Best Burr Coffee Grinders | Reviews and Ratings
When I was told about this some years ago, I actually didn't believe that it would make much of a difference. Well I was wrong and my good friend Pete was 100% correct. It really does make a huge difference to the freshness and the flavour of your coffee. It is certainly worth doing a comparison and I assure you that you will instantly notice a big difference.
In this article I rate and review the best burr coffee grinders that are currently available in the UK market. There are not many things that you can do at home to really improve the taste of your coffee. One noticeable element that you can do, is to stop buying pre-ground coffee, and make the switch to freshly ground coffee. You really will not believe the difference that can make to the taste of your coffee.
With reference to burr grinders, there are three main types. They are manual and electric options and also burr grinders that are built into coffee machines. In this article we will be looking at all of those. The most popular are the electric models, so we will look at those first.
The problem for many buyers, and especially new buyers, is that there are a lot of different brands and models to pick from. Although that is a good thing to make prices competitive, it can also get really confusing. Hopefully by the time you finish reading this article, we will have removed any confusion and set you on the right path to the best choice for your needs.
So the good news is that, if you are reading this, then a burr grinder is absolutely the best type of grinder to buy. They grind coffee beans really well, retain all of the flavour of the bean, and deliver a consistent grind. You can also easily adjust the thickness of the grind that you want for the different types of coffee such as espresso, filter, stovetop or machine.
Top 5 Electric Burr Grinders On the UK Market
In the table below, you will find the top rated products, with some basic comparison information.
De'Longhi KG79 Professional Burr Grinder
VonShef Premium Burr Coffee Grinder
Sage by Heston Blumenthal Pro Grinder
Krups GVX242 Expert Pro Combi Grinder
Baratza Encore Conical Burr Grinder
The first thing you may notice is the wide variation in prices. The more expensive options like the Sage and the Barista are aimed mainly at the commercial market. So for example, if you owned a small coffee shop, then one of these is ideal. If you want to "really" get into grinding coffee, they are also a good option, as you have a lot of extra features, and grain thickness options.
For most though a burr grinder priced at around £35-40 is an ideal choice for those people who want to grind coffee at home. Below we have done some summary reviews, and have included links to more detailed reviews. The highest rated is the Krups burr grinder, but as you can see it is about twice the price of the De'Longhi or VonShef.
No 1 Commercial Burr Grinder in the UK
This model takes grinding to a new level as not only does it offer you the wide variety of grains, but is also works out the amount of coffee you need for the perfect shot, or for the French Press or filter if you prefer your brew that way.
The best commercial was the expensive Sage by Heston Blumenthal and is called the Smart Grinder Pro. This one will set you back a whopping £135-200 depending on where you make your purchase. The beauty of this one is the high quality and you do get a massive 60 grind settings.
This grinder is packed with features and really is what I would call the ultimate burr grinder. Clearly the thing that will make most people shy away from this option is the very high price tag.
It comes with a full LED display and also two grinding cradles suited for espresso filters. In a few words this model has just about anything you will ever need from a top of the range commercial burr grinder.
So with a good rating like this one along with a price point that most people can afford, it is easy to see why this one is the best selling product.
Best Selling Burr Grinder - De'Longhi KG79
As a best seller this one really does sell a lot. It has a removable container and the power cord has built-in storage. It produces a nice consistent grain and overall is just a good buy at a sensible price.
As you can see both the commercial options above are very high quality, but they also come with a high price point of over £100. Much as everyone might like to own one of those, it is just not affordable, or hard to justify that high type of spend. You can still get a good quality burr grinder for under £35.
This is where the De'Longhi KG79 comes into its own. This one is the best selling grinder on Amazon in the UK. For just under £35 this one gets a strong 4.1 out of 5 star rating.
The brand is very well known and they produce some very high quality kitchen products and are really well know for their coffee products. This one can quickly grind up to 120 grams of beans (enough for about 12 cups) and comes with a simple to use dial function to set the grain thickness. It also has a cup selector that allows you to decide how many beans need to be ground.
VonShef Premium Burr Coffee Grinder with 18 Settings
A direct competitor for the De'longhi KG79, is now the popular VonShef brand. The price is very similar, and it gets better reviews overall. This model has attracted a 4.4 rating compared to the 4.1 rating for the KG79.
This Premium model uses a 150 watt motor to do the grinding, and has a wide range of 18 settings. It can grind enough coffee for between 4-16 cups. It is an impressive and a nice looking grinder.
One of the nice features is that it has a removable container. So once you grind the coffee, you can put the grinder away and keep the coffee in the sealed container for a few days.
It also has a useful cup selector, so you can grind as much or as little as you need at any one time.
There is also a 2-year warranty with this product.
Highest Rated Electric Burr Grinder - Krups GVX242 Expert Pro Combi Grinder
This one from Krups easily wins the burr grinder race in terms of having the highest rating of all of the top 5. There is no question about the quality of this professionally designed burr grinder.
