Our Pick –

Baratza Virtuoso – Conical Burr Coffee Grinder

Baratza is one of the best brands in the coffee grinder industry, and we’ve picked their “Virtuoso” as our best coffee grinder. There are a lot of positive things we could say about it, especially about its performance, but we should also point out that this coffee grinder isn’t perfect – it has its own set of flaws, but they’re not deal breakers. In fact, every grinder, mill, or similar coffee machine has a flaw or two of their own – Virtuoso, however, possesses more virtues than flaws and errors.

The Virtuoso is one of those grinders that you’ll want at your counter every day of the week – it’s extremely fast, it features a noiseless method of operation, and, most importantly, it’s very easy to use.

The design of Baratza’s Virtuoso is, perhaps, one of its flaws – it’s not exactly beautiful, but it’s quite convenient. Most of the construction was built from plastic parts which are not too durable, but they are capable of withstanding minor bumps. Anyhow, this coffee grinder weighs 8.8 pounds which is not much, but it’s not lightweight either. Essentially, this is a medium-sized, medium-weight coffee grinder.

Considering the performance, Virtuoso is one of the top grinders, and you should at least consider it if you value rich-tasting coffee. With a powerful DC motor, you can keep your coffee beans cool during the long grinding processes – this will ensure that the flavor and taste of your coffee remains fresh and pure. The motor is supplied with a perfect combo of electric hardware that work at 450 rotations per minute. This is quite slow for a grinder, but that was done to prevent overheating and excess noise.

The pulse button which was mounted on the front is there for your convenience, if you want your espresso really fast, this button will grind the beans directly into the espresso basket (otherwise the process will be standard and include more stages).

Considering the price, you might not like it at first, but you’ll soon come to realize that Virtuoso belongs in its price range. It’s an expensive coffee grinder, surely, and most models you’ll find in your search will be several times less expensive, but you can’t put a price on quality – it’s the value that matters, and Virtuoso is definitely worth the money.

Introduction – Coffee Grinders & How to get the best from them

Coffee grinders (sometimes referred to as “coffee mills”) are practically complementary machines that will aid you in brewing your own coffee. If you want the best coffee flavor, you should switch from buying your brews to milling your own, and these amazing contraptions will make sure that your job goes smooth and sound.

The market is full of various coffee mills, and we’re going to show you the difference between High-End mills, Vintage-Style mills, conventional mills, as well as electric and manual coffee grinders. Essentially, every mill does the same job – these contraptions mill the coffee so that you can enjoy it after you brew it. The only differences between various models are in terms of the design, reliability, and price.

What to look out for when you search for your coffee grinder

First of all, you need to understand the difference between a valuable mill and an affordable mill. These machines feature a cost that ranges from measly $10 to well above $200. Cheaper mills are prone to malfunctions and tend to break quite easily, so you might want to pay extra and get a reliable mill instead of going cheap and ending up with a broken machine.

Secondly, you ought to consider what the mill can offer for you – is it easy to use? Is the cleaning part hard or simple? How often do you need to maintain your coffee grinder? Are there any special/outstanding features? If the answer is positive for the majority of these questions, you should look no further.

Last, but not least – the looks. Coffee mills also have an aesthetic side, and it’s quite important that they look average, at least. There are models that excel in this field, as you can see with our “best vintage mill” pick, so let that be your guideline.

How we tested

First, I’ve split the various coffee grinders in small categories – Best Overall, Best Versatile, Best Cheap, and so on (I did this in order to accentuate the highlights of each model). Later, I’ve compared various products in these categories and declared a victor in each, so now we practically have the top 5 best coffee mills that money can buy. Each of these mills were tasted on the field, and each model is certified and approved by quality commissions and professional staff.

About the Coffee Grinders I’ve Tested

Our Pick – The Best Overall Coffee Grinder

Baratza Virtuoso – Conical Burr Coffee Grinder

A short summary:

Strictly speaking, Baratza’s Virtuoso is a high-end coffee maker that boasts supreme versatility and performance. It’s our top pick for several reasons, including the well-balanced functionality, the superior reliability, and state-of-the-art features.

Now, the outward appearance may trick you – this coffee grinder features a very plain design, and it’s safe to say that it’s quite appealing, at the very least. It might not be beautiful, but it comprises for its simple construction with the level of performance which is rarely seen these days.

