you want to make different coffee specialities, an adjustable grind is crucial in a grinder. For espresso, for example, you need a uniformly fine powder, for filter coffee or French press it should be a little coarser.

Did you know that the wrong grind can cause the coffee to be over- or under-extracted? With over-extraction, the coffee beans have been ground too finely. This produces too many bitter substances and tannins. This makes the coffee taste too intense. In the case of under-extraction, the coffee beans have been ground too coarsely. The coffee is light and can taste watery.

If your grinder does not have adjustable grinding levels, you can easily determine the fineness of the ground coffee by the length of the grinding process. The longer you grind, the finer the powder.

The correct grind of a coffee machine is important to get the best taste from the coffee. With the optimal grind, you achieve a firm crema of the coffee. Ideally extracted, the coffee tastes balanced and lively. Nevertheless, grinders with numerically adjustable grinds currently dominate the market and are absolutely recommendable for light coffee enjoyment to tart pick-me-ups.

Bean capacity

A container with a large bean capacity can be very practical if you need a lot of coffee every day, often for several people. It saves you constant refilling and the coffee still stays fresh thanks to an airtight cover. However, grinders with a large bean hopper often have larger dimensions.

Therefore, you should make sure that you have enough space in your kitchen. If you only need your coffee grinder for you and your partner, a small bean container is perfectly adequate. In addition, we even recommend a smaller capacity for smaller quantities, as freshly ground coffee tastes best every day.

Portafilter

In the catering trade, grinders with a doser are preferred, and there are also many grinders with a storage container for the home. Nevertheless, coffee still tastes best when each portion is ground individually and fresh directly into the portafilter.

To prepare real Italian coffee, you need a coffee grinder with a portafilter. These grinders are characterised by their removable sieve. The small portions ensure that each coffee is freshly prepared and therefore grinds the coffee grounds directly into the portafilter.

If you attach great importance to high-quality espresso, you should not do without a machine with a portafilter. This guarantees fresh coffee in every cup.

With a little practice, anyone can make an excellent espresso and many other coffee specialities such as cappuccino and latte macchiato. A grinder with a portafilter that adds an aromatic note to every cup is crucial for the success of a coffee that also meets the demands of professional baristas.

Facts worth knowing about coffee and coffee grinders

Why freshly ground coffee is so important?

Coffee is a fresh product. The fresher the bean, the better the aroma. Nowadays, most people are used to drinking the same ground supermarket coffee with the same taste every day. To avoid getting bogged down in the daily grind, we will explain why the freshness of coffee is so important and how your morning drink can become a real taste experience.

First of all, it should be mentioned that coffee is a natural product. This means that, like other plant products, it is subject to qualitative fluctuations and ageing processes. The problem is that you can recognise bad fruit or vegetables by their appearance, which is not the case with coffee beans.

To make sure you don't make the wrong purchase, we'll show you what freshness means for coffee. The ageing process of coffee beans does not start after harvesting, but after roasting. The oils and fats contained in coffee beans only start to go rancid after the gases in the beans have been released, which also carry numerous aromas with them.

For this reason, it does not matter when the coffee beans were harvested; what matters is the time of roasting. Since the aromas begin to decompose about six weeks after roasting, experts recommend using up coffee after a maximum of three months. Fresh coffee convinces with wonderful aromas and good taste and is therefore definitely not older than three months from the day of roasting.

So the next time you buy your coffee, pay attention to the best-before date. Normally, it is 24 months (set by law), so if you calculate back this period of time, you will get the roasting date. If you pay attention to the roasting date and the best-before date, you will quickly realise that supermarkets mainly sell old coffees that have already lost most of their aromas.

The fact that coffee cannot expire at all and is edible even months after the best-before date has passed may therefore only be true to a limited extent. Of course, we can still drink the coffee; however, the coffee flavour has been strongly altered or even completely lost. To keep the coffee fresh for as long as possible, we recommend always grinding it fresh or storing the ground powder in a coffee tin if needed.

Another indication of good coffee is the "highland coffee" label on the packaging. If you look for this, you know that the beans are of high quality. This is because the higher a coffee is grown, the slower the coffee beans ripen and thus gain extra flavour.

Kaffeemühle und Tasse im Hintergrund

Coffee tastes much better with freshly ground coffee powder. It is best to keep the coffee powder in a closed tin. (Photo: Tom Swinnen / pexels.com)

Arabica and Robusta are ideal for your coffee grinder. In this table we have summarised the most important facts about the two most popular types of coffee.

Characteristics Arabica Robusta
Cultivation The Arabica bean is grown in Brazil, Colombia, Ethiopia, Honduras, Mexico, Peru and Guatemala and is a very sensitive plant. The Robusta bean is grown in Vietnam, Indonesia and India and is a very resistant plant.
Caffeine content The Arabica bean is characterised by its low caffeine content of 0.8 to 1.5% The Robusta bean is characterised by its high caffeine content of 1.7 to 3.5%.
Taste Arabica has a noble, fruity, and finely nuanced aroma.The bean contains more oil and sugar and thus has a smooth, supple texture. Robusta has a strong, slightly bitter aroma. The bean contains less oil and sugar and therefore has a more stable crema and a harder finish.

What is a "dead space"?

Dead space is the space between the grinder and the ejector of a coffee grinder. Due to its design, a few grams of ground coffee accumulate in this space after each grinding process. Depending on the grinder, this can be up to 10 grams. If you consider that an espresso consists of about 7 grams of ground coffee, this is a lot of coffee that might get stuck. The result is that the next time you grind the coffee, you will not get fresh grounds, but rather the grounds that have been in the machine since the last grinding process.

An important criterion for choosing a coffee grinder is therefore a relatively small dead space.

If the dead space is somewhat longer, this can have an unpleasant effect on the taste and freshness of the coffee.

Image source: Pixabay.com / Felix_Broennimann

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