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Essential Equipment: Espresso Grinders

Published by Ben Piff
February 9, 2016 11:00 am

A good grinder is, arguably, the most important piece of equipment one can buy for any home coffee setup. And it is absolutely critical for espresso. For just about any brewing method, there are a number of variables that impact the quality of your coffee, but pulling a great shot of espresso is by far the most nuanced. Espresso preparation is harsh. Using over 135 pounds of pressure per square inch to extract a heavenly shot in 25 seconds is asking a lot from those beans. So set up those beans, and your tastebuds, for success with a quality grinder.

 

Nothing will hold back the quality and consistency of your espresso as using a sub-par grinder. So much so that we often recommend that our customers look at upgrading their grinder before their espresso machine. Most small home coffee grinders don’t provide the range and fineness of adjustment needed to dial in a proper shot, nor the motor power to grind your beans without overheating and thus ruining them (not to mention enough durability to handle long term use).

 

To assist you in your journey toward pulling cafe-worthy shots all day, every day (or at least every morning), we assembled a selection of grinders for three budgets: under $500, under $1,000, and under $2,000. We considered consistency, ease-of-operation, range of granularity, durability, size, and style. From the diminutive but distinguished Eureka Mignon to the monstrous Madcap M7D, each grinder on this list is a worthy addition to your home espresso kit. Read up on each option below or simply give us a call to discuss which model is best for you.
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Though she be but little, she is fierce. The Eureka Mignon is an affordable, high quality doserless grinder perfect for the smaller home.

 

For many espresso enthusiasts, the typical coffee grinder simply doesn’t match the presence, performance, and longevity of their espresso machine. But heavy duty grinders are often too large or expensive for their home. Made in Florence, Italy, the adorable Eureka Mignon combines Italian styling and all-metal durability in a compact and affordable package. High quality flat, hardened steel burrs and ultra precise micrometric (infinite, stepless) grind adjustment results in a more uniform grind consistency that will be easier to fine tune than other grinders in this class. And when combined with an adjustable grind timer (or manually grind on demand), you’ll grind the proper volume of coffee every time. For those who are seeking a small, affordable grinder with the longevity and presence to match their high end espresso machine, this grinder is a great fit.
German precision. Cafe-worthy performance. Home-friendly size.

 

German engineered and built, the Profitec T64 inspires confidence. This grinder offers exceptional performance and value in the compact class, as it combines cafe-caliber 64mm flat burrs and a 450 watt motor to create a fluffier, tastier grind in a sub 17″ stainless steel case. A fluffy double shot can be ground in under six seconds, preserving significant flavor over grinders that take 10-20 seconds to grind.
For cafe-ready strength, durability, and consistency, the Italian-made Eureka Zenith delivers on all levels and more.

 

The Eureka Zenith 65E brings full sized 65mm burrs and a 500 watt motor (twice the power of most) to a price point that has typically been reserved for light duty commercial units. To put into perspective the amount of work this grinder is capable of, it’s rated to grind up to 22lbs of coffee per hour.
So what does that mean for you? The Zenith 65 can produce tastier espresso than other grinders under $1000 because it grinds more precisely, dispenses more quickly, and utilizes fluid micrometric adjustment to ensure dialing in a shot is easy every time. Alongside its robust performance, it features a number of modern refinements like a portafilter holder and adjustable dosing chute for precise dispensing, easy and precise shot programming (no software navigation needed), a bright and beautiful LCD display, and barista lights to illumine the coffee while its ground. The Zenith 65E has been designed with a focus on grind uniformity and strength, and that solidity can be sensed through every feature and detail. Its 25 pound weight inspires complete confidence, while an optional short hopper brings its height down to a kitchen-friendly 18 inches.
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A flagship grinder for the true enthusiast.

 

Founded in 1930 in Venice, Macap produces some of the finest grinders on the planet. The Macap M7D is a flagship commercial espresso grinder that packs top-of-the-line specs. Massive 68mm conical burrs have three times the cutting lenght of commercial flat burrs, turning at a super low 400rpm via an 800 watt motor. For enthusiasts and shops that are seeking greater depth of flavors, the ability to highlight subtle floral or aromatic flavors, increased body and mouthfeel, and more consistent grind quality with less need for adjustment, a large conical burr can provide higher performance than even the largest flat burr. Multiplication of the cutting lengths and motor power mean this conical can break each bean down much more uniformly and consistently with less heat from friction and the motor, as it only takes three seconds to grind 20 grams of coffee. We recommend single dosing and replacing the hopper with a flat lid. This configuration is the most compact and affordable high-performance conical solution we’ve found yet.

Want to learn more? Need help choosing which grinder is right for you?
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