Detailed description, features, and design:

Virtuoso is the best all-around coffee grinder we’ve come across, and the thing I liked the best was the noiseless operation. Manual coffee grinders often produce minimal noise, but they require a lot of time and effort while the electric grinders usually hum all the way until the process is complete. That’s not the case here, as the magnificent DC motor makes sure that the grinding goes smoothly.

Speaking about the DC motor, it may just be the best feature that Baratza’s Virtuoso comes outfitted with. It’s packed with high-end electronic hardware combo that keeps the coffee beans cool and fresh for extraction. It also works at 450 rotations per minute, which is why it doesn’t bother you with excess noise.

If you want a machine that would complement your Espresso brewer, this is your grinder – the professional-grade conical burrs of 40 millimeters easily grind espresso, and all you need to do is simply push the pulsing button found on the front to squeeze the ground espresso into the designated compartment.

The last thing you may (or may not) like about Virtuoso is the price. It’s not the most expensive coffee grinders out there, but most products are way cheaper. You can purchase your Virtuoso coffee grinding machine for approximately $200 to $250, and it’s safe to say that it would be money well spent. Consider it as a long-term investment – you won’t need another grinder for years to come.


  • Very versatile – Baratza’s Virtuoso can grind coffee beans, Espresso brews, French Press, and more;
  • Consistent grinding – the 40-millimeter professional-grade conical burrs provide consistent grinding every time;
  • Superior motor – The DC motor runs at 450 rotations per minute, and it’s supplied with state-of-the-art electronic parts that keep your coffee beans cool and fresh for extraction;


  • Quite expensive – Baratza’s Virtuoso belongs to the “expensive” price point category, even though it’s quite valuable for the cash;
  • A flimsy construction – Virtuoso features several metal parts, but the majority of construction is made of plastic parts which are not too durable;

Who is it best for and why?

Virtuoso is best for coffee enthusiasts and people with deep pockets. It’s not one of those grinders that you would recommend to just anyone – the price is quite high, and most people would gladly muscle through noisy grinding process and long grinding times in order to pay less.

This is a marvelous contraption that requires some getting used to, and people who can afford it will be grateful soon enough.

Cleaning and maintenance?

The interior is very easy to clean, and the exterior is even simpler – the plastic parts don’t require any special maintenance, and the storage compartment is removable, so just eject it and put it under tap water.

Price and Value for the cash?

With $250 you could buy at least 5 budget coffee brewers, and even if you used them one after another, Baratza’s Virtuoso would still outlive them. Needless, to say, the performance of this coffee grinder is absolute, and it’s pretty clear that it’s valuable for the cash, even though it’s quite expensive.

The Best High-End Coffee Grinder

Breville BCG820BKSXL The Smart Grinder Pro Coffee Bean Grinder


A short summary:

Breville’s BCG 820BKSXL is absolutely fantastic, if not a little bit on the Sci-Fi side. It looks modern, appealing, and it features a compact size, and it’s available in three different colors. A personal favorite of mine is the Sesame Black variant, but you can also check out the Brushed Stainless Steel and Cranberry Red color variants.

This is a High-End coffee maker, so it’s quite obvious that it does not come cheap. It features a manifold of programable settings, conical burrs made of stainless steel, a huge coffee bean tank capacity, and the superior brewing technology. Let’s see what it can offer you.

Detailed description, features, and design:

Breville’s BCG 820BKSXL smart coffee mill features a pair of premium conical burrs made of stainless steel. They’re specifically designed in such a way that they minimize the heat buildup during the grinding process, protecting the oils that this mill requires in order to work.

Considering the programable settings, you can choose from 60 grind options and settings which include a manifold of variations of French Press, Espresso, Premium, and Coarse grind settings. Each of these settings can offer you quite a lot if you know how to utilize them, but they require a little bit of trial and error if you want to feel like a pro barista.

Another great programable feature which deserves special mention is the Electronic Timer – this setting allows you to accurately specify the grind time in such small increments (0.2 seconds, to be precise), so that you can expect consistent grinds every single time.

The coffee capacity of this majestic grinder is phenomenal – it’s neither too big or too small. You can put up to 16 ounces of coffee in it at a single time. The storage compartment also comes with a special locking system that allows easy removal, transfer, storage, and more.

