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What Grinder is Right for Me? Espresso.

What Grinder is Right for Me? Espresso.

Aug 24th 2022 Written by Steve Morrow & Ragan LaTour-Kelley

We sell both manual and electric grinders capable of that powdery espresso fineness. We have spent time with all of them. Some, such as those from Baratza and Kinu, we have known for years; others, like the entire Timemore lineup, are relatively new to us. Each has its own charms and advantages, so it is hard to pick a favorite. Perhaps more than anyone, then, we understand the difficulty that comes with choosing just one grinder from such a rich offering, which is why we have decided to provide a little guidance. All the grinders below, organized by budget (and, as a result, features), have what we consider to be essential for an espresso grinder: a stepless (or micro-stepped adjustment system) and burrs engineered to create fines (and, a trait especially important in the hand grinders, efficient bean feeding).

Under $200

Motors and electronics are costly for manufacturers. As is always the case, then, a dollar goes a long ways with manual grinders. The following models deliver exceptional results for espresso despite their modest price tags.

Timemore Plus Series

Slim Plus white background
E&B burrs white background

Timemore burst on the coffee scene in 2020 with their Chestnut series, a lineup of affordable, high-quality hand grinders. More recently they released the second iteration of these beloved hand grinders, the Plus series. These include the the Slim Plus and Nano Plus, both equipped with Timemore’s exclusive E&B (espresso and brew) burrs that provide a full grind range from immersion to espresso.

Flat Burrs Conical Burrs check icon
38mm check icon 39mm 40mm 47mm 48mm 54mm 64mm 75/78mm
Electric Manual check icon
Storage Hopper Single-dose Hopper check icon
Full grind range (espresso through French Press) check icon Limited grind range
Stepless or micro-stepped grind adjustment settings Stepped grind adjustment settings check icon
Automatic (weight- or time-based) dosing Manual dosing check icon

Orphan Espresso Lido E-T

Orphan Espresso E-T with white background
Orphan Espresso 47mm burr with white background

The Orphan Espresso Lido E-T manual grinder is nearly identical to the Lido 3 (brew grinder) but is capable of smaller grind size adjustments, making it possible to dial in espresso. The E-T has 47mm conical steel burrs, a stepless grind adjustment, and an enormous 70g hopper in case you wan to grind for multiple shots at a time. The "T" in E-T stands for travel, so the grinder is made of lightweight materials like BPA-free plastic, has a retractable crank arm, and comes with a Neoprene carrying bag.

Flat Burrs Conical Burrs check icon
38mm 39mm 40mm 47mm 48mm check icon 54mm 64mm 75/78mm
Electric Manual check icon
Storage Hopper Single-dose Hopper check icon
Full grind range (espresso through French Press) check icon Limited grind range
Stepless or micro-stepped grind adjustment settings check icon Stepped grind adjustment settings
Automatic (weight- or time-based) dosing Manual dosing check icon

Kinu Phoenix M47

Kinu Phoenix main view with white background
Kinu Phoenix open view with white background

Kinu established itself with the the M47 Classic, a manual espresso grinder capable of making the tiniest adjustments in grind size. Made of all stainless steel except for a few cosmetic accents, the Classic weighed nearly two and a half pounds and cost around $350, putting it just out of the entry-level price range. Later Kinu released the the M47 Simplicity, which had some plastic in place of stainless steel, such as for the grinds-catch and hopper funnel, changes that brought the weight and price down. The latest model from Kinu, the Phoenix, has the same grind quality and stainless steel 47mm burrs, axle, bearings, and easily accessible grind adjustment system of its predecessors but has a few more plastic parts to bring the price even further into play for the budget-conscious barista.

Flat Burrs Conical Burrs check icon
38mm 39mm 40mm 47mm check icon 48mm 54mm 64mm 75/78mm
Electric Manual check icon
Storage Hopper Single-dose Hopper check icon
Full grind range (espresso through French Press) check icon Limited grind range
Stepless or micro-stepped grind adjustment settings check icon Stepped grind adjustment settings
Automatic (weight- or time-based) dosing Manual dosing check icon

$200–$600

1Zpresso J-Max

J-max white background
J-Max white background

1Zpresso has taken the hand grinder market by storm with their innovative and user-friendly designs that combine noteable grind uniformity with unmatached ease. The J-Max, however, was designed with espresso in mind. The combination of its impressive 48 mm conical burr set that makes for hassle-free grinding, and the external grind adjustment ring that can make changes as small as 8.8µm per click, the 1Zpresso provides a grinding experience ideal those looking for ease and simplicity with their espresso.

