HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >
What's your latest food project? Get great advice
TELL US

What's a better coffee grinder brand?

sleepycat Feb 18, 2008 01:05 PM

I wanted to buy a regular coffee grinder for hubby when he's at the office. The choice I had was Hamilton Beach at 30.00 or Cusineart for 50.00. The Cusineart looks nicer and seems more heavy duty but besides that and price are they any differences in the brands? ie durability or extra little features

  1. BarmyFotheringayPhipps Feb 19, 2008 12:51 PM

    I could not be happier with my $50 Kitchenaid blade coffee grinder. Despite what its adherents say, burr grinders are NOT better for every application, and in fact if you drink French press (as I do), burr grinders are actually worse. They grind the beans too fine, leading to sludge in the bottom of the coffee cup. Whereas just under five seconds with this blade grinder gives me a consistently perfect grind with no sludge.

    Best of all, the blade assembly and cup of the Kitchenaid grinder is a separate piece from the motor. Why is this a good thing? Because it means you can chuck the top into the dishwasher to clean it, which means say goodbye to the hassle and waste of owning two coffee grinders, one for coffee and one for spices.

    7 Replies
    1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps
      b
      Buckethead Feb 19, 2008 07:00 PM

      I drink french press coffee every day and I would never go back to a blade grinder from my burr grinder. You just need to choose a model that has a few coarse settings. I agree that they're mainly geared towards espresso drinkers, but the consistency of a burr grinder can't be beat by a blade grinder, it's just physics.

      1. re: Buckethead
        BarmyFotheringayPhipps Feb 19, 2008 07:17 PM

        But...if I'm already getting perfect consistency from a $50 blade grinder, why do I need to spend the extra money on a burr grinder?

        1. re: Buckethead
          c
          chuckl Feb 20, 2008 02:20 PM

          if your burr grinder grinds too fine for French press, then just set it coarser. Duh. The fact is, a good burr grinder will make a more consistent grind. You might not need it, though, if all you're doing is drip or french press.

        2. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps
          HillJ Feb 19, 2008 07:27 PM

          owning two grinders; one for coffee & one for spices means I don't need to waste water washing housings. A dry wipe and I'm good to go.

          Burr grinders clog, coffee can build up inside the often tiny shoot. As for grind, that's the experience of the brewer.

          With a gizillion choices out there I'd recommend a basic model. You can always spend more $$ ...

          1. re: HillJ
            BarmyFotheringayPhipps Feb 19, 2008 10:09 PM

            I don't believe I was suggesting having the grinder housing be the ONLY thing you wash at a time.

            On the other hand, a "dry wipe"? That's enough to keep your mustard seeds from smelling and tasting like the toasted cumin you ground last week? If you say so.

            1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps
              HillJ Feb 20, 2008 03:24 AM

              Nothing wrong with my spice grinder or the grinder I'm using for coffee beans over 20 years now. Differing views on how to prepare coffee sure draws a passionate crowd.

              Good luck sleepycat. Experiment and report back.

              1. re: HillJ
                sleepycat Feb 20, 2008 09:20 PM

                Thanks for your info. I think anything would be better than the one he was using. It was an old blade grinder from university days. I was hoping I could get away with buying the cheaper one.

        3. alanbarnes Feb 19, 2008 10:02 AM

          It all depends on what you need the mill to do. If you're going to be making espresso, count on spending at least $150 for a Solis or Saeco conical-burr unit. For drip or french press coffee, a basic Krups / Braun / Bodum with a spinning blade will do the job very well for less than $25. I've had terrible luck with inexpensive burr mills with the exception of the manual Zassenhaus.

          1. HillJ Feb 19, 2008 08:56 AM

            Be especially careful when selecting a burr grinder. They clog very easily...especially over time and are a real p.i.t.a. to clean.

            4 Replies
            1. re: HillJ
              jayt90 Feb 19, 2008 09:14 AM

              I had a cheap $35 PC (same as Kenmore) burr, took it back because it was messy and produced an uneven grind no matter how it was adjusted. Got a Kitchenaid A-9, and just this week a manual Zassenhaus (works great, but it would be a distraction in an office.) Both of these burr grinders can be cleaned by grinding a handful of barley.

              Sweetmaria's http://www.sweetmarias.com/prod.elect... likes a simple Bodum at $22, but it may be out of stock.

              1. re: jayt90
                HillJ Feb 19, 2008 12:13 PM

                No doubt there are burr grinders at various prices that can do a good job. But you lost me at cleaning with a handful of barley (she said with a wink). A whirling blade requires a quick wipe down and you're on your way to perk heaven.

                1. re: HillJ
                  jayt90 Feb 19, 2008 12:40 PM

                  I agree, somewhat, as I have apparently bought into the burr thing, and learned they are messy and problematic. My KA has only required a barley treatment 3 times in 2 years, but it is messy.
                  I got the Zassenhaus to prove a point (somewhat obsessively), that a superb cuppa can be made everyday, at home, with a hand grinder and an Aeropress.

                2. re: jayt90
                  d
                  DishyDiva Feb 20, 2008 10:18 AM

                  If you don't have barley on hand, rice grains work as well.

              2. b
                Buckethead Feb 19, 2008 08:17 AM

                I don't know about those two in particular, but the main difference (that matters) between coffee grinders is the grinding mechanism, either a high-speed spinning blade or a set of rotating burrs. A burr grinder is much better than a blade grinder, it grinds the beans at a lower speed and the coffee comes out in a more consistent size. Of course, burr grinders cost more. Which Cuisinart model are you looking at?

                3 Replies
                1. re: Buckethead
                  sleepycat Feb 19, 2008 01:37 PM

                  well i bought but didnt open
                  cuisinart grind central brushed stainless series 2.6l 18 cup capacity model dcg 12bcc

                  1. re: sleepycat
                    b
                    Buckethead Feb 19, 2008 07:04 PM

                    That's a blade grinder. Does he need a lot of coffee ground at once? It seems like the main thing that grinder has going for it is a large capacity. Reviewers on Amazon don't seem to think much of its reliability though.

                    1. re: Buckethead
                      sleepycat Feb 19, 2008 08:33 PM

                      no he's just making it for himself hmmmmmm

                2. HillJ Feb 18, 2008 01:22 PM

                  My fav grinder remains the 20.00 Krups "whirly" grinder.
                  I own 3; coffee bean, tea leaves & whole spices.
                  Going on 23 years with the first one.
                  Good luck!

                  Show Hidden Posts