To have a perfect cup of espresso, the grinder is just as important as coffee machine. It has to grind well, because without a good grind, you can never make a good espresso. So what you need is a good quality grinder which produces a consistent and even grind. The grind must be very fine and even. Uneven grind can cause too fast an extraction and channeling in the puck. To make a good espresso you have to choose between burr, blade, manual and conical burr grinder. Out of those, conical burr grinder is by far the best for espresso. Another thing to look at is whether the grinder has a doser or not. The doser can harm the espresso beverage quality and does not keep the beans fresh. The grinder should definitely have a porta filter. If you want the best espresso grinder, it is reccomended to choose low speed grinder. That is because beans might heat up faster when grinding at very fine setting.
Why are conical burrs the best?
So conical burrs will grind at smaller speed and in this way prevent the grinder from heating. Since the grind is not heated, the coffee will remain more aroma and taste of brewed beans. Heat is therefore the main reason of choosing conical burrs as best choice for espresso making. They are usually made of steel which use sharp edges instead of teeth and therefore grinding finer. Sharp burrs create less strain on a grinder’s motor, generate less heat, produce fewer fines, and offer better particle size distribution.
Choose many step adjustments
Another important thing at grinding espresso is that you choose the right grind. If the grinder has many adjustment settings available that is a big plus. In this way you can adjust it best. Stepless grinders are usually very good for espresso although also grinders which just have many steps are good as well. You have to make very fine grind. The best feedback for choosing correct grind setting is to check if water pushes through the puck too fast. If it does, you might need to use a slightly finer grind. If it goes too slow, you need to use coarser grind. As you are grinding more you get more experienced in that and will enable you to make a better grind. Note that also freshness of the beans and their degree of roast affect grind and also humidity among others, so you have to adjust the grind also based on what beans you have.
Grinder should be easy to clean or not messy
When grinding high quality espresso it is important to keep the grinder clean. Coffee grinders in general retain some grinds in the burrs, chute and
other parts of the grinder. This is normal, however when grinding coffee old grinds stale and negatively impact flavor. Also changing coffee kinds will impact the taste of the final coffee. So in order to keep the grind good and maintain flavors and aroma, you need to clean the coffee grinder regularly. So another important factor to be aware of when buying an espresso coffee grinder is easiness to clean. Also messiness should definitely be taken into account. Instructions how to clean burrs and the rest of the grinder are usually found in manual. The good way to clean them is also by running instant rice or some grinder cleaner through the machine.
When making an espresso, you should note that coffee releases carbon dioxide from the moment it’s ground. This means that in few minutes all aromas will escape. So if you want a good espresso, it is recommended to ground espresso in your machine within 30 seconds after grinding. In this way your espresso will remain maximum flavor.
One more thing to pay attention to is storing your coffee beans. Storing them in bean hopper for longer period of time is not wise. When storing them, they need to be in airtight because if they come in contact with air, they become stale and lose its flavor. Also they should not be exposed to moisture, heat, and light. Commercial coffee containers in which you usually purchase your coffee in are not appropriate for long-term storage. Instead you might want to consider coffee storage canisters with an airtight seal.
There are a lot of factors that affect espresso at the end besides the grind, for example beans and roast, the freshness, the temperature, the amount of coffee beans, the tamping, the water, etc. Making high quality espresso is definitely not an easy task. Good grinder is one of the essential things to have in order to be even able to grind good espresso. Even more – if the coffee is not grinded well, no espresso machine can provide you with a good quality espresso. How good espresso machine you should buy depends of course on your budget. But keep in mind that budget consists of coffee machine and coffee grinder and the latter is at least equally if not more important when grinder a proper espresso.
Some of the best espresso grinders
|Coffee grinder||Price||Amazon rating/Cofee grinder world rating||Burr type||Number of grind adjustments||Bean hopper capacity (in ounces)||Timer||Housing material||Our review|
|Ascaso I-Mini||220-270$||None. / 8.2||Conical burrs (38mm)||infinite||8||NO||Plastic. But also available in aluminum||Read here|
|Ascaso 2CSdb I-2||250-300$||None/8.7||Conical burrs (54mm)||infinite||21||NO||Aluminium||Read here|
|Baratza Preciso||270-320$||3.4 / 8.6||Conical steel burrs (40 mm)||40||8||YES||Plastic||Read here|
|Baratza Virtuoso||200-250$||4 / 8.7||40 mm hardened steel conical burr (ML2)||40||8||YES||Plastic||Read here|
|Breville BCG600SIL||150-200$||3 / 8.7||Stainless steel conical burrs (40 mm)||60||12||YES||ABS plastic||Read here|
|Breville smart grinder BCG800XL||180-230$||4.1 / 5.7||Stainless steel conical burrs (40mm)||25||16||NO||Stainless steel with plastic||Read here|
Smart Grinder PRO
|200-250$||4.1 / 8.7||Stainless steel conical burrs||60||16||YES||Stainless steel with plastic||Read here|
|Tre Spade il Macinino||220-270$||2.5 / 7.4||Tempered-steel burrs||9||8||NO||Chromed plastic||Read here|
|Gaggia 8002 MDF||200-250$||4 / 9.0||Tempered-steel burrs (50mm)||34||10||NO||Plastic||Read here|