The Ultimate Guide to Finding the Best Pourover Grinder for Your Coffee Brewing
Looking for the best pour over grinder that will take your coffee brewing experience to new heights? Look no further! In this article, we will delve into the world of coffee grinders, exploring the different factors to consider when choosing the perfect one for your pour over brew. From size and grind consistency to cleaning and budget, we've got you covered. So get ready to elevate your coffee game and discover the secrets to achieving the perfect pour over with the best pour over grinder in hand. Are you ready to grind your way to coffee perfection? Let's dive in!
Most likely, you don't want a large and bulky grinder taking up space in your kitchen. Opt for a compact and easy-to-clean grinder instead. If you travel frequently with your coffee equipment, a portable hand grinder can be quite useful.
Grind by time vs. grind by weight
The grinders we recommend usually measure coffee beans in two ways: by time or by weight. Even if you're grinding by time, the goal is to achieve a specific weight of ground coffee beans. Different coffee enthusiasts use different ratios, but Blue Bottle, the coffee experts, suggest using 30 grams of coffee for 350 grams of water for pour-over. Some coffee grinders have built-in scales for convenience, but they can be costly. Oxo's grinder is the only one we recommend under $300.
However, you can still get consistent results from a grinder that measures by time. Simply do a test grind on your desired setting, weigh the results, and calculate the timer setting accordingly. To ensure consistency, we ground for four seconds, multiplied for a full brew, and checked how accurate the grinder was. If you don't have one, you'll need a scale to effectively use a time-dosing coffee grinder. Escali offers an affordable and reliable scale. Acaia is a reputable brand for professional scales.
Can I use a coffee grinder for different brewing methods?
Yes, a good coffee grinder is usually versatile and suitable for various brewing methods such as drip brewing, French press, and espresso. However, it's recommended to adjust the grinder's setting to achieve the desired fineness for each brewing method. Alternatively, feel free to experiment and find your preferred settings.
Can I use pre-ground coffee for pour over brewing?
Pre-ground coffee can work for pour-over brewing, but the quality may vary depending on your taste preferences. Freshly ground beans tend to result in a better flavor and aroma compared to pre-ground coffee, which may lose its taste and aroma quickly. For the best cup of coffee, it's suggested to grind your coffee beans immediately before brewing.
How do I choose the grind setting for pour over coffee?
For the most optimal pour-over coffee, a medium-coarse grind is recommended. Consult your grinder's manual to determine the appropriate settings. If your grinder has a dial, selecting the middle setting would likely achieve the desired grind for pour over.
What is the ideal grind size for pour over coffee?
The ideal grind size for pour-over coffee can vary depending on the type of coffee beans and the brewing method. Generally, a medium-coarse grind is recommended to extract the optimal flavors and aromas from the coffee beans.
Should I choose a manual or electric grinder for pour over coffee?
While electric coffee grinders are faster and more efficient, manual grinders offer a sense of satisfaction and are suitable for those willing to invest time and effort. If you're frequently traveling, a portable hand grinder would be a practical choice.
How and how often should I clean my coffee grinder?
When grinding coffee beans, oils and residue can accumulate over time, potentially causing hygiene issues or clogging the grinder. To prevent this, it's advisable to clean the grinder with cleaning tablets and a cloth periodically. Start by unplugging the grinder and removing any leftover beans or debris. If you have a dry brush, use it to clean the grinder (some grinders include a brush). If you use the grinder daily, it's recommended to clean it every two weeks. Most grinders have removable parts that can be washed by hand or in the dishwasher.
How much should I spend on a coffee grinder for pour over?
For a good coffee grinder, expect to spend between £80-200. Cheaper options exist but they may be prone to overheating.
What is the difference between a flat burr grinder and a conical burr grinder?
Both flat burr grinders and conical burr grinders can produce high-quality coffee grounds for pour-over brewing. Flat burr grinders are usually more expensive but offer greater consistency, resulting in a more uniform grind size. However, they can be noisier and prone to overheating without proper ventilation. Conical burr grinders, on the other hand, tend to be more affordable, quieter, and user-friendly. For home use, a conical burr grinder is generally recommended.
Cuisinart DBM-8 Supreme Grind Automatic Burr Mill
Capresso Infinity Burr Grinder
The Capresso Infinity Burr Grinder was inconsistent with its coarse grind, and the medium/fine grind was too fine. It also lacked a consistent way to measure the coffee being ground.
