The recipe for coffee is pretty simple: Get beans. Add water. Enjoy. Yet the number of ways to brew coffee and the variety of flavors that you can produce is practically endless. One of the most important aspects of the coffee making process is grinding the beans. Different grind sizes are used for different brew methods. A fine grind, for instance, is used for espresso, while a coarse grind is used for a French press. Whether you’re looking for a coffee grinder that can smash up some whole beans or one that can be fine-tuned to fit your tastes, you’re likely to find the perfect option in the list below.
The economical choice — Krups F20342 Fast Touch ($20)
Krups’s electric grinder may not give you the best cup of coffee in the world, but you aren’t going to find a better coffee grinder for under $20. Krups packed plenty of features into this economical product. The 200-watt motor can grind beans into a fine powder in just a few seconds, and it has the capacity to grind beans for 12 cups of coffee at once. The oval design also allows you to easily transfer your beans to your coffee filter, and can even be used on nuts and spices (though you might want to invest in a second one if you don’t want to taint your beans). If all you need is a machine to turn whole beans into coffee grinds without putting a dent in your wallet, thelow-cost offering is for you.
The trade-off — Hario Skerton ($28)
If you care about coffee quality, you probably want to get a burr grinder. Unfortunately, these can get pretty expensive — see the Baratza Varioa-W below. Theutilizes ceramic burrs to produce everything from fine grinds for espresso to coarse grinds for cold brews. The grinder is straightforward to use, easy to clean, and produces great grinds for your coffee for under $30. Of course, there is a small trade-off. You have to grind your coffee by hand.
The introductory choice — Baratza Encore ($129)
The Baratza Encore sits at the intersection of great coffee and great price. This grinder is perfect for someone who wants more than a simple cup of coffee in the morning but who isn’t ready to spend an exorbitant amount of money on a grinder. Theis a great entry-level grinder for someone who’s just getting into the world of coffee. Whether you’re making drip coffee or using a trendier method such as pour-over or Chemex, the Encore’s 40 grind settings can produce the coffee you need.
The smart choice — Breville Smart Grinder Pro ($200)
The Breville Smart Grinder Pro has 60 grind settings, all of which allow you to fine-tune the size of your grinds. But that’s only one of the tricks up this machine’s sleeves. In addition to a wide range of grind sizes, the Breville Smart Grinder can also dole out said grinds in specific proportions. Thealso has a precision timer that is adjustable in 0.2-second increments. This feature can be used to produce the exact amount of coffee you need for the perfect cup of coffee, and eliminates unnecessary waste.
The all-in-one choice — Breville Grind Control ($295)
If you want a no-hassle coffee machine, check out Keurig’s array of devices. If you’re looking for a coffee grinder, read the list above. If you want a single machine that can both grind and brew coffee, however, check out the Breville Grind Control. This offering takes an already-excellent coffee grinder and conveniently outfits it with a drip coffee maker. After all, coffee should be brewed as soon as it’s ground.
Thehas eight strength settings that allow you to brew in a variety of sizes, whether you’re looking to make a single cup to or fill 12-cup carafe. This machine also has an auto-start feature, so you can have a cup of coffee waiting for you when you wake up in the morning.
The ‘”if you can afford it” choice — Baratza Vario-W ($560)
The Baratza Encore gives you a wide range of settings to produce a variety of grind sizes. The Breville Smart Grinder added a precision timer to help control your dose. The Baratza Vario-W takes coffee grinding to the next level, however, by using weight sensors to measure your coffee as your grind it. The Baratza Vario-W is a real-time, weight-based grinder. If you’re looking to produce a precise amount of a certain grind size, this is the grinder you want.
With more 230 settings, thecan be a little overwhelming, sure, but coffee aficionados will appreciate this machine’s performance. However, if you’re truly looking for a top-of-the-line grinder for your kitchen counter, you might consider waiting for the next generation of Baratza grinders, the Sette 270 and the Sette 270-W. Both will be available later this year.
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