January 17, 2023 4 min read

There are essentially two ways to make coffee. Pour over (or drip-style) or espresso-based coffee.

If you think a coffee grinder should be able to do both, you might be surprised, as that is not always the case. 

Choosing A Grinder For Espresso Based Coffee

When you grind for espresso, you need a much finer and more consistent grind size that is hard to achieve on smaller and budget grinders. But what makes some grinders great for espresso? It comes down to finding one that will grind uniform particle size without excess heat or staticThe three elements of a grinder that will best determine the optimum grind results are:

  • Burr size
  • Burr shape
  • Power

Burr Size and Shape 

A burr grinder acts like a crusher. It pulverises coffee beans into a uniform particle size, which is perfect for espresso. Burr grinders have two steel or ceramic burrs that are either flat or conical. Conical tends to be in domestic machines as they are quicker than flat burrs and can be run on smaller motors. So you definitely want to be buying a conical or flat burr grinder, whether that is a hand coffee grinder or electric coffee grinder. At Coffee Hit, we only sell excellent quality hand and electric grinders that offer outstanding value and meet our criteria set out above.

We love these coffee grinders for great Espresso Coffee 

Baratza Forte Grinder   This commercial-grade grinder can grind from coarse to fine and comes with a 54mm flat ceramic burr, grounds bin for use when grinding by weight, plus a portaholder for use when grinding directly to your portafilter. This is what one of our customers said: "I was sceptical how much of an upgrade this would be from my Baratza Virtuoso, but I've been blown away. So much more consistent at every grind level, makes for a much tastier cup. The Forte is also impressively well-built, solid as a rock, quieter, and less messy. All in all, I'm delighted. And the service from Coffee Hit has been impeccable - including the fact that the Forte comes with both ceramic and steel burrs."

Baratza Encore Grinder  Lauded by coffee experts as THE go-to entry level grinder for home brewing, the Encore has 40 individual grind settings, from fine to coarse (250 to 1200 microns). So whether your brew of choice is the French Press or the espresso, the Baratza Encore provides consistent grinds for both – and everything in between – giving you the chance to experiment and explore your taste preference. One of our customers said, "The Espresso grind is Superb, the machine is not as laborious as other models, and it's clean too. Highly recommended."

Comandante C40 MK4 Nitro Blade Grinder   This hand grinder is at the more expensive end of manual coffee grinders, but for a great reason. Coffee experts and baristas rave about this grinder; this is what one of our customers said "Like most, I questioned spending such an amount on the c40 but didn't regret it for a second. This is a well-built piece of kit and worth every penny. Its grinding consistency is brilliant. It's solid, easy to use and clean. This coffee grinder will undoubtedly up your grinding game!"

Choosing A Grinder For Pour Over Or Drip-Style Coffee

If you only drink brewed coffee or non-espresso coffee, then you have a much wider choice of grinders to choose from. The grind size isn't as crucial with brewed coffee. This is because the water is in touch with the coffee for much longer for brewed coffee than is typical for espresso shots. Espresso is usually in contact with the water for between 25 and 35 seconds. In comparison, brewed coffee can take as much as 4 minutes. 

As the grind size isn't as important, the materials used to make the grinder can be less expensive and, therefore, a lower cost to the consumer.

We Love These Grinders For Pour Over or Drip- Style Coffee

  • Rhino Small Hand Grinder   The Rhino hand grinder is the perfect entry-level coffee grinder. It delivers exceptionally stable and reliable grinding. This is what one of our customers said: "For the money, it's an unbeatable product."
  • Fellow Ode Brew Grinder.   By reimagining the design of a coffee grinder, Fellow have been able to pack in some pretty impressive features to elevate your morning routine. Ode brings the café experience into your kitchen at a fraction of the cost with 31 grind settings and a unique single dose load bin for maximum bean freshness. Despite the 64mm professional-grade flat burrs, the Ode is not suitable for Espresso grinding. This is what one of our customers said: "Best coffee grinder I've ever used. So good to be able to adjust to requirements."

Ok, so a coffee grinder is really a catch-all phrase for grinders that crush coffee. You can break it down into 3 subcategories:

  1. Brew Grinder
  2. Espresso Grinder
  3. Multi-purpose Grinder

In our article Best Coffee Grinders, we detail which grinder is best for your needs to head over there to check it out.

But once you decide how you want to make your coffee at home, whether it's brewed coffee, espresso-based or both, you can then choose more clearly which grinder is best for you and fits your budget.

Need an expert opinion? Our team are always ready to answer any questions you have. Just drop us a line here.


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