Coffee Grinder Buying Guide: How To Choose A Coffee Grinder

Coffee lovers know that a delicious cup starts with quality beans and the perfect coffee grind. Grinding your beans at home will help ensure that your grounds are at their freshest and the grind-size best suited to the type of coffee you’re brewing. 

When it comes to buying a coffee grinder to match your flavor palate needs, the right grinder can make all the difference. This coffee grinder buying guide will help you determine which one is right for you.

A KitchenAid® burr coffee grinder in a modern kitchen next to a pastry and cup of coffee. A KitchenAid® burr coffee grinder in a modern kitchen next to a pastry and cup of coffee.

What should I look for when choosing a coffee grinder?

The type of coffee grinder best suited for you will depend on your preferred brewing method and palate. The two main types of grinders are burr grinders and blade grinders. Read on to learn more about why burr grinders can offer more control and other factors to consider when choosing a coffee grinder.

A glass with coffee grounds

1. Grind Size

Each brewing method uses a different extraction technique including the time and pressure at which grounds are exposed to water. The grind size needs to match the brewing method. For example, coarser grounds have less exposed surface area and should be exposed to water for a longer period of time in order to extract enough flavor – this makes them best for drip or immersion methods like French press or pour over. Finer grounds are best for fast, high-pressure brewing as used in an espresso machine or when making Cuban coffee. Make sure your grinder is able to produce the size grind you need for your brew method.

KitchenAid® burr coffee grinder

2. Settings

Coffee grinder settings settings allow you to customize your grind for your brew method and bring out the true flavor of your coffee beans. A blade grinder uses a one touch operation to grind beans. You can pulse the beans to create the right grind consistency for your brew method. This grinder works well if you use an auto drip machine for your coffee ritual.

Most burr grinders come with a range of settings that let you grind coffee from coarse to very fine, depending on the type of beverage you’re grinding the beans for. If you like to try a variety of brew methods, a burr grinder offers flexibility in grind size to experiment in creating your perfect cup of coffee. The KitchenAid® Burr Coffee Grinder, with 70 precise settings, achieves exceptionally consistent grind sizes for all brew methods.

KitchenAid® blade coffee grinder

3. Capacity

Capacity for a blade coffee grinder will vary depending on the size of the grinder bowl. Some grinders allow you to grind beans for up to 12 cups of coffee.  A burr grinder generally features a large hopper that feeds the beans through to a container and allows you to set your capacity from 1 to 12 cups of coffee. You can choose the size of container that you use depending on the amount of grounds, including grinding beans directly into an espresso machine portafilter. A KitchenAid® burr grinder with Automatic Smart Dosing Technology lets you select the cups or shots desired and grind-time is adjusted accordingly, regardless of grind size or brew method.

KitchenAid® burr coffee grinder with conical burrs

4. Speed

Grind speed is measured in RPMs. Low speed grinders operate with lower RPMs, generally resulting in less static and heat buildup. High speed grinders typically have larger motors and operate at higher RPMs which can create more consistent grind size, but this also can produce more noise and more heat. Heating your coffee beans can create bitter coffee. Most residential burr coffee grinders are low-speed with conical burrs.

KitchenAid® burr coffee grinder next to a frothy cappuccino and pastries

5. Product Size

When choosing a coffee grinder, consider your counter and cabinet space. With its compact design, most grinders will fit under kitchen cabinets or can be stored away for easy access making it convenient for everyday use. Blade grinders are usually smaller than burr grinders and can be tucked away in a drawer if you’re short on countertop space.

KitchenAid® burr coffee grinder

6. Noise

The noise may or may not be a factor depending on your sensitivity to it, but it is a good idea to keep it in mind. Conical burr grinders tend to be the quietest, with flat burr grinders just behind. Blade grinders are the loudest of the three options.

A woman using a KitchenAid® espresso machine next burr coffee grinder in a modern kitchen

7. Material

A blade coffee grinder generally has a stainless steel bowl and blade, while burr grinders can be made from a variety of materials, including ceramic and stainless steel. Stainless steel is the most commonly used material for burrs. There are two main types of burr grinders, conical and flat plate.

A woman using a KitchenAid® burr coffee grinder in a modern kitchen

8. Cleanup

Cleaning a burr grinder or a blade grinder every week to two weeks is usually a worthwhile task that just requires a little time. A clean grinder will yield better tasting coffee. To learn more about the process of cleaning a burr grinder or blade grinder, see the guide on how to clean a coffee grinder.

A KitchenAid® espresso machine and burr coffee grinder in a modern kitchen with an espresso, frothy cappuccino and pastry

9. Aesthetic

If your coffee grinder will make an appearance on your countertop, this will be something that you’ll want to consider. While overall functionality and quality is important, the look of the machine will matter, too. There are many options that allow you to find a design aesthetic to match your kitchen.

Shop KitchenAid®Coffee Grinders

Does the type of coffee grinder make a difference?

The coffee grinder you choose can affect the taste of your coffee, depending on your brewing preference. Blade grinders can quickly process a small amount of beans with simple operation. However, you may find that your grounds are less uniform in size which can lead to uneven extraction. Burr grinders generally feature more settings, giving you the precision to achieve a variety of results for different brewing methods. Some burr grinders also allow you to choose exactly the amount of grounds you need, allowing you to skip measuring and avoid having leftover grounds.

What is the best coffee grinder for grinding coffee at home?

Burr grinders and blade grinders both can create fresh, delicious brew. Burr grinders have an edge over blade grinders when it comes to delivering uniform grounds with less heat and less mess. Even more, the crushing of the beans in burr grinders helps release oils, resulting in a rich, smooth brew.

Explore KitchenAid®Coffee Products

The secret to a fresh, flavorful cup of coffee is in the preparation of the beans. Once you discover the best KitchenAid® Coffee Bean Grinder to match your palate, you will elevate your coffee experience to a new level. They are designed for your perfect grind, every time. Browse the KitchenAid® Coffee Collection to find all the tools you need to make a great cup of coffee.

Learn more about making coffee with KitchenAid