You’re looking for the best budget coffee grinder for espresso, right? In our honest opinion, it can’t be one. ‘Best’ coffee grinder for you is the one that fits all of ‘Your’ needs. We’ve got here for you the manual grinders and electric grinders (blade and burr), all within $100.
Let’s take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of each type.
Manual Coffee Grinders
Though a ‘manual coffee grinder’ would sound like a lot of working, it isn’t for many. While someone may not like the idea of grinding their coffee beans by hands, others prefer it because they need the good in it. What’s good? Take a look at the advantages of a manual coffee grinder.
You can always rely on a manual coffee grinder when you’re budget tight. Although cheap, some high-quality manual grinders can yield amazing results as they still come with burrs. So, it doesn’t mean that if you’re going for a cheap manual one, you can’t have the best results with it. This, however, is not applicable to electric grinders. A cheap electric grinder can mess up your grounds and ultimately your coffee.
We’ve got here on our list some really good grinders that are available at affordable prices. You can have the best one costing around $100, while it’s electric counterpart, or an equally good electric grinder may cost you an additional amount of $300 or $400.
Don’t heat up
A manual coffee grinder doesn’t heat up as the grinding goes low and slow. Obviously, by grinding with your hand, you can’t even come close to the high speeds that electric grinders offer. So, less speed means no heating up and no bad manipulation of coffee bean oils. Your coffee will never have a burnt taste. Many people who’ve had bad experiences with the low-quality, low-priced electric grinders, including the ‘burnt taste’ problem, prefer a manual one as it’s almost foolproof when it comes to improper extraction of the oils.
You don’t need electricity to operate this one, right? Now this advantage comes in really handy when you travel a lot or simply prefer taking a coffee grinder with you on your camping and hiking ventures. Their small size adds to the portability and convenience too. You should be considering this point if you’re going to take your coffee grinder with you everywhere or if you’re planning to have an extra one lying in your cupboard for any such case.
Yes, that’s another reason why someone would consider a manual over an electric one. The loud or even a little loud noise of an electric coffee grinder can be bothering for some in the mornings. Going for a manual grinder in that case can solve the problem.
They’ve a simple and sturdy design
Almost all the hand grinders are uncomplicatedly engineered. It’s a single rod in the middle that combines all the underlying parts including the burrs, hoppers, and the crank. The framework and the simplicity gives it a strong and sturdy look and feel. On the other hand, an electric grinder might look like something that you need to be really careful with. It’s more of a complex and fragile appliance.
There are certain cons to the manual grinders.
First of all, you won’t like it if you’re not willing to cramp up your muscles. Secondly, if you often serve more than 2 to 3 people then grinding by hand can get your muscles sore. So, we won’t recommend it if you face this kind of situation often.
Thirdly, if you like a lot of experimenting then again a manual one isn’t for you. It usually has limited grind sizes and is not very much adjustable. It’s something you can’t overlook while selecting a coffee grinder.
Electric coffee grinders
While the manual grinders yield good to perfect results, the electric ones yield everything from bad to perfect.
If you fall for a low-quality, cheap electric coffee grinder then your coffee is at stake. Since there are so many features and specifications to choose from, buying the best electric coffee grinder for yourself can be tricky.
Let’s dive into the good of an electric coffee maker.
Most high-end, professional, and commercial grade coffee grinders are electric. They offer sophistication and state-of-the-art technologies that bring out promising results. If you find yourself the best coffee grinder, you may never want to change it. Moreover, some good electric coffee grinders can last you more than a couple of decades.
They’re convenient for large batches
The biggest advantage is definitely the loads of convenience it offers. They get your grounds ready with a press of button and within the least time. You can get in it coffee beans worth a full carafe and more without even giving a second thought to it, something you’d fret over with a manual coffee grinder.
They are super adjustable
Most of the electric grinders come with settings and adjustments that have a wide range. You can set up from the finest grind for your espresso to the coarsest for your French press and everything in between. The grinder that has adjustments marked or pre-levelled is called a ‘stepped’ grinder. It’s a good option for a beginner. Some grinders offer up to 230+ grind settings.
Then there are ‘stepless’ grinders that have a free range that you can select from for your grind size, a good option for an experienced coffee maker.
There are certain drawbacks to electric coffee grinders as well. The good ones will always cost you a $100 or above. While if you’re looking to invest in a great and long-lasting coffee grinder, you should look at nothing under $300. Yes, you can buy the best budget coffee grinder for espresso, but there is not much reliability of the product. It can go mad soon. You can go for a budget coffee grinder if you’re just starting out and you’re not willing to spend much until you’re sure of your coffee skills (however, a bad coffee grinder can mask your skills).
Secondly, they can be noisy if that’s your concern. Moreover, they’re usually bigger than the manual ones, taking up a considerable space on your countertop.
There are two types of an electric coffee grinder:
- Blade Grinders
Blade grinders use simple rotating stainless steel blades that chop off the coffee beans to the finest. They are not the best when it comes to the finest grind size of coffee beans. Blade grinders are also notorious for yielding inconsistent grinds. These are cheaper kinds of electric grinders.