Flat Burrs Conical Burrs check icon
38mm 39mm 40mm 47mm 48mm check icon 54mm 64mm 75/78mm
Electric Manual check icon
Storage Hopper Single-dose Hopper check icon
Full grind range (espresso through French Press) check icon Limited grind range
Stepless or micro-stepped grind adjustment settings check icon Stepped grind adjustment settings
Automatic (weight- or time-based) dosing Manual dosing check icon

Kinu M47

Kinu M47 white background
Kinu M47 white background

The Kinu M47 is where it all started, paving the way for the Pheonix and Simplicity. Its German design boasts rock-solid construction thanks to the stainless steel build, and its easy-to-use stepless adjustment, with 50 marks per revolution, make even the most minute change possible. The 47 mm Black Fusion coated conical burr does especially well in the finer grind settings making it a great option for your home espresso setup.

Flat Burrs Conical Burrs check icon
38mm 39mm 40mm 47mm check icon 48mm 54mm 64mm 75/78mm
Electric Manual check icon
Storage Hopper Single-dose Hopper check icon
Full grind range (espresso through French Press) Limited grind range check icon
Stepless or micro-stepped grind adjustment settings check icon Stepped grind adjustment settings
Automatic (weight- or time-based) dosing Manual dosing check icon

Rancilio Rocky

Rancilio Rocky white background
Rancilio Rocky white background

The Rancilio Rocky has held its own in the ever-changing world of home espresso. Its sleek and simple design, affordability and grinding capabilities have kept it a fan favorite. Equipped with 50 mm steel burrs with a full grind range, and a motor that can grind out one gram per second for espresso, the Rocky makes home espresso easy. Not to mention, its basic but robust design beautifully compliments the Rancilio Silvia espresso machine!

Flat Burrs check icon Conical Burrs
38mm 39mm 40mm 47mm 50mm check icon 54mm 64mm 75/78mm
Electric check icon Manual
Storage Hopper check icon Single-dose Hopper
Full grind range (espresso through French Press) check icon Limited grind range
Stepless or micro-stepped grind adjustment settings Stepped grind adjustment settings check icon
Automatic (weight- or time-based) dosing Manual dosing check icon

Baratza Sette 270Wi

Baratza Sette 270Wi main with white background
Baratza Sette 270Wi close up with white background

The Sette 270Wi is Baratza's update to the Sette 270 and Sette 270W. While the Sette 270 is the most affordable of Baratza's espresso grinders, it lacks the weight-based grinding technology that premiered in the 270W and was perfected in the 270Wi with Acaia technology. Here the "i" stands for "intelligence" because the scale takes note of over- and under-dosing and learns to provide more accurate dispensing. Other innovations in this series include the straight-through grinding path (for near-zero retention), transforming forks (for a grounds bin or portafilter), and incredibly fast (4g/second at espresso fine) 40mm stainless steel conical burrs made by Etzinger.

Flat Burrs Conical Burrs check icon
38mm 39mm 40mm check icon 47mm 48mm 54mm 64mm 75/78mm
Electric check icon Manual
Storage Hopper check icon Single-dose Hopper
Full grind range (espresso through French Press) Limited grind range check icon
Stepless or micro-stepped grind adjustment settings check icon Stepped grind adjustment settings
Automatic (weight- or time-based) dosing check icon Manual dosing

Baratza Vario+

Baratza Vario+ white background
Baratza Vario+ white background

With each step up in Baratza’s line, the grinders gain more features or bigger burrs, or both. The espresso-friendly Vario+ comes packed with brilliant new upgrades like the convenient backlit LCD display, heavy-duty portafilter forks, and new metal adjustment arms. The internal hardware is just as impressive as its improved aesthetics, the Vario+ comes equipped with 54mm flat ceramic burrs that last twice as long as their steel counterparts, a dizzying 230 adjustment steps for incredible control over shots, and a built-in scale that is accurate within two tenths of a gram.

Flat Burrs check icon Conical Burrs
38mm 39mm 40mm 47mm 48mm 54mm check icon 64mm 75/78mm
Electric check icon Manual
Storage Hopper check icon Single-dose Hopper
Full grind range (espresso through French Press) check icon Limited grind range
Stepless or micro-stepped grind adjustment settings check icon Stepped grind adjustment settings
Automatic (weight- or time-based) dosing check icon Manual dosing

Lagom Mini

Lagom Mini white background
Lagom Mini side white background

Option-O's Lagom Mini takes many of the features of the highly sought-after Lagom P64 and presents them in a much smaller and economically-friendly package. With a footprint of only 3.7” x 2.6,” it's likely one of the smallest electric grinders on the market, and is also available in two burr options, Moonshine and Obsydian. The Obsydian Burrs are optimized for espresso and provides more prominent sweet and complex flavors.

Flat Burrs check icon Conical Burrs
38mm 39mm 40mm 47mm 48mm check icon 54mm 64mm 75/78mm
Electric check icon Manual
Storage Hopper Single-dose Hopper check icon
Full grind range (espresso through French Press) check icon Limited grind range
Stepless or micro-stepped grind adjustment settings check icon Stepped grind adjustment settings
Automatic (weight- or time-based) dosing Manual dosing check icon

$600–$1,100

It takes a powerful motor, big burrs, and incredibly tiny grind size adjustment options for an espresso grinder to pass into the commercial realm. The following grinders are on the cusp. They represent the liminal space between home-only and café-only espresso grinders, and can be seen in both settings all over the world.

