Coffee grinders are one of the most important tools when it comes to making great coffee. In fact, many would argue that the coffee grinder is even more important than the coffee maker itself. And it's a fair argument, as freshly and consistently ground coffee play a huge role in the quality of your brewed coffee.
I only review top rated burr grinders here at The Coffee Concierge because of their versatility when it comes to grinding for different brew methods and more importantly, their consistency in grind particle size for the most even extraction possible.
I currently review coffee grinders across 10 different rating categories: price, grinder quality, grind quality, grind range, ease of use, cleaning ease, appearance, durability, grind speed, and grind noise.
Unfortunately, grinders are expensive. In my experience, grinders that are under $150 are generally lacking in many of the rating categories below, so a grinder that performs well around this price range to me, is still worthy of 5 stars.
Having said that, anything below $150 should warrant 5-stars in terms of price.
In my mind, a good quality grinder is made of heavy-duty, high-quality materials. There should be no static build-up, minimal grind retention, and overall great efficiency.
Grind quality has to do with the consistency of the particle sizes that the grinder produces. Consistency is key here, so if a grinder can't get this right for a given grind setting its score will suffer.
If the grinder can go from a coarse french press grind to a turkish coffee fine grind, it has great range. Similarly, if there are a lot of grind settings or the grinder is stepless, range is generally good.
Ease of Use
Nothing unique about this rating category. Simply, how easy is it to use this grinder?
Cleaning ease is especially important with coffee grinders because old coffee grounds can stick around forever if they are not easy to clean out. Coffee grinders with easy access to all parts that come into contact with coffee score higher in this category. Removable parts are almost always helpful when it comes to cleaning grinders.
If it's going to be sitting on your countertop you'll want it to at least look somewhat pretty, right?
Considering the fact that quality grinders are a big investment, nobody wants theirs to break down after a short period of time.
How fast does your coffee grind? With home grinders, this isn't as important. But still, nobody likes to wait for their coffee (thanks Starbucks).
This one is huge for most people, especially if you have neighbors and housemates who aren't heavy sleepers. Relatively quiet grinders are what I'm looking for here.
Have a grinder you'd like me to review?
I love trying and testing new coffee grinders. If you have one that you'd like me to review, please contact me.