Considering the price, you can get this extraordinary coffee grinder for approximately $200, which is not too much if you take into account all of the magnificent features this grinder comes supplied with. All in all, it’s easy to deduce that Breville’s BCG 820BKSXL is more than just valuable for the cash.


  • A beautiful outward appearance – Breville’s BCG 820BKSXL coffee grinder features a beautiful design;
  • Available in three color variants – you can get this coffee grinder in Brushed Steel, Cranberry Red, and Sesame Black color variants;
  • Lots of programable features – you can choose between 60 programable features that include Espresso Grinds, French Press, Coarse Grind, and more;
  • A decently large storage container – the storage tank of Breville’s BCG 820BKSXL can hold up to 16 ounces of coffee;


  • Slightly more expensive than most products in the price range;
  • Requires some time before you can utilize all of the features;
  • Quite Scientific design;

Who is it best for and why?

People who prefer simple things and simple coffee mills won’t be so satisfied with this coffee grinder. It comes outfitted with various programable features, and you can’t learn all of the instructions in a single go. Therefore, people who like to dabble with settings and options, as well as people who value premium-quality coffee can benefit the most from it.

Since the method of operation of this coffee grinder isn’t basic (and that’s an understatement), people who don’t know a lot about electronics and programable features can’t utilize the majority of features that come outfitted with this superb coffee grinder.

Cleaning and maintenance?

There’s only one thing you need to worry about – the base of this coffee grinder. Most of the contraption is electric, so it’s quite easy to damage it with water. Make sure that you turn it off prior to cleaning it and you’ll be just fine.

Price and Value for the cash?

High-End products are usually expensive, and that’s precisely the case with Breville’s BCG 820BKSXL. It’s an expensive coffee machine, but it’s worth the cash for many reasons. First of all – it comes supplied with premium-quality features. Furthermore, the programable settings allow you to brew and grind your coffee in such ways that you would think are unimaginable. All in all, this coffee grinder holds a magnificent value for the cash.

The Best Versatile Coffee Grinder

Baratza Encore Conical Burr Coffee Grinder with Bin


A short summary:

We’ve already seen what Baratza’s Virtuoso can do – our “Top” overall coffee grinder. Now, if that didn’t give you a clear picture of what Baratza’s products can do, their “Encore” definitely will. This marvelous grinder features a similar design when compared to Virtuoso, but the performance, features, and overall settings are entirely different.

The size, weight, and most features that come supplied to Encore are carefully and intelligently designed to be ideal for home usage. You can easily brew drip coffee, ground coffee, coarse ground coffee, and espresso with it. It’s also a lot smaller than Virtuoso (with 7” x 7.5” x 14” dimensions), and a lot lighter (with 7.1 pounds of weight, when compared to 8.4 pounds).

Detailed description, features, and design:

Baratza’s Encore features 40 programable grind settings – these options include fine coffee grind, coarse coffee grind, French Press, Aeropress, Chemex, and more. The precision and consistency of grinds are unprecedented, and you can expect quite a lot from this fine little contraption.

You’ll see a familiar feature if you compare Encore to Virtuoso – the fabled DC motor. This feature is basically the same as the one that’s supplied to Virtuoso – this motor cools and freshens the coffee beans, keeping them ready for extraction. With 450 rotations per minute, the same (soundless) method of operation raises the overall value of this exquisite coffee grinder.

The grind capacity of this marvelous machine is approximately 8 ounces – this might not be much, but it’s sufficient. Considering the price, Encore is many times cheaper when compared to Virtuoso, but it’s quite expensive when compared to similar products in the price range.


  • A manifold of programable settings – Baratza’s Encore comes with 40 programable settings from which you can choose from, including fine grind, coarse grind, Chemex, Siphon, Aeropress, and more;
  • The superior DC motor – this feature is also implemented in the design of Baraza’s Virtuoso, and it allows for a noiseless method of operation and cool, fresh coffee for extraction at all times;
  • Smart design – most of the programable features are capable of working the magic on their own;
  • Pretty fast – this magnificent contraption is capable of milling premium-quality coffee in no time;
  • Small and compact – the design of Encore is small and lightweight;


  • A small improvement over the earlier versions;
  • Not quite affordable;

Who is it best for and why?