The one thing that may put people off is the higher price tag. Some people will not mind paying this higher price, as they will want to have the higher quality.
Baratza Encore Conical Burr Grinder 150 Watt
Last but not least is the Baratza Encore Conical Burr Grinder. Again this is a top of the range grinder with an expensive price tag. The brand is of course very famous and they make really high quality products.
This is a competitor for the Sage and the ratings are pretty close, though the Sage fairs slightly better. The Baratza Encore does have a high price tag of around £150, and that is right at the high end for a burr grinder.
This product is made and imported from the USA, and it is a very fast grinder.
Alternative 5 Star Choice - Graef CM 800 Burr Coffee Grinder
This German Graef made model gets some amazing reviews costs around £170. Prices vary a lot on this model so always shop around for the best value.
This is made with a very high precision and to the very highest of standards. Overall buyers rate this Graef model at 5 out of 5 stars, a rating that you will not see very often. Yes it is that good but again this type of quality and design comes with a hefty price point, and sadly out of reach for many people.
The bottom line with this one is that if you can afford it then you should as it is the highest rated on the UK market right now.
It has 40 grinder settings and has a stainless steel conical burr grinder mechanism, and probably one of the best that money can buy.
It is amazing quality and has a nice hopper and the automatic dispenser makes this one very useful.
Top 5 Manual Coffee Burr Grinders
Above we looked at the electric models. You can also get a burr grinder as a manual version. These are often referred to as coffee mills. In essence you turn a handle to grind the beans. These are much cheaper than the electric ones. The disadvantage is that you have to do the physical work of turning the handle.
That does take a bit of time, but some people do enjoy that task.
Cooko Manual Coffee Grinder
Hario Medium Glass Hand Coffee Grinder
Firlar Premium Manual Coffee Grinder
Coolife Coffee Grinders Burr Grinder
Stainless Steel Mill Ceramic Burr
Why Burr Grinders Are the Best?
Many people decide to buy a blade grinder to grind their beans. They work well and they are a cheaper option than buying a burr grinder. The burr or conical grinder will deliver netter results in terms of having a uniform grind and a grind that has a smoother flavour. According to the purists, anything ground using a burr system is better than a blade cutting action.
The reasons for that are mainly that burrs squeeze and grind the oils from the bean and it is that which heightens the flavour. Conical grinders also grind at a slow speed and do not generate a lot of heat. Blade grinders on the other hand chop up the beans and spin very quickly which generates a lot of friction and heat. The combination of a slow heat free grind is that you get better tasting grinds to make your coffee.
When to Grind Your Coffee Beans
Grinding on the other hand should be left until you need a cuppa, and that is the time to grind your beans. Now some people will only grind enough for a single cup or mug. Others grind enough to keep them going through the day. Other people, with less time, may grind a week's worth. The good news with a grinder is that you can decide.
If however you want really fresh and vibrant coffee then it should always be ground just before making your brew. Now I appreciate that is not always possible, but it makes a big difference to your taste buds. The only way to be able to do that, is to own a grinder at home, and then grind whole beans.
Fresher Tasting Coffee With a Burr Grinder
During the actual factory roasting process, when beans are roasted, they are left to cool down. After that they will be allowed to breathe from around 24-48 hours. They are then packed and sold and will last for quite a long time. If you own a grinder, then you can grind these whole beans as and when you fancy a cuppa.
Most people will buy their coffee in a ground state. That is the way it is sold in many supermarkets and even in good coffee shops. When coffee beans go through the grinding process, they are usually packed into foiled bags. Once these have been opened, they can last around 2-3 weeks depending on where they are stored.
Personally I would struggle to tell the difference between beans that have been ground using a blade, and those that have been ground using a burr style. Many people can though, so clearly they have a finer palette than I do. Those who taste and test coffee for a living most certainly can. We checked on many websites and collected a lot of reviews to see which of the burr grinders, available in the UK, were the best though of by buyers. Having collected all of that data we came up with the following choices.
Why Pre-Ground Beans Don't Last?
Once a bean is broken up, after it has been roasted, then it will start to go stale. That is because when it comes into contact with the air, it reacts with the oil and other components of the ground bean. This will make the coffee rather rancid and bitter and it is not a pleasant aroma.
Coffee is expensive to buy and it can go off as quickly as a couple of weeks. That is why it is better in my opinion to buy the beans and grind them at home as and when you need them. Not only do you get a great fresh taste, but you only use what you need at any given time, so no waste.
If you decide to do that, then you will need some form of coffee grinder. It is pretty clear that the burr grinder is the best of the options available. If you are dithering as to which type to buy, then why not try the cheaper De'Longhi one shown above. For £35 you can own of the best on the market, and enjoy the wonderful taste of freshly ground coffee.