Best coffee grinders 2021: get the most flavour out of your artisan beans

Grind your own beans with the best coffee grinders for the perfect brew
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  • For coffee connoisseurs, it’s all about the bean! And the best coffee grinders will produce a perfectly fresh and aromatic brew to suit your tastes. Most shop-bought coffee are vacuum-sealed, but once opened and exposed to air, it begins to lose its rich flavour. Whole coffee beans on the other hand, retains their aromatic flavour much longer. The best coffee grinders will ensure evenly ground, fresh-tasting coffee each time. 

    See the best coffee machines to get the best brew for your beans

    Grinding your own beans will allow you to control the grind size to suit your coffee preferences. Simply pour your beans into the hopper, set your coarseness grind level and press start. In addition, coffee grinders are much more versatile, especially if you want to use a French press. 

    Here we look at the best coffee grinders, from burr to manual, to perfect your morning brew.

    Why do I need a coffee grinder?

    If you love the aromatic taste of coffee beans, then you’ll need a great coffee grinder. This will give you more precise control over how you prefer your coffee, and retain the freshness and flavour. The blunted edges on coffee grinders are much more reliable than those of food processors or blenders which won’t be ideal.

    How much should I spend on a coffee grinder?

    How much you spend all depends on how much coffee you regularly grind. Most good burr grinders start from around £35, while top of the range models can go up to £900. However, these will have more advanced grinding features, excellent results and quality design. 

    Best coffee grinders

    1. Smeg CGF01 Coffee Grinder

    Best high-end coffee grinder for the aficionado

    Smeg CGF01 Coffee Grinder

    Type: Electric burr grinder
    Capacity: 350g
    Grinding levels: 30
    Reasons to buy: Stylish retro design, plenty of settings, easy to maintain
    Reasons to avoid: Costly price, too large for small countertops

    For those who want to splash out on a top-notch coffee grinder, this Smeg model is a great option. With its signature, 50s retro design and quality build, it certainly makes an eye-catching addition to any kitchen.  Set-up is easy by simply pouring the beans into the hopper at the top and 

    slide over the chrome level to the setting you need – from fine, medium and coarse. Then set your preferred setting using the dial before pressing the Start button. The grinder immediately gets to work, producing aromatic, ground coffee straight into the container in seconds. This can also be sealed to keep its freshness for future use. 

    The main feature here is the 30 grinding levels that you can choose from at just a twist of the dial. While this may seem a bit much, true coffee fans will enjoy experimenting with the different types of brews. As to be expected, the Smeg coffee grinder performs exceptionally well, and you can really taste the rich and flavoursome coffee.

    Compared to other grinders, it has a large capacity, which is ideal for endless cups. Just make sure you have enough counter space! It also has an expensive price tag, so if you’re not likely to use all the features, this may not be practical. However, if fresh-tasting coffee is your forte, this is a great investment. 

    Ideal Home’s rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    2. Melitta Molino Coffee Grinder

    Best value coffee grinder

     Melitta Molino Coffee Grinder

    Type: Electric ceramic burr grinder
    Capacity: 200g
    Grinding levels: 17
    Reasons to buy: Has cup quantity selector, quiet, value for money, easy to clean
    Reasons to avoid: Some may not favour the plastic container, can be messy

    Melitta is well-known for making top quality coffee grinders, and if you’re after an affordable burr grinder, this model is the perfect choice. It has a simple yet stylish design that is compact to fit any space. 

    The convenient 17 different grinding settings ranges from extra fine right up to very course. So you have more than enough options to suit your coffee moods. 

    More so, if you’re after simplicity, this grinder is very easy to use. Simply pour the beans in the container above, use the rotary dial to set your grinding level before using the push button to start the process. For a compact grinder, it performs well, producing consistent results with each setting. In fact, it excels in grinding very fine coffee which is perfect for cold brew or French press fans. In addition, it is quiet, which is always a bonus!

    The plastic container to collect your coffee is removable and easy to clean. However, the plastic seems light and not as durable as other grinders. The only thing that lets it down is it can leave behind a mess of coffee dust all over the countertop after use, so just bear in mind. 

    But overall, it’s a great, little coffee grinder with a decent choice of grinding levels at an affordable price. 

    Ideal Home’s rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    3. Le’Xpress Stainless Steel Traditional Coffee Grinder

    Best manual coffee grinder 

    Le’Xpress Stainless Steel Traditional Coffee Grinder

    Type: Manual
    Grinding levels: 3
    Reasons to buy: Affordable, traditional steel design, multi-functional
    Reasons to avoid: Has three grind settings

    If you fancy a more traditional, hand-powered coffee grinder (and don’t mind the elbow grease!), this manual grinder is ideal. Not only does it look the part with its stylish, stainless steel and wood trim design but it also does a cracking job. It only has three grinding levels – fine, medium, coarse, which is sufficient if you have those preferences.