The Breville’s coffee grinder we mentioned might be too scientific for old-school people, and same goes for Encore. The programable features are difficult to master, even after prolonged periods of time, so people who want their coffee plain and simple aren’t the ones that would utilize the features of this coffee grinder.

Anyhow, if you’re progressive, this might be a perfect machine for you. Why grind your coffee beans in a traditional way when you can do it in a more delicate fashion? Siphon, Chemex, French Press – you name it. The number of programable features is exceptionally high (40, to be precise), and you’ll need some time to adjust to it.

Cleaning and maintenance?

Essentially, the cleaning and maintenance process of Encore is the same when compared to Virtuoso. Remove the coffee mill part to clean it, be careful when you’re around electronic parts, and you’re set to go.

Price and Value for the cash?

Paying $130 for a coffee grinder is something that most people would consider as “too much”. This might not be the case when we talk about Encore, mainly because it’s not just your average grinder. It’s much more than that. It’s a noiseless, super-fast, smart coffee mill that’s superior to most products in the same category, so it’s safe to say that this model is very valuable for the cash.

The Best Vintage Coffee Grinder

Gourmia GCG9315 Manual Coffee Grinder Antique Cast Iron Hand Crank Coffee Mill

Gourmia GCG9315 Manual Coffee Grinder

A short summary:

Gourmia’s GCG9315 coffee grinder is one of those mills that require you to do most of the work. It’s a manual mill that operates in such a manner where the user pulls the handle (otherwise referred to as the “crank”) to start the milling process.

The best thing about this coffee mill is that it looks absolutely ravishing. The upper level of this mill is decorated with a beautiful vintage-style crank and grinding pot (it’s not actually a chamber, but it does the same thing) made of cast iron, and the lower level is made of wood with a nice finishing touch.

As for the price, it’s practically a bargain, and you can purchase it for approximately $70. Sure, you can find cheaper manual mills, but do they look this good?

Detailed description, features, and design:

Gourmia’s GCG9315 is comprised of two parts – the upper part consists of a beautiful hand crank and the milling pot while the bottom part consists of the base and a wooden drawer compartment. The entirety of this mill is very durable, but there are no outstanding features whatsoever.

The method of operation of GCG9315 is quite simple, but very tiring as well. You literally need to do all the work – insert the coffee beans, mill them yourself, and then pick up your extracted coffee. These are not necessarily flaws – manual mills simply work that way, but they are setbacks if we compare them to electric coffee grinders. Anyhow, the main purpose of this mill is to look beautiful, and it excels in this field.


  • Literally, a bargain – Gourmia’s GCG9315 manual coffee grinder belongs to the “bargain” price range;
  • A beautiful design – this vintage-style mill is one of the most beautiful coffee grinders that money can afford;
  • Convenient coffee grinding drawer – this part is mainly used for storage, and it comes in handy as much as the carafes equipped to electrical coffee grinders;
  • Very durable – the cast iron construction boasts superior durability;


  • Manual coffee grinder – you need to mill your coffee yourself;
  • Quite noisy – this is a commonplace for manual mills;
  • Very tiring during the long milling processes – after a certain period of time, your arms will get quite tired;

Who is it best for and why?

There are still people who like to mill their own coffee, and there are people out there who are practically addicted to vintage stuff. These are the two main categories of people who would benefit the most from Gourmia’s GCG9315, and we could also include a third – people who want to save some cash. This coffee mill is very affordable, and it’s quite valuable for the cash.

Cleaning and maintenance?

There are no removable parts on Gormuia’s GCG9315, but you simply can’t mess up the cleaning part as much as you could if it were an electrical coffee grinder. You could easily use a cloth to wipe and rinse the construction, but be careful of splinters – the wooden part can injure your hands if they’re bare. Use gloves and you’ll be just fine.

Price and Value for the cash?

This coffee mill is amazingly affordable, but most standard coffee mills are well below $20. This, however, is a vintage-style manual coffee mill, and it’s only fitting that it costs $70. Worth the money in any case.

The Most Conventional Coffee Grinder

Hamilton Beach 80365 Custom Grind Hands-Free Coffee Grinder


A short summary:

The first notion you are most likely to have when you see our most conventional coffee grinder – the Hamilton Beach 80365 Coffee mill, would be something like this – “this is not a grinder. It’s a cup, it can’t be a mill”. You’d be wrong, it’s just shaped and designed in such a way that it resembles a plain and straightforward cup.

