Grinding your coffee beans immediately before making coffee is the best way to extract their full flavour, which is why in our espresso machine test we recommend investing in a grinder as well.
Pre-ground coffee is not ideal because it may not be the right grind for a particular machine, and the packet may have been sitting on the factory or supermarket shelves for some time, further degrading its freshness.
We recommend investing in a burr-type grinder and put 12 of these to the test. Burr grinders make a more uniform grind than blade-type models. A blade grinder relies on you being able to judge the time needed to chop the coffee beans, which could mean you grind it too fine and damage the espresso machine.
We changed our performance test for this round so results are no longer comparable with previous models we’ve looked at. Each grinder is adjusted to produce a grind suitable for our semi-commercial ECM Giotto machine and the quality of each shot is assessed.
For more information on Coffee machines, see Kitchen.
- Bodum Bistro Electric Coffee Grinder 10903
- Breville Bar Aroma Coffee & Spice Grinder BSG450
- Breville The Smart Grinder with Dosing IQ BCG800
- DeLonghi KG100
- Isomac Granmacinino
- Kitchen Aid Artisan Burr Grinder 5KCG100
- La Pavoni Jolly Dosato V230
- Nuova Simonelli Grinta AMM
- Rancilio Rocky No Doser
- Sunbeam Cafe Series EMO490
- Sunbeam Conical Burr EMO450
- Sunbeam Grind Master EMO360
How we test
Performance The grinders are adjusted to produce a grind suitable for our semi-automatic ECM Giotto machine and the quality of each shot is assessed. We make two cups of espresso using widely available supermarket beans, and judge the crema quality and strength of the coffee.
Ease of use We assess the ease of removing coffee from the grinder, setting the timer, how easy to controls are to adjust and cleaning. Each aspect is weighted equally.
Noise We measure the noise with the grinder placed on the kitchen bench. The sound level meter is positioned 50cm in front of the grinder, 1m above the floor.
Safety We check whether it's possible to insert a finger probe into the grinding part of the machine from the top part of the hopper while it's operating.