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coffee mill / grinder recommendation ??

expatCanuck Dec 8, 2007 04:17 AM


We'd welcome recommendations for a coffee bean mill/grinder.
*Easily* adjustable so I can grind coarse for my French Press, SWMBO can make her morning drip, and we can make espresso for guests.

We're replacing an old Braun coffee grinder that never worked terribly well. Too much of the coffee generated a caked powder near the top of the output chute, and never a satisfactory coarse grind.

Ideally under $100 (tho' I'd consider more if the machine truly merited it), less is more, and compact size would be a huge plus. I don't mind manual, tho' I suspect my better half would prefer electric -- my suspicion is that electric generates heat & reduces control.


- Richard

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  1. scubadoo97 RE: expatCanuck Dec 8, 2007 05:38 AM

    Richard, what espresso machine do you have and how serious are you about your morning brew? There are really no good grinders for espresso under $200 and very few good burr grinders for other types of brewing under $100. Baratza Virtuoso or their previous Maestro lines are good basic burr grinders but not great for espresso.

    8 Replies
    1. re: scubadoo97
      ccbweb RE: scubadoo97 Dec 8, 2007 10:15 AM

      scubadoo97 is exactly right, in my estimation. We have the Barataza Virtuoso ($200, I believe) and it does a wonderful job for our daily coffee. It does a passable job for the stove top mokka pot, too, but it doesn't get quite fine enough for espresso in my opinion (though it gets very close, really). We've had a few other models of different burr grinders (krups, nepresso, starbucks) and the Baratza is far superior to all of them. It'd certainly do very well for French Press and for drip.

      1. re: scubadoo97
        zin1953 RE: scubadoo97 Dec 11, 2007 01:31 PM

        I'll chime in and agree: scubadoo97 is EXACTLY right!

        What sort of espresso machine do you have? This will be key in determining the right type of grinder for your needs.

        Baratza Maestro (good): http://www.chriscoffee.com/products/h...

        Baratza Virtuoso (better): http://www.chriscoffee.com/products/h...

        While neither of these is really perfect for true espresso, BOTH are light-year's ahead of a blade grinder.

        You also may want to take a look at the KitchenAid ProLine -- http://www.wholelattelove.com/Kitchen... -- but, again, it all depends upon what espresso machine you have . . . .


        1. re: scubadoo97
          greglor RE: scubadoo97 Dec 14, 2007 07:21 AM

          The only way you can get a good burr grinder for under $100 is to go with a manual grinder. I don't have one (yet) but I've read good things about the various Zassenhaus grinders:


          The folks at coffeegeek seem to think they're pretty fantastic, and apparently they don't take terribly long to grind (a minute or two to grind enough coffee for two). Check out coffeegeek.com as well.

          1. re: greglor
            zin1953 RE: greglor Dec 14, 2007 10:18 AM

            Nothing against Zassenhaus, BUT . . .

            Besides http://www.coffeegeek.com, you may want to check out http://www.home-barista.com and specifically this thread: http://www.home-barista.com/forums/ti...

          2. re: scubadoo97
            trener1 RE: scubadoo97 Dec 15, 2007 10:11 AM

            If you haven't bought one yet...
            Check out the Starbucks Barista Grinder, made in Switzerland, it's a $125.00 machine on sale now for $99 and through tomorrow (Sunday) everything at Starbucks is %20 off, so you get it for $80 plus they also throw in a free pound of coffee, which is worth at least $10, I just bought one ten minutes ago, I read some reviews over at coffeegeek, and it seems like a good machine at a good deal.
            You might have to check a few Starbucks (haha that shouldn't be a problem in NY) as not all stores have them, and they are not available on-line either.

            1. re: trener1
              ccbweb RE: trener1 Dec 15, 2007 11:05 AM

              My wife and I used one of these for about 2 years before replacing it with a Baratza. It was a fairly good machine but we had problems with static and coffee grounds going everywhere. The grind was reasonably consistent and good enough for a drip pot or a french press. It definitely couldn't handle a fine enough grind for espresso.