Anyway, don’t let the outward appearance of this magnificent grinder deceive you – it might be small and oddly shaped, but it’s the single most conventional coffee grinder on the market. It’s super cheap, you can literally take it wherever you go, and it makes coffee milling easy. You can even grind your spices in it, your tea, or whatever you wish – it’s not reserved for coffee milling exclusively.

Detailed description, features, and design:

Hamilton Beach 80365 Coffee mill one of the most compact coffee grinders on the market. It features a removable and easily detachable grinding chamber that comes in handy during filling, maintenance, and cleaning.

This is all you need for hands-free grinding, as this mill makes sure that all you need to do is simply insert your coffee beans, choose the setting you want, and wait for it. Another reason why this is the most convenient coffee mill ever is because it comes with a hidden cord compartment for easy storage.

You can choose the speed and size of your coffee grinds (from 4-12 in increments of 4), and if you need any help, the manufacturers also provide a comprehensive user manual, but pretty much everything about this coffee mill is self-explanatory.


  • One of the most convenient coffee grinders on the market – it’s cheap, it’s practical, and it’s extremely easy to use;
  • Easy to clean and maintain – this coffee grinder is supplied with various removable parts, making it very easy to clean;
  • Hands-free method of operation – you don’t even need to be present. Just insert your coffee and press the button;
  • Cord storage – the cord storage compartment makes the problem of tangled cables non-existent;
  • Cheap – Hamilton Beach 80365 coffee grinder belongs to the “budget” price point category;


  • Not the best coffee grinder in terms of performance;
  • You can’t expect premium-quality coffee;

Who is it best for and why?

People who’re low on cash would benefit the most. This coffee machine is very cheap, but it’s pretty reliable and it’s very practical. Easy to clean, simple to maintain, and, most importantly, a bargain. Definitely worth the cash.

Cleaning and maintenance?

As I’ve mentioned earlier, all you need to do is simply remove the grinding chamber and clean the two parts separately. There’s no need for complex maintenance – just make sure that you don’t damage the buttons and it’s all good.

Price and Value for the cash?

This coffee grinder belongs to the budget price point category, and it’s more than valuable for the cash. You can’t expect rich-tasting coffee flavor, and it may have some issues with consistency, but it’s good for the money.

The Best Cheap Coffee Grinder

Paksh Novelty Automatic Burr Mill Grinder Bundled with Cloth and Peeler

A short summary:

Coffee mills are supposed to be cheap – they’re not actually coffee brewers, so it’s safe to say that they’re just a feature that helps them do the work. Now, this statement might be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about coffee grinders, and it’s not necessarily true. At least not in entirety.

Cheap coffee grinders are capable of getting the job done, but they can’t really be compared to high-end products, or more versatile coffee grinders. This might not be the case with Paksh Novelty Burr Mill coffee grinder.

This magnificent Italian brand has been around for quite a while, and they literally reinvented coffee machines. Paksh Novelty offers a wide range of coffee mugs, machines, and grinders in their catalog, and this particular model has piqued our interest because it’s cheap and equally capable as some high-end coffee grinders.

Detailed description, features, and design:

Paksh Novelty Burr Mill coffee grinder features a beautiful design – the silver stainless-steel color is very appealing while the transparent glass grind compartment allows you to monitor the entire grinding process. This magnificent coffee mill is a result of collaboration between Cuisinart – another great name in the coffee maker industry, and Paksh Novelty – prominent Italian leader in the branch.

The coffee storage capacity is 8 ounces – it’s completely and easily removable, and it can hold a standard coffee bean package in one go. Ideally, it can hold up to 32 cups of coffee. The best thing about this coffee mill, however, is that it comes with a lot of features. These include a handy cord storage, a durable base, and the fast and noiseless method of operation.

One of the best parts about this machine is the Heavy-Duty motor – it gives this grinder the prefix “Automatic”, and it’s very capable. It has 6 separate settings which are unique to each grind type.


