The 5 Best Burr Coffee Grinders of 2017

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The Coffee Grinder “Mystique”

In search of the best burr coffee grinders of 2017.

The journey. Sometimes it begins with a gift. In my case, it was with a bag of coffee beans…

I’d been a coffee drinker for a long time and always use pre-ground coffee. That bag of beans posed a slight problem.

How to Grind Them?

I did what most people do. I hit up the local Target and bought an inexpensive blade coffee grinder. And put up for a while with all of the chunks, chips and powder that I used to get. Not knowing this wasn’t the best way to get a good cup of coffee.

Then, through trial and error and a lot of web surfing, I learned all of the little tips and tricks of using a blade grinder. Anything on how to get the best kind of grind you could out of one of them.

I used to shake and grind, tip and grind, pound and grind until I got to the point where I could actually get a pretty decent pile of grounds.

I didn’t have as many of those major chunks, chips or fine powder anymore. Because I was able to keep the stuff moving around enough, I could get it relatively evenly ground. But it was such a hassle.

I started to think I’d have been better off with a manual burr grinder…

Click one of the menu links below if you know which grinder you’re interested in. Otherwise, please read on.

Getting Serious, Which One to Buy?

It was at this point that I decided not to be so cheap. I’d really dive in and learn more about grinders. If you love coffee, you’ve no doubt heard that you’ve got to grind of coffee for the best coffee.

And it’s true, a grinder will help in the search for a great cup of coffee. But, it’s a confusing world when it comes to checking out a coffee grinder.

I’d been on all sorts of sites from the foodie sites to the coffee specialty sites and as you might guess, they don’t always agree.

After all of my bouncing around and studying, this is what I found to be the deal. Ultimately, what you want to wind up with is a consistently and evenly ground up batch of grounds like these:

Choosing your best grind for your best coffee
Evenly and consistently ground is what we want.

The easiest way, and some would say best, is to use a burr grinder. I’m definitely in the burr grinder group because, in my opinion too, it is the best way.

Now, you can go ahead and use the blade grinder and use the techniques described above. If you’re just having one or 2 cups of coffee a day, you might think that’s just fine.

 

How Important Is Your Coffee to You?

The truth of the matter is, even a less expensive manual or electric burr grinder will still give you better results faster and more efficiently than even the best blade grinder.

So my recommendation is always to go the burr grinder route. Here’s an article I’ve written on why it’s the best way to go.

So, with that in mind, let me present what we believe are the 5 best burr coffee grinders. Each of these grinders has a perk and a peculiarity to know about.

But these are the highest-rated and best-selling, so you’ll be getting a good deal on a unit that’s going to last you a long time. In some cases, some of these grinders are found to last 10 years or more.

Sounds like a pretty good value to me.

Find the one that suits your needs and coffee style by reading the following summaries and/or full length reviews we’ve done that are linked below the summaries.

But most of all? Have fun on your coffee journey…


Click an image above to find your choice on Amazon.


The Mazzer Mini Electronic is solidly built for years of service. Click image to go to Amazon.

1. The Mazzer Mini Electronic Doser or Doserless Grinder

Type of grinder:

The Mazzer Mini line is Mazzer’s entry-level prosumer coffee grinder. It comes with really big 64 mm hardened steel flat burrs. These are powered by a 1600 RPM direct drive motor. The big burrs and motor mean that the Mini will grab a big bunch of beans and make short work of grinding them.

This is a somewhat slow speed for a flat burr grinder. The importance being that it makes the grinder much quieter while preventing the heat buildup that can damage your beans.

Dispensing mechanism:

The Mazzer Mini is available in both a doser and doserless model. The doserless model is electronic or as Mazzer says, it uses “Electronic Automatic Dosing.” The model that we reviewed was the electronic model. The doser model easily allows the use of a portafilter or grounds bin.

How many grind settings are there?

The settings on the Mini are step less which allows you to really dial in your grind. In a way, it’s almost infinite selection but there is a downside. Without presets, if you make different styles of coffee, it does make it hard to get back and forth to the right setting. That’s easily fixed by marking the collar with a Sharpie.

What’s the capacity?

The Mazzer Minis all come with a standard hopper that holds 1.3 pounds of beans. Be aware, this makes the grinder stand 18.5 inches tall. If that’s too tall, you can purchase an optional hopper that is 1 ½ inches shorter. The hoppers also have what’s called a “valve gate” that shutters the bottom of the hopper. That makes changing out coffee easy.

