Once you've had a great cup of coffee, it's hard to go back. Many factors contribute to taste, including how it's made and the temperature it's served at, but the freshness of the beans is among the most important. Most coffee is sold in a UV-blocking, vacuum-sealed container, but once you open it, the flavor starts to fade, especially if it's already ground. Grinding your own beans before each batch ensures the freshest flavor, and we've got a list of favorites to make sure it's always perfect.
1. OXO BREW Conical Burr Coffee Grinder
In our tests, we were impressed with how the OXO burr grinder performed. It produced very even coffee grounds that could be used for espresso, cold brew, and everything in between. The hopper (where the beans are stored) features a UV-blocking tint and an air-tight lid, both of which help preserve flavor. It can also hold up to 3/4 pound of coffee beans, the largest capacity of all the grinders we tested. The grinder operates with the touch of a button and grinds into a static fighting, stainless steel container. The container features a lid with a hole big enough to empty the grounds into a coffee filter without making a mess. The lid helps prevent grounds from shooting everywhere. After emptying the grounds, the container clicks securely into place, readying it for the next batch. Coffee bean capacity: 3/4 pound Grind settings: 15 Cup settings: None, but offers a 30-second programmable timer
2. Hamilton Beach Electric Coffee Grinder
While blade grinders are generally less expensive than burr grinders, this Fresh Grind Electric Coffee Grinder from Hamilton Beach stands out in terms of performance, too. It can confidently grind up to 9 tablespoons of coffee beans quickly and evenly. It's also easy to operate with the touch of one button. The clear lid allows you to fully see inside to see how your beans are grinding, and the grinding container is removable, which makes it easy to empty out into a coffee filter. Unlike other blade grinders we tested, the container also features 6-, 10-, and 12- cup coffee ground markings to better guide your experience. It also lists a maximum for spices, although we typically recommend grinding your coffee and spices in different containers. An additional unique feature is its cord storage system hidden within the base: Pull it down to expose a dowel that you can use to wrap the cord around, and pop it back up to hide it. Coffee bean capacity: 9 tablespoons, according to the manufacturer's instructions Grind settings: Not applicable to blade grinders (only applicable to burr grinders); grind size can be controlled by how many times you pulse it or how long you process it Cup settings: None, but can be controlled by how many tablespoons of coffee beans you grind at a time
3. Breville Smart Grinder Pro
The Breville Smart Grinder Pro is designed beautifully for the most picky espresso and coffee drinkers, including pour over! It features 60 grind settings that produce some of the most even results we've seen. The finest setting produces powdery results that don't clump together, while the coarsest resembles the ground coffee you'd buy in a store. The grinder features a large, digital screen that allows you to effortlessly select the grind size, cup amount, and grind time. From there, if you prefer a stronger or lighter cup, you can adjust the grind time even further based on your preference. The grounds grind directly into a hard, plastic container with cup markings for espresso, drip, and French press coffee. The container also features a cover for the hole in the lid in case you don't use all the ground coffee at once. The most unique feature of this grinder is its attachment for portafilters. For the non-espresso making buffs, that means you can grind the coffee directly into the filter y0u use in your espresso machine. So long, measuring and filling with a spoon. Coffee bean capacity: 1 pound Grind settings: 60 Cup settings: 1 to 8 espresso shots, 1 to 12 coffee cups
4. Cuisinart DBM-8 Supreme Grind Automatic Burr Mill
The Cuisinart Surpreme Grind Automatic Burr Mill offers 18 grinds, all of which are noticeably different from each other. The finest grinds well for espresso, the medium for drip and pour over, while the coarsest is perfect for cold brew and French press. The grounds container features a small hole through which grounds can pass easily and mess-free into a coffee filter. Plus, it returns to the base easily and securely with one hand. The grinder comes with a two-in-one coffee scoop and brush for easy cleaning. Coffee bean capacity: 1/2 pound Grind settings: 18 Cup settings: 4 to 18 cups
5. KRUPS Silent Vortex Electric Grinder
After a few unavoidable clanky pulses, the KRUPS Silent Vortex Electric Grinder was the quietest grinder we tested. While not silent, it had a muffled sound, which would benefit the sleeping members of any household. In addition to being quiet, it also produced even grounds quickly. It has a small footprint, making it even more perfect for apartment dwellers. Coffee bean capacity: 12 tablespoons Grind settings: Not applicable to blade grinders (only applicable to burr grinders); grind size can be controlled by how many times you pulse it or how long you process it Cup settings: None, but can be controlled by how many tablespoons of coffee beans you grind at a time
6. Capresso Infinity Plus Conical Burr Grinder
Out of all the burr grinders we tested, the Capresso Infinity Plus Conical Burr Grinder was the quietest. Like the KRUPS, it, too, made a noticeable low, muffled sound. It features 16 grind settings, each of which is easy to select with clearly labeled markings. The grinder also features a dial, which could be used to select how many cups you're grinding from 1 to 12. The container is easy to pull out of the housing with one hand and ergonomic. It features a wide mouth, with minimal static, good for pouring the into a coffee filter. Coffee bean capacity: 11 ounces Grind settings: 16 Cup settings: 1 to 12 cups
7. JavaPresse Manual Coffee Grinder
For those looking for the absolute quietest way to grind coffee, a manual coffee grinder is your best bet. It also makes for an inexpensive alternative to an electric burr grinder. The reason we recommend the JavaPresse over the two other manual grinders we tested is in its handle. It was the most ergonomic, easy to use, and didn't slip off during testing. Its grind settings were also the easiest to control and we liked that we could see the coffee grounds through the viewing window on the container. Coffee bean capacity: 6 tablespoons Grind settings: Not applicable to blade grinders (only applicable to burr grinders); grind size can be controlled by how many times you pulse it or how long you process it Cup settings: None, but can be controlled by how many tablespoons of coffee beans you grind at a time
Nicole runs the Good Housekeeping Kitchen Appliances Lab where she oversees the content and testing related to kitchen and cooking appliances, tools, and gear; she’s an experienced product tester and developer, as well as recipe creator, trained in classic culinary arts and culinary nutrition. She has worked in test kitchens for small kitchen appliance brands and national magazines, including Family Circle and Ladies’ Home Journal. Nicole loves to cook and eat, and won’t stop talking about food or kitchen appliances if you prompt her. When she’s not doing something related to food, she enjoys spinning, yoga, and lying on the beach—with an insulated tumbler of wine in hand.
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