Baratza Encore Conical Burr Coffee Grinder
Cuisinart Supreme Grind Automatic Burr Mill
The Cuisinart Supreme Grind Automatic Burr Mill yielded solid results at an affordable price. It has more grind settings than our budget winner, but measuring the amount of coffee ground can be challenging. It is recommended for drip coffee makers that measure by volume.
Delonghi Dedica Coffee Grinder
Baratza Encore Conical Burr Grinder
The Baratza Encore Conical Burr Grinder is highly acclaimed and offers consistent grinding for various brewing methods. However, its coarse grind setting for French press was visibly inconsistent. It is more suitable for cafes and commercial use.
Capresso Infinity Plus Black Conical Burr Grinder
The Bodum Bistro grinder has a compact design and is easy to use. However, its grind consistency was lacking, and it scored low in blind taste tests. The Krups GVX2 also received low scores in taste tests, producing a darker and more bitter brew.
Breville Smart Grinder Pro
DeLonghi Dedica Coffee Grinder
DeLonghi's grinder performed well with consistent grinds across different brewing methods. However, its attachment for grinding into a portafilter is only compatible with DeLonghi espresso machines. The grinder is limited to grinding a single shot.
Baratza Sette 30 Conical Burr Grinder
Oxo Brew Conical Burr Grinder
The budget version of the Oxo Brew Conical Burr Coffee Grinder offers great value. While it uses time dosing like the Baratza and KitchenAid grinders, it lacks a digital timer. However, it is a suitable choice for those looking to spend $100 or less.
Eureka Mignon Notte Espresso Grinder
$329 at Seattle Coffee GearBaratza Sette 30
We really wanted to like the Baratza Sette 30. It’s from the same company as our current top pick, the Virtuoso. It is clearly made with quality materials, and comes with the capability to grind directly into a portafilter for espresso. Unfortunately, it falls short in several respects. First, it was very difficult to dial in for espresso. Ultimately we were satisfied with a shot using setting 14 on the grinder and a time of 5.38 seconds. That setting is around the middle of the grinder settings, which is probably why we were unable to get a satisfactory French press even at the coarsest setting. Truth be told, we couldn’t even get a satisfactory pour-over cup from the Sette 30 (the Sette is designed as an espresso grinder, but we write this just to make that clear). The other problem is that it’s incredibly messy to use when grinding into a portafilter, which would be the best use for it given the fact that it likes to grind extra fine coffee. Grinds spilled out everywhere when using a 54-mm portafilter (the size found on most espresso machines under $1,000) and it’s impossible to use with a large dosing funnel that might prevent that. A 58-mm portafilter, typically only available on much more expensive espresso machines, is somewhat less messy, but the only reliable solution to avoid so many flyaway grinds is to use lower profile dosing rings. Taken together, there were just too many little problems to recommend it.
Wilfa Uniform Grinder
The Norwegian Wilfa Uniform offers the kind of consistent grind and quality build you’d expect from a Scandinavian home product. It ground well for all methods, and could even grind fine enough for Turkish coffee—quite a bit finer than you need for espresso. The two issues with the Wilfa are, the adjustment knob is huge—it’s the entire lid, and it’s a wide lid. Unless you have enormous hands, adjusting the grinder requires holding it down with one hand while cranking with the other. The other issue is that there were some flyaway grind issues. We got a bit of ground coffee splatter on the counter when we pulled the catch cup out. Still, this is a high-quality, versatile grinder.
Zwilling Enfinigy Burr Coffee Grinder
The Zwilling Enfinigy Burr Coffee Grinder, brought to the United States for the first time by New Jersey coffee roaster and importer Lardera, offers the kind of consistent grind and quality build that you’d expect from a Scandinavian home product. It’s a solid piece of equipment that offers stepless adjustment of its steel burrs, which almost no other grinder in this price range has. Stepless adjustment is a feature prized on high-end grinders that allows infinite grind adjustments; this allows you to experiment until you get precisely the grind you like. To offer stepless adjustments at a lower price, Zwilling made the dosing on the Enfinigy entirely manual—you hold a button down to turn it on and release that button to turn it off. That means you also need to use a scale every time you brew, which isn’t a total deal-breaker—it is, in fact, the way you brew the best espresso—but it is an extra step. Ultimately, the extra effort required keeps the Enfinigy from being a top pick here, since we tried to think about what will be most practical for the largest number of coffee drinkers. But if the manual dosing and weighing doesn’t bother you, this will be one of the best espresso grinders for the money.