Any special features worth mentioning?

The biggest points are the 64 mm burrs, quiet grinding, and step less adjustments for extremely fine control.

What’s it best for?

The Mazzer is best suited to making these coffees: espresso, drip coffee, fine drip/pour over, and Turkish

Our view:

With 5 out of 5 stars on Amazon, this is one solid and durable coffee grinder. It’s said the grinder is built like a tank. No kidding and at 22 pounds with one piece construction, it appears to be a well thought out unit. Paired with a good coffee or espresso maker like the Rancilio Silvia or a Profitec Pro 700, it’s a combo that should last for years.

You can read our full review on the Mazzer Mini by clicking here.


The Baratza Vario W offers repeatable and consistent grinding. Cup after cup.
The Baratza Vario W offers repeatable and consistent grinding. Cup after cup.

2. The Baratza Vario W

Type of grinder:

The Baratza W has ceramic flat burrs that are 54 mm in size. They’re combined with a high torque belt driven motor to give you quick, cool, and consistent grinding.

Dispensing mechanism:

On the Vario, the beans are ground and dispensed into a grounds bin. Something to bear in mind if you use a portafilter. You can’t with the Baratza W. Because of the built-in scale, there’s no way to add a portafilter holder without throwing the scale out of balance.

You need to pour the grounds from the bin into the portafilter by hand. But this is more than made up for by the increased precision that you get with weight based grinding.

 

How many grind settings are there?

It has 230 settings that consist of 10 Macro settings that can be further divided with 23 Micro settings. This means you can really zero in on your personal cup of coffee. There are with 3 programmable buttons, you can program for different styles of coffee as well as different amounts of coffee.

What’s the capacity?

The hopper holds 8 ounces of beans and the capacity can be expanded by another 9 ounces with the addition of an extender. The hopper also has a shut off mechanism at the bottom. This allows for easy changing of beans if you’re switching between coffees or you need to clean the hopper.

Any special features worth mentioning?

The Baratza W uses a belt driven motor which contributes to its quietness. Most importantly, its built-in scale gives you center weighted grinding which means you have more precision and repeatability over your grinding style. It can spit out a double shot grind in 17.2 seconds.

What’s it best for?

The Vario W does a great job when paired to the following coffee methods: espresso, drip coffee, and fine drip/pour over.

Our view:

The Vario W gets a 4 out of 5 stars rating. So if you’re really looking to hone in on a great cup of coffee, the Baratza W can do that for you. It’s easy for you to set the Baratza W up for different coffee methods as well. You can have one setting for espresso, one for pour over, and another setting for automatic drip coffee.

When you take a look at the review, be sure to watch the video that’s included. You’ll be amazed at how quiet the Vario W is.

You can read our full review on the Baratza Vario W by clicking here.


The Rancilio Rocky comes in both doser and doserless models.
The Rancilio Rocky comes in both doser and doserless models. The SD is shown.

3. The Rancilio Rocky

Type of grinder:

The Rocky has 50mm tempered steel flat burrs. These are powered by a 1725 RPM low torque motor that helps keep the heat and noise down. You can grind a double shot of espresso in 20-30 seconds.

Dispensing mechanism:

It is available as both a doser and doserless model. The doser model grinds into 7g compartments and the doserless delivers the grounds either to a portafilter or a container of your choice. The doserless will give you more manual control over the amount of coffee you grind.

 

How many grind settings are there?

There are 55 stepped settings. The Rocky can grind a really coarse grind down to a fine grind. It’s not real consistent if you’re planning on making Turkish coffee, but rock solid in the espresso fine grind to up to French press coarse grind.

What’s the capacity?

The hopper holds a bit over a half pound of beans. It’s blue tinted for UV protection if you store your beans in the hopper, something we don’t recommend. The hopper comes of very easily for cleaning.

Any special features worth mentioning?

Easy to take apart to clean and just as easy to get back together. Solidly built with a black plastic front and brushed stainless steel wraparound. Quiet and fast grinding. If the grinder should happen to jam, there is a thermal switch to turn it off.

What’s it best for?

It will serve up a great grind for the espresso, coffee press/French press, auto drip and drip/pour over methods.

Our view:

At 4.5 out of 5 stars, the Rancilio Rocky, coming in at 14.5 lbs, is also built like a tank so it’s going to last a long time. It’s pretty flexible in the coffees you can make with the exception of Turkish. The Rocky is a best seller with many coffee equipment vendors, so it has a great reputation for quality manufacture and results.

