How to choose coffee grinder

How to choose a coffee grinder

Choosing a coffee grinder is a very serious step both for a real coffee lover and for those who are just about to become one. This is not surprising: in many ways, it is the coffee grinder (and not at all the coffee maker) that determines the taste of the drink. Moreover, those who are just starting their journey into the world of coffee are often advised to “invest” first of all in a decent coffee grinder, and only then (if available funds are available) purchase a more “advanced” coffee maker. These recommendations are based on the simple fact that even decent coffee makers will not be able to provide decent quality when handling improperly ground beans. How to choose a grinder? Let’s figure it out Types of coffee grinders

Today, among all the many coffee grinders on the market, there are three main types:

knife (or rotary) coffee grinders

“Pseudo-grain” coffee grinders

millstone coffee grinders

Manual mechanical coffee grinders that do not require an electrical connection can also be distinguished into a separate category. We will also say a few words about them, but we will not focus on these devices: they occupy too specific a niche


Knife (rotary) coffee grinders

These coffee grinders are the most technically simple and cheapest solutions. According to MyFriendsCoffee the quality of coffee, grinding is predictably consistent with the price of the device.

The principle of operation of rotary coffee grinders is extremely simple: a motor is hidden in the body of the device, which rotates the knife (usually two-blade). A knife, located in a special chamber, grinds the contents until the user turns off the grinder (or, as an option, within a fixed time).

The user does not cause any special difficulties in operating these coffee grinders. The principle of use is simple: we put grain into the chamber, press the power button, wait for a while, press the button again (or release it) to turn off the device. We remove the ground coffee with a spoon. During operation, it will not be superfluous to periodically shake the device to mix the contents of the working chamber. In addition to coffee, many coffee grinders allow you to grind spices and other not too strong food ingredients (however, this use of the device can lead to the fact that the taste and smell of spices will be transmitted to the coffee beans).

The main complaint about knife grinders: the inability to control the degree of grinding and uneven grinding. Since these devices do not have a timer, the process will have to be started and stopped manually, and the degree of grinding of the grains should be determined “by eye”. But even if you managed to guess the most suitable time, the result will still be unstable: since the contents of the chamber are mixed unevenly, then one part of the grains will most likely be ground better than the other. In the worst cases, opening the grinder will reveal large pieces of coffee beans. In the best ones, it’s easy to record the fact that there are larger factions.

Unfortunately, for working with even the simplest coffee makers, such a grind cannot be considered satisfactory: the quality of the drink will be mediocre and unstable. The coffee will turn out better or worse, and its taste will take away either bitterness or sourness.

The only adequate use of such a coffee grinder (besides grinding spices) is grinding coffee into dust. With a sufficiently long grinding of the grains, sooner or later all of them will be ground to a state of a homogeneous fine fraction. Coffee of this grinding cannot be used in espresso coffee makers, but it is quite suitable for making coffee in a Turk (cezve).

Therefore, our conclusion will be the following: it makes sense to buy a rotary coffee grinder only for Turkish lovers, and also as a grinder for spices. For those who are going to make coffee in drip or carob coffee makers, we cannot recommend this device in any way. Pseudo-grain grinders


It is generally known that the most “correct” coffee grinders are those that use millstones. However, between them and rotary coffee grinders, one more type of devices can be distinguished pseudo-grinded coffee grinders. By their design, they are very similar to millstones, however, they have a number of significant differences that affect the quality of grinding not for the better.

Unfortunately, manufacturers often position pseudo-grain coffee grinders as real millstones, which can be misleading for an inexperienced user. The easiest way to spot a “fake” is to look at the price. To date, the most popular pseudo-burnt coffee grinders can be purchased for 5-6 thousand rubles, while the simplest burnt coffee grinders will cost at least twice as much.

If it is possible to hold a coffee grinder in your hands (or if photographs are available on the Internet), then you can distinguish a pseudo-grinder from a millstone by looking at the millstones. Pseudo-grinder coffee grinders, like burrs, use rotating discs to grind coffee beans. But their shape will be fundamentally different. Pseudo-grinder grinders have a working surface characteristic protruding “teeth”, which account for most of the load. Roughly speaking, coffee beans in such devices are not ground, but “bite off” and crushed. The result is, again, non-uniformity, most noticeable on coarse grinding. In-ground coffee, you can find both rather large particles and too small inclusions. The smallest grind is usually both uneven and not as fine as you would like.