Baratza Forte AP

Forte AP with white background
Forte AP side view with white background

The AP in the title stands for "all purpose," but don't get the wrong idea about this grinder. Unlike the Forte BG, whose stainless steel burrs make it best for brewing, the AP has 54mm ceramic flat burrs that work best for espresso (even though it is capable of the full range). The Forte AP includes all the bells and whistles of the Vario but has a more powerful motor (by 70%), more grind settings (260 instead of 230), and more steel, which is why it weighs 13 lbs. The Forte is a high-end home grinder with commercial capabilities.

Flat Burrs check icon Conical Burrs
38mm 39mm 40mm 47mm 48mm 54mm check icon 64mm 75/78mm
Electric check icon Manual
Storage Hopper check icon Single-dose Hopper
Full grind range (espresso through French Press) check icon Limited grind range
Stepless or micro-stepped grind adjustment settings check icon Stepped grind adjustment settings
Automatic (weight- or time-based) dosing check icon Manual dosing

Mählkonig X54

Mählkonig X54 white background
Mählkonig X54 white background

The Mählkonig EK43 set the industry standard for filter grinding, and now that quality is possible in your own home with the X54. Capable of a full grind range and equipped with removable assemblies like its magnetic grounds tray, metal dosing cup, and portafilter fork, the X54 is suitable for all brew methods. Its appearance, performance and price bring a cafe quality grinder to your countertop.

Flat Burrs check icon Conical Burrs
38mm 39mm 40mm 47mm 48mm 54mm check icon 64mm 75/78mm
Electric check icon Manual
Storage Hopper check icon Single-dose Hopper
Full grind range (espresso through French Press) check icon Limited grind range
Stepless or micro-stepped grind adjustment settings check icon Stepped grind adjustment settings
Automatic (weight- or time-based) dosing check icon Manual dosing

Above $1,100

The year 2020 changed the scope of the coffee industry making the home café has become just as important as the community café. As such, many home baristas spare no expense on equipment, bringing the most beautiful and speedy grinders on the market into their living space. The following grinders represent the higher end of home espresso grinders and have all the enviable features to justify the price tag.

Mazzer Mini Electronic Doserless Espresso Grinder (Type A)

Mazzer Mini A front view with white background
Mazzer Mini A side view with white background

Mazzer has long been a big name in commercial espresso grinders but with the Mini Electronic Doserless Type A it happened upon a commercial machine that just so happens to be perfectly sized for home kitchens, too. The Mini Type A weighs a whopping 22.5 pounds (because of its die-cast aluminum body), has 64mm stainless steel flat burrs, and has a more powerful motor than many other grinders on this list. It is ideal for the serious home barista or as a backup grinder for decaf or single origin espresso at a café.

Flat Burrs check icon Conical Burrs
38mm 39mm 40mm 47mm 48mm 54mm 64mm check icon 75/78mm
Electric check icon Manual
Storage Hopper check icon Single-dose Hopper
Full grind range (espresso through French Press) Limited grind range check icon
Stepless or micro-stepped grind adjustment settings check icon Stepped grind adjustment settings
Automatic (weight- or time-based) dosing check icon Manual dosing

Option-O Lagom P64

Silver Lagom with white background
Black Lagom with white background

Option-O has been making a name for itself lately with gorgeous grinders, both manual (see the REMI) and electric. The Lagom P64 represents the company's most complete product to date: an incredibly quiet single-dose espresso grinder with 64mm SSP burrs, variable RPM from 200-1400, low retention grind path, and a CNC-machined aluminum body in black or silver. Extras include a spray bottle to reduce static, WDT tool to reduce clumping, and a dosing funnel to directly fill portafilters.

Flat Burrs check icon Conical Burrs
38mm 39mm 40mm 47mm 48mm 54mm 64mm check icon 75/78mm
Electric check icon Manual
Storage Hopper Single-dose Hopper check icon
Full grind range (espresso through French Press) check icon Limited grind range
Stepless or micro-stepped grind adjustment settings check icon Stepped grind adjustment settings
Automatic (weight- or time-based) dosing Manual dosing check icon

Choosing the right home espresso grinder is a difficult task considering the profusion of options: manual or electric or electronic; flat or conical, ceramic or steel burrs. Plus there’s the matter of style. And of size. And what about color? A home grinder, after all, should fit in with your kitchen decor just as it should fit snugly under the cabinets. Lucky for you, we curate a selection of grinders that we believe in, so you can’t go wrong with any of the above or any in our catalog.

Aug 24th 2022 Steve Morrow & Ragan LaTour-Kelley

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