The Ultimate Guide to Finding the Best Coffee Grinder for Pour Over
Are you tired of settling for mediocre coffee? Do you crave that perfect cup of pour over brew that hits all the right notes? Well, look no further, because we have scoured the market to bring you the definitive guide to the best coffee grinder for pour over. Whether you're a seasoned barista or just starting your coffee journey, we've got you covered. From the sleek and intuitive Baratza Virtuoso to the manual magic of the Flair Manual Espresso Grinder, we've tested them all. So sit back, grab your favorite mug, and prepare to be blown away by the world of exceptional coffee grinding.
The Baratza Virtuoso: An Advanced Upgrade
Priced at $250, the Baratza Virtuoso is a significant step up from the basic Encore model. This high-end grinder offers several additional features that make it a worthwhile investment. One standout feature is its adjustable digital timer, which can be set to within a tenth of a second. Additionally, the Virtuoso has the capability to grind coffee directly into an espresso filter basket, making it a great choice for espresso enthusiasts. Its sharper and sleeker burrs allow for faster and more precise grinding compared to the Encore. While the Encore is suitable for standard drip machines, the Virtuoso is the perfect choice for those who own an espresso machine or are passionate about pour-over coffee.
The Flair Manual Espresso Grinder: Perfect for Espresso Lovers
If you're looking to get an arm workout while brewing your morning coffee, consider switching to a manual coffee grinder like the Flair Manual Espresso Grinder. This grinder, recommended by Chris, offers conical steel burrs and an impressive 72 fine-grind settings, allowing you to customize your espresso grind to perfection. With its easy-to-grip silicone body and convenient thumb rest, grinding coffee becomes a seamless process. Not only is it compact and space-saving, but it is also compatible with various brewing methods that require a finer grind, such as the Aeropress, Turkish coffee, and coffee made in a Moka pot. Whether you're on a camping trip with your Aeropress or enjoy occasional espresso, this grinder is a reliable choice.
Other Grinders Considered
The world of grinders is highly competitive, especially as new developments continually occur in this space. In the interest of transparency, we will provide a list of grinders that were considered for this article but did not make the final cut. If you have any questions about these burr grinders, please refer to the list below. The models are listed from the cheapest to the most expensive:
- Cuisinart DBM-8: This budget-friendly grinder is often recommended for beginners. While it has an attractive design, it lacks consistency and does not bring out intense flavors in the coffee. Investing in a slightly higher-priced grinder is recommended for better results.
Bodum Bistro: The Bodum Bistro grinder, although unique in appearance and equipped with a glass catch cup, falls short in terms of particle distribution, especially for coarse grinds.
1Zpresso Q2: The 1Zpresso Q2 is a compact and attractive burr grinder, ideal for travel and individuals with small hands. However, it did not make the list due to the Timemore C2 offering the same quality burrs at a lower price.
Xeoleo Ghost Burr Grinder: This grinder has unique "ghost teeth" burrs that prevent it from grinding fine. Additionally, the pour-over coffee it produces does not meet expectations in terms of taste. Although it is an interesting grinder, it is not easily accessible and may have warranty and import fee complications.
Breville Smart Grinder Pro: Breville's top model has some impressive features, but it falls short in terms of durability. The impeller tends to wear out quickly, leading to clogged grind chambers. The absence of replacement options from Breville and average performance for both pour over and espresso brewing make it less appealing.
Baratza Virtuoso Plus: The Baratza Virtuoso Plus is an excellent grinder highly regarded by the Wirecutter. However, the added cost for the timer feature may not be appreciated by many users. The M2 burr can be purchased separately and installed in the Baratza Encore for similar results at a lower price point.
Wilfa Uniform: The Wilfa Uniform is a great grinder that has produced many delicious cups of coffee. However, it is only available in Europe and not compatible with the 110V power supply used in many parts of the world. The risk and limitations associated with using it outside its geographical zone outweigh its benefits.
Comandante C40: With excellent grind consistency and an attractive design, the Comandante C40 is a good choice. However, its higher price compared to similar models makes it less appealing when looking for a cost-effective option.