OXO Brew Conical Burr Coffee Grinder
The OXO Brew Conical Burr Coffee Grinder offers a sturdy and spiffy-looking stainless-steel housing, touchable dial-in controls, an easy-to-read digital interface, grind options, and add-ons galore. It’s a versatile grinder with many features to like. Like our KitchenAid pick, this one allows you to grind directly into a portafilter for espresso but doesn’t come with quite as many grind settings. While the setup was simple and the instructional manual easy to read, the grinder definitely required more than a cursory glance to get acquainted.
Fellow Gen 2 Ode Brew Grinder
If you’re looking for a less expensive electric coffee grinder with a wider range of settings (including an espresso grind), go for the Opus. The Opus costs $195, making it more expensive than the Baratza Encore, but the 10 grind settings (from fine espresso to coarse cold brew) and minimalist design make this a very worthy upgrade. The Opus is full of thoughtful features, like a magnetically aligned catch cup that slides right into place when you’re ready to grind and a smaller “dosing cup” for an easy, mess-free transfer of a single espresso shot’s worth of grounds to the portafilter. Unlike the Encore, which can store a larger quantity of beans in the hopper, the Fellow models are designed to grind individual doses—a plus if you live in a household where one person likes a dark espresso roast and the other prefers a light roast for pour-overs. Grind to order in one of these sleek machines, and everyone’s happy.
The Budget Choice That Still Gets the Job Done: Oxo Brew Conical Burr Coffee Grinder
If you’re starting out on your coffee journey and not ready to shell out over $100 for an ultra-precise grinder, this Oxo burr grinder () is just the thing. With a simple, intuitive design and excellent consistency, it’s the least expensive option on the market that still delivers a quality grind for home use. Like the Fellow grinders, the Oxo bean grinder operates on a numbered dial, which you can set to an ultrafine or coarse grind, but the range is only 15 settings. While Fellow’s user-friendly grinders default to a 30-second grind, with the Oxo grinder, you can adjust the grind time on a separate windup timer (although it maxes out at 30 seconds, so you’ll have to rinse and repeat for larger batch brews). Though it can achieve a grind fine enough for espresso, it doesn’t grind directly into a portafilter, so the transfer process from grinder to espresso maker can be a bit messy. But all in all, it’s a good coffee grinder for the unfussy but dedicated coffee drinker.
The Best Hand Grinder for Espresso: Flair Manual Espresso Grinder
Want to get a morning arm workout as you brew your cup of joe? Switch from an electric grinder to a manual coffee grinder; this one from Flair is Chris’s pick for the best espresso. The little device has conical steel burrs and 72 fine-grind settings, giving you plenty of options to customize your espresso grind. It has an easy-to-grip silicone body and a convenient thumb rest for seamless grinding. Plus, it doesn’t take up any counter space. Note that this hand grinder is designed specifically for espresso but will also work for brewing techniques that require a finer grind, like the Aeropress, Turkish coffee (boiled in a cezve), or coffee made in the moka pot. Don’t open a café with it, but if you’re going camping with your Aeropress or are just an occasional espresso drinker, this grinder’s got you.
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Zoe Denenberg contributed additional reporting to this piece.
For the overall best coffee grinder for aficionados and regular old java drinkers alike, choose the Fellow Opus. It will do whatever you want it to and look good doing it. If you’ll never pull an espresso shot, go with the Fellow Ode. If you’re only dipping your toes into the world of good coffee and aren’t ready to plunk down the bills, the much simpler Solis Scala is a reliable entry-level burr grinder, at an even more approachable price.
For a look at all our choices for best coffee makers, read our review here.
In conclusion, when it comes to achieving the perfect pour over coffee, having the right grinder is essential. From understanding the ideal grind size to choosing between manual or electric grinders, we've covered all the key points in this article. Whether you opt for the budget-friendly Oxo Brew Conical Burr Coffee Grinder or the top-notch Flair Manual Espresso Grinder, the key is to find a grinder that meets your brewing needs. So, complete your setup with a quality grinder, and get ready to savor every sip of your delicious pour over coffee. Cheers to the perfect brew!
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