Burr grinder for home use?
April 30, 2008 5:58 PM   Subscribe

Coffee gurus: I'm looking for a good burr grinder with control over quantity as well as grind, if possible. Usage will be for a small french press. Recommendations?
posted by sonofslim to Food & Drink (19 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
I really didn't get any appreciable quality out of my Rancilio Silvia until I bought a (Rancilio) Rocky to go along with it. Spendy but worth it.
posted by kcm at 6:19 PM on April 30, 2008

I can recommend against this Krups model. Huge problems with static and the smallest selectable quantity produces a very large volume of ground coffee: definitely too much for a small French press. You'd be amazed how big of an issue static is; if the Breville model CrayDrygu mentions counters it effectively, that's a huge plus.

I think its also worth pointing out that a grinder that works well for espresso may or may not work well for a French press. It's an entirely different grind. You don't have to be concerned at all about getting it fine; in fact, you're looking for uniformly course grounds with very little contamination of fine grounds. The Krups doesn't manage that, either.
posted by mr_roboto at 6:50 PM on April 30, 2008

I have this Capresso Infinity grinder. It really doesn't have enough settings to get a good espresso grind but it's very good at the coarser grinds.

I'm not sure about what you mean with your quantity question, but if you're going to the trouble of finding and using fresh beans you won't want to store them in the grinder reservoir. You should store them in an airtight container, then scoop the beans into the grinder as needed. If you measure them on the way in you generally don't need to measure the ground coffee on the way out.
posted by cabingirl at 6:56 PM on April 30, 2008

i use a zassenhaus knee mill smiliar to these. I might hesitate to recommend it for someone who's making full pots (tho i use it for that), but for a small french press, they're perfect.
posted by duckstab at 7:14 PM on April 30, 2008 [1 favorite]

The Cuisinart stainless one makes nice grounds for cafetiere, but is a beast for the static. Avoid, if you can.
posted by scruss at 7:21 PM on April 30, 2008

I despise the one I got at Starbucks. It's broken several times (they replaced it twice grudgingly). You have to basically shove the beans into the burrs with a spoon.
posted by popechunk at 7:40 PM on April 30, 2008

Yeah, seconding the measure-as-needed. I use a kitchen scale to measure 16g of beans before grinding for most double shots of espresso - more or less depending on how the roast turned on, of course, and according to the grind setting. No reason to get a grinder with a doser in my opinion.
posted by kcm at 7:45 PM on April 30, 2008

I second the Breville Ikon BCG450XL recommendation. I got one in February and it sparked a coffee revolution in my dorm room. Mind you I use it for french press and drip not espresso, but it seems like a great value. Nice variety of grinds, little static issues, easy clean up and no jams yet.
posted by sdsparks at 8:18 PM on April 30, 2008

I second the Capresso Infinity. Excellent for coarser grinds.

As to volume... I don't actually store beans in the hopper of *any* grinder -- those hoppers aren't airtight. I dole out only as much coffee as I'll be brewing into the hopper and then grind.

In other words, what cabingirl said.
posted by deCadmus at 8:35 PM on April 30, 2008

I'm assuming by quantity you mean how much to grind at a time. The capresso has a little egg timer deal and it's completely awesome. It's ridiculous but I hate thinking about how I had to hold the button on my old grinder rather than just flick the switch to 3.
posted by Wood at 9:12 PM on April 30, 2008

nth the Capresso Infinity. And in my experience it is perfectly adequate for espresso grind.
posted by jtfowl0 at 12:16 AM on May 1, 2008

A couple of years ago I went with the Baratza Virtuoso grinder. Possibly overpriced compared to the Capresso model people are recommending, but does a decent job on both espresso and coarse grinds.
posted by Fin Azvandi at 3:13 AM on May 1, 2008

I've got the same Cuisinart as odinsdream. Static is a bit of a problem, but my bigger problem is that the discharge canister (whatever it's called) is shaped a bit awkwardly for tipping the ground coffee out. I'd prefer one that's cylindrical and narrower in diameter (interestingly, none of the burr grinders linked in this thread seem like an improvement in that regard).

Other than that, it works. It grinds. I use it mostly with drip, occasionally with the press-pot, and it seems to provide a detectable improvement over blade grinders.

It requires cleaning with a pointy tool after every ~10 lb of coffee, more often if you're using very oily beans.
posted by adamrice at 6:42 AM on May 1, 2008

Another person with the Cuisinart. Static, true. It's just an annoyance.

I recall reading on the amazon.com reviews that it won't get fine enough for espresso, and that the consistency (or fineness of the coffee or whatever) isn't always the same throughout. It doesn't bother me, because I'm not hardcore into the coffee thing, but it apparently bothers some.

Also, the reviews said the button to start it can wear out. I only use it once a week (as to not wake up my roommates everyday at 8am when I grind coffee) and haven't had a problem yet.
posted by pete0r at 7:24 AM on May 1, 2008

I have a Capresso Infinity grinder as well, but I find even on the coursest setting, it's not course enough for the french press (I still get a lot of sediment). But I suspect I'm Doing It Wrong.

cabingirl, deCadmus, et al... what's the secret?
posted by ObscureReferenceMan at 9:10 AM on May 1, 2008

I have the same Cuisinart that's been linked above. Yep, tap it before taking off the container lid and use the little brush tool thing to loosen and stir the grounds so they pour easily. I use mine for an Aeropress, and it's fine. Noisy though.
posted by essexjan at 9:55 AM on May 1, 2008

ObscureReferenceMan: I don't do alot of french press, mostly drip grind and espresso. When I have done FP, it has been one of the coarsest grinds and it seemed acceptable to me. I definitely get better results than with a blade grinder. Sorry, I should have specified that I don't do FP more often.

jtfowl0: Yes, the Capresso is acceptable for espresso and I'm usually happy with the results. However, sometimes I find that one setting is too coarse and the next setting is too fine, and that's when I understand the negative reviews on CoffeeGeek. I still think it's a good all-purpose grinder that can do a decent job across the board.
posted by cabingirl at 2:22 PM on May 1, 2008

I've had a Rancilio Rocky for over 15 years. It's built like a locomotive.
posted by Wet Spot at 2:53 PM on May 1, 2008

My wife bought our Capresso a few years ago based on deCadmus's suggestion (if you love coffee, read his blog!), and we are VERY happy with our purchase.
posted by terrapin at 6:34 AM on May 2, 2008

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