Other Grinders We Tested
During our testing process, we also examined the Baratza Virtuoso, which has been well-regarded for its coffee-shop-level burr grinders. While the Virtuoso is a step up from the entry-level Encore, it offers a significant difference in terms of performance. The Virtuoso features a time dosing feature adjustable to the tenth of a second, requiring some time to find your preferred settings. In our tests, we found that on setting 18, which is recommended for automatic brewers, we obtained nine grams of coffee in just four seconds. Keep in mind that these results may vary depending on the type of beans used. Although not designed specifically for espresso, the Virtuoso proved to be versatile enough for use with an espresso machine, and the design of the grounds container allows for easy transfer to a portafilter.
The Zwilling Enfinigy Grinder: A Reliable Option
The Zwilling Enfinigy Grinder may appear heavy-duty, but it offers a reasonable price point that meets expectations. This versatile grinder consistently produced quality cups of coffee across various brewing methods. Surprisingly, it also performs exceptionally well when grinding beans for espresso (we recommend setting the grind to 20 and the timer to 3). The grinder operates using a manual dial for timed dosing, similar to the Oxo and Solis models. While it may cost slightly more, it has a unique Art Deco appearance that may appeal to some. Pairing it with the Enfinigy drip coffee maker, which brews to the Specialty Coffee Association Gold Cup Standard, is a great option for a complete coffee setup.
The Cuisinart DBM-8 Supreme Grind Automatic Burr Mill and Capresso Infinity Burr Grinder
When considering budget-friendly options, the Cuisinart DBM-8 Supreme Grind Automatic Burr Mill and Capresso Infinity Burr Grinder are worth mentioning. The Cuisinart grinder, priced affordably at just , offers a simple and intuitive design with excellent consistency, making it ideal for beginner coffee enthusiasts. The Capresso grinder, although slightly more expensive, delivers consistent results across various brewing methods, including espresso. However, it does not grind directly into a portafilter, requiring a transfer process that may result in some messiness. Both grinders are suitable for dedicated coffee drinkers who value a quality grind without breaking the bank.
The Fellow Gen 2 Ode Brew Grinder: A Versatile Option
For those looking for an electric coffee grinder at a lower price point but with a wider range of settings, the Fellow Gen 2 Ode Brew Grinder is an excellent choice. Priced at $195, this grinder offers 10 grind settings, allowing you to achieve anything from fine espresso to coarse cold brew. Its minimalist design and thoughtful features, such as the magnetically aligned catch cup and smaller "dosing cup," make grinding coffee a breeze. The Fellow grinders are specifically designed for grinding individual doses, making it easier for households with different coffee preferences. With this sleek machine, you can enjoy freshly ground coffee tailored to your taste.
The Oxo Brew Conical Burr Coffee Grinder: A Budget-Friendly Option
For those just starting their coffee journey and not ready to invest in a high-end grinder, the Oxo Brew Conical Burr Coffee Grinder is an excellent choice. Priced at , this Oxo grinder offers a simple yet intuitive design, delivering consistent grinding results. Although it has a limited range of 15 settings, it is still capable of producing excellent grinds for various brewing methods. Unlike the Fellow grinders, the Oxo grinder features a separate windup timer for adjusting the grind time, maxing out at 30 seconds. While it can achieve a fine grind suitable for espresso, it does not grind directly into a portafilter, resulting in a slightly messy transfer process. Overall, it is an affordable and reliable option for coffee enthusiasts who value consistency in their brew.
Zwilling Enfinigy Burr Coffee Grinder
Wilfa Uniform Coffee Grinder
Brought to the United States for the first time by Lardera, a New Jersey coffee roaster and importer, the Norwegian Wilfa Uniform offers the same consistent grind and high-quality build you would expect from a Scandinavian home product. It performs well for all brewing methods and can even grind to a fine consistency suitable for Turkish coffee, finer than what is needed for espresso. However, there are two issues with the Wilfa. Firstly, the adjustment knob is quite large—it covers the entire lid and it's wide. Adjusting the grinder requires holding it down with one hand while cranking with the other, which is inconvenient unless you have large hands. Secondly, there are some flyaway grind issues. When we pulled out the catch cup, we experienced some ground coffee splatter on the counter. Despite these minor drawbacks, the Wilfa Uniform is a versatile and high-quality grinder.
