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2017 Best Coffee Grinders

a closeup of the burrs of a Hario Skerton burr grinder, text reads Our Favorite Grinders

One of the most important steps in brewing coffee— other than fresh, quality beans, of course— is grinding your beans.

That's why we’ve hand-picked the best grinder for each of the most common specialty coffee drinkers: Beginner, Advanced, and the Traveler.

Whether you’re just starting to brew quality coffee at home, ready to upgrade existing home equipment, or seeking portable gear, we’ve found a grinder for you.

We described the qualities that make a good grinder in our last post on the subject, we recommend you start your quest there.

Now, onto our choices for the top grinders of 2017.

The Beginner: Baratza Encore

a photo of the Baratza Encore burr grinder against a dark background

Available here for $151

The Encore is our go-to entry level grinder.

This grinder is ideal for manual and drip brew, but can also accommodate espresso. With good consistency in grind size and 40 grind settings to choose from, the Encore offers plenty of choices for multiple brewing methods.

The easy-to-use pulse button allows for accurate dosing and on-demand grinding, we also like its small footprint on our counter. As a bonus the Encore is user-friendly and very easy to clean and maintain without technical skills or tools.

The above qualities make the Baratza Encore our pick for an affordable grinder that is more than capable for most coffee drinkers.

Strengths:

  • Perfect for general home use
  • Budget-friendly for a high quality entry-level grinder
  • Easy to clean
  • 1-year warranty and excellent customer support

Machine specs:

  • 40mm conical burrs
  • 40 grind settings ranging in size from 250-1200 microns
  • Weighs 7lbs
  • Dimensions: 4.7” W x 13.8”H x 6.3” D

Components:

  • Bean hopper
  • Grounds bin
  • Conical burrs
  • Pulse button
  • On/off knob

A note about the manufacturer:

Baratza consistently offers superior customer service. They respond quickly to email inquiries, are easy to reach via phone during business hours, and are always willing to navigate customers through the set-up of their new grinders. If a product is malfunctioning, they’ll quickly send a replacement along with a shipping label for the old product. Lastly, if you’re looking for a replacement part for your grinder, they’ll ship it directly with no fuss.

Advanced: Baratza Virtuoso

a diptic showing the front and side of a Baratza Virtuoso against a dark background

Available here for $229

The Virtuoso's greatest strength is its ability to provide consistency in grind output throughout the entire range.

From the fine granules needed for espresso to the coarser settings for French Press and cold brew coffee concentrate.

Similar to the Encore, the Virtuoso fits tidily onto our counters and is very easy to clean and maintain.

The main difference between the Encore and the Virtuoso are finer burrs (the Virtuoso has 200-1400 micron burrs vs. the Encore’s 250-1200 microns), automatic timer, and faster grinding speed.

The Baratza Virtuoso is capable of café quality, and its precision makes it ideal for customers looking to explore and experiment with multiple methods of brewing.

Strengths:

  • Much like the Encore, the Virtuoso is perfect for general home brewing. The Virtuoso has the precision to produce grinds for home espresso machines
  • Easy to clean
  • 1-year warranty and excellent customer support
  • Machine specs:

  • 40mm conical burr
  • 40 grind settings ranging in size from 200-1400 microns
  • Weighs 8lbs; Dimensions 4.7” W x 13.8”H x 6.3” D

Components

  • Bean hopper
  • Grounds bin
  • Conical burrs
  • Pulse button
  • Adjustable self-timing on/off knob
  • Grind setting dial

The Traveler: Hario Skerton Hand Grinder

a Hario Skerton manual burr grinder stands against a dark backdrop

Available here for $48

Lightweight, easy to assemble, and engineered with quality ceramic burrs, the Skerton is the ideal choice for traveling with coffee.

We recommend the Skerton for single-serving manual brewing such as the Aeropress, Clever, v60, or small batches in your Chemex. Although the Skerton works just fine for drip coffee makers, hand grinding the correct amount every morning for a large brew is tiresome.

The Skerton really shines when you’re on-the-go: if you’d rather not settle on hotel coffee, or when you’re camping and need an incentive to climb out of your sleeping bag.

The ceramic burrs mean you don’t have to worry about rust or any metallic odors, and the handsome glass jar that catches the grinds doubles as a container.

All-in-all the Hario Skerton is a perfect travel buddy.

Strengths:

  • Best for traveling, easy to store
  • Quality grinder at an affordable price
  • Dishwasher safe

Specs:

  • Conical ceramic burr
  • Weighs 1.65lbs; 3.5” W x 3.5” D x 6.5”H
  • Stepped adjustment dial

Components:

  • Compact crank
  • Ceramic Burrs
  • Stepped grind adjust
  • Catch jar for the grinds that doubles as a container

Our Advice

Smart shopping means that you have less replacement costs down the road. Once you do purchase your grinder, make sure to spend some time adjusting the grind setting to suit the brewing technique. With just a little bit of practice and taste testing, you’re sure to pour the perfect cup for yourself and others.

Remember: whether you are a beginner, advanced, or traveling coffee drinker, you deserve the best cup of coffee you can make.

If you have a question— or you just want to say hello, leave a comment below!

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