Click Here To Read A More Detailed Review on the Rancilio Rocky


The Baratza Virtuoso works well for drip and French press coffee.
The Baratza Virtuoso works well for drip and French press coffee.

4. The Baratza Virtuoso

Type of grinder:

The Baratza Virtuoso is a ceramic burr type grinder. The burrs are 40 mm in size. And they are the same burrs that the Virtuoso’s big brother, the Preciso grinder uses. The motor is a low-speed high torque type making the Virtuoso quiet while also keeping the heat down.

Dispensing mechanism:

The Virtuoso is a doserless unit and dumps the grounds into a bin.

Once the timer expires, the grinding stops. You can use a portafilter for your espresso but it does become a two-handed operation. You’ll need to hold the portafilter under the grinding chute while pressing the grinding button.

 

How many grind settings are there?

There are 40 click stopped settings. Sometimes the Virtuoso is considered as not having a fine enough grind for espresso. That’s not a problem if you’re not shy about doing some work on your grinder. Baratza’s tech support can work with you on getting your grinder adjusted to the finer espresso grind.

But, if you don’t make espresso, this isn’t going to be an issue for you. For drip, pour over and French press, the Virtuoso does a great job.

What’s the capacity?

The hopper holds up to 8 ounces of beans. An additional extension can be added to increase the total by another 9 ounces. The grounds container holds enough grounds for a 60 oz. pot of coffee. It can turn out that grind quantity in about 1 minute. The hopper can’t be removed when it’s full of beans. If you’re going to be changing beans, you’ll need to turn the entire grinder over to dump the beans out.

Any special features worth mentioning?

The Virtuoso is made of antistatic parts with antistatic coatings which help keep the stray grounds under control there’s a plastic collar to protect the burrs and the motor in case of a jam the low torque motor also helps keep the static down as well.

What’s it best for?

The Virtuoso is well suited to these coffee methods: Drip coffee, coffee press/French press, and fine drip/pour over.

Our view:

The Baratza Virtuoso scores a 4.5 out of 5 stars rating and is a good entry-level coffee grinder. Like the Gaggia, it’s a good choice as a step up from a blade grinder.

Click here for our detailed review of the Baratza Virtuoso


The Gaggia 8002 MDF with 34 settings can easily produce a range of grinding. Click the image to find out more on Amazon

5. The Gaggia 8002 MDF

Type of grinder:

The Gaggia MDF is a great entry-level grinder with 50mm flat steel burrs for quality and consistency. These are coupled with a strong motor to plow through the beans.

The MDF is a little slower because it uses a gear reduction system to protect against heat buildup. This in turn extends grinder life. And very importantly, it keeps the heat away from the beans so that they don’t get burnt. Another big plus of the gear reduction is that it makes the MDF a quiet grinder.

Dispensing mechanism:

The dispensing mechanism is a doser that dumps out approximately 7 g of coffee in your portafilter.

How many grind settings are there?

The Gaggia has 34 click stopped adjustments for good grind control. Though called a prosumer unit, it isn’t commercial grade and is really a home or small office unit.

What’s the capacity?

The doser delivers 7g of coffee per handle pull. Experiment because you may want a little more. The hopper holds 10oz of beans. That means you’ve got plenty of coffee to make before a refill.

Any special features worth mentioning?

Not really a special feature but a pretty nice capability. The MDF is able to get the fine grind needed for a Turkish coffee at a pretty affordable price.

What’s it best for?

The Gaggia is best for these coffee methods: Drip coffee, coffee press/French press, fine drip/pour over and Turkish coffee.

Our view:

With a 4.5 out of 5 stars rating, the Gaggia 8002 MDF is a great choice when you’re ready to step up from a blade grinder. It will give you higher quality coffee grounds than a blade with the result being a better cup of coffee.

Paired with a good coffee maker like the Gaggia classic espresso maker, the combo would serve most users very well.

It does have some quirks that we mentioned in our review, but overall it’s a solid performer. And if you’re a Turkish coffee lover, this is definitely a model for you to look into.

Click Here To Read Our Detailed Review on the Gaggia 8002 MDF

Not finding what you want? Drop us a line at Contact Us and let us know what you’re trying to get set up for.



In the search for a better cup of coffee,
most look to a better coffee maker. Don’t
make that mistake. Look for a great coffee
grinder. It’s the beans and the grind.
Check out the article for more.

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Looking to step up your coffee game? Then you need a good coffee grinder for consistent and reliable results. Find the best of 2017 here.

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