Wilfa Uniform Grinder
The Eureka Mignon Notte is primarily an espresso grinder, so we evaluated it solely based on its performance in that area (although it is possible to place a bowl under it to catch beans for other brewing methods). Weighing 25 pounds, it is a sturdy and reliable grinder. One notable feature is its stepless adjustment system, which is unique in this price range. Stepless adjustment allows for infinite grind settings, allowing you to experiment until you achieve the perfect grind. To offer stepless adjustments at a lower price, Eureka made the dosing mechanism entirely manual. You need to hold down a button to turn it on and release the button to turn it off. This means you will also need to use a scale every time you brew, which may be an inconvenience. However, using a scale is actually the best way to achieve excellent espresso. Despite these minor limitations, the Eureka Mignon Notte is one of the best espresso grinders for its price.
$329 at Seattle Coffee Gear
Eureka Mignon Notte Espresso Grinder
$329 at Seattle Coffee Gear
Baratza Sette 30 Conical Burr Grinder
We had high hopes for the Baratza Sette 30. This grinder comes from the same company as our current top pick, the Virtuoso, and it is constructed using high-quality materials. It can grind directly into a portafilter for espresso, which is a convenient feature. However, it falls short in several aspects. Firstly, it was challenging to dial in for espresso. We were only able to achieve a satisfactory shot using setting 14 on the grinder and a 5.38-second grind time. Even at the coarsest setting, we couldn't get satisfactory results for French press or pour-over. Additionally, using the grinder with a portafilter can be quite messy, especially with a 54-mm portafilter. Grinds tend to spill out, and it is even more challenging to use with a large dosing funnel. While a 58-mm portafilter is less messy, it is not a practical solution for most espresso machines. Considering these issues, we cannot recommend the Baratza Sette 30 as a top pick due to the inconvenience it presents.
$329 at Seattle Coffee Gear
Breville Smart Grinder Pro
DeLonghi Dedica Coffee Grinder
The DeLonghi Dedica Coffee Grinder performs well across all brewing methods, producing a consistent grind. It features a digital interface for adjusting the grind settings based on the number of cups, and it consistently grinds 6.0–6.5 grams of coffee for every cup. However, there are some limitations with the espresso setting. The attachment for grinding into a portafilter is only compatible with DeLonghi espresso machines. Other machines' portafilters, such as those found on Breville models, won't fit properly. Additionally, you cannot adjust the number of shots; the grinder can only accommodate one shot at a time.
Delonghi Dedica Coffee Grinder
Baratza Encore Conical Burr Grinder
The Baratza Encore Conical Burr Grinder is highly regarded and has received top ratings from reputable sources such as the Wirecutter and CNET. However, during our testing, it fell short of our expectations. It features a manual on-off switch, requiring you to supervise the grinder throughout the grinding process. It is noticeably slower compared to other grinders, and the consistency of the coarser French Press grind was unsatisfactory, with too many fine particles.
Baratza Encore Conical Burr Grinder
Despite its widespread popularity and acclaim, the Baratza Encore Conical Burr Grinder did not meet our expectations during testing. It features a manual on-off switch, requiring constant supervision. It operates at a slower pace compared to other grinders, and the consistency of the coarser French Press grind was lacking, with an excessive amount of fine particles.
Breville Smart Grinder Pro
In conclusion, when it comes to finding the best coffee grinder for pour over, the Baratza Virtuoso takes the crown with its smart features and exceptional performance. But if you're looking for a hand grinder specifically for espresso, the Flair Manual Espresso Grinder is the way to go. While there were a few grinders that didn't quite make the cut, such as the Cuisinart DBM-8 Supreme Grind and the Fellow Gen 2 Ode Brew Grinder, we still tested them to give you a comprehensive overview. For those on a budget, the Oxo Brew Conical Burr Coffee Grinder offers great value without sacrificing quality. Regardless of your preference, whether it's a Zwilling Enfinigy Burr Coffee Grinder or a Breville Smart Grinder Pro, there's something for every coffee enthusiast out there. So start grinding and brewing and elevate your pour over game to new heights.
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