  • Extremely cheap – this coffee grinder belongs to the “Bargain” price point category and it’s considered to be extremely cheap;
  • Consistent grinds every time – the heavy-duty motor is capable of consistent grinding processes;
  • Very fast – you can easily mill up to 12 cups of ground coffee in less than 40 seconds;
  • Grinding settings – the heavy-duty motor has 6 separate grinding settings which are unique to each grind type;
  • A decently large grinding chamber – the grinding chamber can hold up to 32 cups of coffee;


  • You don’t have to search far and wide to find a faster coffee grinder;
  • It’s pretty difficult to shut off this grinder;

Who is it best for and why?

This is, basically, one of the cheaper coffee grinders, so it’s best to consider it if you’re down on cash. Otherwise, there are no special features, so coffee enthusiasts might not be so thrilled and excited by it.

Cleaning and maintenance?

The cleaning process is simple – just remove the grinding chamber after you’re done with the process, put it under tap water, and clean it thoroughly.

Price and Value for the cash?

Paksh Novelty coffee grinder is cheap, even for its price range. It’s supplied with a set of modest, simple features, and it holds a great value for the cash.

The Final Verdict

Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q. section)

This section is dedicated to explaining some of the frequently asked questions about the coffee grinders. Of course, most manufacturers provide a comprehensive instruction manual (or a guide), and some even went an extra mile with providing the “easy to use” DVD instruction guides. Anyhow, some models are faulty, and some packages come without a manual, so it’s only fitting that we answer the questions that your brand’s customer service failed to.

We’re going to cover the grounds of “how to use” your coffee grinder, what to do in the case of leaking, breaking, or damages, how to preserve your coffee grinder, and more.

Q: How can I choose a perfect coffee grinder? I don’t have any experience with these products and can’t tell a difference between a good and a bad coffee grinder.

A: Well, first of all, there are a lot of types of coffee grinders. Some are more durable than others, some are more expensive, some are very versatile, and there are those with a well-balanced performance. You don’t need any kind of expertise with coffee grinders, as they’re essentially electric coffee mills that are supposed to make the job easy for you.

All you need to do is simply decide how much money you want to invest, and check our “things to look out for when you search for your coffee grinder” section.

Q: What’s the purpose of a filter system on a coffee grinder? Is there anything I should know?

A: There are different types of filter systems (depending of the type of coffee grinder), and it’s hard to say which one is the best. Anyhow, a filter system “filters” the coffee beans once they’ve been ground, so you can get your rich-flavor coffee. Paper filters are the most common, but they are one of the main reasons of inconsistent grinding processes.

There are also permanent filters that require unform grinding – this means that you don’t have to go through all the trouble of replacing them from time to time, but they have a set of flaws on their own. French Press, Vacuum Pots and similar are best used with Burr grinders, but you don’t want to try implementing portafilters on your burr grinder. There are a lot of combinations.

Q: What type of grinders would work best when paired with my espresso maker?

A: Without going into too much detail, you should definitely consider a Burr grinder if you want to use it with your espresso maker. This type of coffee grinders will make sure that your brewing is consistent and rich in flavor.

Q: How can I storage my coffee grinder if it’s small?

A: Smaller grinders are usually pretty easy to storage, but there are some things you should know. Small coffee grinders are usually less durable, so you should make sure to storage them on a ground level – preferably under the counter.

Q: How can I storage my coffee grinder if it’s big?

A: The story is quite different with big coffee grinders – you don’t have too much room to maneuver. Most of the time, the place where you use your coffee grinder will be the place where it will remain until it goes out of commission. Anyhow, you should designate a special space for your coffee grinder and make sure to cover it, lest it gets covered in dust.

Q: My grinder is leaking coffee beans. What should I do?

A: This is usually a red light – if your coffee grinder is leaking beans, that means that there’s a hole in the construction – a damage so great that you shouldn’t use it until it’s repaired. If you’re experiencing leakage, that means that you should refrain from using your coffee grinder. Make arrangements for repairs as soon as possible.

Q: I’ve damaged my coffee bean grinder on accident. What’s the best course of action?

A: You should do the same as with “leakage” – call for repairs and refrain from using your grinder.

Q: My grinder won’t start. What should I do?

A: If you’ve already checked for the most obvious solutions (checking if it’s plugged, connections, batteries, etc.), you shouldn’t dabble with it too much. Most coffee grinders are electric, so peddling with electricity isn’t advised. It’s hard to imagine a manual coffee grinder that won’t start.