- Burr Grinders
Burr grinder uses grooved rings, that can be flat or conical, that pull and mince every single coffee bean precisely. The grounds are always consistent with burrs. Burr grinders are quite forgiving and tend to make the perfect grind every time. As quality comes with a price, the electric burr grinders are the expensive ones among all the types of grinders.
Though you can check some of the best coffee grinders overall, we’ve picked these units so you can select the best budget coffee grinder for espresso for yourself.
Note: To make sure quality results at your end, all of our suggested grinders are burr grinders (both manual and electric).
This teeny tiny handheld appliance has all the goodness packed in it. The body is made up of plastic and glass. The burrs are ceramic making it rust proof. They are designed to carefully grind your beans retaining their taste and oils. Many coffee enthusiasts have found it the ultimate grinder for their espresso needs.
The locking nut on this unit provides absolute grind-size repeatability, so you’ll have to calibrate it only once and then you’re good to go.
The base is provided with a rubber making it comfortable to use on any surface. It comes with a silicon cover on the top that prevents the beans from hopping out while you can still lift it to keep adding more beans. The bean hopper is capacious itself. It can store beans enough for many double shots of espresso. There’s a tray included at the bottom too in case you want to hold your grounds for a while.
Here’s the giveaway, it’s going to take 30 seconds to a minute or even more to produce those perfect grounds. Now is it a pro or a con? Totally your call.
Moreover, it’s easy to clean. All the parts come off easily and are washable.
- Great for the fine grounds needed for espresso
- Easy to clean
- Grinds low and slow
- Comes with conical burr grinders
- A thoroughly thought design
- Grinds are consistent and uniform
- Not particularly good for coarser grounds
- Takes time to grind
Javapresse manual grinder is known for its precision. Second in our list of best budget coffee grinder for espresso, it comes with 18 built-in grind size levels you can choose from – 1 being the ‘Extra Fine’ while 18 being the coarsest.
The fun part? It’s quite small. It’s small to fit in your hands for convenient grinding and small enough to fit in your bags, hardly requiring any space.
You can grind coffee beans for up to 2 cups at once. With the built-in window, you can keep a check on your grounds. It may require a couple of minutes to get your grounds to the finest but it’ll all be effortless.
It’s easy to clean as well. It can separate into six parts for convenient clean up.
The product comes with excellent customer service and readily available replacement parts.
- Requires minimal efforts
- Has durable ceramic conical burr grinders
- 18 grind settings
- Compact design
- As with all hand grinders, the grind you get for your coffee is never 100% consistent
Now comes in our electric burr grinder on the ‘best budget coffee grinder for espresso’ list. The Capresso Infinity Grinder comes with commercial grade grinding burrs made up of steel. They’re equipped with advanced cutting technology giving you perfect and uniform grinds, from fine to coarse, every time.
The good part is that it goes low and slow preventing burnt taste while preserving the natural oils and aroma of the coffee beans. It comes with 16 grind settings. The coffee containers are capacious, with the grounds’ container holding up to 4 ounces of coffee.
The Capresso Infinity Grinder has a built-in timer too so you won’t need to babysit. It can be set anywhere from 5 to 60 seconds.
It offers easy cleaning too as the upper burrs come off easily.
- Precise grinding
- Quiet operation
- Easy to clean (includes a brush for cleaning )
- Grinds low and slow
- Has a grinding timer
- Prevents static charge and buildup
- A negligible amount of coffee does get wasted
This sleek and stylish looking electric coffee grinder comes with stainless steel conical burrs. You can easily adjust it to get your preferred grind size. You can also determine the serving sizes with the help of a built-in measuring guide.
Other than that, the bean hopper comes with a lid. It also contains a tray at the bottom that collects the grounds while the silicon base adheres it to the surface for a mess free experience. The bean catcher comes with a large capacity, holding up to 11 ounces at a time. The borosilicate glass that it is made up of proves to be helpful more than you might think.
- Comes with commercial grade burr grinders
- Easy to use
- Offers 12 adjustable settings
- Difficult to clean
- A bit noisy
The OXO Brew Conical Burr Coffee Grinder comes with a hopper that can hold up to 12 ounces of beans while the ground container can hold grounds required for up to 12 cups of coffee. You can load the beans in and grind easily. It can grind you a small amount of beans efficiently as well.
Moreover, the top part of the appliance as well as the top burr can be twisted and lifted up, making cleaning easy.
This final yet excellent unit of our ‘best budget coffee grinder for espresso’ list, comes with steel conical burrs, has an easy-to-interact design, offers grind settings with further micro-adjustments, brings out consistent grounds each time, has been made strong and sturdy, is aesthetically pleasing, and is quite generous when it comes to holding beans. All that for such a reasonable price! – you don’t see this goodness everyday, do you?
- High-quality consistent grind
- High-end steel conical burrs
- Not much noisy
- Easy to clean
- Grinds are consistent and uniform
- You can’t remove the bottom burr to clean it.