In Depth

Best coffee grinders 2020

Coffee machines are a must-have kitchen accessory, so we put a selection of coffee grinder at various price points to the test

A coffee machine on your kitchen counter always looks great, but you'll want your machine to do more than just look good - it also needs to deliver a decent cup of lava.

Poppable pods and pre-ground coffee remain popular, but most true coffee aficionados will attest to the fact that the best brews come from freshly ground beans. The process of grinding them might seem like a time-consuming hassle but with a home coffee grinder, it's actually a relatively simple task. We've put a selection of coffee grinders, in a range of price brackets, to the test - here's the very best of them. 

Hario Skerton Coffee Grinder

This might be a humble hand-operated grinder, but its smooth mechanism makes coffee grinding swifter than most of its rivals. The ceramic burrs are adjustable depending on the fineness of the grind you want: an espresso will be ready in around five minutes. No time at all for a grinder of this quality and at this price.

Hario Skerton Coffee Grinder, hario.co.uk, £40

Krups Expert Burr Grinder

Another budget-priced grinder, and one that’s compact, quick and incredibly simple to use. One dial toggles between 17 grinding levels; the other grinds enough beans for anywhere been two and twelve cups. Unlike a lot of coffee grinders at the lower end of the price spectrum, the Krups does an excellent job of finer grinds - it’s actually with coarser grinds where it struggles. But if you’re looking for a latte with limited means, this is one of the best out there.

Krups Expert Burr Grinder, amazon.co.uk, £38

Wilfa Svart Aroma Coffee Grinder

This coffee grinder from Norwegian company Wilfa gives a performance that belies that not-too-hefty price tag. A guide printed on the hopper takes you through the grinding process, showing you how long you should grind for various coffee-making techniques - filter, aeropress, espresso, and so on. The slow-speed motor produces less heat than usual, so as not to burn away the aromatic subtleties of the beans. An excellent machine in the sub-hardcore category.

Wilfa Svart Aroma Coffee Grinder, amazon.co.uk, £119.50

Sage Smart Grinder Pro

If Sage’s Dose machine focuses on personalisation, the Smart Grinder Pro focuses on precision. With this, you’re able to calibrate the burrs thanks to Safe’s Dosing IQ technology, which automatically changes the dose of coffee in accordance with the changes in grind. The LCD display is clear, and the controls easy to use, and comes with a cleaning brush so you can keep the burrs in tip-top condition. It’s the definite winner among the mid-range grinders we looked at.

Sage Smart Grinder Pro, johnlewis.com, £144

Mahlkonig Vario

Leaping up into the higher echelons of spending? Definitely consider the Mahlkoning Vario: a programmable grinder with a digital timer and presets for ground for espresso, filter and French press. In fact, between the 10-position grind control and 20-position fine-tune control, the level of control at your hands is astonishing. Efficient, precise and well-built, this is one of the best grinders you can pick before moving into splurge territory.

Mahlkonig Vario, coffeeitalia.co.uk, £389

Baratza Sette 270

The entire Baratza range is a seriously impressive line of coffee grinders - but for us, the Sette 270 is the best of them. Its ‘revolutionary grinding technology’ puts a stainless-steel cone burr against a fixed-ring burr to process the beans. It’s a noisier-than-typical machine, but when the dosage is consistently correct to a degree of half a gram, you’ll forgive that. A sleek and gleaming piece of kit - and one that’s not cheap, but for self-evident reasons.

Baratza Sette 270, coffeehit.co.uk, £349

Cuisinart Professional Burr Coffee Mill

Cold-brew fans should take note of this grinder from Cuisinart, which efficiently delivers the kind of coarse, easy-to-filter grind that’s required for this achingly trendy beverage. That being said, its 18 grind settings will also deliver a grind that’s perfect for a percolator, French press and cafetiere too. It also comes with an impressive five-year guarantee, too.

Cuisinart Professional Burr Coffee Mill, amazon.co.uk, £51

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