Just like ice melts faster when broken into smaller pieces, coffee extraction is affected by surface area. Fine grounds extract quickly, and coarse grounds take longer. Unless you have a quality hand coffee grinder, it’s likely that your coffee has large pieces and fine granules that make the extraction uneven. Have you ever noticed a bitter or acidic aftertaste while drinking your morning cup?
If your coffee is pre-ground, or if you use an automatic grinder
, the granules will be uneven. Some of the finer particles will be over-extracted and become bitter. Some of the coarse grounds won’t be extracted and will result in weaker coffee. A burr grinder has two discs, called burrs, that are adjusted a specific distance apart. The coffee is then crushed — not chopped — to the exact measurement.
Fortunately, it’s fast and easy to grind coffee beans, and the results are spectacularly worth it. Whether you’re using a custom cup for your own Keurig
, or you’re simply trying to make the best coffee with your automatic drip coffee maker
, a quality hand coffee grinder will turn every cup into a taste of perfection.
A variety of factors affect the price of a burr grinder. Hand coffee grinders range from $20 all the way to around $80 or more! While cheap hand coffee grinders may seem like a bargain, they’re usually manufactured with such poor specificity that they defeat the purpose of having a burr grinder at all (precision). A quality burr grinder will last for life, and the manufacturer will support it with replaceable parts and new burrs.
Some features of the best hand coffee grinders will include ceramic (not steel) burrs, airtight construction, and quality construction. Ultimately, the hand coffee grinder is not an accessory you buy for complexity. The moving parts are simple, and they’re modeled after mills from hundreds of years ago. Some modern designs have rubber grips, leveraged cranks, and quantifiable adjustments so you can remember settings for each type of brewer that you use.
Construction and Design
The beauty is truly in the details. Vintage hand coffee grinders are made out of iron, steel, ceramic, and wood. But more recent developments have introduced full glass and stainless steel models. With a variety of styles to match any kitchen, there is no shortage of options. Some grinders feature a crank that winds around the top, while others wind around the side. Others have a drawer to catch grounds, and some even have markings on the side of the reservoir to let you know how many beans you need.
Performance and Ease of Use
Capacity is important, and some coffee grinders are designed for only a few cups of coffee at a time. Others have large hoppers for plenty of beans, enough for any coffee pot. There are usually only two or three moving parts, and the reservoir for catching coffee grounds is almost always detachable for cleaning purposes. Make sure you read the manual before placing anything in the dishwasher, and expect your hand coffee grinder to last for years!
Now that you’ve learned all about what makes the best hand coffee grinders, let’s take a look at five of the top brands on the market for coffee grinders and accessories!
Hario has nearly a century of expertise creating heat-tempered glass products recognized by professional baristas around the world. It has honed its craft to produce award-winning coffee makers and accessories. The company has a variety of coffee mills available, and the Hario Skerton Ceramic Coffee Mill is simple, dependable, and durable for years on end.
The Skerton features adjustable ceramic burrs for consistency. The top chamber holds 100 grams, and it’s sealed with a silicone lid to prevent spilling the beans. The grounds go through the mill to a dishwasher safe, non-porous glass catch with a rubber foot for stability and countertop grip. Hario stands by its grinders with a 30-day money back guarantee, making the Skerton a perfect no-risk coffee grinder for the budding, busy, or traveling coffee enthusiast.
Gourmia is dedicated to engineering cooking tools for a healthy lifestyle. From “meal prep Monday” to homemade ice cream on a warm sunny Sunday, Gourmia has you covered. It makes tea kettles, coffee makers, milk frothers, and more, with a wide selection of coffee grinders available.
The Gourmia Manual Coffee Grinder is a modern take on a classic design that’s as beautiful as it is functional. With a set of ceramic burrs designed for coarse to fine grounds, the construction is elegantly engineered for performance. A cast-iron top holds the beans before they're ground into a neat wooden container at the bottom with a pull-out drawer. It's a beautiful addition to any kitchen or home. A simple screw adjustment sets the consistency to find the perfect taste for your coffee maker, espresso machine, or french press!
In a world of generalists and diversification, it’s refreshing to find experts who have specialized in doing one thing, and doing it well. Handground has created one of the best burr grinders on the market, and it’s achieved worldwide recognition for its precision and elegance. The Handground Precision Coffee Grinder is meant to help anyone achieve perfect consistency and a full flavor in every cup of coffee.
Handground’s innovative design is inspired by the focus ring on a camera. It features a numbered dial so you can adjust the ceramic burr mill among 15 different coarseness settings, 165 microns at a time. Because “burr wobble” is one of the main sources of inconsistency, Handground mounted the burrs with a three-point steel axle for the ultimate in consistency. Every single part is accessible and replaceable, and there are videos online for cleaning, calibrating, and using the grinder. The Handground Precision Coffee Grinder is one of the best on the market, hands down.
We hope sincerely that you’ve found the best hand coffee grinder for your needs! The joy of coffee is meant to be shared, and from our office to yours, we want you to find the perfect match for your kitchen. Remember that these brands are dedicated to quality, and some of them have a variety of options to choose from! If you didn’t find the perfect match, take a look at some of their alternatives, and you’ll be sure to find the perfect burr grinder for your home or office!