              1. re: ccbweb
                trener1 RE: ccbweb Dec 15, 2007 01:05 PM

                Which Baratza did you get?.

                1. re: trener1
                  ccbweb RE: trener1 Jan 5, 2008 01:37 PM

                  We got the "Virtuoso" model from wholelattelove.com. It was $199 including shipping. I realize now that my previous post is quite unclear...the comments I made were about the Starbucks grinder. Our Baratza machine could do for espresso, I think and the grind is very consistent. The static issues are almost non-existent with the Baratza.

          3. g
            gabby29 RE: expatCanuck Dec 8, 2007 09:08 PM

            Capresso makes a nice unit that would fit into your budget. You can probably find it cheaper than listed on Sur La Table. I am able to produce a fine grind and have had no trouble with the unit at all. It cleans up nicely and the noise level is minimal. They provide instructions on grind based upon the instrument used (espresso machine, french press, etc.). It also includes a timer as well to insure that your beans grind for a specific amount of time if that is your preference.


            1. bworp RE: expatCanuck Dec 11, 2007 11:06 AM

              A friend of mine has similar needs to you - drip in the am and espresso after dinner. I've never had his morning brew, but the espresso turns out great every time. He has a Baratza Virtuoso: http://www.3luxe.com/best_ofs/Coffee_... it runs about $200, but it pays for itself quickly if it cuts down the daily runs to a coffee house.

              1 Reply
              1. re: bworp
                Gypsy Boy RE: bworp Dec 11, 2007 11:08 AM

                You may want to spend some time looking over the wealth of information available at www.coffeegeek.com. I've found their reviews--both in-house and consumer--to be very helpful and informative. I've taken their collective advice into account more than once...to my satisfaction.

              2. h
                HLing RE: expatCanuck Dec 11, 2007 07:03 PM

                If you don't mind manual, here's something that with shipping cost about $36. It's a 4-piece assemble, but you can leave out the screen if you want, which will make it even more compact. It's well designed, and will give you strong wrists if you grind everyday. My first purchase arrived within 2 days and was a 2.5 in diameter one, which is very compact, but only a small amount can be ground each time. My second purchase is one that's 4 inch in diameter and took 3 weeks to arrive, but it produces just the right amount of grounds for my stove top moka maker. It's great for coarse grind, I don't taste the burnt taste that comes from the cheap electric grinders any more. Not sure it gets fine enough for espresso though.


                2 Replies
                1. re: HLing
                  trener1 RE: HLing Dec 12, 2007 06:35 AM

                  Nice timing, as my grinder just broke and I have been doing lots of research trying to find a grinder in $100 range.
                  Here is what I have found out so far, many people seem to think that the grinders in that price range are really good for drip and French press, but maybe not so good for espresso, I don't make espresso so that isn't a concern for me.
                  Now having said that, if you are really set on that price point I have narrowed it down to 4 nice choices.

                  The Baratza maestro mentioned above, you can spend a bit more and go for the maestro plus.
                  a few other good choices to look at
                  the Saeco Titan for $123, or if you have Costco membership $99
                  The Capressa infinity, this one looks good for the price.
                  And the Bodum Antigua

                  Let me know what you think about these.

                  1. re: HLing
                    zin1953 RE: HLing Dec 12, 2007 07:13 AM

                    It doesn't.

                  2. e
                    EclecticEater RE: expatCanuck Dec 12, 2007 08:58 AM

                    Kitchenaid proline grinder is the best, as far as I'm concerned. See it at


                    You can probably find it discounted out there on the web. Yes, it is expensive but it does the job very well and we have had it for six months now without any trouble. Has a wide range of settings and is a powerful burr grinder.

                    1. g
                      gabby29 RE: expatCanuck Dec 13, 2007 06:50 PM

                      The Capresso Grinder is currently on sale at Tuesday Morning for $89.99


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