    It’s simple to operate by turning the crank arm clockwise to grind your coffee beans, at your own convenience. It has a handy, clip-top canister underneath to collect your ground coffee, which also has a silicone bung to retain the freshness. What’s more, you can use it to also grind hazelnuts, spices or any other ingredients for your recipes.

    More suitable for a small household, the Le’Xpress coffee grinder is simple to use, attractive and most of all, gives you the satisfaction of grinding your own beans!

    Ideal Home’s rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    4. Barista & Co. Core Electric Grinder

    Best stylish espresso coffee grinder

    Barista & Co. Core Electric Grinder 

    Type: Electric stainless steel burr
    Capacity: 240g
    Grinding levels: 40
    Reasons to buy: Slimline design, easy to operate, additional accessories
    Reasons to avoid: More suitable for cold brew 

    If you’re after chic and sleek, this filter and brew coffee grinder fits the bill. Fairly new on the market, this top quality coffee grinder could give the more established brands a run for their money. With its modern, slimline design in black, it looks great for compact spaces. 

    Easy to use, simply fill the hopper with your beans and adjust your grind size at just a twist. Best of all, the grinder comes with a generous 40 settings to achieve that perfect aromatic blend. By selecting either the plus or minus button, you can choose your grind time from 1—50 seconds or default, before pressing the button to start grinding your coffee. The results produce a consistent grind size, particularly for cold brew and espresso flavours. 

    It also comes with handy accessories such as portafilter attachment, measure scoop and cleaning brush. What’s more, the parts are all removable and easy to clean. 

    Overall, this Barista & Co grinder is an impressive, sleek grinder that performs well and easy to maintain. Bear in mind, it’s not a specific espresso grinder, so if you’re a fan then this may not be ideal. However, it has a wide range of levels that will give you your money’s worth.

    Ideal Home’s rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars


    5. Sage The Smart Grinder Pro 

    Best coffee grinder for precision

    Sage Smart Grinder Pro

    Type: Electric burr
    Capacity: 450g
    Grinding levels: 60
    Reasons to buy: Dosing IQ tech for grind precision, choice of grinding filters, large capacity
    Reasons to avoid: Expensive

    Coffee connoisseurs who know their bean will appreciate this Smart coffee grinder by Sage. Designed with high-tech features, it comes with a ‘dosing IQ’ of 60 (yes 60!) programmable grinding settings to get the most out of your bean. Ranging from ‘coarser’ to ‘finer’, you’ll find the perfect espresso for everyone’s tastes. 

    The LED blue-backlit display is stylish and user-friendly. You can easily select your program, grind size and time. What’s more, you can select the number of shots or cups you need at just a press of a button. It also has a start/pause/cancel in one button. 

    It’s large bean hopper can hold up to 450g capacity, perfect for large households who love their coffees! The bonus is, you can also grind directly into a portafilter, airtight container, or paper filter of your choice. 

    Bear in mind, it is a lot more expensive than entry-level burr grinders. However, it’s a superb, smart coffee grinder that literally does all the work so you won’t have to!

    Ideal Home’s rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    How to buy a coffee grinder

    There are three main types of coffee grinder available. Blade grinders have blunt edges and operates like a food processor. These are usually smaller and compact in size. Burr grinders are the more popular as they give even and precise grinding results. They work just like a pepper mill as the coffee beans are ground by passing through two metal objects. Burr grinders usually have a number of grinding settings to choose from, larger in size, noisy and more expensive. If you enjoy grinding by hand, manual grinders are smaller and inexpensive. Again, these work like a pepper mill by grinding beans between two burrs. 

    What features to look out for?

    Depending on your coffee needs, It’s worthwhile checking out what features you need before purchasing. The number of grinding settings determines how many brew styles you’ll use. Less than 30 is sufficient if you’ll only use standard brews like French press or pour over. Capacity of the hopper will determine your cup quantity, and the speed will affect the time it takes to grind your coffee. 

    What are the grind sizes for different types of coffee?

    Typically, these are the best grind levels for your favourite coffee:

    • Very fine – Turkish coffee and espresso
    • Fine – Espresso
    • Medium fine – Light espresso
    • Medium – Light pour over/drip coffee
    • Coarse – French press
    • Very coarse – Cold brew

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