What Kind of Coffee Grinder Should I Get?
If you are serious about consistently brewing great coffee and I am, you know that having a high-end grinder is critical. There are a number of competing products that cater to people like me. So how do you know which one is right for you? Well in this article I will discuss the features I look for in a coffee grinder. After that I will break down the features of a very high end coffee grinder. Hopefully after reading this article you will have a much clearer idea of what to get.
Features to look for in a grinder
Burr or Blade: Coffee grinders either use burrs or metal blades to grind the beans. The grinders that use blades are cheaper grinders, they however do not allow as much control over the fineness and the end result isn't as consistent. In my opinion the extra cost is worth it and I would strongly recommend going with a burr grinder.
Bean capacity: While some grinders have small hoppers with only the capacity to hold enough coffee beans for a single cup, other grinders can hold more beans from a few ounces to 250 grams. The larger grinders with larger capacity may be unsuitable for small kitchens. In my opinion your grinder shouldn't dominate your kitchen.
Level of coarseness: While budget grinders do not offer any control, grinding the coffee to only one coarseness, other grinders offer 3 to 4 levels of the coffee's fineness. Some high-end machines offer up to 30 different coarseness settings. Though I can't taste the difference between such small differences in the coarseness of the grind.
Power: The power of the machine is an important factor to consider when looking for a quality product. While high-end grinders tend to have 150 to 300 Watt motors, cheaper variants might have a less powerful motor. The less powerful grinders have a tendency to have maintenance issues.
Presence of a Canister: While some coffee grinders have canisters to hold the freshly ground coffee, others do not provide any canisters to keep the coffee in.
Auto-Off Feature: Although the feature is irrelevant for small hand held machines, the auto-off feature is a must for larger machines that have the capacity to grind large amounts of coffee, in one go. The auto-off feature prevents the blades or burrs from spinning aimlessly, after the beans have been ground. This reduces wear and tear on the motor and the other parts.
Features of the Breville BCG800XL Smart Grinder
Settings offered: The grinder offers 25 settings for different types of coffee such as Espresso, Percolator, Drip and French Press.
Auto Dose: It's easy to input what you want the grinder to do and then it calibrates itself automatically.
LCD screen: It also easy to see the grinder settings, the number of shots or cups being made and other customized settings on the backlit LCD screen.
Storage: The grinder has an air tight lid and the bean hopper has a locking system, together they ensure better storage of the coffee and easy transfer of jars.
Accessories: Other accessories included with the grinder are a grind container, a brush for cleaning the burr and two portafilter cradles.
Noise: the Smart Grinder very quiet for a grinder. You don't have to worry about waking people up if you use it in the morning.
Size: the size of the Breville is small; however, it has substantial grinding power, makes it suitable for smaller kitchens.
Mess: There is virtually no mess if you use the grinder correctly. The beans are ground well and then stored safely in the container, without making a mess.
Cost: Although the cost of the particular Breville model at £125 is a bit on the higher side, as compared to the other grinders. The quality of the grind and zero mess use that the machine delivers makes it worth the price. There are cheaper variants, some from other companies but they do not match up to this model.
Quality: When using the device I got the feeling that it was a fairly sturdy design that should last for several years. The backlit display panel also seems durable, I have had issues with the displays on some other grinders in the past. Importantly I found the grinder very easy to clean.
Looks: I don't like to buy appliances that stand out in my kitchen. With the chrome and black colors and it's sleek designs this grinder should fit in with most kitchens nicely.