Best Burr Grinder

What is a Burr Grinder?  In this article, we not only explain this, but review some examples of the best burr grinder.

In this Burr Coffee Grinder review, we researched and found the best burr grinder products on the market.

They consistently out perform other home burr grinders and they are the grinders of choice for gourmet baristas worldwide.

Do You Want the BEST Coffee Burr Grinder?


What more can you want?  Well, if you read on, you just might realize what more you might want.

In this article we will talk about what burr grinders are, what we think about using them and hope it helps you decide what kind of grinder you want for your home.

What is a Burr Mill?

What is a burr grinder? Not this Pepper mill poivrier...

“Pepper mill poivrier” by eurok (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr

I wanted to start this part out with a definition of ‘burr mill’.

And, then explain how it’s used to grind coffee, just in case someone wandered in here blindly didn’t read the title and didn’t know that this site is all about coffee.

I wanted to, but when I went to the Online Free Dictionary and searched burr+mill, it just gave me a thesaurus reference:

Noun 1: pepper grinder – a mill for grinding pepper

While that gave me a good chuckle, it was far from helpful.

The simplest explanation of a burr mill is that it is a way of grinding that uses burrs to cut the grains (or in our case, coffee beans).

This is as opposed to steel blades or running them in between a pair of flat stones like the original mills did.

In nature, burrs are those strange prickly little seeds that stick to your pants, your dog and your soul during the summer months.

Dang burrs - Another form of burr

“Dang burrs” by Dan McKay (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr

In metal working, burrs refer to imperfections in the form of sharp little bits of metal that stick out after being drilled.

In a coffee grinder, burrs are sharp little points on the metal plates that chew the coffee bean as it passes through the grinder.

Why Burr Grinders are Better

The best burr grinders can produce a finer ground than blade grinders.

In truth, average coffee drinkers may not care about this all that much. In fact, some drinkers even find that finer grounds make a bitterer cup of Joe.

Cup of Joe - Caffè espresso and dark chocolate

“Caffè espresso and dark chocolate” by Jean-Etienne Minh-Duy Poirrier (CC BY-SA 2.0) via Flickr

If your home coffee bean menu is expanding to exotic, single source beans, you are probably ready to aspire to become a “coffee expert” like me.

We coffee experts tend to agree that the fuller bodied, richer texture of an espresso ground coffee is what life is all about and we don’t think that the naturally bitter coffee bean should be restrained in any way.

The difference between coarse, blade ground coffee and fine burr ground coffee is like the difference between milk chocolate and the bitter sweet dark; sometimes, to some people, bitter is just better.

Which style of Burr Grinders is best?

If budget is an issue than you may want to look at plate or wheel burr grinders. They are still better than blade grinders, but not as desirable as conical burr grinders.

This type of grinder often uses plate like burr blades that practically chew the coffee beans.

This is a noisy process and can result in uneven grounds. Like the blade grinders, it moves fast, uses a lot of friction and can heat up.

Perfect Espresso

Espresso by Jordan Merrick (CC BY-ND 2.0) via Flickr

This means that the delicate oils in your coffee may be sacrificed; you may even burn your grounds if you run it too long.

It can still make a good cup of fresh ground coffee, but perhaps not a great shot of espresso.

The conical burr grinder is the luxury car of coffee grinders.

It uses gravity to feed the beast, the burrs are more like serrated blades that cut the beans and can be set to much slower speeds which also reduce friction so you can run it longer, get finer grounds and preserve all of the natural oils.

A perfect espresso starts with a good conical burr grinder.

Best Conical Burr Coffee Grinders Under $200

Coffee burr grinder internals

“Coffee burr grinder” by Hustvedt, Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)

When you enter the world of gourmet coffee, you inevitably encounter a little coffee snobbery.

There are those who are adamant that if you don’t have an insanely expensive grinder to accompany your over the top espresso machine.

Well… then, you’re just a loser really and therefore not worth discussing the matter further with.

I am here to tell you that it’s rubbish. It’s just coffee snobbery, ignore it.

Thousand dollar grinders are meant to be used in high volume coffee shops.

Spending over $200 on a grinder that sits on your kitchen counter is just showing off.

Breville Smart Grinder Pro

The Smart grinder weighs in at just under $200 and does everything those fancy industrial grinders do; it’s sleek, good looking, well behaved and gets along with your mother too.

In short, if you are looking for an amazing espresso grind, the Breville Smart Grinder Pro will make a great addition to your family.

One drawback- if you can call it a drawback is that even on the coarsest setting, the Breville Smart Grinder Pro makes pretty fine grounds.

This rocks for espresso.  But, it makes a less than desirable cup of French Press coffee which calls for larger bits and pieces.

For a French Press, you want the larger grind because then, the coffee grinds spend more time swimming around in the coffee water extracting all the flavor.

A small grind that takes a long bath equals a bitter cup of coffee.

So if you want to create the best espresso you’ve ever had, it will probably start with this machine. If you want French press, you should probably save your money anyway and get a cheaper grinder.  One burr grinder we found as an alternative is this Krups burr grinder.

Capresso Infinity Burr Grinder

The Capresso Infinity is very competent at its job as a coffee grinder for French press lovers.

The Capresso Infinity is a much less expensive option to the Breville.

This burr grinder is super quiet and very friendly. It’s the kind of friend that lets you do all the talking.

It’s true that the extra fine setting is still not quite as fine as the Breville, but it still makes a great espresso.

And, with 16 different grind settings, you have the ability to dial in the perfect level of coarseness.

This is probably the most economical choice for a family that can’t come to an agreement on what grind is perfect.

It’s a versatile machine and its medium grind is ideal for most drip coffee drinkers.

Hario Ceramic Coffee Mill Skerton

You always hear people say things like “you appreciate things more when you work for them“.

This is one of those times that I wholeheartedly agree.

If you are always in a rush to get ready in the morning- get one of the electric grinders.

If you appreciate slow, simple pleasures, this little Hario Ceramic Coffee Mill Skerton will quickly become that old friend you want to sit on the porch with for a friendly visit and a nice chat in the morning.

The design of this burr coffee grinder is ingeniously simple and has few moving parts which is great because that means there is less to go wrong with it.

Simply set the gears and manually crank it until all your beans are ground to the consistency desired.

I have to admit that I have only gone as far as a medium grind for our drip coffee maker.  I don’t know if I have the fortitude grind anything too fine.

Either way, this grinder is a very strong contender for the least expensive best burr grinder.

Conclusions Regarding the Best Burr Grinder

When looking for the Best Burr Grinder, you should take into consideration price, functionality, the drink you want (regular, cappuccino, espresso), and your taste.

Do You Want the BEST Coffee Burr Grinder?


We feel like we’ve found three great offerings for each level of best burr grinder.  Hopefully you will take a look at the one that appeals to you!

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